Transition Covert 26 Review

Apr 8, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
TESTED
Transition Covert 26
BY MIKE KAZIMER

Known for their irreverent sense of humor and home-brewed approach to the mountain bike world, Transition has bikes to fill nearly every niche of the sport, from coaster-brake equipped Klunkers to World Cup capable downhill race bikes. The Covert is the Ferndale, Washington, based company's all-mountain offering, dishing out 160mm of travel in either an aluminum or carbon framed version. We tested the aluminum version with Transition's middle level build kit and a RockShox Reverb dropper post, which retails for $4199 USD. The total weight without pedals for our size large test bike was 32.05 pounds.



Transition Covert Details

• Intended use: All-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 160mm / 6.3"
• 6061 heat-treated aluminum frame
• Tapered headtube
• 12x142 thru-axle
• Colors: Pewter, Pearl Yellow, Amber Ale (tested)
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested)
• MSRP: $4199 w/ RockShox Reverb post


Frame Design and Suspension
Aesthetically, the Covert's aluminum frame is simple and uncomplicated – there are no complex pivots, eccentrics, or suspension technology that needs a PhD in engineering to figure out. A slightly sloping top tube leads to an uninterrupted seat tube, with a curved brace positioned between the two tubes. A beefy gusset is in place where the tapered headtube meets the top and down tubes. Any tube shaping is very subtle – no wild curves or bends to be found. Cables are routed on the down tube, with cable guides in place on the top tube for a dropper post. The Covert has ISCG 05 tabs for chainguide mounting, a direct mount front derailleur, and a 142x12 thru-axle to hold the rear wheel in place.

The Covert uses a link-driven single pivot design for its 160mm of rear travel. As the rear wheel moves, the link in front of the seat tube is activated, and the movement is translated into the Fox CTD Adjust rear shock. The Adjust part of the shock's name means that users gain three additional compression settings when the fork is in Trail mode by turning a dial on top of the CTD lever. Front suspension is handled by Fox's 34 Float CTD Adjust, where once again, there are an additional three compression settings available when the fork is in Trail mode.


  A bolt on 142x12 rear axle keeps the rear wheel secure, while MRP's 2x chainguide takes care of chain retention. A gusseted, tapered headtube shores up the front end.


Specifications
Price $4199
Travel 160mm
Rear Shock Fox Float CTD Adjust BV Kashima
Fork Fox 34 Float 160 CTD Adjust FIT Kashima
Headset FSA NO.57E Headset Black (ZS44/ZS56, Tapered Fork)
Cassette SRAM PG 1050 Cassette (10sp, 11-36)
Crankarms S1400 Crankset (175mm, 38/24t, 73mm GXP, BTBLK)
Chainguide MRP 2X Chainguide
Pedals None
Rear Derailleur SRAM X9 Type 2 Medium Cage
Chain FSA Team Issue 10spd
Front Derailleur X7 High Direct Mount
Shifter Pods SRAM X7
Handlebar Kore Durox Handlebar (740x35mm, 31.8mm, Black)
Stem Truvativ AKA Stem (60mm)
Grips Transition Lock-On
Brakes Elixir 9 180mm
Wheelset Revolution 28 - Black/Black (15mm Front, 142mm Rear)
Tires Schwalbe Hans Dampf 26 x 2.35 (Snakeskin, Evo, TL Ready)
Seat Transition Park n Ride AM
Seatpost RockShox Reverb 125mm
Transition Covert 26




Transition Covert 26
Riding Impressions

Setup
Our first few rides on the Covert left us feeling like the front end was too high, which was most noticeable when descending. Removing a couple headset spacers from underneath the stem helped correct this, and made it easier to get our weight over the front of the bike. The stock 60mm stem felt well matched to the Covert's fit, and we kept it on for the duration of the testing. We found 25% sag in the front fork and rear shock to be a good middle ground for optimum pedaling and descending characteristics.

  The Covert made short work of technical uphills, scrambling up whatever mess of roots and rocks we put in front of it.

Climbing and Handling
The climbing position for the Covert was comfortable and upright, while at the same time distributing enough weight over the front wheel to keep it glued to the ground. Especially on technical climbs, this UPS-brown bike delivered, grabbing on and maintaining traction through the tangled webs of slippery roots we regularly encountered. It was easy to stand up and muscle our way over ledges without worrying about the rear wheel losing traction.

Riders who like to slash corners, and ride trails with their bike's rear end heading every direction except straight will appreciate how easy it is to maneuver the Covert's rear wheel. Minimal effort was required to get the bike a little sideways through berms, or to pop off trailside hips. Although it was easy to get the rear end to break free, cornering was not as intuitive as we'd hoped. The geometry numbers are similar to other bikes in its class – 430mm chainstays, 66.9 degree head angle, 611mm effective top tube - but the front end felt tall, which made it difficult to find the right body position when leaning hard into a turn. As mentioned, we removed headset spacers from underneath the stem to help with this, but never found the balanced feel we were seeking. The Kore Durox bars spec'd on the Covert are 740mm wide with 35mm of rise - it's possible that a wider bar with less rise would help create a more balanced, centered feel when cornering.

Much of our riding took place with both the front fork and rear CTD shock set in the Trail mode with the secondary selector also set in the second position. The Climb position was fine for extended fire road climbs, but when the trail turned technical there was noticeably more traction when the shock was in Trail or Descend mode. The Covert rewards a smooth pedaling style – riders who pedal squares will notice some pedaling-induced suspension bob when climbing with the rear shock fully open, but switching to Trail or Climb mode counteracts a good portion of this movement.

  It was easy to take flight on the Covert, but extra finesse was needed when the terrain turned gnarly and speeds increased.

Descending
The Covert had no trouble scurrying up hills, but was not as surefooted on the descents, especially on downhill sections with tight twists and turns, or when there were sudden dips followed by short, quick uphills. In terrain like this it felt like the Covert was getting lost in its travel - it wanted to remain in the middle of its stroke, making it more difficult to unweight the bike to jump over obstacles or respond to the varying trail conditions. We experimented with various rebound settings and amounts of sag, but weren't able to completely erase this trait. When rutted straightaways were encountered the Covert was a competent descender, but it didn't have that rock-solid feeling that inspires blasting into rough sections without a care - a little more finesses (more like a ninja, less like a monster truck) was needed to keep the bike on the right line.

On smoother, jump and drop filled trails the Covert was much better behaved. The suspension felt more predictable, and sucked up hard landings without any trouble. In the air, the Covert was well-mannered and easy to get into position for landing. Steep, loamy chutes with a consistent pitch were also easily navigated, with the short rear end making it easy to carve our way to the bottom.

Component Check

•The Fox 34 felt like it had more of a platform in the initial portion of its travel than other forks we've ridden – more effort was required to compress the fork through its beginning stroke, even with the low speed compression backed off and with the correct sag.

•Care needs to be taken to make sure that all of the cable guides are used in the area around where the derailleur housing enters the rear chainstay. Because the housing ends up running very close to the small front chainring, if a zip tie is not installed the housing could get sucked into the rings, potentially damaging the housing and kinking the rear derailleur cable.

•Schwalbe's Hans Dampfs have been gaining popularity in recent years for a reason – they're a predictable tire that works well in a variety of conditions. They lose a few points for their performance in extremely wet conditions, where they weren't as grippy on wet roots and rocks as we'd have liked, but on the whole they were solid performers.

•Avid's Elixir 9 brakes worked well - the revised pad contact adjustment had a more positive click than past versions, and seemed less likely to self-adjust.


Transition's response:

We feel confident in the cockpit position offered with our stock build, but acknowledge that this is very much an area of rider preference. The 35mm rise handlebar we spec puts the rider in an aggressive attack position that encourages you to drive the bike with your whole body. As a general trend we feel that riders are returning to a higher handlebar position, deviating from the "low front end" trend of the past few years. If a lower front end position is desired, there are many lower rise handlebar options available.

The Fox CTD rear shock we spec has been tuned specifically for the Covert, and in order to get the most out of the bike, you should set appropriate sag and utilize the adjustment features of the shock. We recommend approximately 30% sag with the shock in the descend (open) position on level ground. Rebound settings are also critical and often overlooked. If the suspension is set too slow it can "pack down" to a firmer part of the travel. Or if it's set too fast the bike will not remain stable during repeated impacts and grade variations. Choosing to ride the bike in the Trail setting is a good average setting, but it does not let the bike work efficiently in rougher terrain.

- Transition Bikes
Pinkbike's take:
bigquotes The Covert has plenty of travel, but it doesn't seem to make the most efficient use of it. It was surprisingly nimble while climbing, but in other situations the bike felt rough around the edges, particularly on rugged downhills. A few years ago, the Covert would have been a strong contender for the top spot in the all-mountain category, but the competition has heated up, and there are a number of highly capable bikes vying for this position, which makes standing out from the rest a more difficult proposition. The Covert is capable, but for an all-mountain bike with 160mm of travel it didn't shine as brightly on the downhills as we would have liked. - Mike Kazimer


www.transitionbikes.com


239 Comments

  • + 90
 So, if the 35mm rise on the bars felt to high, why didn't you swap them out? Cockpits are a very personal thing and rather cheap to customize. I would have love'd to hear your impressions after you swapped out the stock component for your favorite set of bars.
  • + 22
 We try to keep test bikes as close to stock as possible. This way, potential buyers know what parts they themselves may end up switching. The bike's ride height also seemed to be affected by where the Fox 34 rode in its travel - it wasn't solely due to the amount of rise in the bars.
  • + 26
 Although I like to see a review of a stock bike I also like to see a review if it's been tailored to your own personal preferences to show its potential. I necessarily want to go changing lots of parts on a new bike but I think bars, stem, tyres, saddle and pedals are all items that I know may not suit me and if changed could drastically improve my experience on a bike without costing "too" much.
  • + 4
 Thing about that is there are just too many variables (what parts/what brands/what sizes), I think they should have a couple different riders with different riding styles testing the stock bike, because just about any bike can be tuned to be perfect for any one person, but that would be irrelevant for this, because they want to see how good the bike is out of the box, and if you plan on changing a lot of parts, maybe you should do a custom build, probably would save money in the long run, you would not be paying for stock parts u won't use..
  • + 19
 I think all in all they were underwhelmed. I appreciate an honest review. As stated, there is fierce competetion in this segment. I doubt the handling and performance of this bike was ruined with bar choice.
  • + 14
 I liked this review, it was honest and straightforward. When it comes to bike components its silly to want a tester to start swapping parts. If you can swap out a bar, then should they start swapping out forks and shocks too? Surly lots of riders do that as well. It has to stay the way the manufacturer intended it, or the review becomes irrelivant. I had a feeling people would be upset when they read a hyped up product didn't turn out to be all a particular forum made it seem...
  • - 56
flag Questrails (Apr 8, 2013 at 7:36) (Below Threshold)
 The funny part of this review is they reffer to a single pivot link driven suspension. The way I seeing this frame its an fsr design minus the correct rear pivots on the chainstay. Transition, Scott and Commencal to name a few have recently decided to switch the rear pivot location above the rear wheels axle onto the seat stays. Normal fsr pivot is always below the axle located on the chainstays. You guys are too young to remember but the mtb industry released a document years ago explaining the two diff options for rear pivot location. The result after testing was that seatstay pivots like the Covert were not favorable due to increased break jack tendencies. There was a whole document released urging companies to move pivot below axle to chainstays for better braking and excelleration. For some reason current designs have ignored or forgotten this knowledge so I here to remind consumers. Seatstay pivots = bad brake jack. Maybe these companies trying to get around paying for fsr patent hmmmm. If cheap ass khs can pay for it you have no excuse.
  • + 12
 I'm not really sure what your point is? Pinkbike described it correctly- a single pivot driving a shock indirectly via a link. It not FSR, it's not pretending to be FSR, no one said it was like FSR, and single pivots DO offer some advantages to FSR. So I'm not really sure what your getting at saying its not the same as FSR. It's also not VPP or DW.
  • + 12
 @ Questrails, It is a single pivot, end or story. Kona, Transition, Brodie, Scott, etc are all single pivot link driven suspension, AKA pivot on the seat stay. Specialized, Norco, Rocky Mountain (160 and below), etc are all FSR, AKA pivot on the chain stay.
  • - 47
flag Questrails (Apr 8, 2013 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 Its identical only in every single way to fsr is what I refferring to minus the rear seatstay pivot. Do I really need to explain this again?? Look at the spec status for example if your still confused. Exact same shock location, linkage, minus the seatstay pivits. Thats the whole point. Companies trying to save money going around fsr patent by placing rear pivot on the seatstays instead of chainstay. What they not telling you is massive testing and documents released 16 years ago already went thru this and end result chainstay pivots were far superior. Brake jack is not as serious on a trail bike vs a dh but certain riders like myself tend to use a trailbike like a dh. In those extreme cases I would not recoend one of these seatstay pivot cheap dealies. Go for the real fsr with correct chainstay pivot location. If you need further assistance I will be here to help you or spell it out if needed.
  • + 16
 Yeah you can't win this one bud, the pivot location is the one and only thing that makes FSR, FSR.
  • - 55
flag Questrails (Apr 8, 2013 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 I already won this one because I own a real fsr. Call it whatever you want, the seatstay pivots are garbage. Its a cheap alternative to purchasing an fsr patent for companies. This isnt about singlepivots, its about companies going back in time using ancient seastay technology and dooping unsuspecting noobs like you guys. I was there 16 years ago when those documents were released and read all of them. Pivots go on chainstay or your gay.
  • + 14
 @Questrails.. part 1 of 2

APPEARANCES are not the same as realities...

A single-pivot suspension, in the world of suspension design, whether there's another linkage between the swingarm and the shock, is any that there is a single pivot point (which on this frame is the one just behind and above the bottom bracket - a common placement that's been around longer than Specialized has been making suspension bikes) between the main frame and the rear wheel. It doesn't matter if the bike has a triangulated truss assembly swingarm (like a Santa Cruz Heckler) or a single monocoque beam (like a Mountain Cycles San Andreas), or a chainstay and then a pivot off the dropout to the seatstay and another swing-link (like this Transition) it is still considered a single-pivot design.

That being explained, and its not even clear you understand that point yet, while chainstay dropout pivoted 4-bars do have the advantages of both a virtual pivot point (also referred to as an Instant Center point, as used in the patent description by Ellsworth) that can float in space as the suspension moves and thus with clever linkages result in axle movement that follows weird curves, and de-coupling of the brake torque forces from the suspension, they do not respond as well as single-pivots do to square edged hits. Also a problem especially present on long chainstay 4-bars like the FSR is that as the chainstay swings upwards, the increasing tension on the chain from the growth of the effective chainstay distance (between axle and BB center) can often bring the front derailleur body into contact with the chainstay. That's the main reason for the shadow profile rear derailleurs being developed by shimano in fact.
  • + 34
 Dude, you are way out of line here. Fact- single pivot still has it's place and is used sucessfully to this day. Fact- FSR means pivot on the chainstay. Fact- owning a Specialized means you have a nice bike, it does not mean you are better than anybody else. Fact- nobody is dooping unsuspecting "noobs" by selling single pivot bikes. Fact - non FSR bikes do not make you homosexual. Fact- Im 29, and I would love to kick you off your high horse.
  • + 18
 @Questrails.... part 2 of 2 (damn that comment length limit)

But the reason MANY brands don't use long chainstay / dropout pivot designs (like the Specialized FSR bikes or Ellsworth ICT or Rocky Mountain Smoothlink) or short link arrangements (like DW link / Santa Cruz VPP) in a true 4-bar design isn't because single-pivot linkages are vastly better but because they are much simpler and more importantly, legally available to being used for world wide sales. In most countries, patent offices don't give patents to already well understood concepts that are publically known and found in many textbooks at engineering schools, but in the USA, that is not the case. So with patent law protecting the basic pivot geometry behind things like the horst-link/fsr-link, VPP, Ellsworth's ICT, DW-link, etc... companies who do not wish to pay royalities, or are unable to even acquire a license, and wish to have a suspension model, have to seek out alternatives. So its either go to a single-pivot or not be able to sell your models in the USA until the patents expire (which in the case of the original horst-link patent, happens on April 23rd of this month).

Now you can keep on spouting off like a typical specialized fanboy who recites documents and magazine articles and patent descriptions from 16 years ago... to people who know gobs more on the subject than you do, or you can keep your mouth shut already and let the subject drop.
  • + 15
 Sounds like you really got sold on your special-ed bike there...
  • + 3
 @ Questrails, Having the caliper mounted to the 4 bar is what can if desired by the suspension engineer, remove the braking forces from the rear suspension, this is one advantage, however, you can get a stiffer rear end out of single pivot, smoother suspension and make a lighter rear end out of this faux bar layout. There are ways of reducing brake jack however if when you are asking for your suspension to work you are heavy on the rear brake, then you need to ride differently. Every chassis has its ups and downs, FSR isn't better, but rather better at separating forces applied. Don't bash a design because it's simple. It costs the same to make, with the same number of pivots etc, just easier to design. Moving the pivot around can get different outcomes, hence why the Demo 8 and the Epic have them placed differently, not every bike is designed for you specifically!
  • + 6
 I'd just like to say the happiest day of my recent life is when I sold my specialized fsr
  • + 7
 You're being trolled. Don't feed it.
  • + 2
 Aluminum frame with monopivot suspension (whose operating may be, to say the least, clearly improved) for $4000???????????
Joder, que caña
  • + 17
 Wow a 26 inch bike review. Didn't know PB still did those. Whoa and its not carbon either. Awesome.
  • - 7
flag wakaba (Apr 8, 2013 at 17:00) (Below Threshold)
 @ Questrails: Spec`ed has a lot of garbage in their lineup. Your FSR is one.

Look up how much embarassing crap they churned out over the years:

www.google.com.bz/search?q=specialized+fsr&hl=de&client=firefox-a&hs=Qg2&rls=org.mozilla:de:official&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=RVljUeTREIyy8AT_uIDQBg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1920&bih=987

I wouldn`t want to be seen on one alive.
  • + 14
 I got the 2013 Covert build 1 and rode it 900 miles so far. I also ride TransAM26, FSR 29er, Norco team DH, pugsley and trials bike. The Covert is the best bike I've ridden for; Aptos shuttle runs, Duthie Hill, Black Rock bike park, etc. The rear pivot placement works better then FSR with less chain growth. Brake jack is non-existant on this quasi Horst link. If it were single pivot the chain would change through the suspension and it does not at all. Trek and special-ed use custom shock sizes that are not replaceable or upgradable as well as pivots that require special tools and crap. Transition pivots are easy to replace with simple tools andl ots of shocks are available. Bike reviews are funky cause most of us are interested in the frame more then the build and dialogue about build just pisses us off and complicates the matter. I spend a couple week of riding to get my favorite suspension settings dialed for my style on any new bike and I can't imagine a review being meaningful unless you really ride it, dial it in and ride it more to figure out what you like and don't like. The slightly higher front end feels great to me and the wallow midstroke means you should change to descend setting where it doesn't wallow. I love the pedaling platform and switch to 85mm stem when there is real climbing to stretch out a bit. Relaxed but not raked. Transitions are designed for the rider instead of by the product design life engineering team to produce ongoing dependency on replacement parts. The only proprietary part is the derailer hanger and you can't blame em for that. As an engineer I am disappointed with the girly nature of the review. If the bike behaves a certain way then lets talk about why instead of being all etherial and EMO about it.
  • + 1
 Maituk ...i appreciate that you have one and love it. I really like this bike myself. But honestly, it is a single pivot. You say you are an engineer .... People like to mention that when they are. So you should know ... It's a single pivot .. It's not like a single pivot ... It's not like FSr .... It's a single pivot.
  • - 1
 Unequal length wishbone work well where you have a two wheels running side by side. It gives two "arcs" of perpendicular axle travel. A pull type single wheel suspension has theoretical advantages and lots of marketingbullappeal.

On a pull type driven rear axle a Chapman strut works extremely well. This is a single pivot type with three variables: Leverlength and spring and damping. 3 variables are manageable. Single pivots work really well. If you try an FSR style rear end you open a can of worms - you need strange parameter dampers unique to the suspension design. Do they work better? Hardly. Do we even have to discuss airdampers? No, they suck and only work on slow bikes like XC and Enduro and are mainly placebo...

Try a Voltage, 951, Hydro, Knolly, M9, Supreme Racing etc. The best suspension rearends are all single pivot without a wiggly leverratio that needs overengineered dampers that try to fix faulty designed rearends. Trek, Spec comes to mind.
  • - 1
 I know right...
  • + 0
 Woops, I didn't mean to reply on this topic.
  • + 2
 Wakaba could start by trying to have proper grammar and punctuation so his posts don't come off as contradicting themselves... Either that or actually learn what suspension setups the bikes he's going to try and cite as examples of what is best, actually employ, before using them as examples. The 951 and M9 are short link 4-bars virtual pivots, not single-pivot. The knolly's are a 6-bar virtual pivot. The only single pivots he listed were the Supreme Racing and the Voltage. The Foes Hydro is also a single-pivot but it does actually use a proprietary shock damper to get its best results... a curnutt-damper that is ONLY made by Foes Racing. I thought the point he was trying to make was it being better NOT to have weird proprietary bits to cover up poor handling traits.
  • + 3
 Virtual pivot points are way better cause the marketing says so
  • - 1
 Since covert is an AM bike, not DH, good pedaling efficiency should be requiered. i guess transition doesn't wanna pay royalties, is not interested in investing in r&d or, simply, hasn't yet succeeded in developing its own suspension system. Ok, so transition use a single pivot, a tech that doesn't work for this sort of bikes. Obvious.
Without locking shocks, when you ride on DW or Maestro you can see the difference. And the frame is really nice but, for that price, better options exist on the market.
  • - 3
 @deeight: 951 is a single pivot with an extra link. The reartriangle has no pivots. It is a single pivot by definition. Got one because of that fact.

Foes Hydro, single pivot,reartriangle has no pivots, lots of shock options. I ride a long Fox DHR. Swaping in Curnuttshock is piecemeal. Both work verywell. Very fast bike.
Supreme Racing and Voltage, you got that right - single pivot too. Both very capable bikes.

You are right Knolly is a four link.

Rigid triangle, leverassembly outside of rigid triangle = single pivot.
  • + 2
 Sorry man but that's simply not correct. Read up on it. This is becoming embarrassing for those of you spitting flames without knowing anything about what you are talking about. VPP is not single pivot. I think, you could call it a four-bar acually, just with a really short lower link.
  • + 1
 @Wakaba.... bzzzt wrong!!!! But thanks for playing....

honestly, go back to whatever game show wiki you're getting your facts from and stay there. You're completely out of touch with reality when it comes to bicycle suspension theory.

DARKSTAR63 is correct, the trademarked term VPP that Santa Cruz uses to name their (and Intense who licenses the patent from SantaCruz) bikes are short-link 4-bars. The Specialized FSR bikes are long-link 4-bars. The Knolly's employ a mix of long links and short links in their 6-bar design.

In a TRUE 4-bar, there is the upper link and a lower link separating the swingarm link (which the wheel is attached to) from the main frame which is the 4th link. The shock and the wheel are not part of the calculations as to how many links a bike has. Having a long straight piece and calling it a seatstay (as on an FSR) doesn't change the fact that it is considered the swingarm link. On single-pivot designs, whether they employ extra linkages to drive the shock or not, the chainstay assembly IS the swingarm. There is no separation of forces from the drivetrain or braking from the main pivot point which is a fixed physical point on the frame. On 4-bars, there is no actual physical main pivot, but always a virtual pivot location. The easy way to find where it is at any given point in the wheel travel is to draw a line between the pivots of the upper and lower links, where those lines intersect is where the wheel is currently pivoting around.
  • - 1
 VPP? Incorrect marketingblarg. It is called true unequal length double wishbone suspension.

www.autozine.org/technical_school/handling/double_wishbones3.jpg

Intense and Foes are variations of this:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapman_strut

both work to reduce stiction of damper and pivots. That is part of the magic why they work so well.

And thats why airdamped rears and front airdamped mcphersons are unsucessful - no matter what you do...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacPherson_strut

Stiction dictates if suspension is good or not. Get your facts straight.
  • - 6
flag Questrails (Apr 9, 2013 at 7:07) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry I was busy ripping the mtn a new a*shole on my fsr. @ all you noobs, ,,,,fsr has more wins and sales than any other design in history if you into that sort of stuff hmmhmm. I currently own 3 trail bikes. One fsr, one maestro giant, and one kona. The kona is for sale so that tells you how I feel about that design. The fsr and maestro are my favorites and I could pedal to the moon on either design. The maestro is more active but fsr accelerates better. Both have certain advantages which I exploit on daily basis. I have owned every single design out there vp's, true single pivots, dog bone links. You name it I already slayed it. Doesnt really matter, put me on any bike and dirt going to fly. If I had to spend top dollar on a frame sure as hell would not be one of these ancient relic designs like the Covert using SEATSTAY PIVOTS!!!!!!!!! Repeat after me seatstay pivots are bad. Dont waste your money on such an obsolete design. Soo many good designs to choose from why pick something that is flawed on the design table before it even hits the dirt.
  • + 2
 @Wakaba... quoting a link or a picture to some auto suspension doesn't alter what it is.. double-wishbone suspension is a term used in the auto world... its not used in other worlds and its the layman's terminology for the idiots who buy cars. You drone on and on about marketing terms, and then quote marketing terms.... nobody gives a hoot about stiction in this discussion and all you're trying to do is blur your idiocy with parts of suspension design that matter not a single bit to the topic at hand.

But since you like to provide wiki links instead of shutting your pie hole and accepting you were wrong....

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-bar_linkage

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_suspension

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_centre_of_rotation
  • + 2
 @Questrails... yes the FSR has a lot of wins and sales because the NAME, FSR, which is trademarked by specialized, has been employed continuously for 21 years now. That's done for marketing reasons pure and simple. Other brands like to update their catalogs with new model designs and accompanying new model names but Specialized isn't one of them unless there's a major redesign going on. They still have hardrocks and rockhoppers and stumpjumpers in the lineup, just as they did in the late 80s. That doesn't however mean that they are the single best design or that you can compare the ones that got wins to the ones everyone else rides. The FSR's of today share very little in common with the original ones from tweo decades ago other than the basic 4-bar design layout, which they BOUGHT from another company and designer in the first place.
  • - 2
 @deeight. Call it what you want - fact stays fact. Your bike draws from 2000 years of suspension engineering. Bikes are definitely not at the forefront of engineering.

There are a lot of bungling halfassed marketing idiots employing engineers that halfheartedly try to circumvent patenting issues and try to create a new and different look. Fox and CC, more so than RS, cater to bungled up suspension designs. It shouldn`t come as a big surprise that most bikes cant be dialed in properly. But they sure look good...

That you fall for that crap - your loss, if are you one of them - big loss to all of us.

The math and geometric examples you cite: Arc movement through (1) centrode. Centrode - yes, fancy mathologicous speak for - you guessed - (1) pivot. And it does not matter if the arc is s or c shaped because it has no inherent quality.

If we talk quality - s-arc as in a vpp you will end up with a complicated damper curve and a damper that cannot do its job. The Intense rear has 5mm of S-curve - negligible. Its a single pivot. The rest is marketing VPP bull.

Foes Hydro is C-curve. A simple curve - simple damper, single pivot and most importantly low stiction. Both got it right and thats why they ride supersmooth. And yes a single pivot Supreme racing rides a tad smoother because it has 4 very large bearings instead of only 2 halfsized like in a Hydro and 951/M9. Stiction...

So, three of the best designs are essentially the same, Intense decided to add value to their bikes and added VPP and at the same time limited VPP functionality to a minimum. They know what they are doing.

I do offroad suspensions for the past twenty years. I know what works and I have the math on my side for a long time.
Stuff it.
  • + 4
 Yet you are 100% wrong in calling a VPP bike a "single pivot"
  • + 2
 I know what you are saying, I do, but by that logic most mtb's are single pivot. We are debating Mountain Bike Industry terms. Nobody gives a rat's ass you are into off road truck suspension. Really. Get over yourself.
  • + 3
 God, you are such a troll wakaba. The VPP as I said is a trademarked name used to describe the patent held by Santa Cruz (which they bought from Outland) and which they licensed to Intense. It is a short-link 4 bar design with a virtual pivot / instant center point that moves as the suspension goes thru its range of motion that is allowed by the shock. That the Intense 951/M9 only experience 5mm of S-curve at the wheel doesn't alter the fact that the pivot point is moving, or that the bike is NOT a single-pivot design.

You do not need 4 large bearings to pivot a rear suspension design, hell, you don't even need to use bearing assemblies at all. Straight up bushings are the better choice for the limited range of movements involved, and not all bushings are created equal. Rocky Mountain and others have gone to bushings of such a quality that they offer less stiction than the cartridge bearings most of the industry uses, are lighter, and last longer. Do you even know what the word Stiction refers to ? Its not a continuous force. Its a threshold point of static friction that has to be overcome for movement between two surfaces to begin.

You can CLAIM you've done offroad suspensions for however long you want. This is the internet. Its full of trolls who make claims. The rest of us can choose to ignore such claims when the trolls clearly don't actually understand what they're trying to explain, and when so many others who DO know the subject, call you out on it as being completely f*cking wrong.

I wish pinkbike had mute button so I could click it and not have to ever see any of your drivel ever again.
  • + 1
 Haha
  • + 2
 @DARKSTAR63... if its off-road truck suspension he's "into" I can email a guy I know who's an expert on that to come in and give some lectures to this troll, his name is Don Richardson...he invented the floating shock linkage (that Trek now employs on their upper model suspension bikes) thirty plus years ago, as well as the inertia-valve shock (a variation of which specialized uses on their Epic models). His company, Ricor Racing Shocks has been doing suspension for WINNING off-road racing trucks for a good number of years now. He's also partners in another business that makes tuned-mass vibration dampeners for motorcycle handlebars (virtually eliminates all the hand numbness/buzzing feeling you get from long rides).

store.ricorshocks.com/default.asp

www.vibranator.com (yes that really is the name of the company for the handlebar dampeners, yes the link is safe)
  • - 2
 @deeight:

No change to the fact that instant center point is - yes - single pivot. Get over with your tantrum. And bike suspension is a subset of general suspension design.

The internet is full of clueless idiots - stiction is a force/curve and by no means a singular point and event in time. Looks like you only got to 101. You need large bearings to minimise angular momentum on maximum length of leverage going through centre of pivot axis. There are other benefits using large and many bearings but stiction is the one parameter that you try to minimise in suspension through big bearings and as little preload as possible.

Bushings have benefits in certain applications and if they run under warm oilpressure. In the bike industry they are just a cost cutting excercise. Cheaper to drill a metric hole than machining a ballbearing race seat. And they will try to sell you bags of shiny replacement tube snippets made from unobtainium.

You are a drone. My math is right. Welcome to reality.
  • + 4
 I'm done with you wakimoron... you can recite crap from textbooks without understanding them till the cows come home and pigs learn to fly. I do not care. You are wrong. I know it. Everyone else knows it. If you're SOOO sure that the 951 and M9 are single-pivot bikes, go tell that to Intense... see how quickly they laugh in your face.
  • + 0
 This really has been fun. But Im out too. lol.
  • - 2
 "There are only two races on this planet-the intelligent and the stupid."
-John Fowles
  • + 16
 "There are only two forms of suspension design on this planet. Single Pivot and Single Pivot"

- Wakaba
  • + 0
 haha
  • + 0
 @dee..:
Facts, dee..., facts. So far you are just blurting and bubbling pondlife.

@darks..:
insecure twit.

One more time, read up what a centrode is, then comment on what a pivot is:

The math and geometric examples you cite: Arc movement through (1) centrode. Centrode - yes, fancy mathologicous speak for - you guessed - (1) pivot. And it does not matter if the arc is s or c shaped because it has no inherent quality.

If we talk quality - s-arc as in a vpp you will end up with a complicated damper curve and a damper that cannot do its job. The Intense rear has 5mm of S-curve - negligible. Its a single pivot. The rest is marketing VPP bull.

Foes Hydro is C-curve. A simple curve - simple damper, single pivot and most importantly low stiction. Both got it right and thats why they ride supersmooth. And yes a single pivot Supreme racing rides a tad smoother because it has 4 very large bearings instead of only 2 halfsized like in a Hydro and 951/M9. Stiction...

(sic) I own the three because I analyze the design first before I buy and I ignore everything a marketingperson says. I decide who gets my bucks based on facts.

So, three of the best designs are essentially the same, Intense decided to add value to their bikes and added VPP and at the same time limited VPP functionality to a minimum. They know what they are doing.

...Stiction is really a big issue in suspension design, especially if your suspension arcs or sits through 0 degree where all the forces equalize each other. Intense, Foes, older Commencal Supreme got it very very right, Transition. Look at their problemsolving.

Even Spec`ed got it right with their Demo - even though the stupidest and superfluous marketdriven design on earth...
  • + 4
 Wakaba, you know you don't have to be an asshole.
  • + 4
 Calls dark star insecure, yet feels the need to back false claims over countless posts... Lol
  • - 1
 Uhhh doodley get your facts and spelling correct doodley doodley or I going to deduct 5 points off your midterms. Haahaa you guys must be fun to ride with. Hold up lets pull over and analyze our suspension curve rates over those last two rocks, need more data. Oooohh wheres my mtb pocket protector doodley. Lookout here comes Steve Urkle on his 29er vpizzle link data machine.
  • + 7
 All I can say is that I sold my Spesh SX Trail and bought a Covert. I'm no engineer but I am a bike mechanic, I understand the all aspects of linkage design. You know what makes a bike good for me? It's good if I like it, if I have fun on it and if I feel better on it. That's how I felt when I tried the Covert and that's all I needed to know. It's pointless to try and compare numbers and angles, just go for what feels good. Simple. Like me.
  • - 3
 Cool enjoy your new bike. I'm a mechanic also for many decades so always looking at designs under a microscope. Some people get tight about that but if you had my level of experience this would just be a discussion about frame building techniques. That covert has a burly construction and I only curious to why they placing rear pivot on seatstays. Transition not the only company doing it so there must be a reason. Maybe the fsr patent costing too much money, or companies want to say we have our own design.
  • + 4
 Much respect for the suspension knowledge with everyone here. However there doesn't seems to be a tangible argument. Seems like its about words. I'm an engineer. I have 9 bicycles and I ride like there is no tomorrow. I agree with peet1969 about going with what feels good.

When i place my 2013 covert next to my 2 FSR's and Norco Team DH (FSR) I only notice two differences. The covert has the pivot closest the rear axle placed on the seatstay instead of chainstay. It's still basically in the same place from a mechanical perspective. AND the brake on the covert is bolted to an extension of the chainstay while FSR has it on the seatstay. I can't tell any difference in performance such as brake jack but i do find that at propedal setting (or comparable trail setting) the transition design has less pedal feedback and less pedal bob however it cannot be ruled out that these impressions are related to the different shocks and geometry. All I know is the Covert has the most playful suspension I've ridden which is what I want in an AM rig. It pedals just as good as any design out there and descends exactly the way I want it to. As far as the "high" front end, well its just not true. Compare the numbers and you'll find the convert is in the middle of the road for a 160 AM bike. When I place it next to my other bikes its lower than 29er, lower then DH bike and 20 mm higher then my TransAM which is 140mm front shock so the increased height is from the suspension not the headtube. Anybody else wanna talk about tangible facts?
  • + 0
 The argument is quite simple chainstay pivot vs seatstay pivot. Those are words describing different approach to placement of the rear pivot. Under normal riding conditions and under an average skilled rider the diff is not very noticable or relevant. However this exact same issue had massive amounts of debate and testing back in the 90s before most of you even heard of a mtb. I just curious why companies have chosen to go back to the seatstay pivots after it was conceeded years ago chainstay located pivots below the caliper and rear axle were superior in many ways. If the rear brake is pulled that force travels forward. When the caliper is mounted on top of the pivot chances are that force is going to mess with the suspension causing brake jack. Most riders could care less about this and dont even generate the forces needed to make a bike brake jack. This is an elite level issue and only handfull of riders going to think about this. I know the covert is a great bike and would kill any trail on it. That rear pivot is just a slight imperfection and raises the question why put it there?
  • + 2
 Questrails
I understand because I was there running a bike shop in 1989! Your statements are correct. However, the Covert has the brake mounted to the chainstay with a seatstay pivot. I believe the lesson from 20 years ago was that seatstay pivot with seatstay mounted brake is bad because of brake jack. The Covert has excellent suspension under braking because the brake force is communicated directly to the bottom bracket without upward or downward stresses. Also- those old designs would lock suspension when you put the brake on and sat on the bike. The Covert suspension is not impacted by the brake being locked. Based on this do you still think this is an imperfection?
  • + 2
 Hey bro, finally someone that was riding in the 80s. Most of these pinks were born in the 90s so not really seeing the whole picture. I see what they are doing now mounting brake to the chainstay. Still wondering if this was based on scientific data or the need to save money on fsr patents? This not such a huge deal on trail bikes but I see it on alot of dh frames. I would ride the Covert to the moon and back with no complaints. The best test is do you get full rear travel with the brakes on, and does it feel normal. Alot of times with this design the brakes don't lock up but the suspension feels very strange to say the least. All it takes is one bad huck. My fsr gets full travel with brake on but bottom of stroke a bit weird. The maestro however is the best in this catagory from my experience, full travel regardless of brakes. If we dont anaylize every detail of these frames who will?
  • + 1
 Questrails

Yes I do get full rear travel with the brakes on and grabbing a handful doesn't stiffen rear end but it does feel like it softens it up a little which counteracts the tendency to pitch forward from braking. Honestly, the suspension feels so good that the only time I've been braking much is to test brake jack. It feels like I tossed an anchor when I brake with rear wheel over shatter (Hans Damf). I've rented the maestro a few times at Cabo Pulmo and ridden it hard. I agree that braking performance is excellent (same or better) but find maestro less playful and not as bomber of a pedaling platform, pedal feedback feels weird like VPP but that could be the shock.
  • + 1
 There are soo many variables to setting a suspension to pedal well and perform on trail. Maestro takes some work, specially air shock but it pedals insanely well. My reign x climbs like a tractor in snow/ice whatever, and on trail I abuse xc people all day, then drop a 25' stepdown to really mess with people.
  • + 1
 Props to the Maestro. Agreed. The reason I didn't love it for my style is that I could never find a solid lockout that felt good with the shock I was using for off-saddle climbing. I like to ride hardtail most of the time because I like to hammer off the saddle. Maestro comes right after FSR/4bar links for me. The system I can't adjust to is VPP that has pedaling dead spots from chain growth. Can't imagine why anybody likes for all mountain or XC.

As far a a long term relationship though I dunno, Giant is like a hottie thats fun to boink but for the long term Transition will treat you right and will keep the boinking interesting into the future while Giant will give you the silent treatment and stop boinking you after a couple years.
  • + 1
 Ya maestro very active style suspension, not for the lock out types. I not a fan of locking anything out but fsr with air shock very easy to lock up. Then let some out and blast down the mountain.
  • + 22
 I really like Transition's bikes, their approach and their way. I thought the new Covert would get more positive comments, escpecially on the descent section.
It will be great to see more and more testing of enduro 160mm bikes. Go on Pinkbike! Wink
  • + 9
 Ask Andrea Bruno about how the bike descends, I think he's pretty happy with it!
  • + 1
 Yes, I saw a couple of its video here on Pinkbike, that bike looks a missile between his legs; that's why I was so surprised about Mike's impressions, especially on the downhill sections. But that's good, it was too easy if Pinkbike said "well, you know what, that's the perfect bike you were waiting for..." and so on. I like Pinkbike's approach; it's not a mistery that Transition Bikes is one of the main advertisers on Pinkbike and even so, this test appear honest judging both the pros and cons of the bike, which I still consider one of the best choice for enduro riding and one of the frame I will certainly considered if I have to buy a new one together with new Nukeproof's Mega and Specy's Enduro.
  • + 4
 How is transition one of the main advertisers here?? They are not on the list of bike companies on the home page???? Not sure what your talking about???
  • + 2
 Hmmm, yes Jeff, your right, it's not in the list, I thought so because of the several videos viewed in the last moths (Covert Carbon, Bandit, Transition's crew in Sanremo, etc.). Sorry for the mistake.
  • + 8
 Judging a bike's performance purely on how fast it is under a sponsored pro rider is awfully nieve. But hey, that's why sponsorship exists - advertising and promotion to the consumers. Appreciated the thorough review. Sounds like some component changes would improve the ride. Not everywhere can afford to change parts after shelling out the money for a new bike. It's good to know what the buyer is getting into off the shelf.
  • + 4
 Every sponsored rider loves his bike. I would too if I was getting them for free and paid to say so. True, you can't really win with a POS bike, but a great rider is a great rider. Most pros will make bikes sing like the majority of us never can. The margins are so small these days and even the worst bikes today are better than the best bikes from a few years ago. So unless Aaron Gwin suddenly starts badly losing every race he enters after going to Specialized, I think how fast a pro rides a bike is really inconsequential. Reviews are a good starting point and can help you narrow down your options, but ultimately it comes down to how a bike feels to you. That's why test rides are so important. Bikes are a very personal thing.
  • + 1
 Although I appreciate Mike's "honest" review, I completely disagree with him. My preferance is for fast, steep, rooty, tech descents (which we have a bevy of up here in Cascadia). The thing that appealed to me the most about the Covert is that it absolutley shreds. Although it is not a DH sled, it is very capable. The Covert charges over rough sections, dives into corners, or pops off of lips. I'm riding a 2011 frame - the suspension has been bottomless,... with the exception of a few rider induced errors resulting in casing relatively large moves (and the new Covert's got more travel and a stouter linkage brace? I want one of them!) Did I mention it pedals quite well? As a result it is one of the funnest bikes I've ridden. I've yet to ride another AM bike that rips as fast as the Covert. Buy one. You won't be disappointed.
  • + 15
 I don't know how many more "quiver killer" five and six inch bike reviews I can read. This is getting exhuasting
  • + 34
 Don't read them then.
  • + 3
 XC bikes and DH bikes!
  • + 18
 when will the quivers fight back?
  • + 5
 Haven't read a proper dj bike review in a while. In a long while.
  • + 11
 Maybe this review can help? We flew to Moab Utah last year and Rented a TR250 and 2 Coverts for 3 days. We're fortunate enough to ride in BC all summers, and ride tons of downhill. We rode the trail the whole enchilada 3 times which is a very long, primarily downhill trail but with plenty of pedally parts. Anyone who's ridden there knows how rocky it is on the lower half, and even the upper half is technical and steep in many spots. I own and ride a Transition TR250, and absolutely love it, but the Covert was without a doubt a better bike. The thing was aggressive! Its geometry made descending the steepest inclines feel comfortable and it could absolutely charge just the nastiest sections and hold speed. At least ten times a day we would stop with sheepish grins on our faces, almost feeling bad for the rental bikes. We completely thrashed the things as hard as possible. No matter who was riding which bike, the TR250 was just plain never faster over even the bounciest rocky sections. Bottom line, I wanted a Covert after that trip. I ride mostly downhill, but for what it's worth it also pedalled excellently, never leaving you bagged at the top of climbs. Also spoke to a guy in Whistler who said he was 8 seconds faster down A-line on his Covert than his dh bike. Which makes sense, but it does prove it can hold speed, corner, and jump well. And I would completely agree. Unless you ride WC tracks, this bike can handle anything, and pedal back up for more.
  • + 2
 The fastest lap down A-line last year was done on a 6-inch AM bike (See: www.pinkbike.com/news/Crankworx-Whistler-Air-DH-Results-2012.html)!
  • + 1
 IMO, you can't ride the whole enchilada without a sh&$ eating grin on your face no matter what. Being blessed to live somewhat close I ride it a few times a year, and have done it on many different bikes (575, nomad c, cannodale Jekyll, and one giant reign), and it's a blast on all. Were some of the bikes better than others in certain areas? Yup. Did they make that particular ride better? Nope. Can't wait to ride it on my new sb66 though. Love that trail.
  • + 1
 You're absolutely right brandonj, the trail is just way too good not to have fun on. With regards to the Covert though, it was something else I'm telling you. Any reasonably skilled rider will be able to aggressively charge rough stuff at high speed and feel safe doing it. Then it'll get you to the top without draining the batteries. And what more do we really want? lol
  • + 1
 I've just come back from a trip to Moab with my Covert and rode Porcupine rim (Top of The Whole Enchilada was closed due to snow as I was told). All I can say is that I was occasionally having to hold back on even the most rocky sections otherwise I would have left the rest way behind. They were on Trek Fuel EX's btw. The Covert is a fast bike, IMO. Is it sad that at the end of the trail I hugged it?
  • + 2
 @ peet1969 - comparing the Trek Fuel ex to the Covert is not accurate at all. Of course it would be better for Porcupine than the Fuel. The Fuel only has 120mm of travel and while its a great bike, it is not in the same class as the Covert (which features 160mm of travel).
  • + 1
 Peet1969- In that case my bike would be faster than the above bikes because it has 8in of travel
  • + 10
 Can't help thinking that most of the problems were with part choises rather than the bike itself. Some lyriks and a monach plus would do well to use less travel and give the bike a more playful tune and a low rise bar would sort the position out.
  • + 6
 Dont you know pinkbike has a strict don't dis the fox policy! it cant be fox it must be the bike, its always the bike fox ctd is perfect and is in no way a compromise.
  • + 9
 test setting are ridicules !!! testing a 160 am bike while riding on the num "2" setting on the trail adjuster (ctd shock) sounds pretty pointless imho.
i dare any one to find an am bike that feels good in this mode, specially in the rough.from my experience, this bikes handles the rough amazingly well and its really hard for me to accept the tester's conclusion here (and i did rode many other 160 bikes).
i would like to understand how did you get to this setup and why didnt you ride in Descent or trail "1" mode.
  • + 3
 As I mentioned in another comment, I tried a number of different settings. I found myself using trail mode most often, which is what I state in the review, but that doesn't mean I never switched shock settings or that I never used Descend mode.The adjustment lever is there for a reason, and I made full use of it.
  • + 1
 mike, how do you think the bike would perform with different suspension. I personally think this ctd crap is a joke. 3 settings? I'm waiting on my carbon covert to show up but it will have a double barrel air and 36's. I think transition also did a lot of testing with that new rc4 air which may have shaped the design and tuning of the bike if the ctd shock is only a first year filler until the rc4 air is available.
  • + 1
 @tpersons - Having only ridden the bike with the CTD (which in this case actually has more than three settings - you get three options in trail mode), I can't say how it'd ride with different suspension. A DBAir will give you a greater adjusment range than the CTD, which will really let you play with different settings.
  • + 1
 I have one transition covert equal to that you tested, and ilfreerider i agree whit mikekazimer on the trail mode riding, it's a set that let's you do every thing, it climbs well and in my opinion i prefer it especially on the rear shock because it feels so much response and alive in it, the bike it's really fast and agile .
in the question of the bars i didn't like the kore so much, but i switched to a renthal fatbar lite with 740 mm wide and 30 mm elevation and it fells so much better.
down here i will let do helmet cam's on the same bike park riding my covert and my tr450 and see how fast the covert is.
covert: www.pinkbike.com/video/304786
tr450: www.pinkbike.com/video/304785
  • + 1
 it still doesn't have enough settings for a 1000 dollar fork and 400 dollar shock, at least in my opinion. Hopefully the db will allow me to remedy the problems you had, and I run super low bars so hopefully between those two, I'll have better luck than you.
  • + 1
 the problem it's not the low bars, for me the problem it's the bar him self, as i said up there i switched that bar to a renthal fatbar lite and it's way better.
  • + 1
 for sure, thanks for the input. I have a bar I think I should like, if not, well switch to something else and if I don't find a liking, I shouldn't have a problem sellling it and swapping the components to something new....
  • + 1
 yes, do that. and about the fork and the shock if you lose a little bit of time you will find the best tuning for you, they work well when you find the pressure for you, and they come alive better in trail mode, because it it's stiff enough to climb without any trouble and you will descend mad fast!
  • + 1
 I'm going to go with a 36 rc2 and a double barrel air. I'm not to concerned with the climbing ability, just that it is possible to pedal up hill, which it should be. I don't need to race to the top,I just want to be able to get there so I can rip down!
  • + 1
 they preforme well on both, in my case for downhill i have the tr450, and only for pedal i have a cheap hardtail so the covert for me is a mix of both.
  • + 1
 Cool well that's what I'm looking for. I have great trails by my house but they're not steep or gnarly enough for the 450 so I'm hoping the covert will allow them to be more playful and jumpy since the 450 soaks up anything less than 20 feet. And ill be able to pedal up. Its going to be built up super light weight so hopefully it will rip my local stuff, up and down!
  • + 1
 with the original build and since my it's equal to this, the aluminium versinon plus the reverb it's not that lite but is way lighter than the 450
  • + 8
 Moving stem spacers is note worthy? And seriously if bar height is that big of a problem swap some flat bars on for a ride or 2. And add onto the bottom of the report, doesn't take long to figure out how bar height feels.
  • + 8
 Thank-you Pinkbike for continuing to provide honest reviews. For those of you who can't seem to deal with a negative comment about your bike, stick to MBA from your local supermarket. Or better yet, get a subscription.
  • + 6
 I have just got the 2012 Covert and have ridden it about 5 times so far. It is awesome - but then I was coming from a 2009 Trek Fuel EX 8 which is a different beast entirely! My Covert still has 150 at the rear and it still seems pretty bottomless to me, even on some medium sized jumps. I am using it as a 1- bike quiver killer, and will be doing 30km trail rides along with uplift days and a summer trip to the Alps. Just switch the pedals over and put a full-face on!
  • + 3
 I did the exact same thing, sold my Trek Fuel EX and Giant Glory and got a Covert. Don't feel like I lose anything on the Trek when climbing (just switch the pro-pedal on) even with the extra weight and while it will never be a DH sled for where I ride I don't think I am much slower going down. Awesome bike for someone who doesn't have the time/cash to have multiple bikes.
  • + 6
 Got to say im loving mine so far although i have only done a couple of rides so still dialing the shock in. Ive just moved from a Nomad to Carbon Covert with exactly the same front end set up and not only does the front end feel lower, it is as I have had to add a 10mm spacer just to get it the same height. Down hill the bike feels just as quick as the Nomad although cornering took a bit of getting used to at 1st although not in a negative way just the speed in which you fling it from one side to the other. So all in all 1st impresions are it Rocks and I know its my own bike so a little biased but in my opinion looks sweet.

www.vitalmtb.com/community/turpy,7327/setup,21111?page=2
  • + 2
 super nice bike dude
  • + 1
 turpy, if you don't mind me asking how long ago did you get yours and what size? I'm waiting on a large and I talked to my shop today and they were a little worried as not many are turning up. edit: medium, I read your bike check haha. that things sick! congrats! how do you like the bling ring/xo set up?
  • + 4
 The Covert looks so sick and it's great to have a review of that bike. And stop complaining about Carbon and 29" option. Alloy and 26" is just perfect and it's what most of the bikers will ride. Don't think that PB can test everything.
  • + 3
 I don't know all the science behind all of the above, but what I do know is that I love my Covert! I'm also a girl who loves to smash my bike down a trail as much as the next guy. Also what I do know is that I have NEVER had a problem feeling that bike was out of it's depth in this area. As far as the 'floaty' feeling up front - once again never noticed it because first thing I do is get rid of all those spacers and run it nice and low. But I'm just a girl.. what do I know... But at the end of the day I loved my Covert so much I am lucky enough to now have the carbon model which is living up to all my exceptations and then some! And as for the big picture... one of the most important things I look for when shelling out a whole lot of coin is a company that I feel earns it. Over here in NZ the guy who brings them in will do what ever it takes to sort out a problem. Nothing is ever a stupid question and he always has time. In my books that is all part of it - what makes a great bike awesome!
  • + 4
 Transiton FTW, they are top form nowadays with the covert carbon, the bandit coming into its stride and of course the double.... Which I'm selling one of, of anyone's interested? Haha ( neg prop away)
  • + 4
 Quiver Killer .... YAWN. When will people just give up and realise that there is no such thing. It's always a compromise in one way or another. I like having a quiver anyway thanks!
  • + 1
 Absolutely there is no such thing but if your in a situation where you can only have one bike this thing can at least do some of it all. I think a major focus for these bikes are to dh'ers who need to pedal up. I know if I bought a bike that was focused on climbing I would explode it the first time I tried to enjoy the ride down. I want a bike that can do a bit of everything well, while I still have my quiver of bikes. I don't see them as quiver killers, I see them as an addition to my quiver. A bike that can shred light dh, and shred light climbs.
  • + 1
 I agree- and that's why the term quiver killer should be binned- it all depends on your selection of bikes and what you ride. A bike that you can enjoy light DH yet still pedal is essentially an enduro bike tho isn't it? Or a burly all mountain rig as I always thought they were called. There's always space for a bike like that in a collection if you have the cash but I would first buy a bike 100% tailored for my favorite type of riding so I could get the most out of it.
  • + 3
 I'm guessing that the Hans dampfs must have been the pacestar versions as the trailstars are well known to be excellent on wet roots and rocks.
On another note, I also ride my bandit in trail 2(fork and shock) for all descending as I find the decend setting lacks compression and support and also blows through travel to easily.
  • + 3
 I've got the 2011 Covert in that lovely Transition orange colour with Lyrik air forks and low rise wide bars it totally shreds the crap out of everything I have put it through. Rode my mates one with the same handlebars as mine but the higher rise version and it felt way less confident and predictable.. amazing the difference that small amount can make. He rode mine and immediately ordered lower rise bars as he agreed the improvement was incredible. Its a great bike but sorry Transition, that brown is damn ugly!!
  • + 3
 Got to say im loving mine so far although i have only done a couple of rides so still dialing the shock in. Ive just moved from a Nomad to Carbon Covert with exactly the same front end set up and not only does the front end feel lower, it is as I have had to add a 10mm spacer just to get it the same height. Down hill the bike feels just as quick as the Nomad although cornering took a bit of getting used to at 1st although not in a negative way just the speed in which you fling it from one side to the other. So all in all 1st impresions are it Rocks and I know its my own bike so a little biased but in my opinion looks sweet. www.vitalmtb.com/community/turpy,7327/setup,21111?page=2
  • + 3
 I love my covert, and I really appreciate the great customer service at TBC. My last bike was a Rocky Mountain element msl xc/trail and the covert climbs much better. I could care less about the suspension design on a bike--if it's fun to ride and half-ass efficient at getting me from point A to point B, I'm cool with it.
  • + 3
 I moved from a trek scratch to my covert after trying loads of the 160mm bikes and apart from the orange alpine 160 this bike always put a smile on my face and never felt like a hinderance on the dh while running lyrics on the front. This is easily the best bike I ever bought so much so I am considering selling my summon and just running this.
  • + 3
 Great review Mike. I am waiting for my Covert at the moment but after reading your review I have some ideas on what to pay closer attention to. I'm excited regardless of possible negatives and I side with the other commentors on thanking you for the neutral review.
  • + 2
 Ya sounds like bud just set the bike up wrong. I am 6ft and ride a medium I find it is a perfect fit with the 35mm stem. Remember its a all mountain bike. Not a dh bike. It needs to do all things well and when I am pinned goin dh on my covert I feel just fine and very confidant.
  • + 6
 Got my Carbon Covert on the way!! Yeeeee Haawwwwwwwww
  • + 2
 being a one-time covert owner and long time Tr. fan (still bangin on my revs, step downs, and stem) i thought it was a fair review from one perspective. the suspension. alot of past covert owners i know, including myself, who switched to coils or resevoir shocks like the rs monarch plus helped completely transform the bike in the midstroke and grip dept. i think bikes at this level are getting riders who know the sport and have clear preferences so a frame build is more likely to happen. I don't think "stock" build reviews in this really competitive category should get anyone bent. it's a review of a "stock" offering by one person. is there anyone on pb who rides anything off the floor?
  • + 2
 The covert is a great bike, Although i never thought it was very "Beasty" to go DH. It looks like a ferrari, But when going down it doesn't seem like a monster truck.
I think the ultimate AM Bike is the Knolly Chilcotin, i Think it out performs all other AM bikes, Including the SB66, Nomad, Covert.
  • + 2
 Even though I own and like a Transition bike, I'm actually kind of glad that for once someone publish a review with a few negative comments. The reviews now days all seams to be bought from the company IMO, every new bike is the best, fastest, etc.
  • + 2
 I am a proud owner of a Carbon Covert 1 build kit and over the past 5 weeks since delivery, I have ridden numerous Downhill, XC and All Mountain tracks over here downunder in Australia. I have been mountain biking for 20 years and have ridden many types of bikes. I decided to buy the Covert because I wanted a 'one bike for all' trails, and in my opinion the Carbon Covert is an absolute dream to ride over long distance, downhill or trail riding. In fact, for a 160mm travel bike it tracks uphill really well - makes you want to ride harder uphill! As for descending - it rips through rockgardens, nasty rooted/rutted out sections, jumps, drops, etc. Whether I wanna ride up to 50km XC or smashing downhill with the boys - it just does it all - I couldn't be happier!

As a consumer of bikes and related paraphernalia, I appreciate Mike Kazimer's honest review; however, in my case, my bike is factory standard set up and from the first time I rode it, I feel like I have owned it for years. It is very comfortable and am totally at one with it on the trails. I can honestly say, I've never experienced that feeling from any other bike I have owned.
  • + 2
 I'm new to Transition and yes riding the Covert 29er:P and am a strava fan. I bought the Covert 29er because my local trails are pretty rocky and has some fun descent lines. I had never ridden Transition or a 29er and always like easy maintenance. My LBS recommended Transition as the mechanic had worked in Whistler as a mechanic over the summer and said he saw lots of other big name bikes in the shop often. So I went for it. Now I couldn't be happier with my decision. Plus with Transition I got a better build compared to the big names. My 4k bought a 5-6k comparable build. As for any questions on ability in DH riding this thing sets a personal records on the DH segments almost every time out. Can't imagine the 26" being less able in aggressive downhill riding. I use my CTD often and do like the Trail setting for shorter steep segments. When it's gonna be rough and last awhile the descend setting is just the ticket. Love it so far and everyone who's traded bikes with me for a "test" while riding can't help but fall in love with it on the up and down. I had questions on setting up my suspension and shot off a quick email to the company and their Pro/employee Lars answered within a couple of hours and I'd have to say-I'm impressed with the customer service.
  • + 2
 I'm 2 weeks into having my carbon covert. The bike is awesome. I previously had a 2012 alloy covert and have just swapped the frame. I've rode other 160 mm enduro bikes (spec enduro, ibis,rocky mountain, trek slash) and I believe that the covert is by far the best. Don't know why old mate seems to think that it isn't a good descender, I've raced mine in local DH events and done ok. Granted I am running 36's
  • + 1
 Totally dig Transition bikes to the fullest, but damn, the price of these rigs (other brands too) are getting waaaay outta control in terms of pricing. Seriously though, $4200 with only X7 (SLX level) stuff mixed in...?! Seems like anything with an XT groupo these days now is pushing 5K+... ACK!!!! WTF is going on?! We aren't all high paid doctors and lawyers!

I suppose the best thing to do these days is to pick up a year-end season blowout on the cheap... or a get a really nice "gently" used 2 year old bike with its usual 50% depreciated value.

Ahh well- just complaining since it's tax week :-)
  • + 1
 "puts the rider in an aggressive attack position that encourages you to drive the bike with your whole body."

It took me a while before I figured this part out. You have to assume the position: ass way back, elbows out, eyeballs wide, ready to get crazy even on 'normal' downhills for it to behave properly. I sense the tall front end too - in cornering there is a small line between railing it and washing out.

All in all I would say its a "quiver killer" because I've used it effectively for small local xc trails, to Freight Train and Dirt Merchant, and everything between.
  • + 1
 My first thought on looking at the test bike was the head tube is too long so I'm not surprised by the concern re high front end. Size large Specialized Enduros also have long head tubes (plus similar head angles and 160mm forks). I didn't buy an Enduro last year because of the same complaint after a test ride. Eveyone loves the Enduro (except me, I guess). Why is the long head tube not cosidered a problem on that bike?
  • + 1
 I have had my covert for a about a month now and I am happy with the bike except the bars were the first thing to go. The suspension was one of my complaints as well it just took me a while to get the settings dialed in. The bike descends better when you run a bit less sag than recommended in the rear and if you are going to ride lines with bigger jumps you end up completely changing the settings. Transition should also change up their sizing chart as well if you are 5'10 or above you should really be on a large unless you are an xc rider.
  • + 1
 I was rather saddened by this uninspiring review on the Covert, as I see it as being much more of a capable bike than noted in the article. However, my Covert has been highly modified from the stock version, using only top-shelf components fitted for my personal needs. Check it out: www.pinkbike.com/photo/9302963
  • + 1
 Oh, and FYI - my Covert build came in at 30 pounds on the nose, with flats and dropper post installed.
  • + 1
 I think this review is surprising to a lot of people who own or have owned a Covert. I have a 2010 with a Talas 36 and Float RP23 w/ BV. Mine feels super fast and steady on descents whether tight and technical or smooth and straight. But I don't get paid to ride bikes or write about them so perhaps my senses aren't quite as refined.
Mike, I wonder if you've ridden the older models without CTD suspension and how you think they compare. Is it just as you suggest, the design needs to be updated and doesn't quite measure up to newer bikes or is it more a function of the newer Fox stuff as other folks have suggested?
  • + 1
 Same bike reviewed here in 2009. Has anything changed on the frame geo since then? It got a much more +++ review in 2009. I have ridden one and enjoyed it very much. It was a medium and I was too tall for it, or else it will still be in the fleet right now.

www.pinkbike.com/news/transition-covert-review-2009.html
  • + 1
 There is a lot more competition from many manufacturers. This bike also has the newer FOX CTD which has not received great reviews. There have also been a number of 650b bikes released in this category, and the odd 29er, which have different ride characteristics. Basically, this bike is getting long in the tooth, and newer designs are passing it, which is normal. By no means does this mean the bike is a bad design, its just that the incrimental changes in other designs are passing it.
  • + 3
 Changes since three years ago...

- Switched from a 10x135mm regular QR dropout spacing to a 12 x 142mm thru-axle QR dropout spacing
- 10mm more rear travel
- new shock
- there's cable routing for a remote for running the dropper seatpost (which comes standard now also)

Also since they now use a replaceable dropout system instead of simply a replaceable hanger, its entirely possible (if not highly probable) that they will be offering a set of dropouts to convert the bike for 650B running (just as Banshee does with the Rune, and Intense with the Carbide)
  • + 0
 650b would likely improve the descending ability as well. That would be a smart move for Transition.
  • + 1
 I road a covert for a season and loved it! I like to ride everything from freeride, to xc, so it fit my style really well. I am now ridding a Trek Slash, and I love it way better though! The bike fit like a glove the first time I road it.
  • + 1
 If they tested the carbon model, everyone here would moan about the price and beyotch, neglecting the fact they have a lower price option, point in case the new Santa Cruz Bronson, starts at $4150 and everyone winned about the cost of the highest end specced model, the alloy Covert is $4199 no doubt better specced than the base model Bronson, at those budgets, but my point is can Pinkbike win, test carbon every beyotches about price, test alloy and PBers want carbon, unfortunatley MTBers are just like most consumers nowadays just muppets.
  • + 2
 winning beyotches!
  • + 7
 I'd like them to test the bikes that the average PBer can actually afford. I get sick of reading reviews of 7k bikes I will NEVER buy.

When was the last time they reviewed a bike that was near the $2500 price range?
  • + 4
 I'm betting a lot of it isn't so much what PB buys and wants to test, it's what the mfg's give them to test...
  • + 2
 Do you read Car and Driver to read about 3 year old used cars? I can afford new bikes, and like to read about them.
  • + 1
 Hey Willie, are you saying there are no bikes for sale this year for 2500 dollars? Don't be a knucklehead, please. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen such a post from you. I want to read a review on a BRZ, or an Elise, alongside a review of a Ferrari. One I could someday afford, and while the latter is neat to read about, it's not all that useful.

Congrats on being able to afford new bikes, you should be proud of yourself, at 41, to be able to splurge on bicycles. For the rest of us, who may not live in our parents basements, an "affordable" review now and again might be nice. If you don't like that idea, save it.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike cheers for the review, you are of course entitled to your opinions and I agree with the front end issues as mine does like to lift with ease, especially on the climbs. But, I BLOODY LOVE MY COVERT!! Its the best thing since sliced bread and we all know how good sliced bread is! Keep up the good work fella's, peace
  • + 1
 I built a 2013 Covert in yellow when my long awaited frame arrived in late feb, It is built to quite a high spec with just my wheels now to upgrade. I have gone for the lower rise easton havoc bars as 750mm wide with a 50mm havoc stem too. From a tyre point of view, I went with the 2.4 tubeless ready Nobby nics, which are a fair bit lighter than the Damps (plus I like the way they feel).
With a fair bit of trial and error, you do find that sweet spot eventually. One thing that I will say, My Covert just makes me smile and then smile some more!
Roll on the Weekend! :-)
  • + 1
 I've had 1 season so far on this bike, and love it. I ride in highly technical roots and rocks infested trails. My last bikes were both virtual pivots design, a marin attack trail and a giant reign, both built with similar components, fox 36, reverb seatpost, saint front brake, light wheels and burly tires. This bike really upgraded my confidence level. At first I was septical about rear suspension setup, as I found often on forums for riders of my weight, 200lb. I mostly leave the ctd shock at descend position, but I use all the rear travel. I ride quite aggressively, with many drops of 3 foot max. I ended up loving the setup, because I do not feel any harsh bottoming, in fact I don't feel any bottoming at all, but I knowmi use all the travel. I concluded that's a good thing. I ordered some volume spacer this summer, but I ended the season without them. I'm planning to install them this winter just to try a slightly more progressive setup. Very good bike. As opposed to this review, it rips on the downhill, but the shock must remain in descend mode, as stated by transition.
  • + 1
 Could it be that that "lost in travel" sensation comes from the shock's stroke choice? I mean, on the several test of Summum's prototype Barel used also a longer shok then the final production and he found the bike lazy with every setup so he decide to turn back to the shorter one. Also the Session has a shorter shock compared similar travel DH bikes. Maybe the shock friction is a bit too high for New Covert's linkage and travel? I could be interesting to test a coil shock on it.
  • + 1
 Nice bike and I like Transition as a company but they don't really cater to people that need size XL. When they redesigned their Covert the new version got shorter, literally out of reach of most XL sized riders who simply can't make their Large work (despite what they like to think). I had to move on to another brand as result which was a bummer...
  • + 1
 Nice bike . But I find these kind I've bikes can be tricky XC great but if you are to aggressive then you will find it bottoming out a lot . For a heavy rider and a rider that like to play and ride aggressive then a fox DHX air would work best ok ok it will not climb as well but I've had many kind of bike like this and I think you just simply can not have it all in one bike. Just my thoughts
  • + 1
 so basically you're all flaming the reviewer because he was disappointed by a bike that costs 4000 bucks and doesn't fit his riding style because it handles more like a xc? you guys should go to vital mtb and check their reviews, just as spot on as this!
  • + 2
 I have ridden a covert for the past three seasons and i agree with his descriptions of the covert, 160 or 150 rear travel. The bikes sounds identical. Anybody want to buy a blue medium?
  • + 1
 I own a 2013 Covert 26 2 & I find this review to be very inaccurate on several points.

This bike rails on downhills if you have the rear shock set correctly & in descend mode.
  • + 0
 I bet they are scrambling like mad to update it to 650b - which will add nothing to how well it actually rides. Especially as they will probably take 10mm off travel. Love my TransAm frame, but their aluminum offerings are mad overpriced for what they are - which is nothing particularly special. 5 year old Kona Coiler was more fun to ride than the newest Covert.
  • + 0
 Nope, all they need to do is make different dropouts for the frame, just like Banshee and Intense does. Won't affect the wheel travel at all. At most it'll extend the wheelbase slightly.
  • + 1
 i got a 2013 covert about 5 months ago and just got the chance to ride it now. I love it. climbs very well, and when it descends it gives me nearly the confidence i get on my tr450! also the front end does not feel high.
  • + 0
 I'm pretty sure the whole point of the CTD (climb, trail, descend) settings are so you change them at the top of the climb to descend better then change them at the bottom of the descent to climb better. I see the trail setting maybe being used where the climb gets rocky or rooty and you'd want more compliance. I don't think I'd ever do a full descent with the shocks in trail mode. If I lived in a place where I would ride the descent in trail mode I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be considering a super beefy AM rig like this.

......IMO the shock setting issue justifies a redo of this review
  • + 2
 The three setting are just adjusting the shock's low speed compression; therefore, if a bike feels better with more compression damping, there's no reason you can't descend with the shock in trail mode. Believe me, the trails around here are plenty rowdy, and I did use the shock all the way open, but as the review states, found the trail setting to be the one I used most often.
  • + 4
 I rode this bike for a bit and will have to agree with Mike here. This bike does ride best in the middle 'trail' position the majority of the time. I rode this same shock on the Yeti SB-66 and it rode best in the 'descend' position all the time. It doesn't mean anything other than the leverage curve on the Covert benefits from a bit more compression damping. I am a huge fan of Fox suspension, but the CTD concept is better on paper than in reality. IMO, lockout switches are a gimmick. A good bike rides great without a bunch of constant adjustments.
  • - 4
flag Willie1 (Apr 9, 2013 at 7:25) (Below Threshold)
 You guys do realize these settings affect the low speed compression, not high speed compression? On a bicycle this is the resistance to initial movement on smaller forces such as pedalling, and minor irregularities. Using the T setting descending justs slows the response to trail chatter, but has little effect on bigger hits where hock speed is higher. You basically give up compliance without changing the larger movements of the shock. I think the reviewer was reporting his "placebo effect" rather than objective measurements.
  • + 3
 Have you even used a CTD product?

I have. My Float CTD fork will blow/ brake dive through its travel if I put it in descend mode.
I ride it in trail soft mode all the time.

And the whole point of the CTD system is NOT to change the settings all the time. The point is to offer the options to change the settings all the time if you want to.
If you don't like fussing with your bike all the time , then you put it I trail and forget it.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the explanation Mike. I haven't tried the CTD technology yet, but its good to know you rode it in descend mode and found yourself opting back to trail. I can only relate it to what I assume is a more on/off propedal adjustment on my RP23 now, I suppose that only gives me comparable adjustments to climb or descend in a CTD shock. I have a Covert 29er on order with the CTD stuff on it so I'll know soon enough I guess.
  • + 2
 I used to run 110psI in my ctd fork and in the descend mode it dived through its travel very easily and still had poor small bump performance. In trail mode it didn't blow throw its travel but the small bump compliance was worse. So I decided to ditch the descend mode completely and keep it in trail full time. This way I was able to lower the psi to 85. Small bump compliance was then tonnes better and the fork had great support for berms, jumps, steep stuff etc. Then I went even further and added 20ml of float fluid to the air spring and now I think the forks performance is amazing. In my opinion better than a 55rc3, which is saying a lot I think. It went from being the worst fork I've ridden to the best.
  • + 1
 On my new Covert, when SAG was set at 25%, I found myself regularly blowing through the CTD shock on the jump lines, even in the Trail 3 mode. My total fully-loaded riding weight is 205 lb. I ended up installing a medium-sized air volume reducer in the shock and it seems to have solved the problem and helped considerably with the overall suspension feel in all modes.
  • + 1
 This is pretty disppointing. I have been looking for a good all mountain bike with strong downhill capabilities and I thought the covert would fit the bill, but I guess I will have to continue my search...
  • - 5
flag jeff444 (Apr 8, 2013 at 9:01) (Below Threshold)
 Don't believe the crap in this review
  • + 1
 You should book a test ride on a Covert and make your own mind up, it is a brilliant bike!
  • + 4
 not sure about the colour...
  • + 2
 www.jejamescycles.co.uk/transition-covert-frame-silver-id75000.html


you want it in that colour, its simply stunning in the flesh.. made me want to sell my dh bike for it haha
  • + 1
 That colour is actually 'pewter' if you are searching for one from someone who actually knows what they're doing.
  • + 0
 26" AM bikes are all over the place, while this one looks sick I wanna see a review of the Covert 29er. As far as clown bikes go that thing looks beefy and there aren't many AM oriented 29er platforms out there to choose from.
  • + 4
 Nice bike and a decent price!
  • + 3
 At last someone makes a review that doesn't say "best bike on the market" ... Thank you. Smile
  • + 0
 Before i brought my covert in the only colour you should (pearl yellow) i had owned an EX8 which does not even compare to the covert as i felt the covert more stable and something that felt like it want to be thrown about.. i also found the covert climbs better. (i dont no if its my set up on the covert or what was on the Trek ) but i found the Trek wanted to lift me off the bike..

Then i tried a Giant regin X which was also a very nice bike brilliant at descending but also rubbish at climbing.

Im extremely happy with my Transition covert but had to build from frame up.. to get the most out of it.
  • + 3
 Except for the carbo Covert , there hasn't really been a lot of noise coming out of Transition
  • - 3
 Truth. Just worse colours of the same old stuff. And even the carbon covert isn't too light from the build threads on mtbr. Klunking along with cocks and balls can only get you so far. Which btw, the latter is find kinda cheesy from the get go.
  • + 2
 No 650b, no sale!!! Sorry, just couldn't resist. AARGGHHH, I'm turning into a simple minded, entitled kid!!!!!
  • + 1
 Looks like a sweet bike, too bad it has some seriously tuff competition out there, and they wont get very far if they blatantly copy the Trek Session.
  • + 3
 I hope your not saying that they did.

I'm quite surprised about the front end height problem as my TR450 has the lowest front end i've felt apart from a specialized which just feels stupid.( that's probably more to do with the ridiculously long top tube though). I suppose they have a different take on thier all mountain bikes.
  • + 1
 Exactly why i built mine up from scratch picking out all of my own components. Easily the most comfortable AM bike I have ever been on.
  • + 1
 is the first time I read about somebody not happy with the Covert downhill qualities, is usually the opposite.... Maybe for once.... Pinkbike got it wrong !
  • + 3
 kashima paint job anyone?
  • + 2
 ive just got my new covert and it rides a hell of alot better than this review says!
  • + 2
 me to
  • + 3
 nice to see a 26er tested
  • + 2
 What is this 26 inch wheel you speak of? Nice to see a review that doesn't involve 29ers Razz
  • + 2
 Seeing these bikes in "real life" is a must. Truly beautiful frames, they pay attention to the details.
  • + 1
 Looks Great! I am Quite Happy with the pricing of it to! I Think i will have to demo one next time am up in whistler. That is when its open.
  • + 5
 We are the only Canadian demo centre. We are building up our rental/demo fleet over the following month but already have a medium 2013 Covert ready to go. Get in touch.

transitionbikes.com/2013/Dealers.cfm?Token={ts_2013-04-08_02:28:26}-1d189eeb98d15b33-2CED0BC5-A5CA-1688-C4DF85F67A8A733D
  • + 2
 Does it come in Rootbeer?
  • - 1
 Sounds to me like most of suspension qualities that Mr. Kazamer is griping about are due to him failing to take the time to properly adjust the suspension, instead riding the bike it's most "average" settings.
  • + 32
 The suspension was properly adjusted for my weight and riding style. I rode the bike with a number of different rebound and compression settings before settling on the ones I mentioned in the review. I've been a mechanic for almost 15 years, so this isn't my first time setting up a bike's suspension. And it's Kazimer.
  • + 0
 You set it at 25% sag, the manufacturer recommends 30% sag. While it doesn't sound like a lot, I can feel the difference in just 5 PSI, less than the 5% difference noted.
  • - 4
flag Willie1 (Apr 8, 2013 at 8:31) (Below Threshold)
 I stopped using mechanics when they insisted on ignoring the manufacturer's instructions, and did things "the way I always did them." The manufacturer said you set it up wrong, and your settings are geared more toward climbing than descending. This isn't rocket science.
  • + 2
 30% sag isn't a hard and fast rule - it's the starting point that Transition recommends, not a setting that can't be deviated from. Suspension set up is not going to be the same between all riders. As I mentioned in my previous comment, I experimented with different settings to find the one that best worked for me.
  • - 4
flag Willie1 (Apr 8, 2013 at 11:26) (Below Threshold)
 Wouldn't more sag result in a slightly lower BB, slacker HTA (unless fork was softer as well) and therefore theoretically descend better? Also, using the D mode on the shock would open the valving allowing more suspension movement. These changes would result in better descending, but might give up some climbing (minimally with the T setting on the shock.) I am sorry, but you didn't write about the performance with the recommended settings, just the poorer performance with your settings which are naturally going to take away from the descending ability. I have no investment in this bike, it isn't on my list to even demo. I just really don't like poor reviews.
  • + 2
 Again, I rode the bike with a number of different settings. It would be mind numbing to read a review in which every single permutation of suspension setup I tried was described, but rest assured I did more than enough tinkering with the settings on this bike. There didn't seem to be a significant performance difference with the recommended setting vs. my settings.
  • - 4
flag Willie1 (Apr 8, 2013 at 13:00) (Below Threshold)
 This was up to +5 a few hours ago. Who woulda thunk people believed higher BBs and steeper HTAs result in better descending performance?????
  • - 2
 Are you kids serious!!!! Lower BBs and slacker HTAs DO result in better descending. I get it you guys idolize the reviewers here, but frankly, this is ASININE.
  • + 2
 Or we realize that you're arguing about a tenth of an inch...

That's the difference between 25% sag and 30% sag.
  • + 4
 5% less sag is 8mm lower suspension (5% of 160mm). That is about 0.4 degree head angle change, which is about noticeable. It also makes a noticeable difference at suspension behavior - as this is 20% difference in preload and bottom out force. That is a big difference. About as much as between 160lb and 200lb rider - you would not say that they need the same suspension setup?
  • + 2
 Save yourself 2k get a Reign 2. Rippsssss
  • + 1
 reign 2 all the way bro
  • + 1
 now that they have finally put iscg tabs on it i will agree Smile
  • + 1
 bionicon c guide works just fine too.
  • + 1
 So much arguing over linkages etc. makes me stoked I went back to a hardtail.
  • + 1
 Why is it that we now have a hard time finding a bike with a 20mm ta instead of that ridiculous 15mm. Covert, Nomad, etc.
  • + 1
 I agree with you, I dislike the 15mm axle on this kind of bikes and we are not the only ones: did you spot the pictures of Barel new 160mm Canyon with the 20mm axle Fox 36 instead of Fox 34?
I guess they do so because of the shorter lenght of the fork for the same travel. I guess the 15mm will become the standard for this bikes with fork like the new Pike, the 34 and Marzocchi 44. I will keep my 55R on my Mega Wink
  • + 1
 Because th market is moving on in its usual 5 year cycle.
  • + 3
 Because Rockshox was the only company to actually claim their 20mm QRs were lighter, and they had to redesign it several times to get one that was reliable at the same time (sure you can save 20 grams, but I'd rather not have it snap when I need to get my wheel off the bike to fix a flat) and for the type of forks and the wheel travel, the extra stiffness from a 20mm axle over a 15mm axle is tiny compared to what can be achieved through design & material manipulation elsewhere in the fork's construction. And if it was really SOOOO superior, they'd have kept on offering Maxle-Lite 20mm lowers for this category of fork but they haven't since the new 2014 Pike's are only going to be offered aftermarket with 15mm axles.
  • + 2
 That bike is beautiful! 26'' and doesn't cost 10 000 bucks = win.
  • + 2
 Will there be a Review on the new 650B version any time soon?!?!
  • + 1
 Hey guys.. Anyone else notice how closely the frame color matches the Orbea Rallon?
  • + 1
 What the hell is this . It's not a review of a "killer" 29er. 26 for life.
  • + 0
 Bike that nice should never be so $%&$ close to salt water, even if it is just for a photo op.
  • + 1
 Ha! That was the first thing I thought when I saw the picture. I've seen what salt air can do to a bike in short order. Rust-o-matic.
  • + 3
 Ummmmm..... Aluminum doesn't rust.
  • + 1
 @Willie, LOL! Good point! :-) But stanchions and other non-aluminum parts most certainly will. I can attest to that just by looking at a bike that was given to me which was stored aboard a boat for several years. Rust-city.
  • - 2
 67 degree headangle? This bike is an xc. No wonder Mr.Kazaime will not be able to dial in airsuspension and run low pressure tires. It is beyond the scope of this frame to go down. Otherwise a very likable bike and corp.
  • + 3
 well 67 degrees isn't exactly xc. seeing as most all mtn bikes are 65.5-67.5
  • - 4
flag wakaba (Apr 8, 2013 at 9:47) (Below Threshold)
 Yep like from 3 years ago when they finalized the marketing/design briefing. Considering that fresh produce dh-bikes are now at variable 60-63 degree and working extremely well. Adjustable low BB and adjustable slack headangle are most important dials. If a bike is missing those two tweaking points, no buy. Next year cc bikes will have 65.2 and that will still hold you back when riding. Covert is a very decent allround bike but by no means, like every other enduro, a proficient dh-bike.
  • + 2
 I'm not convinced. dh bikes that come with a 62-63 degree angle now don't need an angleset seeing as they are slack enough. show me a bike that comes stock at under 62? if they make all mountain bikes much slacker they will be useless for climbing as they will wander all over the track.
  • + 0
 Scott Gambler 60-64. Foes Hydro 62-64. They dont wander. They track extremely well. Been riding a Voltage with angle set at 62.5 for two years. Really comfortable and faster riding. Stock is baseline fit all and not necessarily what you want from a frame.
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