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Reviews of Cove's steel hardtail. An XC classic, and What Mountain Bike magazine GOLD Award winner.

Cove Handjob

The Handjob features performance, sloping top tube geometry suited for riders who like to spice their XC riding with technical difficulty. It's geometry and construction is so Shore proven, depending on how well you take care of yourself, this bike could outlive you. Using Columbus tubing, the Handjob incorporates the dynamic flex profile and strength of steel to make a bike that works everything from fast ridgelines to heart-thumping descents at a price that leaves room for a lot more loving.

  • Columbus Nivacrom tubing
  • ""
  • North Shore XC geometry
  • ""
  • Dropout bottle opener
  • ""
  • Reinforced head-tube
  • ""
  • Up to 130mm travel fork capability

To see what the world's press thinks of Cove's Handjob XC, read on...

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Available in seven colours - including this very fetching Pixie Blue - the Handjob has developed an excellent reputation over the years as a true go anywhere, have a go at anything bike. Cove Bikes was one of the first specialist MTB shops in Canada, and in terms of image and build experience, it's a big help that they're right next to the best North Shore Vancouver riding - which, contrary to what you might think, is predominantly great cross sountry trail riding rather than up in the trees stuff.

The Handjob is built with Columbus Nivacrom asymmetric double butted tubes. The geometry is designed to be ideal with a 100mm travel fork fitted and the top tube reach is very generous (23in on our 17.5in test model), emphasising the efficient XC trail bias of the bike. However, built with suitably robust componentry, the frame is suited to the demands of the sort of terrain that might be a challenge to race-bred frames. These particular Columbus steel tubes have shown themselves to be tough, very stiff and also surprisingly light. As befits any good all-rounder, there are two sets of bottle bolts, tidy cable/hose guides, a reinforced head tube and a disc brake bracket incorporating a bottle opener hook.

What MTB Verdict: One of the best value steel all-rounders money can buy - 9/10

What MTB Gold Award Winner What MTB Magazine November 2006

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The entry level bike of the Cove family, the steady angled Handjob is a real sleeper. Cruise and it'll slumber along with you, but start pushing hard or getting into steep situations and the Columbus steel tubing really does come to life with a 100mm travel front fork. The Handjob is well balanced and will carve up singletrack as aggressively or passively as you wish. Higher than average bottom bracket helps over the logs and trail litter, but there's plenty of stretch for breathing on the climbs. Mid-length chainstays and that sprung steel feel give a nimble pedal response too. Bear in mind the 'XL' 21" frame has a longer than average head tube that jacks the front end making handling on steep ascents more of a challenge, although the 15.5", 17.5" and 19.5" small, medium and large incarnations are all pitch perfect. There's a slight weight penalty which racers might not stomach, and mud and tyre clearance isn't fantastic, more just adequate, but hand-built quality and a range of tough-as-old-nails paint makes it a great British trail bike for those who like their riding to do the talking.

WMB Verdict; Top quality quiet talking, hard riding steel trail bike. Super confident technical steeler. Good value too.

What Mountain Bike September 2005

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Paul Burwell MBR November 2004 - "You can muck about with metaphors, puns or letters (eg, FCUK) or you can just come out and say it. Cove's Handjob may be brash but, like its bedfellows the Hustler, Hooker, Foreplay and Stiffee, it's a no-nonsense frame ideally suited to UK conditions. The Handjob may be an ideal second bike but it's not second best. It's well-built, reasonably lightweight and good value. So if you're lookng for a hardtail that can cope with all-day miles on the singletrack, this is it. The Handjob proves the hardtail is not dead"

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What Mountain Bike September 2003 - 'The Handjob is the least expensive bike in Cove's range, but the attention to detail is equal to anything we've seen. Welds are beautifully consistent, alignments are superb and the seat tube slides in with a silky precision...We don't know if it's the smell that reminds the bikes of their Canadian rainforest home, but get any Cove into slightly damp woodland singletrack and it just goes nuts...first rides will probably leave you either humbled or underwhelmed until you realise just how much you can snatch the steering or drop your shoulder without the Handjob showing any signs of concern...It's as happy rapidly rolling out the miles all day as it is charging down technical sections sideways or pushing way past expectations uphill."

WMB VERDICT: Smooth yet precise - one of the best hardtail all-rounders we've ridden.

Performance; 9 Value; 9

What Mountain Bike GOLD Award Winner

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Shred June/July 2002 - 'The strength of the Cove is in its shape, a nice tidy set up that suits the rider who's going to ride lots of singletrack...rides tight and fast...this eliptical tubed beauty will be a hit.

Silverfish UK Ltd. Units 3a-3c Woodacre Court, Saltash Parkway Industrial Estate, Burraton Road, Saltash, Cornwall, United Kingdom, PL12 6LY
Silverfish UK Ltd. (Registration No. 4075057).

Technical specifications are for guidance only and cannot be guaranteed accurate. All offers are subject to availability and while stocks last. Errors and omissions excepted. Silverfish UK Limited acts as a credit intermediary and only offers credit products for Close Brothers Retail Finance. Its registered office is: Close Brothers Group plc, 10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT. Credit is subject to application and status.

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