Here you'll find the latest news from our ambassadors. They're a great bunch of people, flying the Cotic flag around the UK and sometimes beyond!

20/10/2021 - Jo Shwe Ambassador

No way... It's Jo Shwe!

Jo Jeht

Jo is the newest addition to our roster of awesome ambassadors. Hailing from Essex, now in Wakefield, Jo is a teacher at a Pupil Referral Unit and one of the main instigators of the Trash Mob Academy.

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Jo got in touch with Dom from Trash Free Trails back in 2020, asking to use their logo on a set of lesson plans she was developing to help her kids. Things snowballed very quickly and we ended up working very closely on the Trash Mob academy project and through that got to know Jo better.

Her passion for connecting her pupils with nature and easy-going attitude when faced with all manner of issues is what endeared her to us. Jo is working with us to bring cycling & nature to more diverse communities who might not feel like they have a voice in this area. More people on bikes is only ever going to be a good thing. You can read about the TFT project here.

Jo Jeht

She was introduced to mtb by her partner Gavin and has since spent more than a lot of time riding her bike in the mountains of France and the mini-mountains of the Peak District. After riding a FlareMAX on one of the many sessions at Leeds Urban Bike Park, she was convinced that a Cotic would be her next bike but with a few bikepark and uplift trips planned, a Jeht was a better choice.

Jo Jeht
Jo JehtJo JehtJo JehtJo Jeht

"Joey Jeht" was put together around a Gold Eagle build - Cane Creek suspension, Hunt wheels & WTB tyres. Burgtec finishing kit is on its way but since she was keen to just get out on the new bike, we found some spare bits to get her rolling.

Who is Jo?

Profession/passion: Work within an alternative provision for students with Social Emotional mental health needs and have been excluded from mainstream education. It is my professional passion. I am also a passionate Trash Free Trails ambassador that loves to incorporate their core values and nature connection into my teaching.

First bike: Pink Ladies Rayleigh Zest, got it second hand brakes only worked for me and only had 4 working gearsÖ I was the only one that loved the bike 😍💗

Current bike: Cotic Jeht 😍🖤😍

Favourite trail: The Return ride from Morzine to Les Gets

Dream trail: Not sureÖ somewhere in BC or New Zealand would be a dream to ride.

Best mtb invention in the last 10 years: Good E-bikes - Iíve seen so many people being able to continue riding thanks to them.

Pick two cyclists from history to be your parents: Missy Giove and John Tomac

If you could be anyone for a day who would it be: Iím quite happy being me right nowÖ although Iíd love to be the person who knows all the government secretsÖ that would be cool 😎

If you could do another job for a day what would it be: Food Critic on Master Chef

What would be the title of your autobiography: Just JoÖ

One thing people probably won't know about you: I used to be in a street dance hip hop crew and Iím really good at chess. (I know thatís 2 😝) xx

We're super stoked that Jo is part of our crew. Cotic ambassadors all bring something a little different to the table. Click on the links below the photo to have a read about our awesome family and follow their adventures on our socials.

ambassadors comp


Trash Free Trails…

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12/08/2021 - Sam's Ard Rock 2021 report

Ard Rock Reunion

Ard Rock 2021 Report

We have just about caught up on sleep and rest after a fantastic weekend at Ard Rock Enduro. After a very challenging few years the Ard Rock Reunion was a really special event, and it was so great to see it back. It felt brilliant to hang out with the mountain bike community again, with smiles and laughter all around it was clear to see that everyone was feeling the same.

Ard Rock Reunion

Having spent a couple of days last week digging out our EZ-up, flags and other bits of our expo stand which had been lying almost forgotten for the past 18 months, me and Rich headed north to the glorious Yorkshire Dales in a rental van. Boo is no more I'm afraid, having been sold last year when it became clear demos weren't happening any time soon. We arrived in beautiful Grinton to the Ard Rock site and a palpable sense of excitement, even before any racers had arrived, it was clear this was going to be a special weekend, despite a few less people in attendance.

Sunshine out and tunes on, we set up the stand while chatting to some familiar faces in the industry, we weren't the only ones buzzing to be back in the wild and at a bike event. The first day felt like a group therapy session for bike industry staff! The stand mostly set up and well strapped down in preparation for the varied weather forecast, we swung by the Hunt Wheels stand and grabbed Dan and Paddy for a bike ride. We headed for a quick lap of the old demo loop, which if you've been before you'll know is just as spicy as some of the stages. The view down into the valley looking over the event site is pretty special, at least until the rain rolled in, not for the last time that weekend. After a dose of classic Swaledale singletrack we met Paul at the BnB and headed for a pub tea, a big weekend ahead.

Friday is practise day for those racing the main Enduro and Sprint races on the Saturday. We were on deck sharp to put the finishing touches to the stand and greet the biking public. If we thought the excitement was there on Thursday, it was nothing compared to Friday. Many stoked faces chomping to get stuck into practise and check out the stages. The famous deluge and flooding of 2019 had made a mess of a few of the sections, so there were a few new parts to learn, a nice challenge for the seasoned Ard Rock veterans. We waved our riders Dave Camus, Chay Granby, Hannah Saville and honorary team rider for the weekend Stu Bailey off up the hill. Big shout to Mel Fife and Kelly-Jayne Collinge who were sadly both 'pinged' at the last minute and couldn't make it, next time ladies!

Ard Rock Reunion
Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion

Even before our first brew of the day, the new UK made limited edition Jeht was getting a heap of attention. The Stealth Gritstone colour clearly a popular look, with many people coming back for another ogle and considering their next trail bike. If you are thinking of getting one of these, I'd advise you to act fast, judging by the reaction this bike got at Ard Rock they won't be sitting on the shelves for long.

As lunchtime came round, riders began to roll off the hill back into the arena, most of them looking a bit muddy and there were some interesting expressions going around. The damp weather had made a few of the stages very slippery, and a good few egos had been kicked back into line. In previous years we've had wall-to-wall sunshine at Ard Rock, with dry shale for your tyres to hook into and grassy turns boasting velcro-like levels of grip. These had been transformed into soapy wet limestone and off camber turns slick as glass. All action, no traction. The riders were beginning to realise getting round clean would be the aim of the game on Saturday's race. Speaking of which, Dave had lost a fight with a drystone wall, and Hannah had hit the deck too. Her hand held awkwardly and looking a couple of glove sizes bigger. She's made of tough stuff though, and cracked on regardless.

Ard Rock Reunion
Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion

Me and Paul decided we probably should scout out a route for Saturday evenings Cotic CC owners ride, the first one in almost 2 years. Rich manned the stand for an hour and we kitted up and went for a pedal, I had a trail in mind I'd vaguely remembered from a Dales Bike Centre ride a few years ago but definitely needed to remind myself where it went before taking a group out. A savage headwind up the road climb was most unwelcome, but the trail was worth it, and perfect for the CC ride. Back in the pits, after an afternoon figuring out the stages the riders had got their mojo back and were fired up for race day. A few beers into the evening and everyone was feeling nice and relaxed, the racing almost playing second fiddle to the sociable festival atmosphere. Wheelies in the dark back to the BnB topped off a brilliant day.

Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion

Rich awoke early Saturday morning, he'd managed to sort himself an entry to the enduro race to follow our riders round and document the day. A solitary breakfast with just pre-race nerves for company he was up on the hill before me and Paul had opened the stand for the day. In an attempt to avoid being held up in traffic on the stages and dodge the worse of the forecast rain, our racers had opted for an early start. We recommend doing this if you are chasing a good result, but most people go to Ard Rock to ride round with their mates for the 'race within a race' and bragging rights in your riding group. Rich had teamed up with local eco friendly clothing legends Banana Industries, and had decked out our riders in party shirts with a lairy cartoon vegetable pattern. They definitely turned heads and wearing matching outfits with your mates bolsters the team vibe, sure they were all after a good race result, but after everything that's happened in the world, fun was the main aim.

Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion
Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion

Stage 2 was already claiming victims with it's super slippery wooded section near the bottom, and Hannah hit the floor again, landing on her injured hand. She jumped back on and made it to the finish line, but some patching up was required. Bitter shandies at 10am in the pub after stage 2 certainly helped, our team were the first to the bar!

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Me and Paul had a big day on the stand back in the event village, lots of interest in the bikes so thanks to everyone who swang by for a chat. It was great to be able to chat face to face with customers again, and lots of you enjoyed seeing the bikes in the flesh after months of drooling over pictures online. It was also lovely to see so many happy Cotic owners coming by to say hello, putting faces to names was great, and seeing everyone's Cotics with their own personal touches being enjoyed was a treat.

By mid afternoon, just after the rain had set in, our team riders were back. Thanks to the early start they had managed to ride 6 of the 7 stages in the dry, with only the final stage being a wet one. Mud covered and grinning like idiots, they were all back in (mostly) one piece and absolutely buzzing. After 2 years of no racing, Chay bagged 10th place in vets, a top result. Despite crashing, bits of the inside of her hand becoming 'outside', and what she would later discover was a broken thumb; Hannah Saville took 10th in a stacked women's field. She even beat EWS under-21 winner Polly Henderson on one stage! Seriously impressive stuff, heal up quick Hannah. Camus got 44th in the huge masters category, remember there is no elite category at Ard Rock, so he was up against the likes of Joe Barnes and Craig Evans, a great result. Media man Rich took an admirable 57th, and judging by the mud all up his arm, that included a bit of lie down on the last stage too.

Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion

Despite looking like it was set in for the evening, the rain lifted in time for the Cotic CC owners ride on Saturday night. We scoffed a pizza and 10 stoked Cotic riders coaxed their legs into action for a nice social ride on the route me and Paul had scouted, I can confirm the road climb was much more bearable without the headwind. A real mix of bikes with a couple of Souls, Jehts, FlareMAXs and RocketMAXs, all looking resplendent in the evening sun. We rode rocky singletrack down a gully which wouldn't have been out of place on one of the race stages, flat out grassy trails, a techy stream crossing and a steep chute to session. The Yorkshire Dales really is a mountain bike heaven, in just an hours ride we had a great mix of trails. Rolling back into the event village for a beer after a fun ride with mates, man how we've missed that sort of behaviour. More Cotic CC things to come for sure.

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The beer flowed, a bottle of port made an appearance and the Cotic stand was busy into the night with tales of racing, crashes and heroic saves. Hannah got a fresh mohawk after a few beers and the DJ played 90s bangers all night, the festival feel was in full swing. Proper.

Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion
Ard Rock Reunion

Myself and Paul took it steady though, as we had managed to bag entries into the intro race on Sunday morning. We were greeted by sunshine and a dry forecast for the morning, so party shirts on and a hungover looking Rich left to hold to the fort, we set off. It's a good couple of years since I've done a bike race, and I don't do many of them, so I was a bit nervous that morning. The intro race is one of the slightly shorter races on the weekend, taking in stages 4 Ė 7. The sprint race on Saturday uses stages 1 Ė 3, and either are a great option if the idea of the full size race is a bit daunting. The long transition to the start of 4 would be a lovely ride in the dry, as we passed the bottom of stage 2 we could see why so many riders had had a sit down. The greasy chute at the end looked horrendous, here's hoping for a dry weekend next time.

Eventually getting the long climb done, we caught our breath and dropped into stage 4. Moorland singletrack quickly fed into a fast gully with blind crests and big berms, the addition of a number board to our bikes and tape either side of the trail seemed to flick a switch in both mine and Paul's heads, we were flying! A well spotted high line here, sending a blind drop there and it was over pretty quickly. It felt good to get a stage ticked off, and the nerves were long gone.

Ard Rock Reunion
Ard Rock ReunionArd Rock Reunion

Paul cleaned most of the climb up to 5, which is very much his forte. I had a go, but decided my energy was better saved for the stages. 5 was a proper laugh; fast and open with amazing corners and some jumps that had I looked at first, I probably wouldn't have sent! We were both saved by the longshot geometry on our Jehts at one point, as we came over a blind crest to find we really should have turned left. Somehow the bikes got us through the rocky ditch on the inside of the corner and kept us upright, thinking perhaps we should reign it back a touch.

Heart rates back under control, we had a quick snack and dropped into stage 6. Everyone who raced the previous day had told us how fun this one was, and they weren't wrong. Fast and flowy through the moonscape with more jumps and berms. Paul was fully pulling away from me when I heard a marshal ahead shout ďohh unlucky mate!Ē, he'd punctured the rear tyre. Fortunately the transition from 6 to 7 involved riding (pushing) up past stage 6, so I was able to rescue him with a tube so he could finish the stage. Gutting though, he was on a heater.


The nerves had crept back in ahead of stage 7, the last one. We were expecting a slippery grease fest. What we got though, was a brutal wind. As soon as we passed through the dry stone wall at the top, the wind almost stopped us dead. Pedalling down steep rough trails on tired legs into a gale was hard work, but the wind had dried out the trail nicely so traction wasn't an issue. We caught a couple of other riders on this one, which cost us some time, but neither of us are serious racers so it didn't bother us too much. The great thing about Ard Rock is that riders of all abilities are welcome and encouraged. It was really good to see such a huge variety of people riding all sorts of bikes.

Steep grassy turns and blind jumps dropped us to the bottom of the stage just as the heavens began to open. 4 dry stages, definitely a win as far as we were concerned. Timing chips handed back in I was surprised and very happy to see I was sitting in 5th place in the senior category, which held until the end, my best race result ever. Very happy with that. Paul was either 3rd or 4th on all the stages other than 6, so without the puncture he'd most likely ended up 3rd in vets, seriously quick. A very enjoyable ride, thanks for manning the stand that morning Rich!

Ard Rock Reunion

There really is no event quite like Ard Rock, after a very challenging few years for the organisers it was amazing to be back in Swaledale again. A huge thanks to the Ard Rock team for pulling it off against all odds. Having the bike community back together was very special, in a strange and busy time in the industry with new challenges every week it was a lovely reminder of why we do this. Seeing so many happy faces and feeling the joyous atmosphere was very special, thanks to everyone who came by the Cotic stand to check out the bikes and share the stoke. The stages were amazing, banter flowing, the food top quality and being outdoors in a breezy field definitely helped quash the Covid apprehension.

We strongly advise you get yourself entered to next year's Ard Rock Enduro Festival, when it will be at full capacity again with families and spectators back. We will definitely be there.

Big thanks to Vicky and Rhubarb at The Laurels BnB in Reeth, the Ard Rock team, Banana Industries for the rad party shirts, Dave, Hannah, Chay, Stu, Rob, the good folks from Hunt for the stoke and everyone who came by the Cotic stand. See you next year.

Ard Rock Reunion

Order your UK limited Edition Jeht here…

Check out the BFeMAX, the perfect enduro hardtail…

Spec your RocketMAX ready for next year's Ard Rock…

01/07/2021 - Bolehills Women Of Steel 2021

Women Of Steel - Bolehills 2021 Jam

First big meet up of 2021

Women of Steel at Bolehills

Our first "big" meet-up of 2021! Finally! We decided to meet up at Bolehills, a large pumptrack in Sheffield. The Bolehills crew have worked so hard on the track during lockdown, it was great to go back and see what's been done. The track has something for everyone, with a pumptrack, roll-able jumps and moving up to the big jumps. That week we happened to have Lauren and Lily from the local school for work experience! Hannah now wasn't the only girl at Cotic HQ! We invited them along to our Women of Steel Bolehills event, here's how it went:

WoS at Bolehills

Lauren writes....

At first, both Lily and I were nervous to get started as it had been a while since we last rode our bikes. But once we got comfortable, it was a really enjoyable evening. It really helped that everyone there was super supportive and considerate to the fact that we were beginners.

When we first got there, we were both really nervous about what to expect. We worried that we would need to be more experienced riders to attend. But Cy assured us that that wouldnít be the case. And it wasnít. Everyone there made us very included, and they all encourage us to push ourselves. This attitude made us (and no doubt other beginners) feel welcome at the event. Another thing that helped us to feel more comfortable was that so many other people (of different levels of experience) were there.

WoS at Bolehills

We decided to start out on the pump track, instead of going straight onto the proper track. We did this to get used to being on our bikes again, after a while. Lily also rode around the field opposite the track to familiarise herself with riding her bike. After a while of stumbling around the pump track, we attempted the back straight on the actual track. We chose this part of the track because it was easy enough for our ability, but still challenged us. Cy made sure that we were okay and guided us around the track when we first got started. The whole event had an amazing atmosphere. It was really laid back and relaxed. Meaning we didnít feel pressured to be on the track the whole time or having to ride at a certain standard.

WoS at Bolehills

Lily writes...At the end of the night, Rich bought fish and chips for everyone there. Everyone was chatting to each other and sharing bikes (and food). It felt really special. We both felt really inspired by all the experienced women riders there. They are incredible! And they made us want to continue riding in hopes of becoming as experienced as them in the future. Thank you to everyone who came out for the event, it was a really great night!

WoS at Bolehills

Women of Steel Facebook group…

14/05/2021 - Do Magazines and Brands Actually Get On?

What's the real relationship between brands and media?

Cy Writes.....

A couple of weeks ago I had one of my better work days by heading out for a ride with Rob Weaver from MBUK / Bikeradar. I was collecting the RocketMAX they had tested on Enduro Bike Of The Year.

Chris from Downtime was along as well, so we sat down and chatted about the real relationship between brands and testers. You can read the full Bike Of The Year round up over on Bikeradar.

You can still find a lot of cyncism out there about bike tests, but I have yet to meet a tester who wasn't in some way committed to providing the best advice they can. Rob is the absolute epitomy of this, and for us as a brand, that integrity is important. If more people believe tests are rigorous and accurate, the better it is for us as a direct selling brand when we get a good write up.

Cy Turner from Cotic with Rob Weaver from MBUK

Anyway, I won't spoil any more. Grab a brew and have a listen to the player below, or search for Downtime Podcast on Spotify or iTunes and make sure you get subscribed.

Listen to the podcast here…

20/01/2021 - Big day out

Chamonix MTB's big day out

Copyright Chamonix MTB

Last summer our ambassador Wayne (Chamonix MTB) LINK took his Rocket on a pretty big day out. Living in the birthplace of modern mountaineering, when Wayne says it was a big day out, you'd best believe it. Have a look...

After a 7am start in Chamonix, itís time to load up the trailer and head out to Crans Montana, Switzerland to ride the Plaine Morte. Plaine Morte is an epic trail that follows an ancient bisse/aquaduct all the way to the valley floor, ending in the town of Sion in the Swiss Valais.

Getting to the summit involves some logistics but multiple cable cars and a few hours later we are stood at almost 3000m, next to the Glacier Plaine Morte roughly translated as the dead flat glacier. Unfortunately the atmospheric cloud we ascended through managed to block the incredible view weíd been promised!

Copyright Chamonix MTB

Fortunately, we werenít just here for the views and after a quick flowy, rocky single track ride to warm up we were straight in to the only uphill/hike a bike section of day Ė with 44km of descending ahead of us, a short climb was to be expected.

Shortly after arriving at Wildstrubell Refuge we were straight in to the descent and a rowdy start to the ride Ė a rocky, loose, off camber moonscape of a single tack laid out ahead of us.This trail definitely isnít for the faint hearted, with steep committing chutes to descend, but the amazing surroundings help to take your mind off the tech.

By the time we reached Lac Plan des Roses the cloud was clearing so we took the chance to stop for a speedy lunch. With more than 2,000m of descending still ahead of us we kept it quick and cracked on. Leaving the loose rocky tech behind us we entered the high alpine pasture, which is less steep and a lot more flowy and fun. The beautiful Barrage de Tesuzier lies ahead and then s the fun really begins.

The bisse takes us over sketchy bridges and through small caves where a good head for heights is vital - did I mention the ride involves some via ferrata? ;-) Hike-a-biking through a network of caves definitely adds to the adventure and is actually a more recent addition to the trail - health and safety thought it might be a good idea to bring these walk/aqua ways in to the mountainside rather than tacked on to the cliffs.

After navigating the caves itís back out into the trees, with blue skies above us and some amazingly fast singletrack under our wheels. This was a big day but it was well worth it - 45km, 2900m of descending and around 500m of climbing throughout the day, together with the views and the trail, made for one hell of an amazing ride!

Follow Wayne's adventures here…

30/11/2020 - Dirtjump lockdown project

Lockdown DJ

What was your lockdown project? Sourdough bread? A morning fitness regime? A pallet-wood garden seat?

Ours was a dirt-jump bike..

With so many of our ambassadors continually extolling the virtues of a session at the track, trails or pumptrack, we knocked some very talented heads together and sketched out a design.

For the working prototypes we called on Sheffield framebuilder Matt Bowns of 18 Bikes to metal glue-gun us together 4 identical frames.

We sent these 4 frames up to Five Land bikes for a bath in the E-coat and a few layers of lovely glossy black paint.

Finally back to Sheffield for some custom graphics from HKT Products (the keen eyed will notice these as a tester for the amazing Afterburner paint on the new Jeht).

3 frames went out to the ambassadors - King of Bolehills Dave Camus, A Line coaching Gareth Jones and Perennially steezy Will Easey. The last one stayed in the family as a test / photo / pumptrack mule. We had some help from Mark at Fabric who supplied each of the bikes with Magic saddle and grips but obviously Camus went much further with his build... No bolt was left un-anodised, and the whole thing looks like it fell backwards through the Hopetech factory - in a good way.

Built with Reynolds 853, tough 26" wheels and top notch parts, these bikes ride like a bloomin' dream! They're light, tough and lightning quick.

They're also not for sale!

We don't know about your local, but Bolehills BMX track has been at (socially distanced) capacity morning, noon and night, for pretty much the whole of the summer. Reliable, small and uncomplicated bikes like these have saved the sanity of so many people (and parents) this year. Unfortunately with the massive delays on production in the far east, the thought of upsetting the (already brimming) apple cart by adding in another new model isn't the most sensible idea right now so whilst the project has been more-than fun, that's all it is at the moment. Please don't email us about getting hold of one of these, it's not happening in the near future. However, if you're in the market for a pump track bike then you could do a lot worse than try the BFe 27.5 More than a few customers have already purposed a BFe for track razzing duties.

Order your Cotic BFe Today

So rather than sit on a bunch of media for a bike that might not see the light of production for a long while, here's a selection of sunny photos which will hopefully inspire you to venture to your closest track and see what all the fuss is about.

Young Joel Blomfield of Shralp Clothing borrowed his dads old Mongoose kit for a little session. It's a funny one when your "new" clothes are twice as old as you.

You can get pretty lucky with conditions at places like Bolehills. Surfaced tracks are built to drain well and withstand thousands of hours of use. You might find that they are still running well into winter, when all the usual trails are a soggy mess. And the newer tarmac ones are even more reliable. Be sure to check out the BMX and Pumptrack directory for your closest spot.

Most of these places are built with love and passion. Sure a council might occasionally pony up a little cash, but most of the time the scenes are built by volunteers; you can pay back your stoke by lending a hand at dig days, picking up litter or sometimes just buying a t shirt or sticker from the locals to help pay for some more surface. Cotic donates a percentage of its profits each year to trail maintenance schemes and it's not just mtb routes that reap the benefits. As the artist Cy Whitling says, "Being local isn't defined by how much you've taken from a place, but by how much of yourself you can invest into it."

Order your Cotic BFe Today

Read all about the BFe here…

10/10/2020 - Kelly-Jayne's Cotic Escapade Pregnancy Flat Bar Conversion

Cotic Escapade - The Pregnancy Version

Our Brand Ambassador Kelly-Jayne Emmerson is pregnant, but she's been determined to keep riding. For the first half of her pregnancy she has been getting out, and sticking to more tame terrain aboard her Shimano Gravel Union Cotic Escapade.

Kelly-Jayne Emmerson, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnant
Kelly-Jayne, 28 weeks pregnant with her Cotic Escapade, in regular drop bar guise with full GRX800 2x drivetrain

Now well into her third trimester, Kelly was getting too uncomfortable grabbing for the drops, and needed a much more upright position to keep her comfy and rolling on the trails. So, the idea was hatched to do a flat bar conversion on her Escapade. This isn't something we usually recommend as for most riders it would result in a position far too short and upright, but short and upright is exactly what is needed in later pregnancy when a rider needs to make space for bump. Kell says....

ďDo you know what, Iím so happy that Iím still riding, so many women that Iíve spoken to told me that they had to stop at around 25 weeks, just Ďcos it was so uncomfortable, so I feel really lucky that the guys have hooked me up. It would be so boring if I couldnít go out riding. Just getting out there.Ē

It wasn't the work of a minute to do the change, as these days drop bar and MTB drivetrains are almost entirely lacking in cross-compatibility. In the end, after much discussion between Cotic and Gravel Union sponsors Shimano, we went for an XT 8100 1x12 drivetrain, SLX brakes with flat mount to post mount caliper adapters, Cotic Calver MTB riser bars cut down to 720mm and a diddy PRO Tharsis 35mm stem.

Kelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Cane Creek eeSilk, riding when pregnant

ďItís awesome, so upright. I donít have to lean forwards at all which makes it so comfortable, Ďcos itís got such a short stem and the flat bars just makes such a difference. My thighs were hitting my bump when I had drop bars which really wasnít ideal, so Iíd have my legs spread open wide way too much and be really uncomfortable cycling, so yeah, Iím really happy now.Ē

Kelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnant
Kelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnant

We're wishing Kelly-Jayne all the very best for the rest of her pregnancy and beyond. If you're pregnant, then we hope this has inspired you to keep getting out on your bike if you can. What an exciting time!

Follow Kelly-Jayne on instagram…

Read more about Kelly-Jayne's cycling adventures here…

07/09/2020 - Head Beaten Black And Blue

Camus' Chatel concussion crash

Following from Cy's confession about not liking Bike Park riding last week (click to here to read if you haven't seen it), here's Brand Ambassador Dave Camus' view from the other side of the fence.....

Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail. Dave Camus made it out to France for two weeks of big-bike shreds but surprisingly it wasn't Corona that put a dent in his plans. Here's the full story behind what makes someone want to ride massive bike-park jumps and what happens on the (rare) occasion when they go seriously wrong.

Forgive the occasional F-bomb, it's quite a tale...

Baybutt: So what's your name?

Dave: Dave Camus.

Baybutt: AKA Ramp King.

Dave: Ramp King. I'm not Ramp King anymore!

Baybutt: Oh mate.

Dave: Occasional ramp king.

Baybutt: So what is it you like riding on your bike? What's your jam?

Dave: Ramps. Everything really, but ramps. That's quite ... I don't know... We'll go to the spots that has the coolest looking jumps and stuff. And maybe we'll hit the tech as well, I kind of ride a bit of everything. But I guess more technical stuff and some big jumps. But my perfect track would be stupid kickers and north shore weird stuff, and then tech roots and steep rock as well. There's a couple of tracks we hit when we went to Europe. We went to La Bresse and they had a track that was super steep and then super technical rocks and big river gaps as well, which was perfect, all of that. I did two or three runs of that to try and dial it in. I feel like it means there's a bit more to it. You've got to get the line right to get in the jump. You can't just get the line right to get the line right's sake. It's like you have a bit of everything.

Baybutt: So the thinking person's jump line.

Dave: Yeah exactly. Like techy. The new stuff at Chatel, all the black runs they've redone are kind of like that. Jumps and tech, a bit of everything. I rode Bike Patrol that day and that was pretty good. It fucking tires me out man, I'm so tired all the time!

Baybutt: So what was your plan this summer then?

Dave: Well the original plan was to go to Canada for two weeks in June, but obviously that all went to shit. And we were going to hit... Me and my mate were going to hire a camper van and do all the North Shore and Squamish spots, and then go Pemberton and do that, but then that all fell through, so we booked two weeks out to do a Europe trip, and go to Morzine. And I've not been to Morzine since I did my season five years ago. So I was like, "We'll go to Morzine, I've not been in ages it'll be good to do all of the stuff and hit it." It was nice to go again... So we booked two weeks off and then it got a little bit sketchy in terms of the quarantine stuff, so we were a little bit like "Shall we go or shall we not?" And then we went, and the plan was to do two weeks, and do well. The first day we La Bresse And then we were going to Ch‚tel and then Les Gets, Pleney, Chamonix. And then after a week or so maybe go down and do La Thuile or Les Arcs. Even though we had downhill bikes we were going do La Thuile. Apparently it's better for trail bikes and the access to the track isn't as easy on a downhill bike. We were going to do it anyway. And then Samoens, I think was the other trail that we were going to go. Obviously we only managed two days.

Dave: So I drove all the way there, for La Bresse. Off the other side of the ferry, so we got there at seven, eight o'clock. And then rode a full day on the Saturday, in La Bresse. So if you ever go into Morzine or that way, it's six hours after the ferry and it's sick ramps and the downhill track's mint there. And there's a couple of downhill tracks that are Revs-esque where they've got big gulleys and steps and stuff. It's sick. It's really good, and worth going to.

Baybutt: And you were feeling all right then?

Dave: Yeah, I had a couple of crashes but we were just kind of nothing these ones. Did a lot, did all the stuff. Did all the jumps that were there, pretty much, the whole line. But hit the downhill track and hit all the stuff on the downhill track including this sketchy... It was maybe four foot rock to drop off but it was super steep in and super steep out. Super weird in. It kind of mellowed out, it lifted out of a lip almost off the rock, and it was just really weird. And did that last run of the day, or last couple of runs of the day.

Baybutt: OK so stoke was high, you were on holiday? Everything was going all right, and you were riding well.

Dave: To be fair, Iíve been riding pretty decent the last few months... I guess jumping off hard tail onto rocket is a big booster, and it just felt like I was proper going well. Obviously it's completely different because you jump it on a full suss and just smashing it all down. The difference in speed was massive just generally. So jumping on a downhill bike and going "Oh it's not that different to my rocket" so I felt pretty comfortable straight away.

Baybutt: So after La Bresse you went to Morzine.

Dave: We went to Ch‚tel so we drove all the way through Switzerland to lake Geneva. We swam in lake Geneva just as the sun was setting, and then drove the last hour and a half to Ch‚tel. And we got there at eleven o'clock at night. We slept in the carpark. In the morning, I went to go and find the toilets, and looked at the slopes style line, which started and finished in the carpark, basically. And I was like "I'll go and have at that" because it looked pretty gnarly.

Dave: It was probably one of the bigger jumps that I would have done and one of the biggest step downs I guess. There was a couple of weird kickers into it that looked a bit odd, and then a wooden wall ride shark fin, and then into a big step down. And then a tiny roller, and then a big, probably forty foot Long and low. With quite a small take off, so it looked like it was going to kick you a little bit, I was a bit like "I don't know about that." That was the only bit that was a bit weird. But the step down was sweet so, anyway. We had a full day riding and went and did Air Voltage again, no problem. No issues.

Baybutt: Did you look at stuff on the way down?

Dave: We stopped and looked because everyone else had not done it... Quite a few people had not done it before, so we stopped and looked at all of them but I only looked at them just because I hadn't been there in five years. I think I probably could have ridden through the whole line first go.

Baybutt: How many were you in your crew?

Dave: Six I think, seven? I think most people hit that. We went and did that maybe third or fourth run. Just did a few other bits. We did all the black runs on Ch‚tel. Did pretty much all the kickers and stuff on the whole black runs and then did black shore. We pretty much did everything on Ch‚tel bike park, and then...

Dave: I tried the triple as well, I forgot about that. I did it when I was in Morzine, and when they first opened it, it was a big triple that you can do on one of tracks and they'd just opened it that day. And when we went and pulled that... Me and Russ trying it for this video, and Russ just could not get it. And I had a stupidly hard shock in my Sunday because it was a random bike that I'd bought half way through the season. It had the wrong shock and I couldn't get the shock out to change the shock, change the spring. So I had a super hard back end so I could just pop that triple. This time I was like "Fuck it, I'll try it again." So I had one in run in for it, and I was like "Yeah, I reckon it's on," and fucking cased it so hard!! It was a big pull.

Dave: Yeah we did everything and we were feeling pretty good and then me and my brother went for a couple of runs. We did the river gap trail to finish this day off. Ended up at the bottom, we were like "Shall we go and have a look?" "All right, okay." We watched a few people hit these jumps and one guy honestly, it was so sketchy, and he was getting through them. And I was like "Well it can't be that bad... Well if some people are doing it and nearly dying on it and they're shit, it can't be that hard. It is well within our capability of doing that. No problem at all." We were looking at it and we walked up to it and watched a few people do it, and then I was like "Fuck it, I'm not going to sit here... I hate sitting and looking at jumps, I'd rather just get on and do it." So pushed off. And my brother was stood on the landing and a big long and low. And I was like fuck it I'm just going to drop in, just dropped in.

Dave: So I was planning on doing the big long and low and then diverting off onto a... it was almost like a cheese wedge into a twenty five foot gap, which seemed fine. If you got that one, you would easily make the next one, and then an eight foot tall slope style kicker with maybe a twenty foot gap, so not huge, big but not insane. So I knew if I got over the long and low it would be on.

Baybutt: You've gone for the B line?

Dave: Yeah, yeah. I wasn't keen to do the biggest line, it looked proper insane and way out of my depth but the right hand line was like "Yeah I think I've got that. Fuck it, I'll do it..." I've even got a couple of cranks, and if I've got a couple of cranks, the step down was big but it wasn't like one of them where the speed would be miles out so I was like "I'll do the whale tail and see what the speed's like." I don't think you need to be going super fast. You never need to go as fast as you think off a step down. I came off the whale tail, all right, hit the step down and got it absolutely perfect and was like "Job's on." No problem at all. I was running into the long and low, and the last thing I remember was maybe a six or eight foot before the lip, thinking "I don't know if I've got enough speed here." Not nowhere near, but not quite enough to get it nice. So I was like ... I must have thought, I don't remember, but in the video you can see that I push through the lip a little bit just to get a bit more length on it. I don't know whether that helped or hindered me. I think it maybe hindered. I think if I'd have pulled... I don't know if I'd have pulled up, whether I'd have come even shorter, or whether I would have not... I don't know.

Dave: The issue is, I think that the lip's quite short so I watched a few videos of people hitting it after I'd hit it, and there was one guy that hit it at the same... Was towing someone it, he cleared it so easily and the guy before him broke his leg on it. And the difference in speed, even though they were coming in the same speed, the difference in length that they got was a two or three foot difference, just because one person popped slightly more.

Dave: Because the lip was so short, whether you popped it or whether you didn't made a big difference as to how long you went. Whereas you go on A Line or Crab Apple or whatever and the lips are so long that it doesn't make that much difference to... Your input doesn't make that much difference. Whereas on that it did. And maybe I should have been more aware of that and gone a bit faster to compensate but... Like I said, I pushed through but I didn't hit it as neutral as I should have done. So anyway, I went off the lip, I get a little bit off balance and as I land I bouncedÖ well I hit, my chain guide. It was ruined, bent, totally bent. Maybe came up, I don't know a foot short, per se. Not more, I think on any other jump you would have just ridden it out but because it was so long and I was going so fast.

Dave: I hit it and just bounced straight over the bars, straight away. And instead of getting my arms out, I just went so far, I must have gone straight over, and just landed straight on my head. Or gone over onto my back and then cracked my head. Whiplashed my head into the floor. I don't really know, there isn't really a video of it to see.

Baybutt: But other than the head you walked away relatively unscathed.

Dave: Oh yeah, my back was a little bit scratched. I genuinely woke up the next day in hospital and was like "Where's the injury? Where's the big hole in my arm or hole in my knee or hole in my hands where I've got my hands out?" And there was nothing. So there was no big gash in my back, which I expected. I was like "I'm going to have something where I've hit the floor really hard with some part..." Even when...You know when you fall really hard and you scrape all your hip or... And there was nothing. My back was a bit cut up but not bad at all...

Baybutt: If that had happened, just no head injury, you would have ridden the next day.

Dave: Oh yeah 100% But I would have hit something else that wasn't my head and then I probably would've... So like I said, some kid did it the next day and did the same thing but probably another half a foot, a foot shorter, and broke his leg on impact because it just landed with one foot off, trying to bail out. And just full bottom out, and full broke is leg. And then that Harry Schofield kid who's real sick, he's like ten. And he sent it, and he did the same thing. He sent it in the wet to be fair, but he sent it, cased and literally rode down the landing on his front wheel.

Dave: It seemed like it was pretty unpredictable. I've seen a lot of videos of people it trying it and nearly killing themselves on it. I don't know, I think if I'd seen more of those videos before I probably wouldn't have... I didn't see many videos of people hitting that first kicker, I think probably because it's so sketchy that people don't actually do much over it so they don't want to film it.

Baybutt: It's a setup to the other stuff but it's a difficult set up.

Dave: Yeah almost, but it's just a weird set up.

Baybutt: So what happened after that? I know you must have heard the story from somebody else because you weren't awake

Dave: So I went over the bars and landed on my head. And then my GoPro pinged off my elbow. Some guy he went into the carpark and picked it up. So it was interesting because I sent it to my occupational health guy who was chatting to me about that I'd seen the footage. He said ďoh that's quite good because it means you can process it a lot better, and see this is what you should have done, this is what you shouldn't have doneĒ. And I said that was good because I know that it wasn't... it was my fault, I didn't go fast enough but I did everything right to try and save it. And I think if I'd have bounced slightly less I would have held it, or gone another six inch, I would have been sweet and ridden it out. It would have been gnarly, and that would have gone right, reality check let's back it off a bit.

Dave: So the GoPro kept rolling for another twenty minutes. You can hear my brother shouting for an ambulance and stuff, and then talking in French and trying to get an ambulance there and stuff. So apparently when I crashed, I went all stiff. My arms went stiff. Apparently that's a thing when you get knocked out. My brother was like "He's having a seizure." I wasn't, that's just what happens. There was another doctor in the carpark riding, and he came up. Apparently, I was out for a minute and a half, two minutes. Fully, fully out. And then woke up. I don't remember waking up. Apparently I was like "Where am I? What did I crash on?" And my brother was like "You crashed on the slope style line." And I replied "What slope style line, there's isn't one." Totally no idea where I was, or what I'd crashed on or whatever. I knew I was in Morzine but thatís it...

Baybutt: Did you know your name?

Dave: I didn't know I old I was but that was because... My brother said that, he was like "You didn't know how old you were." But then on the GoPro someone asked him how old I am and he goes "28, oh no 29." And I do the same response later on. I'd obviously heard him and then that had been implanted in my head... I never know anyway, I always think I'm 28 when I'm not.

Baybutt: 29.

Dave: 29.

Baybutt: There you go.

Dave: So he was stressing, and then the doctor was there. There was a doctor there who helped him get my helmet off. And obviously they thought I'd broke my back because I hit my back and hit my head. So they were a bit like...

Baybutt: I can't believe they took your helmet off.

Dave: Yeah because it was restricting my airway. So the way it had gone. So he pulled the little tabs out and took the helmet off. But I was fine. Genuinely fine.

Baybutt: So you were conscious, although you can't remember any of it.

Dave: Don't remember anything. Ambulance came, put me on spine board. They were like can you move your arms, move your arms. Moving my fingers like that. Oh can you move your legs? And started kicking like fuck trying to get out of this spine board they've strapped me to. There was another guy who'd crashed over on the mountain and he'd had a heli out. So there was a heli right there so they were like "Well let's put him in the heli. Get him to hospital, he might have broken his back."

Dave: So the only thing I remember was going "Yeah, I think I'm going slow here." The next thing I vaguely remember was being in the heli. I remember hearing the rotor blades, and being like "Shit this is going to cost me a fucking fortune." So I was in the heli thinking "Shit this is pretty serious" And I guess I vaguely remember being in the spine board or not being able to lay down, but that was almost dreaming. And then the next thing I kind of remember, being in hospital. And then kind of vaguely, vaguely remember having a CT scan, but I don't really... they did a full body scan actually but I don't really remember that. I kind of half remember it, again like it was a dream, like it wasn't real.

Dave: And then the main thing I remember is waking up at half eleven, half midnight in hospital and being like "Shit it's half midnight." And I kind of knew I was in hospital but I was just like "It's half midnight and I'm not asleep, why am I not asleep, chilling? I'm going to be knackered after all this, whatever's happened." And obviously I knew what had happened but it was just coming round to it. And then my brother was there the whole time and then they took me to Annecy hospital so it was an hour and a half each way. So my brother drove our van to come pick me up. To come and meet me after the heli, and then drop me off. And then came the next day.

Baybutt: So he drove there and back?

Dave: He drove back to camp, I don't know what time but half eleven-ish. And then drove back the next day, at probably twelve, one o'clock when I was due to be discharged. I felt rough as fuck. So rough that day. I think they gave me a little bit of bread, two bits of baguette. That's all I had in the morning. Then a cup of tea. And I felt fucking odd. And I slept most of the day, and then woke up again at probably two o'clock. I felt a bit more normal.

I was in hospital 24 hours pretty much. And we're just wait to see... apparently, I remember them telling me that the CT scan and stuff was fine, normal. And I was like "All right, sweet." My brother came at two o'clock, and we were like "All right let's try and get out of here." I'm all right, I don't need to be in here anymore, I'd be better to just get out of here. And I had a drip on me, and heart monitor things. I'd ripped them all off because I'm fine, I don't need them. So I took them all off. But I think you know, I do anyway, especially when you've hit your head or had an accident, you know if you're all right or not.

Baybutt: Had you hit your head before?

Dave: So I've hit my head twice before. Once in work. I dropped a piece of turbo on my hand, it fell out of a vice ... Well I didn't drop it, it fell out of a vice and I went to catch it. And it weights about ten kilos this turbine housing, it's a big bit of cast iron, maybe thirty centimetres across. Diameter maybe ten centimetres, hollow thing. It dropped out the vice and fell on my hand and crushed my finger. And I thought I'd properly fucked my finger because it was really heavy. It probably only dropped half a foot but it was a lot to drop half a foot onto your hand, and I looked at my finger and was like "It's fucked." And then fainted. And I hit my head... I was looking to miss the vice and the bench, and I just went straight back and hit my head. I wasn't knocked out for very long, maybe ten seconds. Not long at all really. And I woke up, and I felt pretty odd. But all right.

Dave: The other time I hit my head was at Best Wood I did this hip line and it had a stupid overhanging tree over one of the jumps and I caught my head on it in the air, and it... I can't remember if it knocked me off or not, I don't remember, I don't think it did, and then that proper rattled my head. But I don't think I had concussion, it rattled my head a bit.

Dave: But anyway, I had two days feeling weird after the knock out. And then I though "Once I come back from this, obviously I've hit my head, I've got concussion, yeah it's bad but I'll heal like I did then, but for maybe a bit longer."

Dave: When I came out of hospital, honestly I felt so faint. I got to the exit of A&E and I sat on the bay. And I said to my brother "I need to sit down or I'm going to faint otherwise." Sat down, and then one of the nurse came up to me and was like "Are you coming or going?" I was like "I'm going, I don't want to be here anymore.Ē

Baybutt: Is that how you got yourself out?

Yeah, I knew I had to get home, and I didn't want to be where I was. I was in the back of my van and it was all right until about two o'clock then it was absolutely red hot. It was thirty degrees every day when we there so the back of the van was sweltering at two, three o'clock in the afternoon. So I was like "I can't sleep in here, it's not comfortable, I just want to be home, but out of it." I had in my head that I was going to drive back but I knew that the quarantine was coming in, so this was a Wednesday I think. Yeah I'd done it on the Monday, and I had two days, Tuesday, Wednesday. Felt vaguely all right on Wednesday afternoon, and I was like "I'll drive my van ten minutes down the road." We were going for a little swim. So I drove ten minutes down the road, and I was like "I feel all right but I feel like I'll probably drive at least a bit more than that and I'd be okay."

Dave: So the next day I woke up at eight, half eight, and I set off, and I was like "Right I'm just going to see how far I go and when I start to feel weird..." And fully anticipated me to feel tired or weird, and I just didn't, I felt all right, so I just kept driving. I kept going and going and going. And I stopped for fuel, I think, and I did twelve hours to get to the ferry.

Baybutt: Bloody hell, that's so sketch.

Dave: Yeah I know it's sketchy. But yeah, drove twelve hours to the ferry. Got to the ferry about half eight. Stopped for Maccy's on the way. And I re-booked my ferry when I was at Maccy's at one o'clock maybe. Did that, got to the ferry port, BBC news flashed up, France going into quarantine as of Saturday morning. I was like "Oh my God." Just made it. All the stress I would have had to get here on time has just gone away, solved. So I pretty much got on the first ferry out of there, which was decent but it was delayed until... I was meant to leave at nine pm, so obviously I've been awake for twelve hours doing this. They were like "It's two hours delayed." I was like "For fuck's sake." So I got on the ferry at half past midnight.

Dave: So I got into the UK at two am, and then drove twenty minutes and slept in my van. I woke up the next day at eleven, so I'd had how ever many hours sleep it was. I woke up the next day and was just fucking terrible. Drove back to Sheffield, and it was like five hours, it should have been three hours but it was five hours because of traffic and shit.

Baybutt: Were you straight to the doctors then?

Dave: No. Well I felt all right. But obviously I felt... when I set off I felt okay to drive, maybe I wasn't but okay enough. And I got home that night at six o'clock, and I just felt totally wiped. It pretty much wiped me up for the next four days, I was fucking done. Yeah really odd. I said to my manager I'd be back in on the Monday, and was just like "Don't know how the fuck I'll do that."

Baybutt: And they were cool with you not being back in on Monday?

Dave: Oh yeah it was fine. I pretty much the first day I felt normal, well, from the accident on the Monday, it was the following Thursday that I felt normal enough to do anything vaguely normal like go on a walk or do something. I was literally was just in bed or just watching TV or watch TV and sleep in a bed. For a week. Not feeling particularly bad, just a bit off, and then really tired. So I got pretty bored of TV. And Thursday I started doing stuff. Because when I when I saw you, walked up to Bolehill. Honestly walking up to Bolehill was like walking up Mount Everest, it was fucking horrendous, just to get to the top of Bolehill. I got to the top of Bolehill and was just fucked. And got back down and pretty much went straight to bed when I got it. It just absolutely fucked me.

Dave: And that's the weird thing, you expect to feel a bit odd but I think the fatigue of doing anything really hits you. It was really weird. It's like nothing else, it's not like "I feel really tired I'm not going to do that." It's like, you feel all right and then you set out and by the time you've got to where you're going ,you're just feeling fucked, really out of it. I did the same yesterday, the day before, I went to Stanage, walked up from Redmire to the top of Stanage, felt fucking odd at Stanage Pole and walked back down.

Baybutt: And that was it.

Dave: That was it.

Baybutt: Oh mate. So what's it been like two weeks now?

Dave: This is week three on Monday. But I spoke to the occupational health on Monday and Tuesday. They've got a private healthcare thing there at work. And he was like well... Obviously, I went to A&E on week two because I was like "It's two weeks and I still feel a bit odd." And the NHS guidance was after two weeks you shouldn't have any symptoms, you should feel vaguely normal. And I was like "I kind of do but I also kind of don't". So I went and they were like "It's fine, no problem at all. You're all right just take it steady" I said it to occupational health and she was like "You've been out for like two minutes, and you've had a serious brain injury, relatively serious. You're probably on the cusp of it being a major brain injury. You're going to feel weird for at least three weeks, if not longer."

Dave: And I was like "Right that makes a lot more sense. The brain doctors in France basically didn't say anything because they didn't speak any English so we didn't get anything out of them.

Dave: And then I rang the occupational health, and this was Monday this week, so I was two weeks off, and she was like "Yeah don't come in this week." And I was just a bit stressed about work like I want to be back, but I don't feel too awful, but I think it's like you don't feel that awful and you go out and you do something, and you're like "Oh my God, I should not have done that." When I'm doing stuff where I'm not thinking about what I'm doing it's not so bad, but any physical exertion, or any serious mental exertion is really hard.

Baybutt: So you're on a bit of enforced rest now.

Dave: Yeah. I'm doing a bit of DIY stuff that I need to do and when I feel shit I'll just stop. Don't push through it because it'll just get worse after that. But I rang the GP to get a sick note, and explain what had happened. And he was like "We normally just give sick note for a week for a concussion." I was like "Are you fucking for real?" I couldn't even function after a week. I was like "I slept most of the day after a week." It was really weird, I was just like "What are you on about, you just don't know what you're talking about." I couldn't have worked. No way. Maybe if I'd not driven home but even then it wouldn't be ideal. I'm due back in next week on Monday.

Baybutt: Have got a lot planned for getting back to riding or something?

Dave: I'm going away on holiday... it's weird because I was having two weeks off, then two weeks on, and then another two weeks off at work. So I'm going to take them. I won't have my bike anyway. And then when I get back, I'll then start to ride again. And I've got a weekend away planned, at Golfie, the last weekend of September. I'm just going to take it real steady I think, and just see how I'll go. To be honest I hadn't really thought about riding at all. One I've said to myself I'm not, and two, I don't think I could anyway.

Baybutt: The offer of the gravel bike's there if you want it.

Dave: Yeah, probably when I get back from... I'll just see how I am when I get back. I'm just not pushing it. There's no point.

Baybutt: Why do you do it? Why do you like the ramps so much?

Dave: Buzz isn't it? You've got to love the buzz. It feels like you've achieved something. There's a lot of good ones in Europe, and it's just good crack getting everyone through them. I like riding technical downhills, don't get me wrong, and I love that as much as riding jumps but it's nice to be able to ride some ramps.

Baybutt: Is there some instant gratification, because you either make it or you crash and burn.

Dave: Yeah. I think maybe it's easier to find jumps that are a bit out of your comfort zone. Well not out of the comfort zone but on the limit of your ability.

Baybutt: Rather than technical downhills?

Dave: Yeah, I feel like it absolutely has to be pretty gnarly for me to be like "Shit I can't ride this."

Baybutt: Well that's a good assessment, so you like getting up to the limit of your capabilities.

Dave: I wouldn't say the limit.

Baybutt: But closer to it.

Dave: Closer to it, yeah. I ride... I think most of the time I'm riding pretty fast. I'm riding in my ability but I generally ride at the speed I would race at most of the time. I think some people don't and then turn it on for racing, but I ride at probably eighty, ninety percent of my limit most of the time. But I feel like that limit is quite controlled. When I go past that eighty, ninety percent it all gets a bit sketchy and then I can't control it. But I'm just on the cusp of...

Baybutt: But with jumps you feel like you can ride within yourself and just get the scary buzz of the unknown.

Dave: Yeah, I think you get a scary buzz on that sort of thing, when you're doing something a bit gnarly and you get a bit fucked or your body's done with... You get a buzz even if you can clear sweet, if even if you didn't clear it mint, you still get a buzz out of it.

Baybutt: That's a good way of putting it. Nice.

Dave: Yeah don't know.

Dave: I haven't really thought about riding at all to be honest. And I don't see myself riding... People said "Would you hit..." Within the week of doing it, people are like "Would you hit it again?" I'm like "Yeah I probably would." It is within my capability, but I don't know whether I'd take the risk on that jump again, but I'd definitely go and hit Air Voltage tomorrow if I felt all right.

Baybutt: So it's not put you off, that's all good.

Dave: No, I don't think so. Maybe I'll think a bit more about something that is on my limit. But a lot of things are within that limit so it's like well... I likened it to lockdown a little bit; I rode all the stuff that I'd not ridden before, the easy stuff. All the stuff I would never normally ride. But I was riding all the easy shit at mach ten and I was riding stuff that I'd not ridden before and I was riding fairly quick, and I was making mistakes because I didn't know it and it wasn't in my comfort zone, even though it technically should be, it kind of wasn't because I was riding stuff that was not familiar. And then as soon as I just went fuck it, I'm just going to ride my normal gnarly technical loop that I've ridden a million times, and as soon as I started doing that I was like "This is fine." I'm not thinking about not trying to crash, I'm just thinking about riding.

Dave: And that's what I want to go back when I start riding again is, I'm not going to think about "I shouldn't be doing this because I've got this." It's like I'll ride that, and if I'm going to ride it, if I'm not, I'm not.

Baybutt: So what would you say to somebody who's had a big stack, maybe bumped their head, maybe broken their arm, and how would they... something to get them back to riding or how they approach riding, once they're back from an injury.

Dave: I think it's a mindset anyway. I think a lot of people, and my mum especially is like, "What you're doing is so dangerous, you shouldn't be doing it anymore." My dad had a go at me yesterday, but... "You shouldn't be hitting your head, I'm not looking after you if you hit your head and get disabled or something." I don't go out to do that, and my mindset when I'm riding is not, I'm going to do something that's 120% way out of my comfort zone, or I don't know whether I'm going to make it or not. Everything I do, I know I'm going to make, I'm not going to do something if I don't know I can do it. But I think my brother would always say like "My brother would do something and it'd be sketchy, then I'd just do it and cruise it no problem at all." That'd be the difference, I'd always ride something that's within that comfort zone. I never ride well outside of it so I very rarely have really wild moments. It's normally pretty conscious. I feel in control, so you can ride in that regard the whole time.

Dave: Obviously push yourself at certain points but if you're riding way out of your comfort zone all the time you're going to crash. But if you're riding within your comfort zone and you're calculated and you know what causes you to crash then you're minimising that risk. Ride to minimise risk. Obviously my dad's always saying like "You shouldn't be hitting your head, you shouldn't be hitting your head." I've been riding fifteen years and had one crash that's ended up in hospital. I think that's a pretty good record really. There's not a lot of people who've ridden for that long and then not. I think part of that though is crashing quite a lot at a young age. Doing stupid dirt jumps and just crashing our brains out every day. But not serious crashes, so when I do crash, generally I'm not scared. I'm as in control of the situation as I can be, I'm not like "Right this is happening and I'm fucked." Even coming up to that jump when I did crash, I pushed through trying to make it.

Dave: I think work out where the line is, where you can ride safely but still get the buzz. That's the key bit. Just dialing it back a little bit or dialing it up a little bit just to try and find that limit. Like Ben, my mate Ben rides at like 120% all the time, super quick, super sketchy, will hit anything but it bites him quite a lot. Whereas a few people that ride down here know what's sensible and know what's right.

Baybutt: So you're saying don't stop riding just experiment where your limits are.

Dave: Yeah, yeah.

Baybutt: Ride within yourself to get as close to the limit as you can.

Dave: Yeah. I think it's just experience really. I guess some people are like "I've done a fifteen foot jump so I can do this fifteen foot jump." When it doesn't really work like that.

Baybutt: That's fair enough.

Dave: But it's kind of like not being too cautious as well because you'll never progress, you'll never really get the buzz.

Baybutt: Sweet. Thanks for chatting it through. I don't think we'll put the audio track up it's going to be a right mess of noise.

Dave: Yeah it will be a bit. No podcast for you!

Update: 02/02/2021. Dave Camus' claims that "Ben is super sketchy" are wholly unfounded and unsubstantiated. Cotic would like to apologise to Ben for any offence caused and can confirm he rides within the prescribed 100% limit at all times.

20/08/2020 - Downtimes' RocketMAX

Downtime Podcast' Custom Cotic RocketMAX Build

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAX

We've got a big bike check for you today - Chris from The Downtime Podcast has written up his RocketMAX build. It's a detailed one so we'll hand over to him right away...

If you follow the podcast, then youíll know that Iíve spent the last 2 years riding a FlareMAX. I built it up with a slightly longer stroke Fox shock, so it was effectively the first FlareMAX 132, giving me a bit more travel to play with. Iíve loved every minute with the bike, which begs the questionÖ why change to the RocketMAX? Well there are three main reasons, and only one of them is really justifiable!

Itís nice to change things up every now and then I was hoping to go on at least one trip to some big mountains this year and felt like more travel would be a wise move for the bigger mountain terrain I ride quite a lot with Cy, we are generally a fairly similar speed, but he keeps pulling away from me when it gets really rough and rowdyÖ he rides a RocketMAX!!

Iíll let you decide which of those is the justifiable one.

So the frame element of the bike was decided, and then itís on to what to build it up with. Iíve been lucky to have support from some great people since the early days of the podcast. Cy is the obvious one, but Dustin from We Are One Composites and Jordi from Fox have also been supporters from really early on. So it was an obvious choice to put the Fox 36s and X2 on the bike, and Dustin recommended their new Faction 29er wheels on Industry 9 Hydra hubs for my build. Iíve been blown away by the performance increase over the 34s and DPX2 that I had on the previous bike, and the added adjustability appeals to my inner geek. The wheels have been great too. They are the next generation of product from We Are One, and theyíve managed to make things even better. They are lighter, stronger and have an amazing ride feel that I love. Direct, without being punishing, and nicely damped. Oh, and those Hydra hubs make a lovely noise.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Last year I was put in contact with Aaron from PNW Components, and they have been supporters ever since. Aaron sorted me out one of their awesome Batchelor Dropper Posts and a Loam Lever Remote for this build. Iíve had a lot of issues with droppers in the past, but since switching to PNW Iíve not had to touch them once.

Since meeting and chatting with the guys from CushCore in 2019, I knew that theyíd really thought about their product and I was keen to try them. Theyíve been in my bikes ever since, and the RocketMAX is no exception. The damping they provide is worth any weight penalty as far as Iím concerned. The added protection is just a bonus.

Finishing kit this time around came from Nukeproof. They are a relatively small brand in the grand scheme of things who seem to just be quietly getting on with things, taking EWS overall wins and making some really nice components. So bottom bracket and headset are their new titanium coated ones which come with a great warranty. Never a bad idea in the UK climate! Iíve got their Horizon stem and Horizon V2 carbon bars (cut to 760mm) as my cockpit. I actually wanted the ally version of the bar, but it wasnít in stock at the time, and Iím really glad about that. The carbon bar doesnít feel too stiff (which is a problem Iíve had in the past) but still has the added damping that carbon provides. The shape is also really good and Iíve had no issues with wrist/hand pain at all. Iíve opted for the new version of the Sam Hill designed enduro pedal, and it doesnít disappoint. Itís well sealed and provides a tonne of grip. If anyone knows flat pedals, itís Sam!

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX
Grips are DMR Deathgrips, and these have been my go to grip for years now. I have tried a few others over that period of time, but never found anything that is as comfortable for me as Deathgrips are. Iíve chosen a Mucky Nutz Mug Guard short to keep the Ďsummerí out of my eyes, and it hasnít disappointed. These guards are made from recycled plastic and are a bit sturdier than some of the other front mud guards out there, so you donít end up with them deforming and contacting the tyre. I also like the fact that they come with reusable velcro straps instead of zipties, so they are easy to take on and off with no waste.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

I recently did a podcast episode with WTB about their saddles, where they explained their Fit Right system which helps you select the right saddle for you. It told me that a medium width Silverado would do the trick and it was right. Itís super comfortable and Iíve been riding without padded shorts with no issues. Iíve also got their 2.5 Verdict Dry Light/High Grip up front with 18psi in it. The rear is finished with a Maxxis Aggressor 2.4 with Double Down casing and 19psi so itís super fast rolling.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Brakes are the SRAM G2 Ultimates. Iíve not ridden SRAM brakes for a long time (since they were Avid) but Iíd heard good things about these from Cy. He wasnít wrong, they have a nice lever feel, and plenty of power with the 200mm rotors that Iíve specced front and rear. I do have a bit of a soft spot for the oil slick ti-bolts too! SRAM have also finished off the rest of the drivetrain with a mixture of GX and XX1. Iím a big fan of the Eagle stuff, it just works and gives me enough range for 99% of the things Iíd want to ride up. I just need bigger legs to get that last 1%

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Iíve put a FUNN bashguard on there, just incase I catch anything. That way, itís not going to damage the chainring. It adds very little weight but is good for piece of mind. Iíve also covered the bike in Invisiframe to protect itís lovely paint finish, and popped some trusty Marshguard Slapper tape on the chainstay to help deal with any chainslap.

So letís talk a bit about set-upÖ Initially I was running the stem around 12mm from the top of the headset, but I had felt like front end grip wasnít quite right and I kept feeling like I was going to lose the front wheel. I initially tried bringing the stem down 2mm, and that did feel better, but not all the way there. So I tried going up 8mm to 20mm from the top of the headset and that seems to have sorted it. Bar height is such a complicated one, but itís super easy to change with spacers, so itís well worth a few repeated runs with the stem in different positions to see what feels best for you.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Ok, suspension is where it gets a bit more complicated. Here are my initial settings which were based on the manual, and with the number of spacers that the fork/shock came with pre-installed.

66 psi - 1 spacer
HSC 11

165 psi - 3 spacers
LSC 19
HSC 16
LSR 17
HSR 12

(Clicks from fully closed)


Since then, I got my hands on a Motion Instruments Enduro Expert system and have done 3 sessions on my local trails recording data and making changes to improve my set up. The main thing I noticed was that the suspension was too progressive for me, especially the rear, and that the rebound was not fast enough front and rear. Here is where Iíve ended upÖ

66 psi - no spacers
HSC 11
HSR 8 (fully open)

160 psi - no spacers
LSC 19
HSC 18
LSR 19
HSR fully open

What difference has all the fiddling made? Well itís transformed the way the bike feels to be honest. There is so much grip that my confidence in cornering has increased massively. It also seems to recover grip really quickly if it does break traction. It carries speed much better through rough terrain, I assume because the bike is packing less. It feels more lively to ride, which at the moment is great. I havenít had a chance to ride it on anything with significant compressions/g-outs or jumps yet, so I need to see if I can handle it in those circumstances. If not, I may need to slow down the rebound a little to help me. I am by no means a great rider, so having this increase in performance purely from some suspension tuning is well worth having! Itís made the insanely fast RocketMAX even faster. I canít wait for more time on this absolute beast of a bike. Time to see if Cy can keep up...

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAX

If youíve got any questions, then drop me a note to Otherwise, donít forget to give the podcast a listen over at

Thanks for reading,


Click here to visit The Downtime Podcast

Read about the latest RocketMAX here…

Buy the latest RocketMAX here…

26/06/2020 - Camus' Rocket

Camus' Custom Cotic Rocket Build

Camus gets his Rocket lit

Camus, the emeritus professor at the hardtail university, has graduated to full suspension! This is a big deal - we found it hard enough to keep up with him before, now we've no chance!

His choice of bounce has gone to a new UK made Rocket in the same Sunny Yellow as his old frame. All the parts from his BFe carried over and all there is left to do is tweak the suspension, pump up the tyres and ride the hell out of it.

Camus gets his Rocket lit

Staying relatively close to a Gold Build, He's gone for a bump in travel on his Helm mk1's, up to 170mm. The rear is looked after by an Air CS shock. Wheels are provided by Hunt. Endurowide on the front but the rear is their DH rim - much needed when you ride as fast & hard as Dave on a hardtail. There's cushcore in there too. All the padding.

Camus gets his Rocket litCamus gets his Rocket litCamus gets his Rocket litCamus gets his Rocket lit

Hope components adorn the headset, brakes and crankset, whilst sram GX is the drivetrain of choice. These are held up by a pair of Burgtec Carbon bars tied to a Burgtec 35mm stem. Dave's feet are kept firmly in place with a well-loved pair of DMR V12's and the saddle is a Fabric Scoop - just like the ones we have in stock right now.

Camus gets his Rocket lit

If you want to get your hands on a copy of this exact bike then drop us an email and we can get it ordered for you. Unfortunately we can't promise you'll ever be as fast as him though...

Camus gets his Rocket lit

Click here for the Cotic Rocket

Read about the latest Rocket here…

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