First Rides

For 2004, North Shore-based Cove Bikes has come up with the new Playmate - a long travel freeride fu

Cove Playmate
For 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 frame
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
This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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