Transition Covert 2 £3210

Tough enduro bike

BikeRadar score 3/5

Built to last and aided by some burly parts, the Covert 2 spreads its performance capabilities cleverly across all terrain. It isn’t the lightest or sprightliest bike, but Transition’s all-day machine has a well-established track record on the infamous Italian enduro scene.

Ride & handling: DH stability with XC climbing characteristics

Those neutral numbers on the geometry sheet translate well to real life, all-round capabilities. The Lyric fork copes well with general trail usage, but suffers slightly when pushed closer to the wild side. We found its initial stiction disappeared as the seals loosened up, but it never lost its overly firm feeling even when running lower air pressures.

The 14.8kg (32.6lb) Covert doesn’t feel like a rocket ship in any situation, but it descends smoothly and climbs comfortably. That long wheelbase creates a stable platform, keeping you balanced down the roughest of descents, and even though it doesn’t inspire full throttle confidence the weighty build ensures it stays in one piece.

Tough (and heavy) own-brand wheels don’t encourage you to rip up climbs either, but lowering the Lyric improves climbing position and efficiency. 

In rough sections of trail under hard cornering the Covert suffers from rear end flex, which appears to stem mostly from the lower pivot nearest to the bottom bracket. This was most noticeable under our hard-hitting and heavyweight test riders. Maxxis Minion tyres at both ends make the Covert a predictable ride and aid grip in all conditions. 

The Covert is a well thought-out machine with trail-taming capability whether the wheels are pointing up or down. It’s lively enough on the descents to keep you grinning and efficient enough on the climbs to make this a one-for-all bike. It won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a proven all-mountain machine, so long as you’re happy to carry a little extra weight in payment for security.

Frame & equipment: Neutral angles and geometry for a flexible do-anything feel

The 2012 Covert benefits from an increased width 12x142mm rear axle to stiffen up the rear, though you can still use a 12x135mm wheelset if you change the dropouts. The other bouncy bits on the Covert aren’t lacking in credentials either – Transition lay it on thick with a Fox RP23 Factory Kashima shock controlling 150mm of rear travel, and a RockShox Lyric RC 160mm fork. It’s Dual Position, so can be dropped to make climbing easier.

A middle-ground 67-degree head angle offers a good compromise of stability and steering responsiveness on every type of trail, while the relatively steep seat angle (73 degrees) makes climbing comfortable.

SRAM X7 gearing offers reliable shifting, and Avid Elixir 7 brakes are well modulated and offer more than enough stopping power for even the biggest of riders.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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