Unboxing the new SolarisMAX frames... Better/more photos to come!
The 2017 SolarisMAX is the latest evolution of the bike, which retains the sweet handling of the most recent version, with the only change in geometry being a slightly longer Large size to even out the steps between the medium and XL. The reach on that frame is up from 436mm to 443mm.
The big change is at the rear: As with the Droplink full suspension bikes, we're bringing MAX to the hardtails with the introduction of a Boost148 thru axle rear end and MAX S-bend chainstays which now have tyre clearance for 29 x 2.5" tyres or 27.5 x 3.0" Plus wheels. We continue to use the light, secure and compact Syntace X-12 axles, and the icing on the cake is the introduction of Stealth dropper post routing on the seat tube.
So, a bit of a mullet redesign - all business at the front, party at the back!
For more information about the new SolarisMAX frame and the build options, go to the product page
Adele has become known via her blogs on Singletrack regarding women's cycling and the state of advertising in cycling in general. She comes from the point of view of having worked in mainstream beauty and fashion media for 20 years and brings this experience and combines with a love of mountain biking kindled over 10 years ago. She rides mainly around her home in the Surrey Hills and is a brilliant writer and speaker. As her first blog for us starts:
"I'll admit that I'm not the typical choice for a mountain bike ambassador. Unlike most ambassadors that are specific to mountain bike brands, I'm not a man. I've only ever won one mountain bike race (and that was distinctly local!). I'm not particularly brave nor exceptionally skilled at riding. I've never ridden across America, or Siberia, or even Surrey (which is where I live) for that matter. In fact the closest I have ever got to being an ambassador for anything before was handing round Ferro Rocher chocolates at an office party. Ha, ha."
"Instead I am a journalist and a middle aged mum who happens to love riding my mountain bike. I also love talking about it - as well as issues that surround women's cycling - on Twitter, Instagram and in the cycling press (and on this blog, of course). I've spoken about women's cycling at the Cycle Show and Look Mum No Hands. I've been interviewed about women's cycling by the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times. Happily, other riders seem to want to share in my experiences. Someone who knows about such things told me that I have become an 'influencer'."
You can read what else she had to say on being a Cotic Brand Ambassador on her blog.
Did I mention the @coticbikes 🚀was built for razz-duro? 📽 @petearcher • #RazzDuro #HDDN #Noodle #Super #gritandsteel #unsustainablyhighstoke #coticrocket #hktmovement #ridejoystick #ridewtb #wildernesstrailbikes #flatpedalthunder #xfusionshox #hopetech #MadisonClothing #LakesMTB #OneMoreBrew #Razzing
Ben is a Lake District based one man media company, producing amazing outdoor sport photography and video. Ben will be riding his Rocket this year, producing photos and videos for us and generally being an all round lovely bloke. Exactly what a Brand Ambassador should be!
Here's Ben's Q and A:
Sam has just about recovered from a very busy but really enjoyable weekend in the Forest of Dean last weekend. There was plenty of mud, which was then all over our yard as the bikes were cleaned off ready for their next trip...
The next demo is an exclusive demo on Saturday, but there's an open demo on Sunday 19th February at Comrie Croft. Sam will be sticking by the van for this one, as the short lower loop is great for some back to back bike testing. A great chance to try a few bikes if you're not sure on sizing or which frame you'd like. Get in touch if there's a particular bike (or bikes) that you'd like to try, and we can reserve them for you at a time that suits you. Sam will be set up in the car park from 9:30 until 16:00. Remember a flask, as the cafe will be closed!
In other news, there's only one space left on the Rivington Open Demo which is with a small Rocket available on the morning ride, so drop us an email to get booked on: email@example.com
Here's a couple of action shots from last Sunday's open demo ride in the Forest of Dean:
Give Sam a call if you'd like more information about our demo days: 07398189114
Or drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Server problems mean you can't place orders on our website at the moment, sorry, we're chasing it up.
Give Paul a ring if your need anything urgent 07970 853 531
UPDATE: COMPUTER SAYS YES - order pages are go!
Quick update from us is that our 7th (how did that happen?!!) member of the team started work today. Hannah is our new Demo and Dispatch Assistant, which means for Mondays to Wednesdays she will be emailing you to catch up after demo rides if you have been out with Sam the Demo Man over the weekend, and also helping to organise the demos when Sam is having his "weekend" on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Towards the end of the week she will be packing boxes and making sure your order gets to you spot on and on time.
For our part we have been trying to get the #ladbantz out of our systems and the mugs are now hung up because there's too many to leave on the drainer now, and we had to buy a new kettle. No expense spared here at Cotic!!
On Hannah's part, she's not from a massively bikey background - being organised and with an eye for detail was the main proviso for this job - but she's learning fast.
So, just to let you know not to be alarmed if you get an email from Hannah @ Cotic, she's just catching up about your demo or your order.
We have also updated our About Us page which tells you a bit about Cotic and where it came from, and if you want to read individual profiles on each of us, scroll down the page and click on the photos. Here's Cy's:
At Cotic, we believe advocacy is a really important thing to support. We give 0.5% of our turnover every year to a local trail project - so far we have renovated a local pump track, and contributed 10% of the budget of the first crowd funded trail in the world, Blue Steel trail at Lady Cannings Plantation near Sheffield. Cy volunteers for Ride Sheffield, and Richard is a driving force behind the work at Bolehills BMX track. This year Ride Sheffield are working on their third crowd funded trail. With over £36,000 already raised or committed (this year's Cotic money is in there), they need just £9k more by September to make it happen.
They're offering up some amazing experiences to raise money - £200 to Ride with Peaty, or £150 for an exclusive Hope Factory tour. There's also a JE James sponsored bike raffle where anyone contributing £25 or more gets put in the draw to win a bike.
You can contribute directly to Ride Sheffield paying into their bank account.
Or you can donate via Paypal to email@example.com, either as a single sum, or you can subscribe to make monthly Paypal payments too. Click on the link for all the details now:
Cy gave an interview to Wideopen Magazine about all this, which is re-produced below:
How many people make up the RADmires project and what do they do?
RADmires is a fund raising project run by Ride Sheffield, which is a volunteer trail advocacy group in Sheffield. It's not a separate project to the other activities. As such there's a core group who keep things going – 14 of us in total. We all pitch in where we can. We also couldn't do it without the help and support of Jon Dallow from Sheffield City Council who gives us the permission to build on City land and helps with the planning consents, and Jordan and Steve from Biketrack who are a Sheffield based trail building firm. They do a lot of work on these projects beyond just building them, like planning and surveying, and they go above and beyond to make sure they get done and they're awesome when they're finished.
How did RADmires project come about?
After the success of the first ever crowd funded mountain bike trail (the Blue Steel trail at Lady Cannings Plantation on Houndkirk Moor), we were looking to keep the momentum going and as Lady Cannings had got huge backing from Go Outdoor to complete Phase 2 and 3 (in build this year) we wanted to take on a more ambitious project. Jon Dallow gave us a couple of options for woodlands near the City which would be appropriate from his point of view at Woodlands and Countryside Officer at the City Council, and the plantation at Redmires near Stannage on the edge of the City ticked a lot of boxes.
There's easy access – it's both on the route of an existing loop out to Stannage and also easy to add on to the end of an out-and-back ride from the City. Due to the steep, loose, 'sanitised' nature of the byway through the area, there is the potential for user conflict as it's pretty not to ride quickly down the byway, so having a lovely bit of singletrack instead to pull a few of the bikers off that trail works from a trail management point of view.
What’s special about Redmires compared to other trails in Sheffield/The Peak?
Now Lady Cannings is committed at Blue grade level, and Parkwood Springs (the Sport England and EU Grant funded City Centre trail) is largely Blue grade, and because Redmires is close to some pretty rugged Peak terrain at Stannage, it gave us the option to build a Red graded trail with the possibility of some Black opt ins so it's another step up along the learning curve for new bikers. They can get into it at Lady Cannings, improve at RADmires, then try their hand at Grenoside with the three tracks there, including Steel City DH.
Why a Crowfund?
It's Council land and you need land to build trails, but as everyone knows, Councils are getting seriously strapped for cash after 6 years of cuts to budgets. If they're looking at closing libraries, they aren't going to be spending money on MTB trails!! We crowdfund because it's great way to raise the money, it makes people feel involved and invested in the trails so they're likely to use them, care for them and help keep them in good condition. Also, by crowdfunding you can galvanise local businesses to donate as well. You're not just going around with the begging bowl, you're going to them with a serious amount of money raised by lots of people, and you're asking them to give a helping hand. You seem to get a much more positive response when you have that. Plus, as you can see from our budget, we're not looking to raise millions. £45k is an ambitious target for sure, but lots of £10 or £20 from lots of people adds up to thousands pretty soon, so crowdfunding fits well with the kind of budgets we're looking to raise.
How does this fit into the bigger Sheffield/The Peak riding scene?
As I mentioned above, you ride past Redmires plantation if you're riding out of Sheffield on the classic Stannage loop, so it will fit in with the local and wider trail network really well. It's also the furthest point of a lot of out-and-back rides you can do from the north side of the City in particular. Quite a few of my night rides end up out there, so adding a half hour on to ride Redmires would be a great addition.
How did you learn what you needed to know to get the idea off the ground and then moving towards making it a reality?
By just doing it! We talked a lot about how to fund Lady Cannings, and we were going round and round in circles not sure what to do, not liking or seeing a way forward with ways other trails had been funded nationally. We knew we had buy in from the Council, and we knew the Biketrack lads could build an awesome trails, so we 'just' needed the money. In the end one Friday afternoon I just said 'sod it' and wrote a press release and sent it to all my Cotic media contacts. We created a big story and the money started rolling in. Then we had to figure out what to do with it!! We learnt a lot with Lady C, as it went from needing a few grand to build a trail with volunteers, to needing to raise over £20k for a professionally built trail and maintenance budget. They get so heavily used that maintenance is a big thing. You can't just build it, you have to maintain it. Lady Cannings had over 14,000 runs on it in the first three months based on Strava data alone!
What's your favourite moment of getting to this stage in the project and why?
The best bit about this stage is that it's within our grasp now. With 75% of the money raised and with our track record the Council are now relaxed enough about us and the project that they're willing to commit to starting the planning processes. We have already spent a small amount of the budget with Biketrack to get them to properly survey and plan the trail. So it's tangible now – really close to happening. We just need this final £9k raising by the end of the summer to push us over the line.
What's your least favourite moment of getting to this stage in the project and why?
It's taken a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to get here, and at one point we didn't think it was going to happen because the money rolling in had slowed down, and it takes a huge amount of effort to keep on asking people for money on the part of everyone in Ride Sheffield. The Vulcan Engineering stepped and offered to match anything we raised, so effectively they will give us half the money (£22.5k!!) if we raise the rest.
Not really. It's gone very well by and large.
Where next for RADmires project? How do you plan to go about getting extra helpers etc. etc.?
Raising the final £9k and building it! Please, please, please, if you ride in the Peak, or even if you don't and you like the idea of awesome trails being built, just give us a few quid, or lots of quids! Whatever you can afford. If you put in over £25 (and for every multiple of £25 after that) you're put in a draw to win a bike donated by JE James. Someone has already won one, and there's another one up. There's the Peaty Ride, the Hope Factory Tour; amazing experiences you can have and also help the trails.
If anyone does live in Sheffield or the surrounding area and wants to get involved, we do trail days every month at various places around the City. We're at Fox Hagg this weekend in fact. Just get onto the Ride Sheffield Facebook group to see dates, or check out the website www.ridesheffield.org.uk
Anybody to thank at this point in the journey? Long suffering spouses/parents/friends?
Henry, Steve, Si, Sue, John, Dave, Chris, Phil, Adam, Jon D, Jon E, Jordan, and all the Ride Sheffield people. Vulcan Engineering, Go Outdoors, Hope, Peaty and anyone who has volunteered or donated to any of our projects. It wouldn't happen without you.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Wideopen Magazine
We love this simple, but effective new message. Simple really! It's amazing what a positive effect it has on mountain bikers' profile with other users of the countryside, and just people in general. It's nice to be nice.