As regular readers of our news/blogs/emails will know, we're quite big fans of multiple chainrings here at Cotic, with both Paul and Cy running double or triple. The main reason for this is that we like doing steep tech climbs, and we don't like flogging around out of the saddle unless we need to. Techy twiddlers we are!! Which is why we've resisted the 1x drivetrain - until now!
Earlier this year OneUp Components sponsored our Cotic Steel City Media Racing team. The boys run 1x10 Shimano drivetrains because they are a) way stronger than us and b) way faster so like chain devices keeping their chains on. However, a move to bigger wheels and some EWS adventures in the offing meant that OneUp's 42t sprocket conversion would be a good option. In the early season we had a bit of trouble keeping them running sweet as the XT mechs were at full stretch, and the Syntace hangers are slightly outside the Shimano recommended positions too for better axle clearance. But a few weeks ago, along came the RAD Cage and all was sorted out. So sorted in fact that it persuaded Cy to give 1x a go and Paul is now seriously tempted too!
It's early days for us mere mortals, but we've kept it twiddly for climbing with a Hope Retainer Ring in 30t which gives nearly the same bottom gear as the 24/38 double it replaced, and when you do the sums it only loses effectively a couple of gears from the top. In practice, it works brilliantly now with the RAD cage, climbing is good and currently not missed the top end gears.
Given that this conversion costs not much more than £100 compared to the full SRAM works it's a bit of a no brainer if you want a 42t sprocket drivetrain. OneUp only sell direct, but if you want something along similar lines with one of our complete bikes, a Hope Retainer ring in 32t is a no cost option, and adding the 40t Hope T-Rex to that is £55.
The Cotic front mech luddites give up their left hand shifters. Who'd have thunk?
Just in this week, we have our latest colour on the BFe. It's a matte version of the gloss green we have used since the launch of the latest version of the frame. It's an ace colour, but having seen how good our favourite colours looked in matte on the Soul275 we decided to change things a little and matte off the finish and move to the white-on-black decals. Looks great, doesn't it?These are available from stock to order now. Order this by Wednesday and we'll have your lovely green frame to you by Friday.
We have a few of the gloss green frames left in stock in large or small only. We're dropping the price on these to £299 until they're gone.
Our South African connection Matt da Jongh and Steve Smith did the long distance Sani2c event again this year. As if it wasn't hard enough, they decided to do it on their Cotic X's this time. Here's Steve's great write up:
Well done lads. Mad, but well done! If you're in Southern Africa and want a Cotic, Matt's the man to speak. Check out cotic.co.za.
Some great news on an advocacy project Cy's been helping with via Ride Sheffield. Last spring they launched an initiative to crowd fund the money to build a trail in the Lady Cannings Plantation woods just west of Sheffield. They've reached their target with phase 1 building over the winter, and also picked up a sponsor in Go Outdoors Calibre Bikes to build the whole rest of a loop in the woods over the next 3 years. All the details are on the Ride Sheffield website.
This is a really exciting idea which Ride Sheffield hope will inspire similar things around the country. Get involved!!
It's now little less than one month until the start of Hillside AM Challenge 2014. We made a short video from the race course, to show some of the sections:
Tricky climbs and descents. The summer has been fantastic so far, dry trails and loads of sun here in Gothenburg, Sweden. Here comes the video, share if you like it on Cotic FB/web.
Two Cotic Soul bikes were used to shoot this video. My ten year old Soul from 2004 that now has new paint, blue, with new decals and my friends orange Soul that he's had for a couple of years now.
Leo & Natasja, Hillside Cycling
For one day only, our holidays overlap... so...
On Friday 25th July Cotic will be closed for the day.
I'm sure if you've been following some of the coverage of EWS4 (if you haven't, get over to Vital MTB or Pinkbike for a catch up) you'll know it was a brutally long and arduous mountain event, with the longest ever EWS stage. Some serious altitude and mountain weather made for a serious test of our intrepid pair as they once again had a crack with the worlds' best. Chay picks up the story....
It's Monday afternoon and Rich comes to pick me up. Were setting of to La Thuille, Italy, just over the French-Italian border to the 4th round of the Enduro World Series. Sat nav says its 946 miles and off we trot.
Overnight stop in Folkestone with some fine park bench gourmet food and hotel wheelie contests, and then a 10 hr drive later to another in Bourg San Maurice and just an hour over the St Bernard pass and we arrive.
There's a buzz in town as the race village is being constructed and practice gets under way.
6 stages are to be raced, 3 Saturday and 3 Sunday.
Stage 1 is also stage 4 so is to be ridden first thing both days. It's a monster! After 2 chair lifts you then have a 40 min peddle at altitude to the summit. That bit is tough enough, never mind the stage that is 10km taking 20min ish. It starts at 2600m and was extremely cold. Snowing/rain or misty at the top. The slippery stone scree before long turned in to open moorland for a few km, where the hidden rocks were waiting to catch you out and the wet grass could be rather greasy. You then hit some stunning singletrack, a wet boggy patch and just as your starting to feel well and truly fatigued you hit a short sharp climb. That's only about half way down and signals the start of the tech woods. You now can't breathe and your arms are full of lactic acid and locked up solid. The rest of the trail I seemed to spend riding at 60% as it's crash avoidance. I know I can ride faster but my body is screaming no more. On the second run of this on Sunday i learned to manage this by riding the top section using every chance to flex my fingers and sit down on the smoother parts for a rest. It's about managing your fitness to last the full length of the brutal stages.
Stage 2 is across the valley and the only one to not be lift assisted. The 800m vert ascent takes around a hour at a steady pace, up part tarmac, part fire road climb. The reward is the most enjoyable flowing loamy roller coaster of a trail/stage I've ever done. Everyone is buzzing off it and would love to ride it over and over. However, the climb means multiple practice runs are not a option.
Stages 3,5 and 6 all have the same start point just 200m above the second chair lift station. Stage 3 goes straight down the hill and is singletrack the whole way. Stage 5 is 2/3 the same but breaks off with a nasty little up hill thrown in, and Stage 6 splits off near the top with a 200m road sprint before dropping you back in to some more brilliant singletrack.
They all then joined up in the last field to take you down a duel track and into the finish arena.
The World Series is a lot bigger than the British. Its stages are much longer and harder and it takes some adapting to with regards to pacing yourself over the length and severity of the race sections. You can't go out guns-a-blazing as you end up blowing like a old cart horse way before the finish line.
Day one was a learning curve in pacing: Fast enough or not? Where to push? The day was done and 105th is where I'm placed from 200 or so Elites. Team mate Rich has had a blinder on ground he kinda knows having been a guide here for a few years. He's 85th.
So a new strategy is needed to get my goal of a top 100: Relax where you can. Rest where you can, so when it turns tough you still have some strength to attack it, or at least stay stood up with some dignity left!! This definitely helped on Stages 4 and 5 on Sunday.
Between Stages 5 and 6 we have a time check allowing for bike maintenance and a spot of grub. I get Shimano to bleed my back brake as its got a bit of air in it and was pumping up. Not helpful when your arms are falling off anyway! Job done and its back on the 20 min chair lift to tackle the brutal Stage 6. It's so steep, and I'm gonna give it all that's left. I get off the lift to find my back brake now barely works at all unless I pump it! Thanks lads, that so helpful! With no time left there's nothing to do but clench the cheeks and drop in. I get to the stage split and the road sprint go to change gear and boom my gear cable snaps! Oh deep joy, little to no back brake and I'm stuck in top gear with arms like Popeye's!! You couldn't make it up could you? With yet another up hill sprint to do near the bottom I have no choice but to run as there's no chance of pedaling up it in top gear. It's fair to say I nearly spewed in the finish area which is a fair indication of the effort required and a World event.
Something in my little plan had worked though, as Hey Presto! I've bumped up to 92nd. I know I ain't challenging for the World Championship but I've got the top 100 i was trying for, even with a bit of running and not a deal of back brake. Thanks to the Shimano lads for making a balls of that for me! If you want a job doing and all that.
The prototype Rocket29 sure does shift and was well up to the Italian alps! Fair play to it.
Massive thanks to Cotic, Steel City Media, Lezyne Tools, Royal Racing, 7 Protection, Just Riding Along for the Industry 9 wheels, One Up Components, X Fusion Shox, and rab outdoor gear for keeping me warm at the summit. All your products worked tremendously well and stood up to those big hills rather better than a 39 year old joiner from up north!!
The last round is back in Italy in October at Finale. May have to go and see if another top 100 is in the cards. Until then we still have lots of British races to tackle.
Cheers La Thuille. It's been emotional. Chaymoose
We've been asked several times about what kit the boys are on this year, carrying them off on their adventures, so here's what they were running for the big mountains of Italy.
A couple of years ago we decided to start giving some time and money to local projects in order to give something back to our local community. Inspired by Patagonia and Yves Choinard's autobiography Let My People Go Surfing, we decided to give 0.5% of our annual turnover to a local project. As it turned out there was a perfect one that had been bother Cy for a while. Done at Totley Hall Park near where he lives was a derelict 'BMX' track. A crappy token gesture in the park that the developers were made to do when they built the housing estate nearby. We got in touch with local trail building legends Biketrack and got a quote. We then went to Sheffield City Council to see if they'd match our money. They did chip in, and through some sterling work of a local fund raiser we also picked up some grants from local trusts. The final push over the line was local outdoor company Big Stone coming up with a grand themselves and we had the money to get the BMX track turned into a brand new pump track.
Now the track was in need of some love and we have funded Biketrack to go back in for half a day to sort it out. Check out the new big berm!
This year we're also contributing to the first phase of the crowd funded Lady Cannings trail building project being promoted by Ride Sheffield. This will see MTB specific trails built in a local woodland.
It's important to us to do something to make the cycling world better for people and in doing our little bit for these projects we hope we're making a difference. We and plenty of other people are certainly enjoying the pump track, and Lady Cannings will be a great addition to the local trail network when it gets built. We also hope that in our own little way we can inspire other companies to do the same, just as Patagonia inspired us.
Chay and Rich said Bon Voyage and are heading down to Italy to have another crack at the EWS action in La Thuille. Looks like there's already been some hotel shenanigans by the looks of their instagram!
We'll keep you up to date with their adventure as they report back, and look out for a full blog next week.
We were up on the Cote de Bradfield yesterday and it was just immense. Never seen crowds like it, never seen support like it, never heard noise like it. Just so exciting and so amazing that the Tour came to Sheffield. Awesome. More please.
One of our Cotic Simple owners is a Sustrans Bike It officer down South, and has taken an interesting approach to inspiring kids to get out on their bikes....
Hi Paul and Cy
I have been a little busy over the weekend, putting in some miles on my Simple but it was all very much worth it!
I started riding on Thursday 26th June at 3pm and rode until Saturday 28th at 3pm riding 384.7 miles in the 48 hours! I was joined by hundreds of happy cycling children from all over Brighton and Hove who rode with me for the final 4 hours at our annual festival, Bikestock. During the night sections I was seriously hallucinating seeing at one point, the Iron Man coming over the hill, and nettles morphing into bike frames in a Mexican wave! Other notable happenings included a fox who stole all my Caffeinated Gel Bloks, he must still be buzzing around Stanmer Woods, and a full blown rave that showed up in the park complete with police helicopters and attack dogs… I just kept on riding!
The bike was fantastic and was comfortable throughout the ride, with a Pace fork up front and 36:20 gearing for those of you who like such facts!
See here for a lovely article by road.cc…
We were raising money for Sustrans and for East Sussex Association for Blind and Partially Sighted People here.
I work for Sustrans as a Bike It Officer and our schools had been prepared for the challenge of beating my record attempt and duly turned up en masse to beat me and some of the kids rode 58 laps of the track that I rode (I did 485 Laps)!
We had an amazing event with hundreds of happy people enjoying a beautiful day out in the park, all with the aim of beating my challenge…
Ben Sherratt (Bike It Ben)
Sustrans Bike It Officer for Brighton and Hove
Rich has just sent through his thoughts on the weekend, from a beach somewhere in Greece. I think he deserved a few days off after that result, don't you?
Round 3 of the UK Gravity Enduro was held at Afan Forest in South Wales over the last weekend. Chay and I headed down on the Friday morning to see what Steve and the team, in particular trail building wizard Charlie, had in store for us. Whilst motoring down the M5 it was apparent due to the big blue above that we were going to be blessed with stunning weather; what we weren't expecting was for the stunning weather to last all weekend.
We got the pits set up, tweaked the bikes and headed out for a gentle spin of the course. The course map looked like a bit of a brute with some long stages and one long transition over to Stage 2. However with the weather feeling like we were in the Cote d'Azure it was hard to stop riding. The pits had filled up by the time we'd got back and the relaxed vibe created by the team was flowing.
Saturday at the UKGEs is seeding day. Stage 5 was being used which was a physical 3 minutes plus sprint down a mixture of trail centre, fresh cut, fourX and some classic old school hay bale slalom which was a winner for us 'This Is Sheffield' dual slalom racers. I managed to put in a strong run and seed 1st in Masters, Chay kept it tidy to seed 17th in Elite.
Come race day the sun was still buzzing around and we knew with the physicality of the stages it was going to be a energy sapping day on the Cotic Rocket 29ers. Here's a run through of each stage.
Right out of the blocks Stage 1 was a tough start. After a very short transition my legs were still getting going. The top section was fairly straight forward but after a fire road crossing the stage started to show its teeth. It was important to carry speed, pump and get those all important strong pedal strokes in. It was a classic trail centre descent with a mixture of short rises, tight corners and a super fast long traverse into the finish. I felt I rode strong.
After the longest transition of the day I arrived at Stage 2. This was the stage I was worried about the most. The bottom third of the track was littered with sharp imbedded rock and big old boulders. I'd double punctured in practice on my maxxis ardent so I opted to change back to my minion for the added security. It worked and I put in another strong run. I was starting to feel good about the day but knew anything could happen so didn't want to let my confidence run away with itself.
I knew this was going to be hard; it was by far the most physical stage on the weekend. I'd say almost half of it was flat with nasty little climbs thrown in, carrying speed here was vital and any little error was going to be big. Not only did it burn the legs but you needed to be strong on the upper body to double up little compressions that could easily sap your flow. By the end every part of my body was screaming; I physically couldn't give anymore.
I was looking forward to this stage; after repeating the top section of Stage 1 you headed down a steep perfect new fresh cut trail. Due to the dry whether the dirt was perfect and the loam factor was high. Once I dropped in I knew I was on a good one; I hit all the high cambers and kept it upright on the narrow ledges until disaster struck. I compressed into a catch berm and put a big pedal stroke in when my chain snapped; I rode the front end for a while before getting off and sprinting up a little incline (my fell running background helped), I rode the remaining part of the track with my chain flapping behind me. I was angry at the bottom but tried to remain positive and calm. At this point I'd like to thank Matt Pritchard for helping me out and giving me a speed link - true enduro spirit.
This was a repeat of the seeding run so I was confident if I hit all my lines I could put in a strong run. I was also still angry about loosing time on Stage 4 so I knew I had to ride fast but not completely throw it away. I was also a little worried I'd snap my chain again so I kept the pedal strokes smooth. I set of knowing that the end was insight so I may aswell put everything into it. It was practically a mirror image run, I crossed the line strong to see I'd gone 0.4s faster than my seeding.
I had a bit of a nervous wait until the results were out but a cold beer with some good mates kept me calm and relaxed. An hour later I checked the results to see I'd won the Masters category. I'll be honest; I was so happy, from the 1st round at AE I've worked hard and it's nice to see some payback. I also approached the weekend more relaxed which hopefully I can carry into the remaining part of the season.
Chay put in a strong performance breaking easily into the top 20 finishing 16th in Elites.
We now have a short break until we head out to La Thuile for Round 4 of the EWS. Once again thank you to all the organisers including the marshals and timing staff who braved the midges.
Richard and Chay (of COTIC STEEL CITY MEDIA RACING) had a great weekend in Afan, with Richard getting on the podium. And not just anywhere on the podium...
Chay's sent through his run down of the weekend....
Well its been a while since I've been some where hot on holiday but deepest wales this last weekend has been like being in the med. my word its been hot, I don't think I've ever had to concentrate so much on taking on fluid's for a race to avoid dehydration I aint complaining its been brilliant.
Afan is a huge trail centre near port Talbot in south wales (I'd recommend it for a weekend trip) and Charlie and Steve of UK Gravity Enduro did a brilliant job of laying out a course that's brought another variant to the series; carrying your flow!! Ae forest had DH runs, Innerleithen was proper steep and now its time to get your pedal on and carry every ounce of speed you could muster.
Qualification showed some really tight times and every tenth of a second counted. The quali stage took in the national four cross track along its way, which made it a brilliant spectacle for the crowds to watch and cheer.
I managed 17th in the Elites so breaking in to the top 20 that I've been chasing. Rich however had a blinder in the Masters class and smashed 1st ready for Sunday: He was flying!
Race day cometh and the sun is beating down once again, stage 1 has the same top section as stage 4 and they split part way down to different finishes.
I started the day by making a stupid mistake and sliding of on some roots that had been uncovered. I'm guessing its about 10 seconds worth of a spill, but hey ho I crack on down what is known as The Wall, totally pinned to the bottom.
We then had an hour and a half transition over to stage 2. That was a warm one, but easily doable at a nice steady pace. Here's a vid of a practice run on 2 - the bottom bit is fair fast and a bit wild. Enjoy the ride!
Stage 3 was a event on its own . I think they call it xc racing!! Nearly 6 mins long and what seemed like half of it was up hill or tech flat bits it was tough. I managed 10th fastest time here which I think means I can pedal hard when I need to.
Stage 4 had the same top as Stage 1 with flowing trail centre feel, then it drops really steep. It was a blast but the narrow path suffered under the amount of traffic down it so by the time the Elite field got there some of the corners were well and truly blown out. However, same for us all so I ain't grumbling!
The next thing you know your back up at Stage 5 that was the same as quali. Every ounce of strength you have left is needed to get down this one with a huge sprint to the final jump. The crowd wouldn't let you sit down and rest or the cheering turned to some serious heckling.
Rich deserves a massive well done here for smashing the Masters class win, brilliant effort.
So I've blagged (some might say earnt via 2nd overall in Masters last season - Cy) my way in to Elites this year and my goal was to pull a top 20 outta the bag. 16th is the final score and a little disappointed I binned it on stage 1, it's a case of what could have been. However taking results out of the equation that was one of the best weekends' at a race I've had. The weather, the tracks and most of all the gang of folk that come to these events are real nice folk and make it a brilliant weekend (you all know who you are) if you've ever fancied a go at racing get one entered its a blast.
till next time
The boys were at the British EWS a couple of weeks ago. It sounded pretty brutal, but we'll let team rider Rich Norgate take up the story....
The dust has firmly settled after a very successful round 2 of the EWS at Tweedlove. I thought it was about time to look back at what was a great race. After an early start on the Wednesday morning I soon arrived in the Tweed Valley eager to get out on the bike and see what day one had in store for us. I’ve ridden the ‘golfy’ tracks before so I wasn’t too nervous about the stories I’d heard about the characteristics of the tracks: steep; tight; rooty; and rocky. I enjoyed the first day’s practice even when the rain came down; you know you’re enjoying riding your bike when you’re sodden and covered in mud.
Calm before the storm - Cotic Steel City Media Racing looking well!
Thursday morning rolled in and I’d planned to ride Day 2 over at Glentress, I’d woken up with a fairly upset stomach so the day was spent rushing into the bushes and checking out the trails. By the end of the day I was fairly drained and was looking forward to a rest day.
I headed down to the event village on Friday to sign on and catch up with a few faces. The event village was buzzing and my Nephews definitely appreciated the wooden pump track and relaxed atmosphere. Whilst stood around, a few enthusiastic kids came over and polity asked me to sign their autograph book, I’ll have to admit I felt like a bit of a fraud especially when just over the way the likes of Mr Hannah and Mr Barnes were chilling in their colossal pits.
Saturday: Race day 1
The sun had made a welcome appearance and it was time to get the race head on and see how I’d fair against the world’s fastest trail riders. Day 1 was the biggest of the 2 days covering just over 50k and 1500 metres vertical, not to mention some seriously steep trails. Here’s how each stage went:
Stage 1 G-Force
After a completely sketchy start I gave myself a good talking to and settled into the stage, like pretty much all the stages on Day 1 it was very easy to make mistakes due to the tight steep nature. I decided to ride at 90% which seemed to work.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Kirkman
Stage 2 Jawburn
This was a completely bonkers trail after a short sprint down some open moorland it shot you into more steep, and this time rocky woods. It was a good stage for me, I love riding this type of riding. Closer to the bottom there was a fair amount of hecklers out shouting some great words of encouragement. (I thought hecklers shout bad things?!)
Stage 3 Total Spacer
After a long transition which popped you out on top of Minch Moor I had a short rest to get myself ready for a physical stage. Steve Parr had received a fair amount of flack in last year’s UKGE for the top of this stage. The first part involved a flat out sprint down the back of the trail centre climb, unlike the UKGE the EWS stage shot you into some more steep techy trails. Personally I don't mind the physicality of the pedaling and I think it has a place in Enduro, especially when you need to push your heart rate then compose yourself for some technical riding. I was really happy with this stage; I pushed hard and I felt smooth on the bike.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Kirkman
Stage 4: Inners Face
The final stage of Day 1, the EWS team had put together a super flowy creative trail. I've ridden the downhill tracks at Innerleithen quite a bit but I'm not sure I'd be able to remember the route of Inners Face, it must have used at least 3 of the existing DH tracks. I was on a good run until I came into the final section and heard my Pops shouting me on when I went straight out the front door (no blame rests at his feet). I got myself up, stayed calm and carried on.
After a short pedal back to Peebles it was time to see how we had all got on for the day. I was encouraged to see I was sitting in 80th; I had managed to put myself in the mix with some elite UK riders and I felt I’d had a good day on the bike. My team-mate Chay had a few issues thru the day; the main one was riding the last stage with no tyre on his rear rim. After a short ride around the blue route at Glentress with my 5 year old Nephew it was time to relax, eat and get ourselves ready for Day 2.
Sunday Race Day
I'd had a good night’s sleep but it felt hard to be completely relaxed; this format was new to me and even though I was feeling good about my position, it was still only half time. Day 2 was entirely within Glentress Forest.
Photo Courtesy of Mike Kirkman
Day 2 Stage 1: Mast O' Zorro
Out of the start gate I was a little concerned; the first part of the stage was another backwards trail centre descent with flat corners. My legs felt heavy and lacking power, had I put a bit too much into Day 1. I tried to carry speed and keep the flow.
Day 2 Stage 2: Revelation
Finally my legs were feeling a little more normal which was a good thing because stage 2 was very physical. After riding the top on the black run you got spat into another fresh cut trail which was unbelievably perfect. Wednesday’s rain plus sun and wind had resulted in hero dirt; this was short lived as I knew the bottom section was going to push the lungs to the limit. You eventually cut into the bottom of Deliverance which on a normal ride is fun if you pump and flow down it, but at race pace you're pedaling all the way to the end. By the end I was making a few exaggerated breathing sounds.
Day 2 Stage 3: Stick 'N' Stones
The Shortest stage of race… and what a cracker. Again this was a mixture of trail centres and fresh cuts. After a scary moment when I completely flat landed and exited onto a fire road I pushed on and had a smooth run.
Day 2 Stage 4: Lang Whang
The last stage of the race – I had mixed feelings. I was looking forward to the end and a beer but I was also really happy just riding my bike. The beauty of Enduro is when you're not racing down stages you have transitions where you create little units with the people around you, there was about 6 of us in ours and we all had good chin wags and spurred each other on. Stage 4 was a beast and the longest of the weekend at just under 4k. Before the start I told myself to keep it tidy and consistent, I knew I was still sitting in 80th and I didn't want to throw that away. After telling myself this I nearly hit the deck just off the start, luckily Mike Kirkman (a mate of mine and handily also a freelance photographer and journalist) was on hand to capture the ball riding moment! (see below).
Ball Riding! - Photos Courtesy of Mike Kirkman
After this incident I had a strong word with myself and settled into the stage. I hit the spiky climb and thankfully there was big bunch of spectators hailing abuse to sprint up it which helped my get out of the saddle. Apart from a spectator running across the track near the bottom and my ball riding incident I'd had a good run. Phew. Finished!
High fives all round our group and it was time to get back to the Cotic pit in the event village to see how we'd got on and have a well earned beer. I was handed my timing receipt and a beer, I took a bit gulp, thanked the staff and had a look to see how I'd got on. I was sitting in 77th.
A few hours later I was sitting in the car and heading back home sipping cold beers. I had come 80th by the time all the riders had finished which I was very happy with. I want to extend my thanks to the EWS and Tweedlove team, it was a fantastic event and fair dues to them for having the race dubbed as the hardest EWS to date. We may not have the big alpine hills but I think a fair amount of people we really impressed with the riding we have in the UK. Chay had another mixed day with a few crashes but he'd also put in some fast stage times and it's easy to see he has the speed. We're both now gearing up for Round 3 of the UKGE Series at Afan on 22nd June and then more adventures at Round 4 of the EWS in La Thuille. I'd also like to extend my thanks to my family who came in good support, without them the weekend wouldn't have been as smooth.
Thanks to Mike Kirkman for the photographs.
The Yard Sale went brilliantly on Saturday, despite the awful weather. Probably the wettest demo we have ever done! Chapeau to all who joined us for a ride. We cleared out plenty of lovely stuff, but there's still some gems left. The list below is what we have available. This can be shipped this Thursday, just email email@example.com to place the order. All prices below need to have shipping cost added. It's £10 for the UK, £40 to Western Europe, other places just drop us an email to ask. We have prices for sending anywhere.
Odds and Sods
Get in touch and pick up a bargain. First come first served.
We've just been down and rifled through the boxes to get a good idea of what we will have for your buying pleasure this Saturday. So far we've counted 30 frames, a few suspension forks, some wheels and a box of tyres!
There are three main categories of frame for you. If you'll excuse the slightly confusing sequitor, first group are the Seconds. These are brand new, full warranty frames which usually have slight paint blemishes or very small scratches either from the factory and/or shipping or they've been built up for photos or similar and have wheel axle scuffs in the dropouts, for example. It makes them unsaleable "as new", but are otherwise completely lovely and of the 'it'll be way more scratched after the first ride' variety.
The seconds frames are on sale for 30% off RRP, so for example a Soul or Solaris will be £350, BFe3 £230, Roadrat £174. You can add a brand new RB3 fork to the RoadRat for £80.
The RoadRat Alfine bike was the star of our Friday Night Escapade video. It was brand new for the shoot and been ridden just that day. Full warranty on this too for just £750.
The next group are the ex-demo frames; frames that have been part of our demo fleet over the years and been changed out for different colours or replacement models. Our demo bikes aren't used massively intensely, so although a little tatty around the edges, they are very far from worn out.
This group we are doing for half the original price, so £250 for Solaris or Soul3, £240 for Soul2 and 1, £165 for BFe3, £150 for BFe2. The only exception is the Escapade which was the other bike in Friday Night Escapade and only used that day. That frame is £190, to which you can add a new RB3 fork for £80 should you so wish.
ODDS AND SODS
The final group are the 2nd, used frames from discontinued lines, or slightly damaged. Reduced to clear as they say!
We have some new old stock orange RB2 forks you can add to the orange RoadRats or black X's for £40.
We also have loads of part worn tyres which will be a fiver each, some ex-demo suspension forks which are in need of a service, but working, some Deore hubbed 700c wheels from previous RoadRat bike builds and various other bits. Come down and have a rummage!
Bring cash ideally, but we will have card facilities too, it just takes a while due to the sloooooww internet connection in the Valley. We'll have some drinks and biscuits on the go and Paul, Cy and Richard will all be around to have a chat to about bikes. If you're interested in a new frame you can even come down and buy one of those on the day. We are at the warehouse after all!
Remember there's also demo rides running at noon and 2pm if you want to have a go on a Solaris, Soul or Rocket. Drop us an email to book on.
The day will be running from 10am-4pm, and the address is:
Sat nav isn't much good as the post code takes you to the middle of the village. Calver Works is just off the main A623 road between Calver and Stoney Middleton, and there's a white cottage at the gate. Unit 9 is at the bottom of the yard.
Remember last year's fancy dress winner at the Steel City DH?
Following my fancy dress win at Steel City DH (2013!) I may have broken a world record for the longest time taken to build a frame up. As the prize was an unexpected new project it took me quite a while to get the component together and it seemed such a shame to finish it during the winter slop, when I tend to ride my single speed Jackflash anyway. As Steel City DH 2014 approached I was guilt tripped into pulling my finger out and spinning the allen keys for the anniversary. I've attached a couple of shots of my new pride and joy for the cotic.cc site. Its quite a simple build; full SLX everything, Recons and a bit of colour coding. It really does ride beautifully. Very lively and confidence inspiring.
Thanks ever so much for awarding me the frame for my efforts last year. All scratch builds are unique but mine has a wonderful story that's great to share. #ProudasPunch
It's round 2 of UKGE and were up at the infamous Innerleithen in the borders.
It's one big old hill and 5 different runs mean climbing the beast 5 times.
It's not for the faint hearted either in fitness or in ability.
Arriving on Friday getting set up a quick brew and its off on a 20 mile loop here's stage 5 practice run to give you a idea of the steeper stages.
The trails were a good mix of dust, roots ,wet bits ,rocks and proppa steep stuff, you name it, it had it. A big up to Seve and Charlie for making it tougher to try and bridge the gap between last years quite easy courses and the Enduro World Series that are a world away from a trip around a British trail centre. Saturday rolled round and its up bright and early for another lap, you cant be to late back as quali starts at 3 and a rest is needed before your 6th climb of the hill in the same day.
So its 26th in quali , I'm not to impressed with my self but with 4 of us on the same second and only a tenth of my mate and last years masters champ Lee Kermode it aint far off.
Race day cometh and the Scottish weather gods decide were getting both barrels. It rained in the night but just to make sure as the riders start their one hour climb so stage one it proppa lets go. This is where having the right kit is rather important as quite a fiew found out!!
Each stage is now bog or river or both with rocks and roots thrown in. I managed to try and fell a tree on stage one meaning firstly I lost time but also ripped off my reverb hose so the rest of the day was spent with my seat down. Boy did my legs feel it..
Stage 5 rolled round and some poor fella had a big 'en meaning after a delay the commissionaires finally cancelled it. (hope he's ok and makes a full recovery). This did result in a impromptu mass start dh of 45 elite lads, now that's what you call a giggle.
28th is where I ended up, not what I wanted results wise but that don't stop it being a ruddy good event and a ruddy good weekend, roll on the Enduro world series next weekend
We're having a sale of our ex-demo and slight seconds frames at Calver on Saturday 7th June. Come down and pick up a bargain! Ex-demo frames at up to 50% off RRP and slight seconds frames (usually small paint marks) 25% off RRP. We have BFe, Soul26, Solaris, Roadrat, Escapade. Come down and have a look! Bring cash ideally, but we will have card facilities too, it just takes a while due to the sloooooww internet connection in the Valley. We'll have some drinks and biscuits on the go and Paul, Cy and Richard will all be around to have a chat to about bikes. If you're interested in a new frame you can even come down and buy one of those on the day. We are at the warehouse after all!
We're also running a demo. Rides at 12noon and 2pm. We have Solaris bikes in all sizes and a medium Soul26, plus a medium Rocket. You need to book on so email firstname.lastname@example.org to stake a claim.
The day will be running from 10am-4pm, and the address is:
Unit 9 Calver Works
Sat nav isn't much good as the post code takes you to the middle of the village. Calver Works is just off the main A623 road between Calver and Stoney Middleton, and there's a white cottage at the gate. Unit 9 is at the bottom of the yard.
Looking forward to seeing you!
Rich Norgate writes about stepping up to the Pro category....
It’s that time of year again when a fair amount of folk gather in a special set of woods just outside Sheffield; that’s right it’s time for Peaty's Steel City Downhill.
I’m going to jump straight into the racing because Cy has already explained what a wonderful race this is. Unlike previous years I was now part of a team and racing with the big boys in the Pro category, cheers Nick Hamilton! I wasn’t too fazed about the prospect of racing against some seasoned World Cup racers and a fair amount of fast local lads. I instead took the view that it was going to be an amazing experience as it’s not every day you can say you're racing in the same category as Mr Steve Peat.
With the Pro class racing last I had a couple of hours to kill before my first run. I’ve never raced a (non mates race) downhill event so sitting around waiting for my run is a little unusual, I’m more used to getting on my bike and riding; I think the common word used now is Enduro. A few of us meandered up the track making our way to the now famous Jolley Gap Jump; we knew this was the place to be. My family, like a lot of families had turned up to enjoy the racing and relaxed atmosphere.
I decided to head up for my run 30 minutes before my start time. The atmosphere was fairly relaxed which was welcomed. 10 minutes before my run I decided I should wake my legs up by doing a few short sprints. I got myself in line and went through the track, pull up there, manual that, don’t try any turn bars over the jumps, just keep it low and as the old dog says himself carry good speed. Sprinting out of the start I had a clean top section trying to pop over those awkward rock sections that can grab your front wheel. I rode the tight berm section well and then came my first mistake; I hit an inside to inside line which I had practised in the week forgetting they had taped the 2nd inside line tight so I caught the pole with my body and bike. Instead of feeling I had thrown an almost perfect run away I relaxed back into my run and nailed everything else. I crossed the line and went into first place. This was short lived as I got knocked back with the next rider down. With the 2nd runs a few hours away I was sitting 9th in a stacked field.
I tried to repeat the same warm up for my second run but it was getting fairly late in the day and I could hear the bar calling my name. I had a much scrappier 2nd run but went a little faster which made me think my first run mistake must have cost me more time than I first thought. I was pretty happy to finish 12th and be only 8 seconds behind Steve Peat.
As I crossed the line out of breath my mate who had raced in the Masters class was waiting with a cold beer and my nephew George was there with a big smile on his face. Days don’t come any better than that.
Rob from FTR writes....
Has the ‘what wheel size’ conundrum driven you around the bend, leaving you not knowingwhat bike to order? Wouldn’t it be great if you could go somewhere and try all the sizes out?
Well, now you can!
Finely Tuned Ride will have a small Cotic demo fleet available for you to try at Erlestoke12 for that very purpose. In the 26 and 27.5 corner you will find Souls to try, and in the 29 corner Solaris’ (or is that Solarii?). The breakdown of bikes and sizes to try is as follows:
Soul 26 Large
Soul 27.5 Large
Solaris Medium & Large
There will also be a Small Soul 26 and Extra Small BFe available to look at and try for size.
Non Erlestoke12 competitor Demo times are, 0930 and 1045 please book to reserve bike and size, Competitors can book a est time they like to demo the bike on the day.
(if there is more demand extra times can be added)
If you would like to take one of the demo bikes out for a spin then you will need to ensure that you have photographic ID and proof of address (driving licence would be ideal). Please bring your own pedals (or bike and we swap them over) and don’t forget a helmet!
For more details or to book a bike for demo, email email@example.com or ring 07810 300 367.
The Biggest Little Race In The World was back and better than ever in 2014, the 4th edition of Peaty's Steel City Downhill. We turned up early on a gorgeous sun dappled day to set up in our usual position overlooking the drop into the bomb hole at the end of the track. Some new banners freshened things up and a strong coffee got the synapses working.
Next up was registration with the aim of being early down the track to get my eye in then get back to the stand and chat to people. Waiting at the top, Start Marshall Matt shouted "come on then!" and it would seem I was first man down. GULP! So helmet on, pedals ready, off we go! Having recently conquered my fears thanks to A Line Coachings' Man Friday on the Jolley Gap Jump, I jumped that with a fantastic sense of elation and got heckled and cheered even a 9.05am! This is the best thing about this race. There is support and people everywhere, all day long.
Unfortunately I didn't get to lead it into the drop as I got a pinch flat. Pre-race nerves/superstitions getting the better of me the previous evening when I'd thought about checking them. Good job it wasn't a race run! Walk back to the stand for a quick tube change and back for another go.
By this point all our mates and the team boys Chay and Rich were around and everyone was buzzing in the sunshine. Both of the lads were punted into the Pro cat due to being 1st and 2nd on the Masters podium last year. Both were a bit nervous about playing with the big boys, but I was excited for them.
Practice went well and there was a while to wait until race runs so we set about fueling up on sausage sarnies, coffee and Mexican food from the awesome Street Food Chef #athletes. We also kept an eye on the fancy dress. This years theme was Sheffield Legends and we were again giving away at BFe frame to the best outfit. There were three obviously in the running.
All three raced the course in costume, so fair dues! In the end it came down to a tough decision between Shorn Bean and Yorkshire Tea, and we went with Hannah and her Yorkshire Tea outfit. Fittingly, having sent Jolley's Gap in his final race run Shorn Bean won the prize for Best Jump so both costumes ended up deserved winners.
As more or our mates turned up our stand became a little hub of people, bikes, helmets and bags. I think there might be a sideline in race day pits/hospitality as people were clearly enjoying having somewhere to hang out!! It gave the place a great atmosphere though, and as the 10 year olds started to head down the hill the racing was on and the crowds gathered.
We decided to join the hecklers on the drop we were shouting encouragement at everyone giving it a go. There were clearly plenty of people conquering their fears and it was great to watch. It's one of the best things about the event; you get such a buzz off seeing people pushing themselves and having a go, right from 10 year olds and novices up to the fast boys pushing for a time. It's a great leveler and I'm sure it's what makes the race so much fun for spectators.
Race runs came around and The Nerves set in. Everyone was taking themselves off for a little word with themselves. It's so funny, because half the people we were with said they always ask why they put themselves through this build up, but they always come back for more!
Chay and Rich did us proud coming 8th and 12th in a stacked Pro field, and I was psyched out of my mind to end up 12th in Masters! As the runs finished Peaty smashed everyone (again!) and it was time for the podiums, then packing up and heading home for another year.
It's hard to get across what it means to the Sheffield scene that this race is such a success, but it's pretty much my favourite day of the year. It's ridiculously good fun, and such a happy occasion. As Benji put on his Singletrackworld report
"It’s a collective grass roots effort by and for mountain bikers. It’s a case study for other regions’ riders to take inspiration from. All counties should be putting on events like the Steel City DH.".
He's right. This started out as a muddy rut of a course rough cut through the woods 3 years ago to raise some money for the local Wildlife Trust. 4 events later and the money raised has seen the woods purchased by and for the community, and we have dedicated MTB tracks in these woods and one of the most fun events in the country. It's not just because of Peaty - there's a big group of local people volunteering, working hard, organising, digging, helping to make it happen. Maybe you could make something happen in your woods?
What Mountain Bike magazine have a Best Looking Bikes EVER supplement this month, and in amongst some pretty iconic bikes there is our very own Cotic Rocket.
We are so happy about this. We put a great deal of effort into designing the look of the Rocket as well as the functionality and it's such a treat to have that recognised along side a bunch of fabulous looking bikes from throughout the history of the sport. We'll admit to going a little bit weak at the knees over the Yeti FRO as shown on the cover up there. It is an amazing steel hardtail made for thrashing about on the hills, so you can probably understand our leaning towards that though, eh?!!
If you want to get a look at all these bikes and bunch of other good stuff to read, get hold of the latest issue of What Mountain Bike magazine which is on sale now.
This weekend the Biggest Little Race In The World, aka Steel City DH is coming to Greno Woods again. Entries are all full, but Cy, Rich and Chay will be there representing Cotic Steel City Media Racing and Peaty, Bryceland, Sam Dale and a couple of other World Cup racers will be there along with the local pinners for a couple of runs down through the woods. It's an awesome atmosphere and the weather looks like it will be ace, so come down for a watch. All the info is on the Steel City Series website. As with last year there's a fancy dress theme; this year it's Sheffield Legends. We'll be giving away a BFe frame to the best outfit, so if you're dressed up make sure you swing by the Cotic stand to show yourself off.
Preparation started early this year with Cy determined to overcome his Bete Noir on the course, the infamous gap jump. The gap was sent due to the legend that is John Paul Jones from A Line Coaching with his fantastic Man Friday course. With this firmly in his big of tricks Cy is aiming to scratch the dizzy heights of Better Than Mediocre (tm) in the Master cat. Rich should be doing considerably better than Cy in the Masters cat, and after last years' Masters win Chay gets to play with the big boys in Elite/Pro.
It's a brilliant event and it all raises money for building more trails and maintaining the mountain bike trails in Greno Woods in association with the local Wildlife Trust. See you Saturday?
Dirt have been punting around on a Soul275 for a few weeks as part of their Hard Tales series.
The production frames arrived in stock today, so first frames will be going out tomorrow for delivery Friday. Order now and we might just squeeze you in this week.
Complete bikes (including the new 1x drivetrain option shown in the Dirt article and now an option on all the bikes) will be available in a couple of weeks once we have tyres. You can Pre-order yours for delivery on 16th May.
One of the best bits of doing what we do is getting emails and phonecalls from customers loving their news Cotic's. Here's a great one from last weekend which made us smile when we got back to work yesterday. Mark writes...
Hi Cy & Paul,
Please find attached jpegs, my first trip out, Good Friday and no bits fell off!!!
I must say though I am very upset with my new BFe, so is my Wife..... She is upset I seem to spend longer out on the trails than I did before....
I am extremely upset, as, not being 20 anymore, it forces my old bones to tackle things which I had no confidence to do before; it's so fluid and planted it must be against the Law, surely? Each pedal stroke is rewarded by a burst of speed previously alien to me, even when I'm knackered; it rewards a well timed pump and shouts for more; I popped the front wheel today for a large root, the bars went for my throat like a rabid rat, not wooden and unfeeling like I got used to!!
Finally, I am exceptionally upset at not having built one years ago!!!!
Honestly, what's it like having created such a cracker? I had to make sure and go out again on Saturday and Monday to prove it; gents, fun is on the menu!
I wish you every success with your manufacturing venture, 'Made in Sheffield' has a nice ring to it, especially to this ex-pat.
Thanks for the email Mark. We can fully relate to being aggrieved about not being 20 anymore too! Wishing you many more happy days in the saddle.
We're back after the long weekend and dispatching as usual on Thursday this week. We're looking forward to hearing from you.
Remember, Soul275 lands next week and first deliveries of those will be Friday 2nd May so get your order in now to be one of the first.
We're closed for the 4 day weekend from this evening (17th April), so we'll get back to any emails or phonecalls next Tuesday (22nd April). Dispatch is back to Thursday next week so anything you order over the next few days will be with you next Friday if it's in stock, which is everything except Rockets and Soul275.
Have a great weekend. We hope you find some fine weather and even finer riding.
Rich Norgate writes...
The weekend of the 12th of April brought about the first round of the UK Gravity Enduro series. The series is now in its third year and growing at a fast rate. The popularity of Enduro is fairly easy to see but a lot of the success has to go down to Steve Parr and his team, whilst this is a race, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There’s no space for attitude or pre madonnas.
Cotic Steel City Media Race Team; Chay Granby and Rich Norgate headed up to Ae forest on Friday morning for some pre-race practice. On arrival at 12pm the pits were already filling up and it was great to catch up with some old faces from last season. There was a lot of talk about pre-season training and the inevitable ‘what size wheels are you on?’
After a quick cuppa we got the team pits set then it was kit on and out to see what Steve was going to be sending us down and up.
Stage 1 started at the top of the uplift for the downhill tracks and sent you down a fairly straightforward man made trail with the added challenge of these little awkward bus stops that send you into the woods. A quick sprint on the fire road you then dropped into the AE Line Trail before dropping right into a freshly cut steep finish. At race pace it was physical and it kept you on your toes.
Stage 2 was a real fitness test. It was part of the red route climb so every tight corner had little to no banked corners so it was important to able to carry as much speed as possible and have the ability to sprint out of the saddle for rough 3 minutes. It was already clear that there was going to be a great contrast of tracks in store.
Stage 3 took you out on the red route and away from the arena. It was steady 7-mile pedal to get to the start, which in reality was a nice way to let the legs recover after the 2nd stage sprint fest. This was the only stage the we didn’t practice after hearing people views about the length of transition and type of trail. Out of the start it was another out of the saddle sprint but instead of tight turns you had long flat fade away turns and a few tables thrown in.
Stage 4 was completely different to any of the other stages; the build team had put a real test into the mix. It was tight, muddy, rocky and the roots come race day had a super slick sheen on them. The fresh track spat you out onto the bottom of the AE Line and a few jumps later you were over the finish.
Stage 5 was part of the National DH track with a few tight wooded bits thrown in and some steeper turns. It was easy to pick up speed and blow out turns; you also had to be precise in the tight trees to stay on line. The finish line drop in was a great place for spectators to watch the riders come down. This was also the seeding stage so the racers got two bites at the cherry. Come race day the bottom woods filled with people watching and cheering each other on.
After coming second in last years Masters category Chay moved into the Elite class. His goal was to finish inside the top 20 which he narrowly missed out on finishing 22nd. This is still a strong result in packed field of seasoned elite and ex world cup DH racers and a much larger in 2014 with 42 men in the Elite category. Rich finished 4th in the Masters category, which is a great starting point to the season.
It was a solid start to the season with some definite areas for improvement. The level has stepped with a lot of people clearly working hard in the off-season. This is a really healthy thing for UK Enduro, which should hopefully help us chase down the dominant Europeans. I guess we'll find out later in the season at the Tweedlove, La Thuille and Finale EWS rounds we've entered!
Round 2 will be held at Innerlethan on the 24th-25th of May followed closely a week later by our first adventure on the world stage at the Enduro World Series at Glentress! But before all that we have the worlds' biggest little race at our home town of Sheffield - The Steel City down hill!! 17th May, Grenoside Woods. Get down and give us a cheer!
They use Lezyne seat packs, tools, pumps and CO2 inflaters, Squod Pro Carbon saddles from Dirty Selle San Marco, X Fusion rear shocks, Industry-9 wheels supplied by justridingalong.com, Next SL carbon bars and cranks from Race Face.
To make sure you get your lovely Cotic before the Easter weekend we're moving Dispatch to Wednesday (16th April) this week so your frame will be with you on Thursday. That means you need to get your orders in by end of play tomorrow (15th) to be sure to get your order this week.
Announcing our latest hardtail frame, the Soul275. Yes, we've finally introduced a 27.5" wheel frame! And before you go calling us 'splitters' and 'sellouts' #26aintdead! The original Soul (now Soul26) and BFe are still very much available and yet to be replaced in our affections, but we now have a 27.5" wheel option to run alongside them for all you modernists out there.
In a nutshell, it's just as you would expect - a Soul with 27.5" wheels. Same intentions, abilities and all round aceness of the Soul with the new wheel size. We've worked on some tweaks to the frame layout which we're calling Optimised For Inline. This is very much about rider fit on the bike being right with inline seatposts and longer forks. Where the original Soul was designed around 100mm forks and a layback seatpost, the advent of dropper posts which are largely inline clamp can shorten the position on the bike quite a lot compared to what was originally intended. With most people settling on 120mm forks as their default option these days we felt we needed to look at designing around these as the base setting. The upshot is weight distribution and handling which is virtually identical to the Soul26, just with a slightly longer wheelbase and top tube length, and a slacker seat angle to account for that inline seatpost. All your contact points (saddle, pedals, handlebars) are just where we always intended, we've just joined the dots a little differently to make it work with the components you want to use. There's some more explanation and diagrams over on our Geek pages.
To finally sign off the handling and geometry we spent a week riding the Soul26, Soul275 and Solaris back to back, doing endless laps of some challenging circuits to get right to the bottom of what the differences are. The most interesting points were that the 26 and 275 bikes handle very similarly. You ride them in the same manner and they react in a similar way. The 275 is a little calmer on bouldery sections, the combination of the larger wheels and slightly longer wheelbase making it a little more stable. But that's about it. The 29er was quicker around the loop and had more traction on loose, steep tech climbs, but it required a different style, different timing. It was slightly more prescriptive; it had a way it wanted to be ridden, you carved fast long flowing arcs down the trail whereas as the smaller wheel bikes you popped off things, had more options, and kind of smash-and-grabbed a little more. For Cy as a hopeless Reverb addict the Soul275 fitted him better because he always used to use a 20mm layback post on the Soul26 because he's a lanky git.
There's some more pictures and some more info over on the product pages. What you'll find are some very common descriptions across the two bikes, because we do see this as very much the same bike with a wheel size option. The Solaris was never going to be the Soul29 because it was clear from the beginning of testing that despite aiming to bring the best features of our other hardtails to 29" wheels, the nature of that wheel size meant it was going to be quite a different bike with different strengths to the Soul. Here we didn't want a new product name, because once we'd ridden the first prototypes it was clear the 27.5 frame was intrinsically related to the Soul26. The same traits flooded through and you ride it in a similar way.
The Soul was originally conceived as a Modern Steel Hardtail. By adding a 27.5" wheel option we're simply carrying on with that concept. We're not making any big statements about better or worse, we're simply offering you the option should you so wish.
On Sunday morning whilst out running, Steve Worland, legendary UK bike journalist, died of a massive heart attack. We are so, so sad to hear of this and our hearts go out to his family.
We have a very large soft spot for Steve here at Cotic, because he was a massive part of our being a bike company at all. Back in 2003 when we were on the verge of receiving the first batch of Soul frames, I (Cy) was ringing around magazines trying to get people to have the prototype bike in to test and get some publicity. Jane, the editor of What Mountain Bike at the time, was happy to have the bike in and said she would hand it to Steve for testing. I was so happy, yet so nervous! I grew up reading Steve's detailed and authoritative reviews right from the first one he wrote as test team captain of MBUK back in 1991. I still remember the cover with this wiry guy leaning a bike across the cover wearing a baggy singlet and Oakley Frogskins. Like anyone you grow up with like this, I was slightly in awe of Steve. After a couple of days with the bike, he emailed me the following message:
Really like the bike Cy. This is basically the bike I wanted Chris DeKerf to build me a couple of years ago.
To say I was over the moon would be an understatement. One of the most respected bike journos in the industry liked MY bike! I think I might actually have squealed out loud.
He went on to write a beautiful piece (our first in print) about the bike, giving it a whole page of the mag with a lovely photo of him riding it. I still have that photo framed in my office. The orders started coming in the week after, and we were away!
On our way back from our holiday in the South West, Steve invited me to his office to collect the bike and have a chat. I was so nervous, but he immediately put me at my ease and we chatted for about an hour about all sorts of cool things. He was over 20 years my senior and I was still of an age where that lent him an automatic authority and separation from me. However, he never treated me (or anyone else I can think of) as anything less than an equal, simply reveling in a shared love of bikes and the outdoors.
He was a lovely, lovely guy. Generous with his time, considerate, of impregnable integrity, independently intelligent and forthright. In short, he was one of my favourite people and I will miss him greatly.
Thanks Steve. You were one of the best. Happy trails.
It's always nice to see what people have been up to on their Cotics over the weekend. We do look at your posts on twitter and facebook. Some good ones today...
We've been a bit slack with the updates on cotic.cc recently, and it's about time we put that right. We love seeing your photos, and we know there's a lot of interest amongst riders to see how others have built their Cotic frames up... so... first up.. check out Andy's new Escapade... looks smart, yes?
A couple of months ago we announced we were moving our production of the Rocket to our new sister company Bicycle Manufacturing. We've had a huge response to this, which we are so happy about. We've nearly sold through the first batch of UK made Rockets: You can order yours here if you'd like one of the few remaining from the first batch of 50.
For those of you who have already ordered, thanks so much for the order. It means a lot to us that you have. What we want to do now is give an update on progress, as it's not been quite as smooth as we'd hoped. Here's why.....
Since we started Bicycle Manufacturing we worked with a number of sub-contractors, and one by one they let us down or fell by the wayside leading to us doing pretty much everything ourselves. Unfortunately, the last company we were relying on to supply us parts for the build - the tube bending company - can't deliver. They had provided the service for bending the seatstays on the prototype frames and they were good. In fact, it took us about a month last year to find them, and all the other people we spoke to either told us to use these guys or just didn't/couldn't do what we needed. When we went to place the production order, we were told that the guy in charge of the company and the guy with all the tube bending expertise is seriously ill and not going back to work. It's terribly sad, but also terribly frustrating. We spent some time talking to other suppliers, but in the end we have decided to do it ourselves. It's partly because we have got to the point where we want to rely on as few other people as possible, but also because the process we want to use will result in perfect tube bends every time. We're not just doing the press-and-bend or putting big crimps in the tubes because neither of those things are a particularly good way to bend tubes. It's quick and easy, sure, but it's not the best so it's not for us.
Long term it's better because we have yet another process under our control, but we've lost several weeks out of the programme because we've been researching, designing and making our own tube bending machine instead of building frames. And if that wasn't enough, we were shut down at the end of last week because we were evacuated by the bomb squad. The guy had mustard gas mortars in his house for goodness sake! You couldn't make it up! And another few days lost.
So, it's not going to be mid-March for Rocket delivery as we originally expected, it's going to be the end of April. We hope you can wait this final extra bit longer.
As a side note, this is also a measure of how close we are in the UK to losing a lot of our manufacturing knowledge. This guy was an expert at what he did, had done it for more than 40 years, pretty much the best in the business, but because there was only enough work for him to do, he'd never taught anyone else. This is happening a lot, and it's something we're aiming to reverse by founding Bicycle Manufacturing and teaching people manufacturing skills again.
If you're interested in what Bicycle Manufacturing are up to, Singletrack ran a little story last week.
We're sorry to have to announce another delay. Nobody ever said this would be easy, but to paraphrase a famous speech, we didn't do this because it's easy, but because it's hard.
Some nice weather at last! Hope you've been able to talk advantage of it.
We have a couple of new frames we have coming next week. The new Escapade and Roadrat3. Escapade is a new drop bar frame to replace the X. It takes all of the great features of the Roadrat and the X, along with some improvements and combines them all into a tough, fun, fast road bike.
Escapade is longer top tubed and steeper angled than the X which makes it better on the road, whilst still retaining the massive tyre clearances and superb versatility our road frames are well known for. Frames size use traditional road 54cm, 56cm and 58cm top tube lengths for easy fitting on the majority of riders.
The Dogsbody dropout from the Roadrat is used to allow singlespeed, fixed or hub gear set ups, and the stout tubeset with 35mm down tube from the X is retained. This gives the frame better stiffness with less flex around the bottom bracket area when loaded up or running singlespeed.
Improvements for 2014 are a lovely clean disc only layout, and a new RB3 9mm bolt thru axle fork with matching wheelset. This gives great security and stiffness to the fork and allows us to move the disc mount back to the traditional rear fitment. A bit less 'weird' looking than our previous front left mounting position!!
We went disc only because the vast majority of the frames and bikes we've sold recently are specified that way, and disc brakes are coming to road bikes in a big way. The BRR517 brakes we spec work really nicely, and although we're not doing a bike with them on, if you've ever tried the Shimano hydraulics you'll have seen the future. The trickle down will happen soon, and disc really suit this type of bike. We put disc brakes on the original Roadrat because we said drivers are dopey and liked stopping in a hurry. It's nice to be able to roll out that proposition for you guys who prefer drops.
The RB3 fork is designed for use with our new wheelsets which feature a 9mm thru axle, but they can be used with your regular hubs. If you remove the skewer you can spring the forks apart to get the hub in, then you re-install your skewer. It's nearly as stiff and just as secure as our thru axle setup, but we wouldn't recommend it to people needing to get their front wheel out often or in a hurry. We still have some of the older style RB2 open dropout forks in v/disc option in duck egg or gritstone colour if you'd prefer these to use with your regular wheels.
All of these features - stouter tubeset with larger down tube, disc only, thru axle fork - have also been moved onto the Roadrat3.
A few years ago Kelvin coined the phrase Life Bike as a kind of shorthand tongue-in-cheek name for that workhorse that does a bit of everything. Your going to work bike, your going to the shops bike, your getting away from it all bike. It may sound a little cheesy, but that's exactly what the Escapade and the Roadrat represent for us, and hopefully for you too. Tyres big and floaty or small and fast. Derailleur gears, hub gears, single gear. Mudguards, panniers, bottle cages. Strip it all down and speed into the City. Load it all up and head off into the hills.
The Escapade available in Black Grape (as seen on the new BFe) and duck egg, with the Roadrat3 continuing in duck egg as well, but introducing dark olive as the alternative colour. We'll get some pics of the olive next week when they arrive, but it's a lovely understated colour. Unfortunately we got sent the duck egg Roadrat3 for photos so haven't got studio shots sorted just yet, but we've had it on a test mountain bike frame that we've been riding this winter and it's lovely.Framesets are available to order now for delivery next Friday if you just need frames and forks. They start at just £249 for the frame only, £329 with the RB3 bolt thru fork, or £299 with the RB2 open dropout v/disc fork. We also have Roadrat2 framesets in medium gritstone still in stock if you'd still prefer rim brakes.
Bikes and rolling chassis will follow in a couple of weeks once we've had the bolt thru wheelsets built to suit. The bolt thru wheelset will be £175.
They're a lot of fun these bikes; we hope you like them.
One small, but great, piece of the puzzle also fell into place today as we've been informed that our application to use the Made In Sheffield official stamp has expedited and approved so our frames will proudly carry the Made In Sheffield mark right from the start. How good is that?!!
Our first batch of UK made Rocket frames are due in a few weeks. There's a few left from the initial batch of 50. You can pre-order yours now.
Another great opportunity for you tall riders! We still have a few XL Solaris in Gloss Bright Blue, and we're reducing them to £375 to clear as well.
All other sizes in stock in current colours (Duckegg or Green), and available for £499.
Okay, our last few XL Simple frames have been reduced to £375 to clear. An absolute bargain for you tall singlespeeders out there. Colour options are Gloss Bright Green or Matte Laurel Green.
Well, we were hoping to show you all the new shiny this weekend in London, but things simply aren't ready in time, sorry. So, we'll be launching products as and when they're ready, and not before, here in Yorkshire. We know this will be a big disappointment to those of you who wanted to see our bikes "in the metal", but we feel that turning up with just the current range would be just as disappointing
So, look out for new things by us, but being launched up here, not down there. And, if you want to get hands on time with our bikes, please come to a demo day, where you can hit the trails on the bikes, not just stare at them under artificial lights.
Okay, our £375 offer on Gloss Bright Orange Souls is nearly over... simply because there's only a few left.
Of course, we also have lots of new stock in of Matte Duckegg and Gritstone frames at the usual price of £499, in all sizes, but if you want the ace Orange, or simply want a bargain... go grab your frame now before it's too late... only medium and large left:
We're at London Bike Show next week. It's at ExCeL in Docklands, and it's open from lunchtime Thursday 13th to 5pm Sunday 16th. Paul and Cy will be there with some new things to look at. Why not come and see?
Cy forgot to update the stock when we got some more Solaris frames are a couple of weeks ago. All updated now, so we do have the previously out of stock small and large Solaris in the lovely green colour available to order. Duck egg in all sizes too.
We've had over 300,000 hits on our notorious 26 ain't dead video, but there's a lot that goes into shooting such a slick outcome. Like a lot of cracking up at the ridiculous funeral scene, and a massive crash that we thought had put a stop to the whole shoot! Ladies and Gentlemen, the 26 ain't dead out takes...
The time has come! We can finally reveal why we had to go all quiet on the Rocket for these last few months: Today we are announcing the from now on all Cotic full suspension frame production is happening in the UK, built at a new production facility Cy co-founded. This factory is Bicycle Manufacturing Limited, or BML for short. Does what it says on the tin!
About 2 years ago Cy met Mike McDermid, who is the other partner in Bicycle Manufacturing Limited and the manufacturing brains of the operation. We began working on this project after it became clear to Mike that using the latest automated techniques and equipment combined with high skilled hand made production, it would be possible to be competitive on price with Far Eastern supply on high end products with a flexible, high quality UK operation. Mike's experience with all areas of manufacturing are extensive, right up to designing carbon composites for F1 and Le Mans cars, (Williams F1, Wirth Research, Red Bull Racing) as well as some of the top names in the Aerospace and bike industry.
As you know, Cotic - like just about every bike brand in the world - sources frames and parts from the Far East. Some of the reason for this is price, but in most cases it's also to do with expertise. The Taiwanese and Chinese have factories and companies that just build bikes. Not aircraft, or car parts, or motorcycle frames as well, just bikes. They have expertise and make it very easy to source parts. They're very good at what they do. When we figured out that, if done carefully and correctly, we could be competitive on price for mid-to-high end products using the processes Mike had in mind, we were suddenly in a situation where the price was good and cutting edge manufacturing and material expertise was in the UK. So, all things being equal, we decided we would prefer to make some models in the UK. The pricing is similar, but the flexibility of production and the speed of development for new product tips the balance in BML's favour.
We realise that quite a few of you have been waiting a long time for Rockets, and we have been fairly evasive on the subject up to now. We can only apologise for that. Our hope is that you understand that whilst we were completely committed to success with Bicycle Manufacturing Limimted all last year, until we got to this point - having pre-production frames in build - we couldn't be sure when we would be ready. We didn't want to put more pressure on the build up of the factory by putting some arbitrary production date on it. For those of you who have been patient with us; thank you so much. For those that decided to buy something else; we totally understand and would probably have done the same in your shoes!
We're very close to completing the first pre-production UK made Rocket frames, so look out for more on this in a couple of weeks. And before you ask, they are 26" wheel!! Once they've been finished there will be a brief lab testing and sign off period to dot i's and cross t's on the UK construction methods and we're aiming to be in build in early March.
We're so excited about this project; the possibilities, the potential for new and interesting products. So much to look forward to. Welcome to our latest adventure!
It's taken the printers a while, but after the avalanche of orders for our 26 ain't dead T shirts we are getting them into stock this week. If you have pre-ordered but haven't paid, lookout for payment request emails from us in the next couple of days. If you have paid, you don't need to do anything. If you're a small, medium or large size and still would like one, there are a few left in these sizes not yet spoken for. Head over to the clothing order page to get yours.
We will be at the London Bike Show on 13-16 February with lots to look at. Come down and have a chat.
You can get your tickets at the London Bike Show website.
See you there?
We have just had our first batch of X Fusion Slide forks which are now the stock option on the Solaris bike and rolling chassis. Paul and I have been using Velvets (the 26" version) for a few months and they're great forks, and I have some 150mm Slants on my Rocket. They're great value too, knocking £150 off the price of the bike and chassis options bringing them down to £2,100 and £1,300 respectively.
A great feature with these forks is that they are easily and simply internally adjustable for travel, so we can now offer 120mm or 100mm travel options and we can sort the forks exactly as you want them.
We started working with X-Fusion after a really productive meeting at the Eurobike show. We've been using the forks and O2 RCX shocks since then, and we have a great custom tune shock on the Rocket. The Cotic Steel City Media Racing team will be running the shocks on their race bikes too.
When we began development of the Rocket and the new droplink suspension platform one of the key objectives was to make sure it looked great and looked like a Cotic. It took a fair amount of thinking, arguing, scribbling and reviewing several options before we figured out what that is. It's clean, uncluttered lines, something with cohesion and grace, something that looks like you want to ride the wheels of it! It's all very well plying the old form-follows-function adage, but with care and thought it's possible to design a spectacularly functional product which looks great too. And let's face, given the choice between two great bikes, you're not going to pick the ugly one, are you?!! So thanks to Red Bull for recognising and appreciating our efforts.
Busy, busy! Orders are open, and we're here to help.
We're catching up with holiday orders and dispatching most of them today.
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