Cove PlaymateFor 2004, North Shore-based Cove Bikes has come up with the new Playmate - a long travel freeride full susser that fills the gap between the Peeler DH rig and the shorter travel G-Spot freeride bike.
The Playmate's frame is lovingly crafted from 7005 alu alloy which is then T62 heat-treated to improve strength. The head tube features a massive wrap-around gusset that looks like it's gripping the head tube with Arnie-like hands, and the top and down tubes have an aerofoil shape which gives the frame a distinctive, almost monocoque appearance.
The rear end on our test bike featured a Fox Vanilla RC shock, although there's also the option of fitting a 5th Element shock with a pedalling platform. Having said that, using a 5th Element shock on the Playmate seems a bit pointless because the suspension rising rate allows the bike to pedal well and absorb shocks effectively without the need for a pedalling platform. The main pivot is furnished with four bearings that allow the back end to move smoothly with hardly any flex.
Our test rig came in a blue hue, but the bike's also available in white, orange, silver or black.
Find out what we thought in MBUK 169, on sale 22nd January 2004