Cove Handjob and Shimano Alfine hub - Review

Apr 9, 2010 at 0:09
Apr 9, 2010
by Cory Hemminger  
 
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This writeup is the second part of Pinkbike.com’s test of the Shimano Alfine internally geared hub. In the first part of the review, the Alfine was mounted on a Hammerschmidt-equipped rig that inspired plenty of discussion and showed that commuters can be a pretty opinionated crowd. The second part of the review has me continuing to put the Alfine hub through the paces off the road, this time mounted on a steel hardtail built for all-round trail riding.

Full review inside,

The Build


Basking in the golden light of… winter?
Photo: Dave Mackie.


I headed out to Pinkbike.com headquarters in early January to build up the Cove Handjob that was being used for this writeup and arrived to find the pearl red frame clamped into the work stand for inspection.

The Handjob is constructed from custom Tange Prestige chromoly tubing and is designated as Cove’s xc / trail hardtail frame. The 17.5” disc-only frame is designed around a 110mm travel fork, weighs in at 2177 grams / 4.8lbs (2086 grams / 4.6lbs claimed) and sports a 68.5 degree head angle along with a reasonable 23” horizontal top tube. The headtube is 1 1/8”, so you’ll be able to find your fork of choice, but remember to pick something that matches the beefy gusset on the shaped downtube, because the Handjob was designed to handle most of the descents you can throw at it. The finish on the frame looks great although the tester had a small gap in the weld bead along the headtube by the downtube gusset. Also, the headtube and the bottom bracket of the frame weren’t faced, which would’ve been a nice value added touch.

A note on sizing: I’m usually between a medium and a large when it comes to frame sizing, and I opted for the smaller 17.5” frame with the test Handjob. When I first hopped on the fully built bike I was concerned that it was a touch small but the size was never really an issue at any point, although I had to run an extra long seatpost to get proper post insertion and leg extension. If you’re interested in the frame, definitely try to check out a full build or be sure about your measurements before you order.


The Shimano Alfine hub and its eight speeds of reliable shifting action.


I built up the Cove using the same wheels that were bolted to the Chromag commuter – Alex Supra 28 rims in chrome laced to a Shimano XT 20mm hub up front and the eight-speed Shimano Alfine SG-500 hub in the rear. The real wheel is a bit of a pig -- it weighs in at just over 2600 grams -- while the front is a more reasonable 1060 grams. Since the Handjob employs vertical dropouts, I needed a tensioner to keep the drivetrain running smoothly and went with the stock Alfine device from Shimano. The Alfine RapidFire Plus trigger shifter controlled shifting duties and employed the relatively common push-pull method for changing gears, although the system performs in low normal (ie. rapid rise). I routed the shift cable and housing along the downtube and drive-side chainstay of the frame to get a clean, uninterrupted setup. I decided on the stock 20t driver for the hub, giving me the range equivalent of a 12-38 cassette. Shimano XT 760 cranks (175mm, 32t chainring, 36t e.13 Supercharger bash guard), a Chris King bottom bracket, and a SRAM 990 chain rounded out the drivetrain.


The cockpit is made of select bits from Easton, Shimano, ODI, and Thomson.


Braking duties were taken care of by Shimano’s SLX brakes (Shimano 6” Centrelock rotors) that were clamped to a Thomson X4 stem (70mm, 31.8mm) and an Easton EA70 handlebar (685mm wide, 31.8mm, low rise). The headset was a Crank Bros Opium C, and the cups pressed in nicely using the Park Tools headset press – no problems at all for all you worriers out there. Suspension duties were taken care of by the 2009 RockShox Revlation Air U-Turn (110mm-140mm) with 20mm Maxle Lite.


The 2010 Panaracer CG XC 2.1” tire. As recommended, the tire was mounted in both rotational directions during the test.


I started the test on some new tires from Panaracer’s 2010 Cedric Gracia signature tire lineup. The Panaracer CG XC 2.1” tires weighed in at a competitive 580 grams and use what Panaracer calls ComboCompound, which is a softer durometer rubber covered by a harder outer ‘shell’ that is intended to provide good traction while maintaining greater wear life. The tread pattern features reasonably shaped side knobs and a lower-profile centre ridge that is comprised of blocks in a CG shape. The tires lack the directional arrows because Gracia feels the rider should make the final decision on their rides, not marketing folk. I mounted the tires with tubes in the traditional direction and aired them up to 30/32 psi (front / rear) before rolling the 30lb bike out the door for a couple months of winter thrashing.

What’s in a name?

When I brought the bike home, my nine year old kid came running around the back of the car to look at the frame and the first thing she asked was, “What’s a Handjob?” After I made it clear that she was to call it ‘The Cove’ from then on, the next person to see the bike was my mom and, while she didn’t actually say anything about the name, I could hear her screaming inside while she commented about how she liked that the paint was so shiny and red. Similarly, when I was stopped at a light with the bike on my rear facing rack, I’d often take a quick look in the mirror to see if the driver behind me would read the labels on the frame; most people laughed and pointed the name out to their friends and family although a particularly elderly gentleman and his wife both shook their heads and frowned disapprovingly.

What I’m getting at here is that you need thick skin or a sense of humour (or both) to put up with the attention that the name attracts – it could be a blessing or a curse, depending on your preference / personality. I learned to live with it and occasionally laugh about it, but I’m a pretty serious guy…

The Ride

We’ve had an unseasonably warm winter here in southwest British Columbia and, while the lack of snow might have troubled the organizers of the Vancouver Winter Games, it has made for pretty good riding at a time of year when most people are struggling to deal with the winter blues. The warm and tacky conditions lasted throughout January and February and gave me plenty of time to enjoy the woods while giving the Handjob and Alfine the gears.

General impressions


Rolling through some sweet British Columbia singletrack.
Photo: Dave Mackie


Coming from a full suspension setup, I was a little skeptical about going back to a hardtail after a few years but, overall, I was pretty impressed by the Handjob’s prowess on the trails. The first few rides were spent getting used to the frame, adjusting to the shifter action, playing with tire pressure, and dialing in the rest of the components. Off the top, the most noticeable characteristic of the bike was how quiet it was, since there were no creaks in the seatpost, no chainslap on the stay, and no noise from the silent clutch rear hub other than a mechanical growling sound when I was pedaling backwards in gears 5 to 8. Other than that, the only real noises came from the rumble of the tires rolling on the trail.

The steel-tubed Handjob was an all-round comfortable ride that smoothed out trail chatter and longer rides resulted in no physical discomfort. The frame was stiff without being harsh and I was able to ride most of the terrain I hit regularly on my 4” travel full-suspension bike. When the going got rough, I had no problem keeping the Handjob together, although I was occasionally reminded about the importance of line choice and staying smooth by a loud ‘clang’ on the rear rim.

The Shimano Alfine RapidFire Plus trigger shifter controlled the shifting action of the hub and served up eight indexed speeds. I had to fine tune the hub by turning the barrel adjuster at the shifter until the two indicator lines on the hub were aligned and, after that was done, the unit was pretty reliable for the duration of the test. Shifting at all times was predictable, although when up shifting into a harder gear it was important to push the thumb paddle to its limit in order to ensure an accurate shift; downshifting was a straightforward pull of the trigger and was decent under most situations. I’m not a huge fan of the shift indicator on the Alfine shifter and, on a permanent setup, I’d take a Dremel to the thing so it could better accommodate most brake lever setups. However, I didn’t want to mangle the test product and ended up mounting the shifter pretty far inboard so I could run the SLX lever bodies in an appropriate position.

The Panaracer CG XC 2.1” tires rolled well during the first part of the test, but most of those kilometers were put on during non-technical doubletrack rips that favoured distance over technical terrain. On these rides, the Panaracers felt like typical xc tires in that they were fast with mediocre traction on loose climbs and sketchy descents. When early season conditions changed from ‘totally mint’ to ‘still excellent but a little wet’, I began riding more technical terrain, replete with roots and rocks and steeps and it was during these rides that the limitations of the tires became evident.

As mentioned earlier, the CG XCs weren’t particularly effective in hooking up on loose climbs and they weren’t great on the babyhead-infested climbs that populate the hills around my place. During aggressive descents, the tires broke loose in unsettling fashion while railing corners and slid out like crazy on wet and dry roots. At this point, I began to experience rear pinch flats on trails that had never caused me grief in the past so I boosted tire pressure in 2psi increments, moving from 32psi up to 38psi and losing traction all the way up the scale. Despite the changes, I continued to get the same type of flat and after a half-dozen failures in under ten rides, I swapped out the tires for a setup that I knew was more dependable than the Panaracer duo.

Shimano’s SLX brakes were easy to set up for one-finger braking and dialing in the lever to my preferred distance using the no-tools reach adjustment was a piece of cake. The brakes felt solid when fully engaged and modulated well, which is as important a trait as overall power. I was a little worried about the stamped brake lever, but I didn’t have any issues with flex or breakage during the review period.

Climbing


Climbing chops? Check.
Photo: Dave Mackie


With the RockShox Revelation U-Turn dialed down to 110mm travel, the Cove Handjob handled most climbs with aplomb. As mentioned above, the trail smoothing traits associated with chromoly took the edges off the roughest parts of each climb while maintaining a planted rear wheel that hooked up under load. I found that the front end of the Handjob wandered a little on steep climbs, thanks partly to the relatively slack headangle, the 70mm stem, and my choice of music for the day, but it wasn’t too bad and I never wished I was on the larger 19.5” frame or considered moving to a longer stem.

While I was cruising around on relatively flat terrain, the gearing range of the Alfine hub proved totally adequate for my needs but when the hills got steep, I found myself wishing for a bailout gear that was just a little easier than what I had. The 8 speed Alfine hub has a gearing range of 307%, which means that the eighth gear is 3.07x higher than the first gear. Unlike some of the other IGHs out there, the Alfine forgoes even increments throughout the shifting range and, on occasion, I found that one gear was too high but the next one down was too low (or vice-versa). Additionally, shifting was mediocre under load and, while it was usually pretty easy to let off the gas a bit to enable a shift, there were climbs on almost every ride that ended when I couldn’t make a shift and didn’t want to blow out my knees to finish the grade.

Descending


The rougher line is no problem on the Handjob.
Photo: Dave Mackie


Like much of southwest BC, many of the trail riding in my area is characterized by sustained climbs followed by sustained descents which, typically, means 45+ minutes of climbing followed by 10-15+ minutes of descending per lap. For this reason, it’s useful to have an adjustable travel fork, decent brakes, and a frame that’s capable of swinging both ways.

I was impressed after the first real descents on the Handjob because it handled everything that I ride with my fully, even if the overall experience was a little slower and a little rougher than what I was used to. The Cove absolutely rips on buff singletrack with fast power transfer from the drivetrain to the wheels and a descent-friendly head angle. It corners well, although I was thrown around in rooty, off-camber turns and in rock gardens because I couldn’t ride it like a dump truck over everything that cropped up in front of me.

At the start of the review, most the descending was done with the Revelation set at 125mm although, towards the end of the test period, I started running the fork at 140mm which totally changed the way the Handjob handles (in a good way even though it’s pushing the boundaries of warranty coverage). Steering instantly became more relaxed and I could really push into corners and down steeps with a confidence that wasn’t quite there with a little less travel.

Shifting performance during descents was fine, although the positioning of the shifter made changing gears a little awkward since the shifter was mounted so far towards the centre of the bike. As with climbing, I felt that the Alfine hub would benefit from a greater gearing range although for descents it was more common to run out of higher gears.

The SLX brakes were consistent and predictable performers. The levers were easy to dial in for one-finger braking and, while I would have preferred the added stopping power provided by 7” rotors, the 6” discs kept me honest. I didn’t experience any brake fade during the review, although the rear brake occasionally pumped up during extended descents.

Closing thoughts

After spending a couple of months on the Cove Handjob / Shimano Alfine setup, I can definitely see the appeal of a bike built around an internally geared hub like the Alfine. The hub offers a clean setup that requires minimal maintenance and, when combined with a frame built for single speeds, provides a slick minimalist look. Although the Alfine hub isn’t rated for rigorous off road use, I didn’t have any mechanical issues with the hub over many days of riding on a few hundred kilometers of trail. I felt that the weight of the wheelset was anchor like at times, so I spent more time cruising on the Handjob than I do on other bikes but aside from that, it was business as usual. It climbed well enough and screamed through descents in a capable fashion that, to be honest, surprised me a bit.

In 2011, Shimano is set to introduce a new 11 speed Alfine hubset, with an improved gearing range, more consistent steps between gears (409% range, 8x13% and 2x17%), an internal bath lubrication system, and a revised trigger shifter that appears to address most of my major criticisms of the hub.

Frame - $669.99 US MSRP or $699.99 CDN MSRP. The Cove Handjob is a dependable and totally sweet frame. Aside from some minor finishing issues at the headtube and the bottom bracket, the frame was a pleasure to ride.

Hubset. The Shimano Alfine was pretty much set and forget although I would have appreciated better shift performance under load, larger gearing range, and consistent steps between gears. A frame with horizontal dropouts or an eccentric bottom bracket would remove the need for a chain tensioner and result in a cleaner overall look (and lower weight).

Brakes - $225 CDN MSRP each. Shimano's SLX disc brakes are consistent and predictable performers. I didn’t experience any brake fade during the review although the rear brake occasionally pumped up during extended descents. 6” rotors didn’t provide enough stopping power.

Tires - $59.99 CDN MSRP each. Although they were fast rolling and maintained a competitive weight, the Panaracer CG XC 2.1" tires didn’t make it through the review because of mediocre traction on gravel, roots, and rocks, and a susceptibility to pinch flats in rough terrain.

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132 Comments

  • + 12
 hmmm....i wonder what the next job would be....
seriously...handjob!?
  • + 39
 they also have the stiffee, the pompino(italian for BJ), the std, the foreplay, the shocker, etc...all their bike names are related to sex. haha
  • + 42
 I woulda got one.....but my mom says..."Thats Inappropriate to have on ur bike"....blah blah blah


dont forget the G-Spot and the hooker hahah
  • + 12
 i realized i left those two out after i posted it...lol.
  • + 64
 Cove need a new bike - "The prostitute". Does whatever you want it to do, whenever you want it!

Cool review anyway - heard about those shimano hubs a while back but wasn't overly convinced.
  • + 18
 dude i bet they will use your idea!
  • + 16
 Should probably patent the idea...
  • + 14
 whats next the COVE ORGASM
  • + 19
 And what... it gets you to come to the climax? Or you can come everywhere on this bike?

Prostitute is better.
  • + 10
 call it the wanker...
  • + 8
 no its the new cove fr series: the orgasm, the climax and the refractory
  • + 11
 cleveland steamer it shall be!
  • - 3
 Cove Puto/Puta.
  • + 14
 The Creampie for a cruiser
  • - 19
 after the hand job their is the blow job
  • + 10
 "Hand job" does not mean "hand job" in that context, but rather "hand job", which is totally different.
  • + 3
 I think the purpose of giving this frame a name of dual meaning is pretty clear... to be honest its a pretty cheap move... if they call it cleveland steamer and draw the representation of it on the saddle: I bow with respect. But hand job is a primary-school worth joke... just like most other names of Cove bikes.
  • + 4
 I was only joking. Of course it is clear what they mean, but "cleveland steamer"...? I think it's funny though, as not many people would figure it out, but is it not pushing it just that far. Many people would ask why there was some shit being depicted right onto the saddle only for the guy at the counter to reply: well, you seee, it is just such a sexual thing to have. It is no wonder Snicker's mom won't allow him to have one.
  • + 5
 All Coves bikes look super nice, but I would definitely not buy it because of the names. Although bad publicity is still publicity, so why not. Razz
  • + 4
 dude come on seriously? haha the names are the BEST!
  • - 3
 G-spot? How could I possibly have missed on that one. Of course: it all makes perfect sense. If someone asks you about your bike you can always say something like (provided you're a lady): oh, this is my "g-spot": you touch it and I'll kill you. And the hoocker? "This is my hoocker and it needs lubing me luv". I am only wondering what "stiffee" means. Do they mean like they scare you stiff or something?
  • + 4
 I want to see the "pearl necklace"
  • + 2
 smeckma, haha... stiffee = hard-on
  • - 1
 they should make a 29er just like that, and call it the blow job!
  • + 6
 Before you know it Cove will make the "Rimjob" xD
  • + 6
 ot the blowjob...
  • + 28
 They should make a downhill tandem bike and call it the 'gang bang' xD
  • + 8
 @jarhead7 haha, and they should make a little kids bike called the Cove Gary Glitter.
  • + 4
 hahahaha i chucklevision'd
  • + 7
 i got one .. the cove bukkake, hahaha
  • - 2
 cove doggie?
  • + 5
 I wonder how many sales they lose because of the names? Alot of spoiled rich kids can't buy one because their parents don't like the dirty names. And how many sales do they gain because of the names?
  • + 5
 blowjob next?
  • + 3
 blowjob already exists...just in italian and made by on one...haha
  • - 1
 Flowjob next maybe?
  • + 2
 suicidedownhiller, i tottaly agree, cove pretty mutch keeps the retards away from heir bikes with the names, and it incourages sales on people with a sense of humor, so it keeps the dickheads away from their bikes too
  • + 2
 Ah no, I treat everyone the same. I don't refuse people on the basis they're riding cheap bikes or things like that. If you're riding a bike, whatever the name, whatever the make, you are a nice guy in my eyes. I think we should rather focus on things which connect us, and not so more on things which set us apart. There is plenty of room for everybody here.
  • + 2
 BTW, what about "dwarf grinder"?
  • + 2
 how could you guys forget the peeler?
  • + 3
 the missionary
  • + 4
 the butt rape
  • + 5
 Holy shit am I glad you guys don't work for Cove.
  • + 1
 Hey AdmanMTB, what you were saying about the prostitute is somewhat true. A few years ago one of the Cove designers made a prototype street and park hardtail and was calling it the "Whore." He had it written out on the side and everything. Oh and everyone forgot about the "Sanchez." That's the dirtiest name of them all, look it up if you are so inclined.
  • + 1
 Yes... And then there is the HOOKER, which IS ALREADY A BIKE MADE BY COVE.
  • + 1
 I believe that this discussion is the best prove that the COVE bike names are as well thought out as some pop stars talking about their sex life. And if this twit responsible for PR and marketing of Cove thinks that its better if they talk rubbish about you rather than they dont talk about you at all - well go and make a sex tape with two fat males sodomizing each other with the use of the COVE bike. That will increase your sales... and make you a better company.
  • + 1
 Maybe they're not trying to do anything with the names. Maybe they're just AWESOME.
  • + 1
 Well, "Sanchez" is the same as "Cleveland Steamer": it's already been said.
  • + 1
 i thought dirty sanchez was a shit mustache
  • + 1
 You're right mate, but I think they're probably coming from "dirty sanchez", which is kind of the same thing isn't it?
  • + 1
 i like it how its all male oriented.
  • + 1
 smeckma... sanchez & cleveland steamer, ain't the same thing... but if you think so that basicaly means that you are happier person: ignorance happens to be a blessing.

Sometimes jokes go a bit too far and you end up with lots of sh* in your head...
  • + 1
 if this bike sells well its because of the name Smile
  • + 1
 @wakidesigns: I never said that. What I am saying is "dirty sanchez" is an act associated with coprophilia whereas a "sanchez" is just a shitty moustache. This is the reason why I say dirty sanchez=cleveland steamer.
  • + 1
 yhm... ok, thanks to us two, others got expertize in this area too...
  • + 2
 IMO, the names loose my sale. I just don't think I want to (try to) explain why I am riding a handjob. The shocker is alright because it's a little less obvious... but hand job? really? thats a bit too much! I feel like they are drawing too much attention away from the actually quality and feel of their frames. It may hurt, it may help, but either way I feel like it's not the smartest choice.
  • + 2
 I think its funny and a nice change from 951, 224, F5, ect. They make some super nice bikes too, I'm not going to refrain from buying them just because of the name. Choose your bike by how it rides, not what it's called.
  • + 1
 I agree, were all just being imature because you don't see many provacative bikes. I agree that the whip needs to ride good, but the name is definatly a plus.
  • + 1
 Yeah Schism, I guess I'd still drive a Ferrari even if it were called a Facial. Just an interesting marketing "technique".
  • + 1
 Since we're all being immature and paying no attention to the actual article, They should make a rigid and call it hard on.
  • + 1
 Shafted. that might make a good dirt jumper...

holy shit, just saw their website... G-spot looks nice... wait lets rephrase that. "G-Spot feels nice, That's what she said"
  • + 1
 That picture of the G-Spot is actually an STD. Click on the picture and they tell you they don't have any pictures yet.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i think it is full of secret messages...

I had no problem keeping the Handjob together, although I was occasionally reminded about the importance of line choice and staying smooth by a loud ‘clang’

at 140mm which totally changed the way the Handjob handles (in a good way even though it’s pushing the boundaries of warranty coverage)

so I spent more time cruising on the Handjob


oh man, i giggled lots
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Excellent and honest review. This is the stuff we need to know - you were fair in saying the tires were not in their element.

I'd love to see a destruction test on the Alfine - just how much abuse can it take? Rohloff is good but they gotta get the weight and price down - waaaay down!

I wouldn't not buy a bike because of the name - whack on a sticker and your are back to a 'G' rating (unless the sticker is one of those 'Slap On' chicks, but you wouldn't want to run those as they mean you have no partner).
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have an Alfine that I built up to try for light XC. I found it needs at least 20 degrees of crank rotation before it engages into the proper gear. It does engage almost immediately but not in the correct gear but as the rotation continues it then engages into the correct gear. What it feels like is the cranks spin real easy through the first bit of rotation until about 20 degrees and then feels normal. It is a pretty freaky feeling so now I just use the wheel for commuting. It made it hard to do even a small wheely drop or power over a log. Has anyone else had this experience?
  • + 1
 If you're shifting and you get a freewheeling like spin before it engages, I suspect the hub is a little bit out of alignment and you'd adjusting the hub while in 4th gear. You want the two yellow lines that are visible in the hub alignment window to be directly across from one another. I did need to spend a little time getting the hub set up perfectly, but the only time I had an issue like you describe was when the hub needed a little adjustment.

I found the engagement on the Alfine to be pretty good, definitely not in the 20 degree range. After riding for a bit, I did find that there was a bit of mushiness after shifting into gears 5 through 8 (the hub would shift, but there would be a bit of dead, 'soft' space before it felt like I could lay the power down) although in gears 1 through 4, the shifting was bang on and pretty quick, similar to a higher end standard hub.
  • + 2
 Corey - a thorough review but I would expect nothing less from you. Porn-good pictures too from Dave.

One question - will you have a long term test on it? I'd like to know how long the Alfine lasts commuting. How well will it engage after a year? The attraction to this is its set and forget feature, if that's actually true.

Another question - will you ever get a brighter jersey for pictures?
  • + 1
 Thanks for the kind words Lee.

Re. putting on some serious road / commuting miles on the hub, I don't have a commute and as a general policy I don't ride on the road, so my input on something like this would be limited. I'm not sure if that answers your question but I'm not a commuter so I can't look at the hub from that angle.

For this test, I got about 450 off road kms on the hub and had no real issues with shifting after setting it up. I did need to readjust after taking the wheel off to repair flats, but that's it.

Re. jerseys, I've got a wardrobe full of black and brown t-shirts. I thought the Punisher skull might brighten things up a bit but, well, it didn't. Next time I'll rock a Fassa Bartolo jersey or something.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I wonder how many sales Cove have lost because of the juvenile names they use on their frames?
  • + 9
 Just yours. I think everyone else has a sense of humour. Since when was cycling serious!
  • + 7
 I wonder how many they've made as a result of their names.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I agree with "sloperider", forget about the names..yes it's sickly funny...lmao! in a twisted way, why cove bikes would use names like those, but you got to give them credit for the "dirty" humor. you don't like it then don't buy it simple as that, get something else then, and grab them bikes and %&^**%.. ride and have fun.
  • + 1
 Cove "69" or "orgy" anyone..lol.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Those concerned with the names of the bikes need to get a grip. It's a bike not your first born or even your own name. Each name goes through many hours of scrutinizing before committing to a moniker, otherwise they'd be as lame as the one's most people suggest like the Prostitute. Would you rather they be called the Enduro or Slayer and/ or Remedy? Who's juvenile the person who can't see past the name or the company that comes up with the name?
How 'bout names like the TR 450 or the Glory or even the Sunday(shoulda been named the Friday as that's likely when most were fabricated) are those any better because they are more generic and don't provoke anything? DHR, 951, how imaginative, how creative. Lets just buy a license to a crappy linkage design and use the same old dull boring name to get people psyched yet not produce it because it truely is crappy. But hey let's all get worked up about a name so the crappy designs can progress with their unsafe poor performance. Do your research and you'll realize that ALL Kona Out of Bounds bikes are named after POOP! That's right, I called it POOP. Stinky, Stab, Scrap, Stuff, Chute, Coiler, the clump symbol was a friggen arse hole and there was 39 of them on each frame yet this didn't hurt their sales.
  • + 0
 This is what you're a*shole looks like? Because mine sure doesn't...
www.konabikeworld.com/teams/images/2K7_OLD_Team_Logo.jpg
  • + 1
 there's just one problem with your theory tobius... sunday tr50 v10 Blur LT2 does not have connotations with a low budget porn... wonder what would be your grip status if you see Kid Molester name on a frame or seatpost with according graphics in some future?! "School Observer" maybe?! That would make them stand out, wouldn't it? So let me have my grip on that case and say that these names are stupid, and Cove's Marketing people make stupid decisions.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 why did you leave so many links in the chain? you could take a few more out than that. i thought one of the benefits of the alfine is more clearence...
  • + 1
 I didn't have any issues with clearance during the test and I did remove links as I progressed with the review. I started with the Shimano-recommended chain length and started dropping links from there. By the time the review period ended, I'd removed about 4" of length (6 or 8 links).

The Alfine tensioner doesn't allow you to minimize your chain length like some of the aftermarket tensioners out there. Both DMR and Paul make some that allow you to run the chain almost parallel with the chainstay but they weren't subject to this test.
  • + 1
 I agree with this. You are losing the noise and simplicity of a 'single speed' set up by using that tensioner. Buy a half link chain and get rid of that pseudo mech!
  • + 1
 or: www.pinkbike.com/photo/4573299
the shimano SIS 5 speed deralier - the ultimate tensioner!
  • + 1
 however, i agree with robot in that he's reviewing the Alfine product, which includes the alfine tensioner...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sure would like to try that hub, especially commuting in the snow and snurds. I read that chains last 3 times as long with IGHs and I like the idea of not having to adjust anything till the cows come home. What a waste to need a tensioner though! There goes one of the big advantages of IGH...

Great article, great photos btw (hard to see the tensioner set-up though.)
  • + 1
 Here's a pic of the tensioner:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/4796998

I think the chain lost a couple links after that photo.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Only downside to the shimano internally geared hubs is that if you bend the axle at all your wheel will stop dead. Not good for anything other than commuting. Maybe a little light cross country and if you are doing croos country light is good and that hub is not.
  • + 1
 the bike shown in this article was ridden pretty hard, I don't think it's as fragile as you think.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 why does someone always have to freak out about someone else freaking out. quit yur bichin and ride-a-bike! and dont forget to take your tampons out
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  • + 2
 Great reveiw- its as if I rode the bike myself. Its always funny to Cove staff when the kids talk about the names of the bikes. Great comments kiddies!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I remember an old ad they had...... "nothing works the corners like a Hooker" ! freakin priceless
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  • + 2
 Don't be put off by the names Cove call there bikes. It's easy to remove the name stickers, that's what I did with my G-spot and maybe I will do on my STD.
  • + 8
 im proud of my STD and stiffee haha!
  • + 14
 I would love to have an STD.
  • + 1
 pierpoint33 LMAO i laughed pretty good at that
  • + 2
 thanks i wrote that comment just for you.
  • + 1
 This is one top notch Canadian built bike
[Reply]
  • + 2
 disapointed that the geared hub had a poor review, would really like one for my hardtail so i dont need to bother with a mech
  • + 1
 it makes the rear end well heavy though
  • + 0
 Where did you see a poor review of the hub there?

Unless you can't read or you have predefine opinion on a product before riding it, this is what he said about the hub:

1- revised trigger shifter that appears to address most of my major criticisms of the hub
2 - The hub offers a clean setup that requires minimal maintenance and, when combined with a frame built for single speeds, provides a slick minimalist look. Although the Alfine hub isn’t rated for rigorous off road use, I didn’t have any mechanical issues with the hub over many days of riding on a few hundred kilometers of trail. I felt that the weight of the wheelset was anchor like at times, so I spent more time cruising on the Handjob than I do on other bikes but aside from that, it was business as usual. It climbed well enough and screamed through descents in a capable fashion that, to be honest, surprised me a bit.

Ride it you will see.

I'm using it to go work and light cross country action for the past year in any conditions (winter/rain/mud) and it never failed me and always got precise speed changes. I only need to clean and oil my chain to get a perfect shifting all the time. You just need to keep in mind that you are riding an internal speed system and not a 15omm axle and you will love it!
  • + 3
 I don't think he entirely ment it as bad, but:
"While I was cruising around on relatively flat terrain, the gearing range of the Alfine hub proved totally adequate for my needs but when the hills got steep, I found myself wishing for a bailout gear that was just a little easier than what I had. The 8 speed Alfine hub has a gearing range of 307%, which means that the eighth gear is 3.16x higher than the first gear. Unlike some of the other IGHs out there, the Alfine forgoes even increments throughout the shifting range and, on occasion, I found that one gear was too high but the next one down was too low (or vice-versa). Additionally, shifting was mediocre under load and, while it was usually pretty easy to let off the gas a bit to enable a shift, there were climbs on almost every ride that ended when I couldn’t make a shift and didn’t want to blow out my knees to finish the grade."

So the only issue is that the people that make that hub thing just need to tweek the gear ratios...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 look what came up when i typed in cove bikes, www.covebikes.ca
kind of ironic eh?
  • + 1
 That is irony. www.covebike.com is the real location.
  • + 1
 Ya i figured that out haha, just can't believe how crazy that is...
  • + 1
 man one day, i was sittin on the computer next to the dinner table and i decided to check out spank bikes...so i didnt think anything of it and typed it into google! porn sites, allover :0! my dad said RICHARD! what is that! same thing happened to a friend of mine...at school
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Cove Handjob. First the Cove Stiffee, now the Cove Handjob! What do the makers of Cove think when they name their bikes!?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 so what are you gonna ask your mum if you wanted one of these ? mum can i have a hand job for my birthday..........
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  • + 1
 My alfine doesn't have a tensioner if you want to see what it looks like without one
[Reply]
  • + 1
 should of waited a little longer and tried it with the new alfine 11 speed hub that's coming out very shortly
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i want a hand job Frown
  • + 2
 Join the que, LOL.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i have a hard time not giggling lookin at cove's bike names
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Where is the single track this bike was tested on?
  • + 1
 Just a guess, but looks like Golden Ears in Maple Ridge in those pics.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm saving up my toonies for a hummer.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hit the cove website to get your answers!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 so is the next one going to be blow job
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  • + 1
 handjob or not it didn't make my pants smaller.
  • + 8
 all im sayin dude..., is that i started with a stiffee, finally found the G-spot, and now im workin with a shocker. my pants r way too tight
  • + 7
 Sounds like you need to buy yourself a Hooker, or at least ride one of a few hours.

I have ridden a 15.5" Stiffee and I found that it was quite hard to handle.
  • + 1
 haha! pretty much dude! i had the large stiffee, i couldnt really tell u about the handling cuz it was my first mountain bike...its what i got stoked on
  • + 5
 my 17.5 stiffee gives me hours of pleasure Whip but i got a STD to go with it Wink
  • + 1
 c'mon now...thats y they got jimmy hats
[Reply]
  • + 1
 2011 shimano alfine 90 grams lighter than old unit,dual action shifter.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 so what the next cove is going to be called the fleshlight? haha
  • + 1
 such a weird site...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hahahah handjob Razz
[Reply]
  • + 1
 reallly, handjob wow
[Reply]
  • - 1
 The new Alfine hub is 11 speed believe it or not!
  • + 10
 i belive you...it says in the review Blank Stare
  • + 2
 and is still made for commuter bikes. Big whoop.
[Reply]

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