Cove Hooker (frame only)£1,695.00

Four-cross and slopestyle rig

BikeRadar score4/5

The Hooker is Cove’s hardcore 100mm-travel (3.9in) frame, and is aimed at four-cross and slopestyle riders who need a little travel to soak up the hits but also want a lightweight and positive handling bike.

Ride & handling: Hardcore do-it-all machine

The Hooker has the low-slung feel of its hardtail sister bike, the Foreplay, so it feels livelier and far more capable than you’d expect. The roomy 584mm (23in) top tube will suit most riders, and by using an adjustable travel fork - like the RockShox Pike seen here - the ride qualities can be tuned.

With the Pike set at 95mm the head angle is 68.2 degrees, at 120mm it’s 67.4 degrees, and at 140mm it’s a raked-out 66.2 degress – perfect for flat-out four-cross courses or downhill action. The bottom bracket height changes from 322.6 to 311mm (12.7 to 12.25in) off the deck when adjusting the fork, and accordingly suits the ride.

The rear end is very stiff, and is very supple thanks to the 2:1 suspension ratio and the slick bearings at the pivots. We never once felt the rear end held us back. It’s a simple and effective system, and it is beautifully executed. We loved every second riding the Hooker – be it pumped up rock hard for BMX track sessions or run slow, slack and soft for downhilling.

Despite being a lightweight bike – our build weighed just 13.6kg (30lb) – the Hooker always feels stable and capable. And the more we rode it, the more we liked it. If you’re looking for a bike that can hit dirt jumps, the BMX track, downhills and even wallrides and slopestyle obstacles, then the Hooker could well be the ultimate bike. 

Frame & equipment:Custom-drawn Easton RAD tubeset is worthy of some decent kit

Both the top and down tubes are constructed from Easton RAD tubing, and are heavily shaped. The 120mm head tube accepts all steerer options via internal bearings, and offers a large contact point for the formed top and down tubes, which use a square profile that morphs into a rounder profile toward the seat tube and bottom bracket.

At the rear is a custom tuned four-bar system with a short 425.5mm (16.75in) chainstay, regular 135mm dropout spacing and an international standard disc mount. The main pivot is just above the bottom bracket shell and rotates on cartridge bearings, and also features a grease port. A machined gold anodised rocker pivots on quality bearings and drives a Fox RP23 shock with 2in stroke, offering a slick 100mm (3.9in) of rear travel.

We built our bike with a SRAM setup – a RockShox Pike U-Turn fork, X0 drivetrain, Avid Elixir brakes and Truvativ Stylo cranks. Mavic EX721 rims with Maxxis Crossmark tyres spin on an XT rear, and Cove front hub, with 185mm rotors. An MRP guide keeps the chain in place, and the finishing kit includes an embroidered Cove saddle, a Truvativ stem and seatpost, and Burgtec Ride Wide handlebars in charge of steering.

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