Here’s the Kovert FX-Pro Ultegra Di2 that we have in on test; we’ll be publishing the first review of a Kovert bike ever, right here on your caring, sharing road.cc.
Kovert is a new British brand that launched at the Cycle Show, Birmingham last October. They launched in the sense that they announced their existence and showed the models, but they didn’t have stock back then. Now they have.
The range is small, at least to start with, comprising four road bikes ranging from the £999.99 alloy FX2 up to this, the FX-Pro.
The brand is the brainchild of Rod Freeman, manager of the CyclePremier professional race team, and the aim is to provide race-quality bikes at affordable prices.
So what do you get here? Well, seeing as you ask, the frame is unidirectional carbon fibre with an oversized down tube and internal cables. It’s built to a race geometry – this is the frame and fork package that the CyclePremier team will compete on this year once the season gets going.
We have the 54cm model which comes with a 74° seat angle and a 72.5° head angle and a pretty short head tube – 145mm. The seatstays come with a flattened profile that’s much wider than it is tall, a little like those that you’ll find on the Cannondale Synapse. At the other end of the bike, that fork is full carbon, and the overall finish quality of both the frame and forks looks good.
In terms of spec, the biggest talking point has to be the Ultegra Di2 shifting. We’ve reported on Ultegra Di2 quite a bit previously and we’ve used it out on the road too, but this is the first bike we’ve had in for proper testing with Shimano’s new electronic kit fitted.
We’re mega-excited to find out how Ultegra Di2 performs over prolonged testing. Early impressions have been really positive, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed here… not least because we fully expect next year’s Dura-Ace Di2 to fall more in line with Ultegra than with the existing Dura-Ace Di2, albeit with the addition of an extra sprocket.
Strangely, the FX-Pro comes with a compact chainset – an FSA Energy model with 50/34-tooth chainrings. That seems odd on a bike that’s clearly built for speed. We’d have thought a standard chainset would be more appropriate, but we guess Kovert know the market.
Bespoke options are possible across the Kovert range. Although they've gone with the compact chainset on the FX-Pro, different options can be quoted for both as chainsets or any Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo builds. The FX-Pro is Di2-specific but the rest of the range can use different groupsets and they'd add a 53/39 chainset to the Di2 version if you ask.
A lot of the rest of the spec comes from Fluid, which is Kovert’s in-house brand. The wheels, for example, are Fluid Aqueous with 50mm-deep carbon/alu rims and DT Swiss bladed spokes.
The brake callipers are Fluid too – a dual-pivot design they call Mercurial, with SwissStop cartridge pads in there – and so are the alloy cockpit components. The saddle on our test model has cromoly rails although on the production version they’ll be lightweight and strong titanium.
Kovert are hoping to expand the Fluid brand in the future. When we visited them at the Cycle Show, they were displaying several sets of wheels that’ll eventually be available separately. They’re already selling 38mm-deep unidirectional carbon tubular rims aftermarket at £599.99, for example.
The complete Kovert FX-Pro, in our 54cm model, weighed in at 7.89kg (17.36lb) on the Road.cc Scales of Justice. Kovert claim 7.8kg on their website, and that’s probably accurate for the 50cm model, so maybe you can trust their weights… unlike the complete load of nonsense that some bike brands stick up online.
As a complete bike the FX-Pro will set you back £2,999.99 and it’s also available as a frameset only for £1,299.99. Kovert are only selling online rather than through retailers. Check out the range at www.kovertracing.com and go to www.cyclepremier.com if you’re interested in making a purchase.
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.