Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 64 total)
  • What happened to Cove bikes in the UK?
  • BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I was meandering across the internet looking for random information on fork travel length / frame compatibility / Pace RC627s, when – courtesy of an old STW forum thread – it occurred to me that the once ubiquitous fnar, fnar Cove Bikes brand now seems to be pretty much non-existent in the UK.

    The company’s web site still exists, but I can’t remember the last time I heard Cove so much as mentioned let alone reviewed or sold. So what happened to them? Did they just get swallowed whole by the tidal wave of Ragley / Cotic / Stanton etc hardcore hardtails, to the point where no-one wanted a Stiffee (fnar, fnar)? Did an age of political correctness make their bikes unsaleable? Or were they shafted in some other way?

    Just wondering.

    swavis
    Full Member

    I always wanted a handjob… fnarr fnarr

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    They just faded away, I think. I do remember a ti frame that Merlin were selling a few years back, and that seemed to be the last of them.

    I so wanted a G-Spot with the engraved rocker back in the day.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    I guess silverfish stopped importing them and no-one else picked it up.

    honourablegeorge
    Full Member

    Looking at their website, it seems that ti 29er is their most recent and possibly only bike on sale. Still listing a G-Spot and Hustler but they show as not available.

    Site mentions “35 years” in business and “since 1981” – which only takes them up to 2016. And makes me feel really old.

    nixie
    Full Member

    Their facebook page seems to suggest they are a shop now rather than manufacturer.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    I think they were always a regular bike shop, who then made / had made the type of bikes that they wanted to ride on their local trails.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    the type of bikes that they wanted to ride on their local trails.

    On related note, what happened to North Shore as a riding style / disicpline? Admitteldy I don’t read much other MTB stuff apart from this website and the magazine but it’s just never mentioned now. However I do remember Cove’s marketing being big on their North Shore roots.

    MTB films now never feature it but it formed a core part of stuff like Roam and The Collective.

    Also, does this mean that my 2002 (or maybe 2003?) Cove Stiffee is now a retro classic?

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I assume they just withered and died as a brand.

    Last I remember is CRC knocking out Taiwanese FS frames with Cove stickers, and they looked very similar to the Hammerhead Thumper I used to own.

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    They were heavy, looked shite, and had cringeworthy names, mostly.

    deluded
    Free Member

    Steady Nobeerinthefridge!

    Love my Hustler.

    They just faded out. I don’t think Cove continued badging frames up and distributing via Silverfish.

    Kuco
    Full Member

    I had a handjob xc. Rode nice though it had the thinnest paint job i’ve ever seen on a bike.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I had a handjob xc. Rode nice though it had the thinnest paint job i’ve ever seen on a bike.

    My Stiffee got resprayed under warranty when all the paint flaked off it.

    I hardly ever use it now but since Leeds Urban Bike Park opened I’ve been over there a few times and every single time it’s had admiring comments. It looks really weird, sitting there in the rack alongside Santa Cruz’s, e-bikes, fat-tyred bikes etc but it always gets (positive) comments. First time I saw someone through the cafe window pointing at it and talking to their mate, I thought they’d be slagging it right off but no.
    I think mostly they were impressed that the RS Psylo forks still worked…

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Hustler above looks a nice bike but this is a real Hustler, for me…

    Doesn’t it look dated now!

    deluded
    Free Member

    I think I preferred my old 26 Hustler over the 27.5. Not sure.

    I was a Cove fanboi back in the day – loved my HJ.


    @chakaping

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Yep I loved my HJ too, despite it being really short and high…

    deluded
    Free Member

    I’m a bit stubby and Coves always came up short in the top tube – which was ideal.


    @chakaping

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I could never bring myself to ride a bike with ‘Handjob’ or ‘Stiffee’ plastered along the top-tube. It seemed like a naming convention that had escaped from a student bar drinking session and would have been mildly amusing for about 20 minutes before it just got embarrassing and then, eventually, forgotten. I guess I just wasn’t, erm, hard enough. Funny things brands.

    deluded
    Free Member

    I’ve never really given a **** about what other people think – more interested in how it rode, over a decal.

    doug_basqueMTB.com
    Full Member

    I loved the bikes back “in the day!”. I had a GSpot and a Hustler and they were great for what I wanted for a bike. I got a little deal on them, first direct and then through Silverfish. Cove just stopped putting any effort in to developing the bikes it seemed, around the time the standards went a bit crazy with wheel sizes, axel spacing, etc etc. At the same time the carbon bikes were getting really good. Cove just got left behind and I heard they weren´t interested. They put out a couple of catalogue bikes i think and fizzled out. The shop is still there, or was when I last visited the area.

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    How did it ride over a decal? Did the weight crush it? 🤣

    deluded
    Free Member

    Yeah, that will be it 🥴

    Bustaspoke
    Free Member

    Crazy-Legs

    On related note, what happened to North Shore as a riding style / disicpline? Admitteldy I don’t read much other MTB stuff apart from this website and the magazine but it’s just never mentioned now. However I do remember Cove’s marketing being big on their North Shore roots.

    MTB films now never feature it but it formed a core part of stuff like Roam and The Collective.

    There’s a excellent film on Red Bull TV featuring loads of North Shore from the very beginning,it’s called ‘The moment’.Well worth a hour & a bit of your time.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Up the top of Nan Bield Pass. Can’t remember when it was taken and Flickr isn’t helping me…

    Earl
    Free Member

    I was in their shop a week ago. Only had a couple of Cove branded Ti 29er’s in there – made by Lynskey sticker.
    A few Kona and Devinci bikes in stock – not exactly what you expect.

    Workshop looked pretty active.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    It did look from the outside like they just lost interest and perhaps weren’t on board with the way geometry was evolving.

    Not unusual I suppose, can think of a few other MTB related businesses where the owners seem to have lost the love but don’t know how else to earn a living.

    No names no pack drill obvs.

    DezB
    Free Member

    Seems a long time ago now, was only 4/5 years though.
    Really nice riding steel frames they were. (When I sold it, most of the dosh went to the Bullheart charities)

    (ps. Did the second paoter actually read the first post??)

    tdog
    Free Member

    Always liked the look of their hookers, except I’m not into sloppy seconds

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I’ve an XL stiffee

    oo-er.

    Actually glad I bought it, very chunky but still really light, despite xl sized. My all rounder.
    Still not finished, just waiting to find an as good as condition 200mm hope saw rotor for the front, without buying new…..hint…hint..

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    On related note, what happened to North Shore as a riding style / disicpline?

    The actual ‘North Shore’ is alive and well, but when I was there all the iconic gnarly woodwork trails were falling into disrepair, and the main thrust of most of the trailwork being done was on swoopy pumpy trails. The quality of work is still amazing and the trails super popular, but something about loads of IMBA textbook berms and rollers just left me a bit meh.

    The gnar still exists, just not as popular now I guess

    Sui
    Free Member

    There was rumour they might put a bike on the market again, but that was some time ago. Shame, loved the brand having had a Stiffee, gspot and hustler all very good bikes.

    As for North Shore, I think it’s becoming a lost art, there are still a few people happy to put it up in places, but usually super secret squirrel at the risk of getting knocked down… Much like holy grail on pitch.. Esher shore was awesome for legit stuff to practice as well.. 😪 If I had the time I’d be knocking it up everywhere, alas I don’t, so I have to keep prodding the “inked one” to do it.. Few little snippets here andv there..

    oldfart
    Full Member

    Funny enough just come back from a Sunday afternoon cruise to a pub on my Hummer. That and looning about in my local woods is its main use now. When it was my main bike it did sterling work in Morzine, Whistler Inc bike park, Tahoe, Kamikaze in Mammoth etc etc. Like me now it’s taken a step back from the gnar despite that it still is the only bike I’ve had I would consider had true soul and character. Still makes me smile riding it which is what it’s all about.

    sootyandjim
    Free Member

    Esher shore was awesome for legit stuff to practice as well..

    I helped build a lot of it, but wasn’t good enough to ride it all. My favourite lines were the three to the right that started off as a single trail

    All those waterproof mattresses wrapped around various trees etc were donated by DMRC Headley Court (where I worked at the time), which saved the MoD a few quid as we didn’t have to pay for disposal.

    P-Jay
    Free Member

    I had the ‘new’ G Spot and a Shocker.

    They were awesome bikes, the FS ones at least we’re pretty LLS for their time and wouldn’t be massively out of date today, but as someone said they’re ‘only’ a bike shop and made everything in Canada, so they were expensive. My Shocker frame cost the same as a V10 but back then Peaty and Minnar rode V10s and whilst Cove had Stevie Smith he was still they kid wearing dirty pants in ‘Seasons’.

    They put a load of effort into designing their last go at FS Boutique frames the G Spot, but it was out of date almost immediately, first it had a 135mm QR rear when every other maker went to 12mm, then Droppers became a must have and Cove used the slightly odd 30mm seat tube as far as I know there has never been a 30mm dropper, best you could do was a 27.2 and a shim. Finally 275 came and it was obsolete. I’m guess they didn’t have the resources to keep redesigning them every year for the latest standards.

    Cove were still trying to sell new G Spots and Shockers until recently, but you’d have to be pretty devoted to buy a 26” FS frame with a 4/5 year old shock, even half-price.

    dobiejessmo
    Free Member

    Still have my 2009 Cove hummer which was made at the time by Litespeed best not try to sell it no one will be interested in it also being a 26″ things have moved on a lot better bikes out there and much cheaper good at the time.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I really wanted a 69er, not the trek, just a limited edition of 69 stiffies in a lovely blue colour with hope brakes.

    jimmy
    Full Member

    An friend and occasional poster here had an epic tale of barter and bargaining to get a Stiffee frame while in Vancouver from the Cove guys, forget the details but it was long-fought. Got it home in the UK, had all kinds of bother building it up, first ride we did a road trip to kirroughtree where halfway round he said “it’s shit this”, finished the ride, took it to pieces and sold it. Something like that…

    gnusmas
    Full Member

    Still got my stiffee! It’s just a frame now but got some rigid forks for it now, hopefully will rebuild it at some point as a low maintenance oversized hooligan bmx type of thing.

    A friend has a viper b-52 Pro frame with customised kona decals on it. I re-did it for him once he suggested it. I have a stiffee and he has a Bona!

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    I’m piecing this together from internet rumours, rather than any first hand knowledge, but I think Cove had a relationship with their product manager Gabe Fox that was very much a Brant/On-One scenario. He left to start up Evil bikes, then went on to manage the DeVinci race team (taking Stevie Smith with him) and now does the same thing for Canyon.

    I don’t know if they tried to replace him but couldn’t make it work, or if the brand was very much his baby, but the consensus seems to be that once he left it more or less stopped being an active bike company.

    CountZero
    Full Member

    They were heavy, looked shite, and had cringeworthy names, mostly.

    Yeah, right, of course they were. Sez a knowitall who’s probably never ridden one, and likely has only ever seen pics on the internet.
    #rollseyes

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 64 total)

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