Bassi Coyote Review: Over Deliver

Billed as an off-road, all-terrain adventure machine, the Bassi Coyote sports a Chromoly steel frame and matching fork, loads of mounting points, clearance for cushy 27.5+ tires, and many thoughtful details. Miles has been exploring his backyard in the Pacific Northwest on one for nearly six months to see how it stacks up against a growing list of steel ATBs and where it falls between a big-tired gravel bike and a rigid mountain bike. Find his Bassi Coyote review here…

Being the only Canadian on the team, I’ll admit to having a soft spot for Quebec-based Bassi Bikes. Not only are they among the handful of Canadian bicycle brands with a proper production bike lineup, but they also strongly emphasize functionality and practicality. When talking to folks about Bassi here on the West Coast, I regularly compare them to Surly, as, like Surly, Bassi designs practical bikes for practical riding.

Bassi Bikes was founded in 2009 by Jean-Michel Cauvin and Jean-Daniel Lafleur at the same time as C&L Cycles. Bassi operates hand in hand with C&L Cycles, a community-focused bike shop in Montreal. There are currently five models within their lineup. The longest-running models include the Bloomfield, a fixed and singlespeed city bike; Rachel, a comfortable city bike and dirt road tourer; and Le Montreal, a versatile randonneur/light-duty touring bike.

Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

In 2020, Bassi launched the Hog’s Back, which was, at the time, their most off-road-capable and versatile model. It shared a similar classic styling as the other models but had some promising modern features like disc brakes, clearance for 2.2″ tires, and lots of mounting options. I spent a few months riding the Hog’s Back and wrote a detailed review here. It offered great value, provided a comfortable and upright ride, and was packed with clever touches. The only notable cons were that it was pretty heavy at just over 31 pounds as a complete build and that there were some short sections of exposed rear derailleur cable.

  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

A few years after the Hog’s Back launch, Bassi started teasing plans for a new all-terrain bicycle (ATB), described as a “yet-to-be-named off-road oriented fun-mobile.” Unlike their other models, which all use non-boost hubs and either fixed or horizontal dropouts, the mystery ATB promised modern specs and features, big tire clearance, and the ability to run a suspension fork—a first for Bassi. In the summer of 2023, Bassi followed through and released the Coyote, a steel ATB designed to function as a capable do-everything bike and a bikepacking rig. As the website’s resident Canuck, I felt a particular obligation to put it through its paces.

Adapt or Die

When the Hog’s Back was released, it quickly became Bassi’s most popular model, and it was evident that they were tapping into something their community wanted. The Hog’s Back helped put Bassi on the map for folks worldwide. The Coyote is the result of that success and, according to Bassi, is something customers have been asking for. Namely, a more off-road-capable and singlespeed-able version of the Hog’s Back.

Roberto, co-owner of Bassi Bikes and C&L Cycles, drew inspiration from riding the Baja Divide in 2020 and imagined the perfect setup to ride it again. He ran into Cass Gilbert during that ride, who photographed the Jamis he was riding. Although it will always hold a special place in Roberto’s heart and worked well, it wasn’t the perfect tool for the job. Skinny tires and aggressive geometry left him feeling beat up at the end of each day, and the Coyote seeks to address that.

  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

The Coyote gets its name from the adaptable North American canine living in Bassi’s backyard and from a ranch of the same name on the Baja Divide, where Roberto spent a night. Adaptable is the keyword here. Coyotes (the animal, not the bike) thrive in the wild because of their ability to adapt to different food sources, living conditions, and environments. A prime example is how they’ve learned to coexist with humans, one of their main predators, finding ways to thrive in human-occupied environments like farms, suburbs, and even cities.

Like its four-legged namesake, the Bassi Coyote was designed to be versatile enough to handle the terrain the Bassi team rides most, including eastern Canada’s massive ATV trail network and multi-use trail systems. They wanted to create a platform fit for exploring new, occasionally very remote terrain while still being fun and agile. The Coyote represents Bassi’s take on an adaptable ATB and their most capable off-road model yet. It also marks an important milestone in their story of adapting to an evolving customer base.

Bassi Coyote Review

The Bassi Coyote: Specs and Details

The Bassi Coyote picks up where the Hog’s Back left off. It’s designed around a Taiwan-made 4130 Chromoly steel frame, matching rigid fork, boost hub spacing with thru-axles, aluminum rocker dropouts, and external cable routing. The frame has two sets of standard bottle mounts, triple pack mounts under the downtube, rear rack mounts, and internal dropper post routing through the seat tube.

The frame is suspension-corrected for a 120mm travel fork, but Bassi includes their rigid steel fork, whether purchased as a frameset or a complete build. The fork has a crown hole for racks and lights and triple pack mounts on each leg for cargo cages and other accessories. Bassi claims the frame and fork have clearance for 27.5 x 3.0″ or 29 x 2.4″ tires (but it can fit bigger), and because of its adjustable dropouts, it can be set up geared or singlespeed. Other specs include a 73mm threaded bottom bracket, 30.9mm seatpost, IS disc brake mounts, and a cavernous main triangle with plenty of space for big frame bags, bottles, and more.

  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
Bassi Coyote Review

Bassi currently offers the Coyote in two color options: Sunbathing Yellow and Stargazing Blue. The frame has a timeless silhouette that looks well-balanced and classic. There’s a single gusset under the downtube/head tube junction, but the frame is otherwise kept reasonably clean. A small plate between the seatstays and another between the chainstays by the bottom bracket adds stiffness and strength. Bassi went with a beautiful segmented fork instead of the usual unicrown fork that brands like Surly like to use. It has some thoughtful touches, including a tiny moon graphic near the crown and stylized Bs for Bassi on top of the crown. Some people say segmented forks offer more compliance and corner better than unicrown forks, which is difficult to discern when rolling on 27.5+ tires. Still, they are more expensive and give the Coyote a more sophisticated look.

So, is the Bassi Coyote a mountain bike? Thankfully, Bassi provides a “mild disclaimer” right on the Coyote product page that sums it up nicely: “We designed this bike to be an off-road tourer, not a mountain bike, even though it feels like one and can take some real abuse from the roads and trails. It is not MTB-rated, meaning it’s unsuitable for jumping and dropping, huckin’ and enduroin’, red bull rampagin’, and triple black diamondin’. Keep the rubber side down and you should be a-ok.”

Coyote vs. The Rest

The Coyote falls between an XC ripper and a more progressive hardtail mountain bike—think Kona Unit, Wilde Supertramp, Surly Karate Monkey, or Breezer Thunder. Across the three size options, it has a 68.5° head tube angle, 74° seat tube angle, short 425mm chainstays, and a 50mm bottom bracket drop. There’s nothing drastically different or unique here, and on paper, it seems suited for light-duty trail riding and all-terrain bikepacking. It has a reasonably modern reach, a long-ish top tube, and a stack height that is neither tall nor short.

Bassi Coyote Review

My only complaint is that Bassi doesn’t offer an XL option for folks over six feet tall. At 6’1″ with a 33″ inseam, the large Coyote was a touch small and sometimes felt cramped, especially when riding singletrack. This also made me feel perched on top, rather than in the bike like longer bikes often feel, which is comfortable when cruising around town and taking in my surroundings but less ideal for sporty gravel and technical trails.

Rigid Steel All-Terrain Bikes Compared

Bike Model (size) Reach Stack HTA/STA WB BB Drop
Bassi Coyote (L) 460mm 612mm 68.5°/74° 1158mm 50mm
Kona Unit X (L) 475mm 606mm 68°/75° 1173mm 65mm
Wilde Supertramp (L) 445mm 628mm 69.5°/73.5° 1143mm 66mm
Surly Karate Monkey (L) 434mm 617mm 67.5°/71.5° 1147mm 44mm
Breezer Thunder (L) 455mm 627mm 67.7°/74° 1177mm 70mm
Surly Bridge Club (L) 434.5mm 590mm 71°/73° 1093mm 60mm
Bassi Coyote Review

The Kona Unit X that Logan reviewed is the best readily available production bike against which to compare the Coyote. Aside from a slightly longer front end and shorter seat tube—and the fact that the Unit comes in an XL size—they are a close match. Logan mentioned in his Unit X review that he wished it was suspension-corrected for a longer 120mm travel fork instead of 100mm, which would only add to its overall versatility. Folks considering running a suspension fork on the Coyote will be happy to see a 483mm rigid fork that can be swapped out for a 120mm suspension fork.

The only drawback of the longer rigid fork is that there was some noticeable flex when braking hard, which was distracting when entering corners or making sudden stops. However, outside of those specific situations, it was a non-issue. I didn’t have a chance to give it a whirl with a suspension fork, but it’s safe to say it would improve its comfort on rougher terrain and trails, although I’m not convinced it would handle technical or steep trails any better. After all, Bassi didn’t design the Coyote to be a mountain bike.

Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

Folks who prefer lower bottom brackets might be thrown off by the Coyote’s high 50mm bottom bracket drop, and there’s no doubt it plays a role in feeling a little more perched on top rather than nestled in the bike. This wasn’t an issue while riding gravel roads and doubletrack, but it was more noticeable when trying to lean into corners or remain in control through singletrack. If your idea of a bikepacking bike means a super capable singletrack rig or something capable of popping off the occasional drop, the Coyote probably isn’t it. Similar to Logan’s thoughts on the Kona Unit, I see the Bassi Coyote as more of an overly capable gravel bike. It’s a realistic next step for anyone without a mountain biking background or those starting to venture away from pavement and smooth gravel onto chunkier, slightly more demanding terrain. It’s comfortable and predictable—two descriptors most of us can appreciate.


The Coyote’s 4130 Chromoly steel frame and fork hit a sweet spot regarding stiffness, weight, and comfort. The complete build I rode weighed a hair over 31 pounds (14 kilograms), and I was never uncomfortable riding for six-plus hours on the handful of bikepacking trips I took on it. I’m sure its big 27.5+ tires played a role in how supple the entire setup felt, but the rear end had a compliant feeling and just the right amount of flex to offer some playfulness while riding trails, especially with the chainstays in the shortest 425mm position. For extra stability, the adjustable chainstays can lengthen to 445mm.

The bike’s front end was noticeably stiffer than the rear, so keeping the front tire pressure low was important, but it also made it an excellent platform for a heavily loaded front end. The sturdy fork and more gravel-eque geometry made a perfect pairing for my huge Buffalo Bags Big Buffalo handlebar bag, front racks, and panniers. I tested the bike in several configurations over the last six months and never worried about overloading the Coyote. The risk of overloading a too-flexible frame is a noodly feel that can make handling awkward, especially when riding fast off-road. The combination of a slightly softer rear end and a stiff front end was new to me, but I ended up enjoying it.

Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

Despite feeling slightly cramped on the size large and wishing they offered an extra-large option, the Coyote climbed like a mountain goat. Even in the short chainstay position, its wheelbase is just 15mm shorter than the Kona Unit X Logan reviewed, which he described as a very efficient and capable climber. The Bassi’s stack height isn’t quite as tall as the Crust Scapegoat “ScapeBot” I tested last year, and it has a noticeably longer reach that helped shift my weight further forward and onto the front wheel. Considering how it felt with Bassi’s Bobby Bar, with its 30° back sweep, I think it would be easy enough to make it feel even more sporty (and less cramped) with a more traditional mountain bike bar.

The large frame I tested had a massive main triangle, which I filled up with a custom frame bag from Atwater, another Quebec-based brand. The various mounts and bosses make installing racks, cages, and other accessories a breeze. Plus, the long fork and generous tire clearance meant more room between the handlebar and the front tire, so handlebar bag clearance was never an issue. One small detail I found slightly frustrating was the position of the lowest mount under the downtube by the cable guide on the frame. They sit so close that I used spacers under my cargo cage to leave enough space for the cables to sneak by. I was also surprised not to see lower rack mounts near the fork’s dropouts. The few times I ran a front rack, I mounted it to the lowest triple pack mount, forcing it to sit high above the front tire. Taking advantage of an axle-mounted rack, like what Old Man Mountain offers, is likely the best workaround.

  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

In Mullet-Mode

Despite having a surplus of grip on climbs, I forgot just how slugging 27.5+ tires can feel. Like the Bassi Hog’s Back I tested, the Coyote isn’t particularly zippy or sporty with big 27.5″ tires—or perhaps I’ve just been spending too much time riding 29″ wheels. They offer lots of traction and comfort but feel like overkill for sustained gravel climbs or commuting around town. It’s more of a gravel tank than a gravel bike.

To address this, I tossed on a fast-rolling 29 x 2.4″ tire/wheel up front to see if it would make a difference. It did. Increased efficiency and a faster-rolling bike made up for any lost comfort. I didn’t get a chance to load this setup up with bikepacking gear, but I did get out on a 60-kilometer all-terrain ride a few weeks ago, and it sold me on running the Coyote as a 29er, despite not having a compatible rear wheel and only testing it with a mixed 29″/27.5″ wheel setup.

Choosing between 27.5+ and 29″ wheels or a mullet setup will depend on personal preference, riding conditions, and riding style. Plus-sized tires are the perfect introduction to riding loaded bikes off-road, especially for anyone from a more road-oriented riding background. When I was just getting into singletrack bikepacking, I loved having chunky 27.5+ tires on my Surly Karate Monkey. I also picked the Jamis Dragonfly for Emily because of its 26+ tire setup. Big tires bring a lot of confidence.

The Coyote in 27.5+ mode was super stable on the ups and downs, which meant I was less concerned about what line I took when bouncing down chunky singletrack and washed out doubletrack. For folks with some mountain biking experience or those who regularly underbike on a gravel rig, setting the Coyote up as a 29er or with a mixed wheel mullet setup shouldn’t be overlooked—especially if you’re looking to build a more efficient bike for mixed-terrain adventures.

Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

Like most brands, Bassi is conservative with their stated tire clearance. The stock 27.5 x 2.8″ tires (which measure out to a true 2.8″ wide on 30mm internal width rims) have plenty of extra breathing room on the fork and in the rear end with the adjustable dropouts in the shortest position. I’m willing to bet that most proper 27.5 x 3.0″ tires would also fit. The fork legs are about 3.75″ apart, and because of the length of the fork, they leave plenty of room for bigger rubber. I installed a 29 x 2.6″ tire, and there was plenty of room to spare. In the back, a 29 x 2.6″ Maxxis Forkaster was getting tighter with the dropouts in the short position, but there was ~5mm of clearance on either side, which is fine unless you frequent muddy terrain. I think you’d be safe running a 29 x 2.8″ tire as long as you’re okay with raising what is already a fairly high bottom bracket. If I were looking to exploit the mountain bike side of the Coyote, I’d try to keep it as low as possible.

Bassi Coyote Build Kit

Like the custom Hog’s Back build Bassi put together for me to test, the Coyote’s build kit is a thoughtful mix of budget-friendly core components with some slightly higher-end parts sprinkled in. Every complete bike they sell is hand-assembled in their Montreal shop, and although they now offer stock builds for most of their bikes, they build a lot of semi-custom builds that fall somewhere in between. The Coyote they pieced together for me is based on their standard stock build kit, with a few upgrades representing what most of their customers are looking for. As presented, the build would cost around $4,100 CAD ($3,000 USD), including the upgrades and a tubeless install, since the stock build comes with tubes.

  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review

The standard build features a Microshift XCD 1×11-speed drivetrain, 11-46T cassette, Race Face Ride cranks, relatively basic WTB STi30 rims, RaceFace Aeffect dropper, SRAM Guide T 4-piston hydraulic brakes, Bassi’s Bobby Bar, and 27.5 x 2.8″ Continental Cross King tires. The build Bassi sent is essentially the stock build but with the addition of Growtac Equal brakes actuated by some stunning US-made Paul Love Levers. They also threw on some extra-long foam ESI grips and a Berthoud saddle for style points—although I quickly swapped that out for something softer. The stock build costs $3,100 CAD ($2,267 USD), and while that’s a solid $1,000 CAD more than the Kona Unit X, you’re getting a dropper post, some welcome frame/fork details, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a small Canadian bike brand. Still, for anyone on a budget, the Kona Unit X is a fantastic deal and checks many boxes for the price. The Coyote is also available as a frameset, and at $1,350 CAD ($987 USD), it’s a pretty good deal and is priced below the Wilde Supertramp and the Surly Karate Monkey.

Build Kit

  • Frame: Bassi Coyote L, 4130 Chromoly Steel
  • Fork: Bassi Coyote
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face 73mm Threaded
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40
  • Cranks: Race Face Ride
  • Cassette: MicroShift 11-46T
  • Chainring: Race Face Cinch 32T
  • Rear Derailleur: MicroShift 11-speed
  • Shifter: MicroShift XCD 11-speed
  • Chain: KMC 11-speed
  • Brake Levers: Paul Love Levers
  • Brakes: Growtac Equal
  • Front/Rear Hubs: Formula MTB Boost
  • Rims: WTB STi30
  • Tires: Continental Cross King 27.5 x 2.8”
  • Handlebar: Bassi Bobby Bar
  • Stem: Kalloy
  • Seatpost: Race Face Aeffect Dropper
  • Saddle: Berthoud
  • Pedals: PNW Loam Pedals
  • Grips: ESI

I love that C&L Cycles and Bassi had some fun with the builds they’ve sent me. I appreciate that they didn’t go way over the top with the component specs and only upgraded a few bits that don’t seem entirely out of place. This was my first time using the Growtac Equal brakes, and they’ve proven to offer some decent bite for a mechanical disc brake. Compared to the popular Paul Klampers, they provide less modulation and feel more or less on or off, but they have some impressive stopping power and feel great paired with the Paul levers.

  • Bassi Coyote Review
  • Bassi Coyote Review
Bassi Coyote Review

I’ve been curious about the Bobby Bar since Bassi released it last year. While it has a touch more backsweep than I would usually choose, it was a super comfortable option for cruising gravel roads. It encouraged an upright riding position, but they weren’t too cruisy to navigate tight, twisty singletrack. The 7075-T6 aluminum construction and 780mm width offered a nice balance of stiffness and flex. Plus, the center portion is generously wide to accommodate handlebar bag straps, and the grip area has enough room for long grips, levers, and other accessories.

Although they weren’t on my radar before riding the Coyote, the 27.5 x 2.8″ Continental Cross King tires were another standout component. The Cross King is Continental’s all-rounder tire, and it lives up to their claims with low rolling resistance and just enough grip to hook up on loose trails. They’re available in a variety of sizes, including 26 x 2.2″, 27.5 x 2.6/2.8″, and 29 x 2.3″. I can’t help but think a 29 x 2.8″ or 3.0″ Cross King would make a great all-terrain 29+ tire. The 27.5 x 2.8″ tires that Bassi specced are holding up great after hundreds of kilometers over the last six months. It ended up finding its place as my go-to bikepacking rig, commuter, and gravel bike—and it’s promising to see the tread holding up great.

Bassi Coyote Review

For What and for Whom

For folks who stick to pavement, gravel, and the occasional ribbon of singletrack, the Coyote is best defined as an all-terrain bicycle (ATB). As someone who considers singletrack and steep descents part of my regular all-terrain menu, the Coyote falls slightly short. It’s not too slack to handle long days on gravel roads, nor can it be simplified to a gravel bike with big tires. Cass’ explanation of what an ATB is, shared in our ATB Manifesto, describes the Bassi Coyote perfectly: “They have clearance for big tires and feature geometry designed with upright posture in mind, allowing riders to be observant and present in the landscape.”

The last part of that sentence hits home for me. These days, I’ve been finding excuses to slow down, take more photos, and do more to learn about an area rather than just pedal through without looking back. While I don’t think buying a new bike will magically give you the ability to ride with a sense of compassion rather than hurriedness, some bikes lend themselves better to it than others.


  • Comfortable and surprisingly capable geometry makes for an ideal transition from road to off-road riding and bikepacking
  • Great value and competitively priced against other mid-sized bicycle brands, especially for Canadian customers
  • Well-curated complete build with the option to customize
  • Plenty of tire clearance for 27.5+ tires and even some big 29” rubber
  • A reasonable selection of mounts, a clean frame, and a matching segmented fork


  • Not a mountain bike, which Bassi is upfront about, so 27.5 x 2.8″ tires may be overkill
  • No lower rack mounts near fork dropouts, and weird position of downtube mounts near the cable guide
  • Pricey compared against big-brand completes, like the Kona Unit X
  • No XL size will be a dealer breaker for tall riders
  • Model/Size Tested: Bassi Coyote, Large
  • Complete Weight: 31 pounds (14 kilograms)
  • Place of Manufacture: Taiwan
  • Price: $3,100 CAD (~$2,275 USD)
  • Manufacturer’s Details: C&L Cycle

Wrap Up

It’s rare for bike brands to under-promise in an age of overzealous marketing lingo and product descriptions. Since the beginning, Bassi has been upfront about their bike models, their capabilities, and best use-case scenarios. When they released the Hog’s Back, it fit neatly beside their lineup of more road-oriented bikes, and the Coyote is no different. While it’s by far the most off-road-capable model in their lineup, it shares the same classic detailing and styling and isn’t a rowdy hardtail mountain bike, which wouldn’t align as closely with their brand and expertise. However, I think the Coyote over-delivers as a plus-tired gravel bike, and it can handle much more than just rough dirt roads and gravel.

I ended my Hog’s Back review with this sentiment, and I’ll echo it here. One of the real perks of buying a Bassi is working directly with a bike shop that gets the value of budget bike builds and when and where upgrading components makes sense. From what I’ve experienced from the builds they’ve sent me, they understand the importance of interacting with your surroundings rather than just passing by—something I’m actively trying to do more of.

Further Reading

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