Transition Bikes Covert  2010 Mountain Bike Review

Transition Bikes Covert 2010

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Transition Bikes 93,401

At A Glance

Our Covert came in a cracking green colour that looked so much better in the flesh than we were expecting.

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Clean, simple lines hint at a no nonsense approach to bike building and that is exactly what you get from Transition.

‘Rider owned for life’ is the motto and all their bikes are designed and tested in house by people that ride. So has this lead to something special or have the guys at Transition missed their mark.

Tech Heads

For 2010 Transition revamped the Covert and it now has a revised tubeset that has bigger contact points, a one-piece CNC rocker link, ISCG 05 mounts and chain and seat stay yokes. The box section rear end and reinforced front end make for a stiff strong frame that weighs in at a shade over 7lbs with the shock.

The rear end is designed to take a 2.5’’ tyre which means there is plenty of mud clearance even when running big rubber.

The angles on the Covert come in bang on for a bike of this type with a 67º head tube angle and a seat tube angle of 73º.

Effective top tube length is 585mm and the wheelbase is 1138mm.

The Covert has 150mm of rear wheel travel via a large volume Fox RP23 shock that comes with Propedal. Up front a Fox Talas FIT RC2 36 has 120/140/160mm of adjustable travel.

Drivetrain is a mixture with the mechs and shifters being Sram X9 with Truvativ supplying the Stylo EPX chainset.

Brakes are Avid Juicy 7 with 203mm rotors up front and 180mm out back.

Truvativ supply the seat post and the saddle is Transition’s own Park n’ Ride AM which has the advantage of having longer than usual rails.

Transition also supply the bar and stem, these are worth a special mention as they have a major say in how the Covert rides. The stem is their Temple Lite Stem that came colour coded and is 50mm long with a 6º rise. The bars are the very wide T-Bar 30, yes that is a 30’’ bar or 760mm in new money.

Wheels are in house again and are Transition Revolution AM and Maxxis Highrollers 2.35 60a finish things off.

Our medium Covert weighed in at 30.5lbs without pedals.

On The Trail

Setting up the rear shock was simple and you could tune it to suit your riding style easily. We set it up as per the textbook and after a few minutes sorting the fork out we headed out.

The saddle is worth a mention as one of our testers felt that he needed a laid back seat post but thanks to the extra long rails was able to find a comfortable position without having to swap out the supplied post.

Without doubt the first thing you notice when getting onboard the Covert is the super wide bars. At first we wondered if they might be too wide but as the miles passed under the wheels we got used to them, though there was a tendency to turn in early which only highlighted the bikes ability to find grip and turn hard and tight when forced.

Climbing on a 30lbs, 150mm travel bike is not always easy but the 73º seat tube angle positions you where you need to be and you can drop the fork down if the front is starting to wander or lift. Yes it would have been nice to stretch out a little and you will find yourself thinking that stem could be a bit longer but that soon passes and we found that having the Propedal set in position 2 and using the bars as leverage we made our way steadily up.

Get the bike on the flat and there is an infectious sense of fun. The rear end soaks up small bumps and big hits without a hint of complaint and the bike just begs you to manual through sections and launch off lips and lumps. The harder you push the better things get and the levels of grip are amazing, keep pushing and force power slides and the wide bars allow you to power steer through without your heart skipping a beat.

Point the Covert downward and the fun intensifies, a combination of sorted geometry, well matched suspension and amazing levels of control thanks to the stem and bar set up make for a superb ride that oozes confidence.

For

As one tester commented this bike makes you feel like you are playing a computer game!

It is comfortable and feels planted yet it has a playful nature that just begs you to push your limits and even when things get sketchy the control is there to get you out of trouble.

It climbs reasonably well too, it is not the Coverts strong point but it certainly is not a problem.

The clean lines and simple design of the Covert mean that cleaning is a doodle compared to many full sussers and you can fit some big tyres to make the most of the grip and control that this bike gives you.

Against

For some the Covert was just too boisterous and the short stem and super wide bars weren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

The suspension is at its best in mid stroke and feels quite linear, some found this a little disconcerting as they prefer a tauter more controlled feel.

At the moment the Covert is only available from a handful of shops across the country so getting one from your local bike shop maybe difficult. That said the importer assures us that there will be plenty of stock in the country over the next few weeks.

Overall

Transition have hit a sweet spot with the Covert, it goes uphill well, eats singletrack and swoopy terrain for breakfast and is a blast on the way down.

This makes it sound like the perfect bike and for some it is pretty darn close but different riders have different styles and while the Covert has huge amounts of grip and control it is a bike you need to ride with an attitude that matches that of the bike.

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This review was in Issue 4 of IMB.

For more information visit Transition Bikes

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By Rou Chater
Rou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.

Tried this? What did you think?