Oooh, exciting! Kovert bikes launched at the Cycle Show over the weekend – a brand new brand who design and assemble their bikes in the UK.
Kovert is the brainchild of Rod Freeman, a long-time racer who’s also behind the Cycling Bargains retail website.
The frames are made in the Far East – you can assume that’s the case unless you hear any different – although Rod says they’re designed and put together over here. Kovert will be available exclusively online but they’re not ready to rock just yet. You can expect them to be on sale from January.
Looking at the bikes on Kovert’s stand, it’s pretty simple to see what they’re going for: value.
We reckon the pick of the bunch, on paper at least, is the FX Race (main pic). You get a 12K carbon-fibre monocoque frame with internal cable routing, a full-carbon fork, a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels for £1,799.99. We can’t vouch for the quality of the carbon or the quality of the ride, of course – we’ve only seen the bike and prodded it a bit – but it’s certainly looking interesting at that price.
Kovert’s entry-level carbon fibre bike is the £1,299 FX1. That comes decked out with a 105 group and it rolls on Mavic Aksium wheels. Of course, you can’t make judgements on the spec sheet alone but that’s an aggressive price.
The cheapest bike in the range is the alloy FX2 which is £999. The frame is triple butted while the fork is a carbon/alu affair. Again, with Aksium wheels and a 105 group, it appears a bit of a bargain. All the bikes in the range run on Shimano groupsets, by the way. The idea is to make the range as universally popular as possible and Shimano get the biggest section of the market, hence the spec choices.
At the other end of the spectrum, the FX Pro is the top-end bike in the Kovert range. It boasts Shimano Ultegra Di2 shifting and costs £3,000. That’s not the cheapest way to get on board with electronic components in 2012 but this again looks like a bike that’s right up there in terms of value for money.
A time trial bike is likely to join the range at some stage but Kovert are concentrating exclusively on road bikes at the moment. That’s Rod’s area of expertise.
Lots of the finishing kit comes from Fluid which is essentially Kovert’s in-house component brand. A range of Fluid wheels will be available separately, including these Aqueous all-rounders (above). They come with 38mm-deep carbon rims, take tubs and the finishing quality looked excellent when we gave them a quick once over. Priced at £599.99, they seem to be another competitively price product.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.