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Exclusive: 2014 Cove 650B Proto

New 27.5" Suspension Frame

Words by Matthew Lee. Photos by Matthew Lee.
May 28th, 2013

While the jury and hype machines are still out over whether 650B is the second coming of bicycles, or merely the greatest thing since sliced bread, Cove Bikes has been quietly dialing in a pair of bikes based around the ‘tweener wheels. They recently slipped NSMB the details, and let their full-suspension rig out from under the slipcover for a few quick laps on Fromme.

We can report that while the overall geometry is set, things like the tube shape are likely see some cosmetic changes on the finalized frame. The bike sports a 67.5-degree head angle and a 69.5-degree seat tube angle; travel is pegged at 150mm front and rear. The frame is made out of 6061 aluminum, with a tapered head tube up front and a 142mm through axle at the back.

Much digital ink has been spilled and friendships torn asunder over whether 650B is truly the cat’s pyjamas, but the ‘tweener wheels are here to stay and Cove is jumping into the mix. A 650B version of the titanium Hummer is also in the works, and we’ll have more on that when the info filters down. Cove is looking to have a finished product ready to show for Interbike in September this year, with a rollout coming shortly after that.

The bike with no name. Will there be a double entendre?

Tapered head tube.

A 142mm rear end is becoming commonplace; more interesting is the FSR-like pivot placement…

The linkage is a single machined piece, with some smart cable routing.

Brushed aluminum finish on the frame. Your colour may vary.


It looks like Cove has a worthy Shore-bred successor in the wings; speculation and armchair engineers welcome below…

  • cove

    this bike needs stelth ruting for reverb seatpost
    nice looking bike

  • mightyted

    I think this bike is intended to replace the ‘Hustler’. I got a chance to try this prototype. I was so stoked on 650b afterwards I went out and demo’d a carbon Bronson.

    It may not be fair to compare the 2 but both are awesome bikes. IMHO however, the new Hustler will compete VERY well, especially around the North Shore.

  • CoilAir

    Will this be called the Cove Satori?

    http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=satori

    • Jerry-Rig

      Cove has a Horst Link

      • CoilAir

        Changing the rear pivot location doesn’t mean the overall look of the bike changes.

      • morgman

        But it definitely changes the way a bike rides…

  • awesterner

    I have a 2012 Satori here and it’s the exact same front triangle. The hydro forming on the tubes are identical, as to is the linkage. However, the rear triangle appears to be modified with a different stay pivot location.

    Does Kona and Cove have some sort of agreement?

    • Hellhammer

      Does Kona and Cove have some sort of agreement? Umm, yes? Look into their history and you might find they have. At any rate, if you’re prototyping a new bike are you going to use the closest thing you can find off the shelf or start buying hand-made prototypes that might not work exactly right like 10 times? There’s about three companies in Taiwan that make most bike frames so what’s the big deal if it looks like something else? Cove Bikes isn’t Specialized but Chaz built his bike shop from a rat-hole into an empire and he was North Shore before there was a “North Shore”, I think they know what they’re doing.

  • mthomaslee

    The word I received from Cove was that the tube set will see some cosmetic changes to the production model, so it won’t look so much like a Satori.

  • mightyted

    Correct. I think the plan is to implement the RAD tubing for the down tube at least. Will probably look more like the Bronson , haha.

    The bikes designer is not the same guy who did the Shocker/STD/G-Spot. The Horst link is also a first for Cove.

    Should be interesting when it’s done!

  • semaj

    Call it the Salad Tosser!

  • clarklewis

    i hope the “effective” SA is steeper than 69.5 – ie. i hope that’s the angle of the top of the seat post, otherwise its too slack

    • FlipFantasia

      totally agree, I’ve got the rocky altitude setup in the setting that makes it just over 74 degrees, and I’m loving it, slack SA make me sad.

    • morgman

      69.5 ASA is not unreasonable, 69.5 ESA would be laughed off the market these days.

      • awesterner

        Maybe it’s a typo, the Satori has a 74 degree ATA. Not sure why a 650 variant would need to be that much slacker ?

  • Cove Bike Shop

    The Same Engineer designed the Satori. This is the first prototype we tested, we are making changes to the tube sets, leverage ratio and rear travel. We should have pre-production prototypes early September, if all is well we should see full production spring 2014
    I have rode this bike all over the Shore, Peavine in Reno NV and the XC trails at Sea Otter. It performed very well in all conditions.
    Steve E

    • morgman

      Thanks Steve, any clarification regarding actual vs. effective seat angle?

    • CoilAir

      Thanks for the response Steve. Any reason that a four bar, horst link set up was chosen over the short dual link on other Coves?

  • NoahColorado

    Looks like 650b version of the Hammerhead Thumper? Out of the same factory?
    http://hammerheadbicycles.com/120x-frame-1499/thumper-frame-1499/

  • Jack Spratt

    Didn’t Cove always use Kona’s old designs and other off the shelf designs anyways, this does look very generic.
    Why an alloy when everyone wants carbon, dated looks and materials, at least they have the right size wheels.

  • awesterner

    Not everybody can afford $2800-$3500 for a carbon frameset. I have both, a Mojo HD, and a Satori. I haven’t ridden the Mojo in 3 week. This Cove job should be a good one!

  • nouseforaname

    So you’ve scavenged a Satori frame from the warranty pile and slapped a new rear end on it? Outstanding!

    Cove should stick to hardtails.

  • mightyted

    I love how people post up without actually reading the thread.

    How many people have to say that the frameset will be changed before people get that its an EARLY prototype and not a Satori.

  • Jack Spratt

    so its a prototype of a bike that’s already in production, seems a bit fishy to me, its a off the shelf frame that they might tweak,but not likely as changing tooling cost’s a fortune

    • geezerhead

      Jack Spratt is so excited about it he posted twice.

  • Jack Spratt

    so its a prototype of a bike that’s already in production, seems a bit fishy to me. Seems its a bike that is already in production not much exclusivity there.

  • SneakyBastard

    I am with mightyted… I think helmut’s are saving too many stupid people.

  • Tobius

    It IS a Thumper or better yet it’s a Caribou frame. Caribou is a manufacturing facility in Taichung. They’ve been making catalogue bikes for years. Look at the Caribou Ibex. It’s an older version of this bike. It’s truly an outdated design. Look at how long those seat stays are, YIKES!! These designs are either heavy or noodly but always OLD. I wonder what the intended price point is for an XT/X9 build and what’s the incentive to buy THIS catalogue bike vs any other bike out there? Surely NOT just because it’s a Cove OR the out of date Easton RAD tubes they have kickin’ around. There’s got to be more than that. Seems like a big step backwards for a company that used to be up front.

    • awesterner

      Yikes! Long seat stays! Must be a noodle! All kidding aside, I grabbed a hold of the seat stays on my Satori and yanked back and forth. Couldn’t really notice any movement. About the same as my DW Mojo HD. So does that mean it’s stiff? I dunno, but that design allows for some really short chain stays (430mm) for a 29er. How about the Altitude…no comments on the long seat stays there. Is it a noodle? Not likely. The Rocky guys in that last video seem to get on well on it. So this Cove is outdated? That depends on one’s interpretation of outdated. For the Satori, the geo is pretty progressive actually. I personally think a frame like a Nikolai is dated looking (but cool), but there are a lot of dudes that would take a Johnson up the Wazoo to have one. Same for a Classic Chromag.

  • Cove Bike Shop

    The Hammerhead is a 120mm rear travel 29er. This prototype has 142mm rear travel 650b. The same Engineer designed the Hammerhead and the Satori, so yes they look similar. This frame was the starting point, stay tuned for the finished product. We personally know the Engineer, he will be visiting this summer for some riding and research. The bike feels great on the shore, can’t wait to hit the singletrack in the Chilcotins this summer.
    Thank You NSMB.

  • fattirerider

    Room for a bottle cage in there?

  • Cove Bike Shop

    Yes there will be room for a bottle cage. This was one of the deciding factors to go away from the dual link design.

  • Bryce

    so when exactly does that Specialized patent run out? End of 2014, no?