Cove Bikes Stiffee FR Freeride Hardtail

Making the world rise to attention year after year, the Stiffee has earned a reputation as one of the best aluminum hard tail bikes in creation. Melding a balance of strength and performance, our original hard tail proves you don’t need any blue pills to get it on. Built to finesse the world’s abundance of natural gap jumps, deep descents and trails to the honeypatch, the Stiffee takes oversized tires, comes stock with international standard disc mounts, uses Easton RAD tubing, and can handle long travel front forks.

TECH NOTES:

  • EASTON RAD TUBING
  • DUAL CROWN COMPATIBLE
  • HUGE TIRE CLEARANCE
  • FORGED HEAD TUBE AND DROPOUTS

    (note: price listed is in CAD)

  • User Reviews (29)

    Showing 1-10 of 29  
    Roger Anderson   All Mountain Rider [Feb 22, 2013]
    Strength:

    Killer quality.
    Can use big tires.
    Can use multiple fork size options.
    Built like a tank !

    Weakness:

    Can be a brutal ride if you are used to riding a full suspension.
    Frame sizes run a little small.
    Stock powder-coating (finish) sucks.

    I have a 2009 model and can't say enough about it. I also had a 2007 Santa-Cruz Chameleon at the same time as I had my Stiffee and they are so similar in characteristics that they are hard to tell apart. I found the Stiffee to be a bit more harsh and not as forgiving as the Santa Cruz. Lots of people compare the 2 bikes,so I'm just throwing in my .02 cents worth on that issue. I also sold this year the Chameleon, and kept the Cove,so that tells you how good this bike is.

    The stock powder-coating sucks and mine was no exception. I hand-stripped my frame of the old powder-coating and had a local, high-end body shop re-spray it in a custom color,with a new sticker kit direct from Cove in Canada. Problem solved.

    The bike will handle anything you are man enough to throw at it,and then some. I have had this bike in places where I didn't think you could take a hard-tail. I also run with full-suspension rigs on the trail locally,and it can keep up with the best of them. This bike will either make you a better rider,or show you your flaws as a rider. In capable hands,the ride is fun and fast. The bike is stable and planted. Depending on what fork you run,it can be a single-track destroyer or a Free-Riding beast ! It all depends on your build quality on this bike. Build it right and it will reward you ten-fold !


    Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Fetish Fixation
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Brad   Weekend Warrior [Apr 23, 2012]
    Strength:

    Decent geometry, and strong...but so is any other aluminum hardtail by any of the major companies that make "North Shore hardtails": Rocky Mountain, Brodie, Norco, Kona, Specialized, et al.

    Weakness:

    Overpriced at over $700 for a plain aluminum hardtail frame. North Shore image marketing hype.

    Only test road one and sure the Cove Stiffee does the job it's intended as far as the limits of hardtails but c'mon: over $700 for an aluminum hardtail frame with thick powdercoat and vinyl stickers? Where's the value in something like this? For that price I expect either more exotic materials, or more features than the competitors, and it better look like it was hand painted by DeKerf.

    I suppose if you brainwash enough sheeple by selling the North Shore image with slick ads and articles in Mountain Bike Magazine then enough suckers, er, I mean people will buy it but, really, trying to show how one aluminum hardtail frame is better over another brand is like trying to argue what brand of sledgehammer is better. This is not exactly a sophisticated bike design with intricate suspension systems. It's a hardtail! Even from a design point this thing looks like it was made 10 years ago. You can buy a 2006 Brodie frame direct from the factory for $99 that does the exact same thing, or almost buy an entire new Norco bike (which is really the preferred Shore brand) with all the new styling queues for the price of a Cove Stiffee frame. How can you justify a basic frame for over $700? Oh, I forgot. It's handmade in B.C...ooooooo...wow...yeah so what? Aren't all bikes, even those from Giant, made by someone with their hands? Personally I would rather have a robot in an ISO 2001 standard factory make it because they do cleaner welds and a consistent product than most humans! Does the fact that it's made in B.C., where half the population is stoned on pot really guarantee me of quality?

    Bottomline: it works, it works well, but don't use marketing to tout that it is better than any other decently made aluminum hardtail frame because that's just marketing and selling an image. This thing is way too overpriced for what it is...a plain, aluminum hardtail frame. Bring the price down to a reasonable $200 to $300 and it's an excellent buy. Give it a competitive advantage over its competitors with different rear axle set ups using adapters and it would be an awesome design. But at over $700 for "just another aluminum hardtail" is highway (or more like single track) robbery.

    Sorry Cove. Just stating the facts.

    Similar Products Used: Norco Bigfoot - owned for 2 years
    Simtra Psycho - owned for 3 years
    Brodie Brute - test road only
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    iqbbang   [Apr 20, 2012]
    Strength:

    agile, tough, retains a full suspension freeride bike feel geo. Turns well. pedals uphill well

    Weakness:

    paint chips off veeery easily (2008 model)

    Best hardtail ive ridden. ok for XC, great for aggressive AM, and manages freeriding very well.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    bikenboard   Weekend Warrior [Nov 30, 2009]
    Strength:

    Solid frame, excellent all rounder, nice comfortable feel for most rides

    Weakness:

    First frame the paint chipped easily, a little expensive compared to other similar style bikes, can be tricky to get ahold of.

    I had this bike for a year and couldn't believe how smooth it felt compared to other hard tails I'd ridden, including my old Rocky Mountain Stratos. It seemed to swallow up roots, rocks and drops no problem. The more I rode it the more comfortable it got. I sold it to go travelling and bought a Santa Cruz Chameleon when I got back. I still had fun with the Chameleon, but seemed to think it didn't quite handle as well as the Stiffee. It seems funny to compare a hardtail to a full suss, but it is a pretty comfortable ride for a hardtail. The bottom line is that i just bought myself another Stiffee and it feels just as good as my first one, and feels like a smoother ride than my Chameleon. I'm sold. It'll only be Stiffees for me for a while now.

    Similar Products Used: SC Chameleon, Kona Stuff
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    mike bomb   Cross Country Rider [Nov 10, 2008]
    Weakness:

    none (for me)

    i set this bike up several years ago - ride mostly xc / have jumped a little - it has been an absolute joy since. have several bikes, this is hands down my favorite.

    Similar Products Used: stiffee hardtail knock-off
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Boyce   Weekend Warrior [Sep 25, 2005]
    Strength:

    Great build quality (no problems with paint coming off on mine), very strong, great looking. Can take long travel fork.

    Weakness:

    Not enough room for large disc rotor on rear, not much clearence for chain amd grannyring if 2.5 tyres fitted.
    Kids keep asking to take photos of it.:-)

    I love this bike, i am 220 pounds but still take this bike off drops my mate on his full suss kona thinks twice about. I have also had quite a few spills and seen the bike bounce 15 yards down the trail ahead of me and not have a scratch or dent on it.I swap the tioga dh tyres for slicks during the week and ride this bike to and from work everyday. It is as fast and responsive off road as it is on the road.I originally bought this bike as an all rounder to build up my skill level on before swapping to a full suss, but now i am not going to bother changing. i am already looking for a 2nd stiffe frame for the right price on ebay should this frame ever fail (though i doubt it will.)

    Similar Products Used: specialized stump jumper
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Vishna Gladdvolochivinta   Cross Country Rider [Feb 26, 2006]
    Strength:

    can handle forks from 110mm up to 170mm. Super f***ing strong, great paint job, corners really well, handles great drops, hits the burms really well too.

    Weakness:

    need to make a size bigger like 22"

    Awesome bike!!

    Similar Products Used: santa cruz cameleon, kona hoss dee-lux (crap)
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Michael   Weekend Warrior [Jun 01, 2007]
    Strength:

    Geometry is amazing, you can do anything on this bike (jumps, drops, rocky downhill, berms and it even goes up the hills great)

    the geometry is perfect mine is 17.5 inch size and it gives to confidence to go just a little faster and it just takes it all.
    Colour options are great too (mines bright orange)

    Weakness:

    i can't really think of anything bad other than when the rocks get loose and large (head size) then the rear wheel bounces around a little but any hardtail would do that on loose rocks that size

    this bike is amazing for any trail rider that wants to do anything from cross country to freeride and it can take a wide range of forks from about 110 upto 150 or maybe 160 depending on what riding you want to do and whatever you do with it it can handle it, its especcially great for flowing downhill through berms and jumps and with good tires it grips round corners at any speed and you just fly out of them.
    This bike is in my eyes the best all round all mountain / freeride hardtail that money can buy.

    Similar Products Used: Santa cruz chameleon
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    liam forster   Weekend Warrior [May 25, 2007]
    Strength:

    the arse end on the bike is awesome no matter wat u drop off that bike aint going nowhere

    Weakness:

    stickers and paint is pants the paint is good colour though

    this bike is ace it will do just about nething it realy does cut the mustard

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    C J   Weekend Warrior [Jan 20, 2004]
    Strength:

    Based here in the frame breaking, mountainous kootenays, I needed a bike that had to ride up well and take a beating on the downs. Geometry, Strength and weight were all an issue. The Stiffee filled the position. It comes in a good size range, isnt too over built thus keeping the weight down, and as the name suggests, has a stiff alloy frame yet it felt a little more resiliant than other "overly stiff" aluminum frames on the market - probably due to the smaller seat tube (26.8) and and rounder chanistay diametres. Coming off of a beloved cro-mo brodie frame made me please this. I was leery about going to aluminum and pretty mucgh had the cro-mo cove hand job picked out but didnt want to repeat another broken frame. The stiffee takes abuse well, has great numbers in the geometry by not going to the extreme of things like so many other companies. I needed a smart + tuff bike frame, not a bomb proof military weapon.

    Weakness:

    Paint scratch concious? avoid Cove. I had to suck it up when I realised how easy the paint peels off of this thing. And for the price I payed? Oh well. Bikes get beat around here. I am use to it now. If anything, get the silver frame and avoid this prob. As well, their derailleur dropouts are prone to cracking when you try to straighten even the smallest of bends. Pick up a few extra if you buy a frame. And check your frame alignment before building! I had to send my first frame back (uggggggg). I was not impressed! Turns out the frame was slighlty used but repainted and stickered, just witing for someone to unknowingly purchase. Good thing I work in a bike shop. At least Cove's frame decals peel off easily. I was no longer as impressed with having the cove name all over my new bike. No everyone asks me what kind of bike I have... I say a decent enough one.

    A Clean, sturdy frame. Rides really well. A definative all mountain, up and down and off the drops bike (did I mention all the 8'- 12' drops this thing has landed? I couldnt do that with confidence on my old cro-mo friend).
    Crappy paint, decals and quality control. Is Cove over hyped as they lay claim to the "North Shore"? probably (check out Hillside Bikes, the orginal "shore-inspired" parents of the ti, Cove Hummer and all out shore riding demands). Is this bike a decent result of the demands of todays hard-er tail riding styles? foresure. Would I get another if and when this frame fails? (lifetime crash replacement) Possibly? Do I like the term "North Shore"? it is wearing thin. How about "BC Bred"?

    Similar Products Used: Brodie frames (alloy and cro-mo).
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    3
    Showing 1-10 of 29  

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