For a while now we've been offering the new wide range XT 11-46 11spd cassette as an option on all our 1x11spd builds. We think it is an excellent choice for big hill and mountain riding, especially when using 29er or 275plus wheels. So, from this week, we're helping customers buying our "standard" gold and platinum MAX or Solaris bikes by fitting the 11-46 cassette as standard. Of course, if you still think the answer is 42, even with big wheels, and if you're a super fit rider hitting flatter trails then we're with you on that, you can go custom and choose any cassette you want...
As far as demo rides go, booking one in mid December is a brave move. Thankfully we must have paid our dues somewhere along the line as last Saturday was just perfect! Fog in the valley was warmed and cleared by the sun within an hour of us setting up. We had a Kaddai (fire pit) on loan from the very good guys at The Kadai Company which helped both keep us warm and get rid of the pallets from the big delivery of Escapades the previous day. Braving the potentially horrific weather, we had a large bunch of keen riders turn up who were greeted with mince pies, hot coffee and a fine fleet of bikes. Almost every bike was booked on each ride and every single bike was ridden at least once throughout the day. Poor Sam had a right job with the bucket and hose yesterday.
The loop got above the valley fog within 5 minutes of the start and we had spectacular cloud inversions to take our minds of the steep climb. Leaves had covered a lot of the rocks on the downhill sections making line choice even more tricky than usual. Mud splattered faces and fly-catching grins at the bottom meant that most people had stayed upright for the duration though. Along the route were hidden Cotics ‘Golden Tickets’ which the finders converted into a t shirt and pint glass back at HQ. Two were found by people on our demo loop; the final one by some walkers who popped by later! They stayed for a chat and even rode a new escapade round the yard! There’s little better than converting walkers to cyclists.
The final ride of the day wrapped up and we realised there was enough daylight & mojo for another… It didn’t take much arm twisting so after a (literally) smashing a whole mince pie into our mouths, we set off up the hill, spraying crumbs everywhere. At the top of the first downhill section is a series of bomb-holes which are used sometimes for motorcycle trials. We’ve done a couple of photoshoots up there and need to spend some time there with a shovel, scoping out some 50:01 style lines to cut in. @wesfife155 hit a nifty little drop and he then discovered a gap over a whole tree root section. No chicken runs, just straight to it. What a lad. Some sketchy moments, loose corners and big-time laughs accompanied us all the way down the final descent and we all returned to the warehouse with a case of #unsustainablyhighstoke.
Massive thanks to everyone who turned up - you made the ride what it was. We’ll definitely be running more demos from the warehouse in 2017 so keep an eye out here for more information. Fingers crossed it’ll be that sunny next time. Enjoy the photos.
What. A. Year.
It makes my head spin a bit to think how far we have come in the last months. This time last year we had only just relaunched the Rocket and there was only four of us, with Richard just doing one day a week building bikes. Now there's six of us with number seven on the way, and because we have a race team again there will be eight of us at tonight's Christmas meal.
Along the way the Rocket got three mates in the droplink range, and with a bit of help from Business Sheffield I decided to get them all in one go! We have revised the whole hardtail range, done a new Escapade, kept building 26" wheel bikes, done some awesome ride jerseys, won some races, been to some great events, bought a van, got a demo man to go in said van, and demo'd the hell out our demo fleet. We have done a bunch of videos, some amazing photoshoots courtesy of Richard, and generally got a lot more creative with our media and merchandise, which I love.
Almost everything about the rhythm of the business turned on it's head this year which all the new people and bikes we added. Normally August is quiet for us with people being on holiday. This summer with the arrival of the droplink range, we were full throttle all the way through building bikes for people. Usually in December we quiet down towards Christmas as people are spending their money on their family and friends instead of themselves. Our bikes don't often constitute Christmas presents. This year we were all in on Monday and Wednesday this week. We dispatch 6 bikes to a great bunch of guys in France on Monday, and yesterday, this was the pile of boxes waiting for TNT and UPS at the end of the day:
Seven bikes and something like 30 frames I think? Wow. Quite looking forward to a few days off!
My favourite thing this year was getting all those droplink bikes out there and available. It's been in the plan to have more than the Rocket in the range since before the first Rocket was launched, and it's so great to have some more options for people to ride a Cotic. It was pretty scary committing to the funding to get it done, but I'm so glad we did, and we're not stopping here. As you might have gathered from our increasing busy-ness and head count, we are growing and I'm really enjoying having a bigger group of people around me to discuss ideas and bring new things to the mix, but we're still pretty small. I expect we'll be a little less small this time next year, but I don't think any of the Big Three have too much to worry about!
I think my favourite photoshoot was the Life Bike shoot back in March. Rob riding the skate bowl at Dev Green on an Escapade was just brilliant:
If you have some down time over Christmas, enjoy it. Hug people you love, have fun, and maybe ride your bike a bit too. If you're stuck in at any point, maybe have a look back over what Cotic got up to this year. I've just had a quick flick through and there's some lovely pics and videos, and a few articles I forgot I wrote!
And if that wasn't enough, there's always the old favourites over on the Videos section. Get a bit of Rocketman for Christmas!
Thanks for all your support this year, thanks so much if you have bought a bike. Have a brilliant Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Founder and Director, Cotic
A bit of order admin: We are still hard at work building bikes and prepping frames this week as we are aiming to get Escapade back orders to everyone this week. We are still taking last minute orders and we're all hands on deck on Wednesday for our last dispatch of 2016. TNT have guaranteed delivery by Friday 23rd in the UK if we ship by Wednesday. International friends may have to wait until after Christmas for delivery, but we will still be shipping on Wednesday too. We will also pop small items in First Class post on Wednesday too, but given the industrial action hitting the Post Office this week we have no idea if those things will arrive. Sorry!
We are in the office Thursday tidying everything up and Cy is writing notes on a bit of a look back on 2016 that he will email out to the mailing list and post up here. We have our work Christmas party on Thursday night so Cy has taken the executive decision to start our Christmas break on Friday 23rd, as trying to be professional and courteous to people when you want to puke through your eyeballs isn't the best way to approach things!!
We will be closed from Friday 23rd Dec 2016 and we will be back in on Tuesday 3rd January 2017
If you do order anything over the Christmas week it will be delivered on 6th January 2017.
Fun times at the last demo of the year.
Escapade is back! As well as a restock on Lime Green we have Fast Red incoming. Available to order now, the frames are in Thursday and we'll be getting bikes out over the next couple of weeks. Orders your now:
As you can see from our photos, there's a new wheel/tyre option coming as well. From the end of January you will be able to get your Escapade or Roadrat with WTB Road Plus wheels. There are the wide and light KOM i25 650b rims, built onto our fantastic hubs with double butted spokes, running tubeless 650 x 47 WTB Horizon tyres. The ride on these tyres is lovely, and you can run them at around 35 psi without any increase in drag, and they just float over potholes, rough tracks and back lanes. A great compliment to the Escapade frame. The Road Plus wheelset is a £200 upcharge on your regular Life Bike price, and you can pre-order yours now for delivery at the end of January.
Our final open demo of the year will be on Saturday 17th December here at Cotic HQ in Calver. Join us for cake, coffee and bike rides.
We'll be making our little office space nice and cozy, and full of tea, coffee and cakes to keep you fuelled up and warm, so you can test out some bikes back to back on our local demo route. There will be three demo rides led by either Sam or Paul lasting around 45 mins, at these times:
As it's a Calver demo, there is the advantage of every demo bike being available to ride, not the usual 10 or so that Sam can squeeze in the van. There's a few bookings already, but plenty of availability, especially for the second and third rides. The route features a mixture of technical and smooth climbing both on and off road, followed by two great descents with the classic Peak District flavour of rocks, speed and more rocks. As it's not too long, you can do as many of the rides as you like to test out different bikes, or different sizes if you're struggling to decide. It's a great loop to test the bikes, as these are the trails we do a lot of our testing on both for prototypes and suspension set up.
Contact Sam via the demo page to book your demo slots. Feel free to pop in and say hello if you're in the area. The kettle will be on.
Sam is also starting to take bookings for demos in the new year, so please get in touch if you'd like to get something in the calendar. He can join your regular night ride, or meet you at the weekends, whichever is easier. He's throttling back with the open demos in January and February in order to plan some excited things for later in the year, so fire those suggestions across to him. Otherwise he's happy to meet you and your mates for an exclusive ride.
See you on the 17th.