Transition Bikes Covert  2011 Mountain Bike Review

Transition Bikes Covert 2011

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Transition Bikes 93,401

At A Glance

We loved the 2010 version of this bike, and with the Megavalanche looming felt there was no better bike to take with us. Nimble, fast and light for its travel the Covert is a true do it all machine. Perfectly happy railing singletrack as it is hammering down rock sections. It goes uphill pretty well too! The frame offers 150mm of rear travel and the 160mm Fox Float R handles the business end.

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Tech Heads

The angles remain unchanged on the 2011 Covert, 67° head angle and a 73° seat tube ensure it can handle the up hills while still feeling surefooted headed down. The effective top tube is 585mm and the wheelbase on our medium bike is 1139mm.

The aluminium frame features a tapered headtube and some very clean lines in terms of the layout. The rear end can take a 2.5 tyre easily and we ran some 2.4 Rubber Queens at the mega, which are frankly huge with no problems. The hub spacing is the standard 135mm and a 10mm rear axle helps keep the back end stiff.

The components on this years model are world class, when we first rode it we couldn’t think of anything we would actually change for normal riding conditions in the UK. In the end we fitted a chain guide and put some beefier wheels and tyres on for the Mega but that was it. Suspension is taken care of by Fox, an RP23 out back and a 160mm Float R up front, both very capable bits of kit. Brakes are Avid Elixir CR with a 203mm up front and a 160mm at the back end. It’s an odd combo and we quickly put a 203mm on the rear for the Alps. In the UK though the 160mm disc was fine and we had no issues whatsoever. The drivetrain is Sram X9 for the shifters and derailleur’s with a Truvativ AKA 2.1AM crankset completing the set up. A Rock Shox Reverb seatpost is a welcome addition over last years model. Not many bikes are running these as standard kit yet so it was a nice surprise to see it on the bike. There is a Kore Torsion Trail 740x35mm riser bar on the front coupled with a 60mm Truvativ AKA stem. Two Maxxis Minion tyres handle the rubber side of things. It’s not often a bike arrives where we are happy with pretty much everything, but with the Covert this was certainly the case.

On the Trail

The Covert feels quite small and lively in the cockpit and riders used to a longer bike with a longer stem might take a few minutes to get used to it. That lively feel though is all part of the playfulness of the bike. Riding along on the flat with the pro pedal off you’ll notice a bit of bob from the frame. Flick the switch however and the whole rig stiffens up and the bike pedals really well. Uphill the 67° head angle is steep enough to help you up most things. The Float fork however lets you down on some of the steeper climbs and a Talas would enable you to drop the front end and really get to grips with steep climbs. There is a build version that comes with a Talas fork but obviously you’ll need to pay a little bit more for it.

Point the Covert down some twisty single track and the small cockpit really allows you to dominate the bike and throw it into and out of corners very quickly. The Minion’s offer plenty of grip in the bends and we never really reached a limit in terms of its cornering ability.

Over rough terrain the bike is very capable too, down the rock gardens of the Mega it coped excellently and at no point did we feel we needed a bigger bike. Our plan was to ride the qualifier on a bigger rig, but when the day came we ended up on the Covert as we just enjoyed railing it round the corners so much.

It’s a very fun bike to ride and sorted geometry lend it well to being a bike you could ride everywhere all day long. We’d like to see it come standard with a double chain guide; the integrated bash ring is really only half the job. That’s really the only complaint as far as the spec goes though.


We thought it would be the perfect bike for the Megavalanche and we weren’t wrong. 150/160 combination bikes seem to be very popular at the moment. They are hugely versatile as the Covert proves, for a do anything bike look no further, the only real downside was giving it back!

Price: Talas Build = £3606.00
Float Build = £3364.00

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This review was in Issue 13 of IMB.

For more information visit Transition Bikes


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.

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