It’s a bike that balances the challenges of down with the harsh realities of up. A ride designed for those trails so wicked you’ve got to bring extra lube. The Hustler comes with a 5.5 inch, adjustable Fox RP3 air rear shock on a four-bar linkage and lightweight Easton RAD tubing frameset designed for plush, efficient performance.
(MSRP listed above is in CAD)
Strengths: Stiff, good geometry, flickable, handles a dream, not too bad uphill or on the flat, (ratios, 26t-40t-bash/11t-32t & strapless toeclips help alot, as does the RP23), very very plush ride, descends superb & you can feel exactly what the bikes doing.
Weaknesses: Factory paintwork finish (pixie blue) is shocking (there must be 1.5 lb of double powder coat on it), took a week with p1500 wetndry to flatten (more orange peel than outspan) & cutting compound to buff it, then wax (new stickers 1st). a bit pricey. 6.8lb? (But then i didn't want an xc bike)
Alot of top shelf cycle companies let the finish slip, if I had've payed Rolls Royce price I would've expected decent paintwork. All in all, an outstanding do-it-all, all-mountain frame.
Similar Products Used: None - hardtails Cannondale, Orange Crush
Bike Setup: Cove Hustler (sml), Fox Float 36R(130mm)/RP23, Halo Freedom/Pro2's, RF Diabolus stem, g/e grips, chainstay guard & Atlas AM post & cranks, Hope M4/Mini, headset, clamp & bb, Blackspire stinger & E13 turbocharger, FSA DH carbon bars, Gusset Prosecutor pedals, X0 gripshifts & med X0 rear/XT front mechs, PG-980 & KMC X9SL, USE Carbon Pro seat. DMR Moto Digger tyres.
a Cross Country Rider
from North Vancouver, BC Canada
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2009
Strengths: -aggressive head tube angle allows for great descending.
-descends like a DH/FR bike
-inspires total confidence
Weaknesses: -the frame design does not make it a great climber (but the FOX RP23 shock makes up for the design shortcoming).
-could be a little lighter.
the bottom line is this is my favorite bike of all time. i've been mountain biking for almost 20 years, and this is it. it rides 90% of the shore (everything but BIG drops and the gnarliest of rock gardens), it handles 4 foot drops without a peep and eats up steep descents, but it can handle that 4 hour epic XC ride as well. i've ridden it multiple times in the Test of Metal in Squamish and while it's more bike then you might need it still performed great.
Cove has been making bikes for the shore since the early 90's and it shows. they were on the "trail bike" thing before it was a category and years before the Nomad showed up. this frame paired with the RP23 and the Pike is unstoppable-just a quick adjustment to climb, a quick adjustment to descend. drop it in the middle for a traditional XC ride, this bike does it all and never complains.
like i said the weight could be less, but it's not bad at 31 lbs for a 6" travel bike and what you get descending is well worth hauling it up. i've recommended the bike to several friends and even my brother-in-law who has a Santa Cruz hookup. he's been riding it for 3 seasons as well and still loving it. i can't say enough good things about this bike. the only thing that might get me off it is if Cove drops their VPP-ish version (their "shocker" platform) of the Hustler because i only wish it was a better climber but that's it. ride it and you'll never go back to that feeble 71 degree head tube angle 25 lb XC bike! the only person that shouldn't buy this bike is if you ride flats, and if that's the case you should just ride a single.
Bike Setup: DHX5 coil shock, Pike u-turn coil, Formula Bianco brakes.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 28, 2007
Strengths: Geometry, frame strength
Weaknesses: None for the kind of riding I do.
I had this bike built to "all mountain spec" as I just like riding bikes, preferably technical singletrack, steep and gnarly kind of terrain, and only for fun and fitness purposes. The frame was bought after a long time considering reviews and testing bikes. As I had never had the pleasure of actually testing a Cove, I was somewhat apprehensive, after all a considerable sum had been spent here! No worries. The geometry is spot on for me( I am 6"4' ), it is chuckable, but not too short for extended climbs. The fork is brilliant, and can be wound down for tight singletrack or long uphills, and the RP23 seems perfect for general trail riding. It( and I ) have regularly managed 4 foot drops without a squeak, and the bike is brutally fast and controlled on gnarly downhills, even with monstrous braking bumps.
I have yet to find fault with the setup or build, and the shop in Leamington Spa that built the bike ranks as one of the best I have ever dealt with.
I would recommend this bike to anyone who likes the more aggressive end of trail riding with a bit of downhilling thrown in.
Bike Setup: 19 inch frame, Rockshox Pike Air 454, Fox RP23, Race Face Atlas+finishing kit, Avid Juicy 7 brakes, SRAM X9, Kenda Nevegal tyres, Hope Hoops wheels(DT 5.1).
from powell river, bc, canada
Date Reviewed: January 21, 2007
Strengths: feels super sturdy, plush travel, handles good
really nice bike. being called a XC bike doesnt give it enough credit... it should at least be in the all mountain category. mines set up as a freeride bike and i could probly use it for slopestyle riding if i wanted to. pedals really well uphill and the suspension is really active goin downhill. mine is pretty heavey, but i could probly drop a few pounds changin out the wheels cranks and fork, but id rather have a heavier bike that isnt gunna break on me
Similar Products Used: giant ac, norco fluid, santa cruz jackal(not really simalar tho)
Bike Setup: 2005 cove hustler, 2006 z1 fr sl doppio air, supra bh pro wheels, kenda nevegal 2.35 front, michelin 2.2 rear, rock shox pearl 3.3 rear shock, titec berserker, hayes, easton, blackspire bashring, deore derailer, other bits and bobs
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2006
Strengths: The bike loves tight twisty trail rock solid on the downhills the faster you go the better the bike it loves the rough trails and the best part it climbs quiet well i.ve racing on ski hills and have had no problem keeping the pace on the climbs rp3 fox works great.
If you want a bike that eats up the rough stuff and is strong enough to go off of trail size jumps and not break like other xc bikes and still need the capacity to climb this bike does it all my bike weighed in at 29lbs.and theres still room