We've just completed our first build on the new Escapade 105 bike with the new Shimano road Hydraulic discs. Doesn't it look fantastic?
The bike features a full 105 5800 series groupset and the RS685 STi and R785 calipers. These are available from stock for £1600, although the bike shown has the Hope headset upgrade at £1675. You can order yours now by clicking here:
It's a lovely thing, and the brake feel is superb. It's the groupset the Escapade has been waiting for.
The first 2015 Calver Demo went off brilliantly on Saturday with blue skies, dusty trails, great bikes and lovely people. The new demo loop proved a big hit, and we had three groups riding during the day on various Soul275 and Solaris bikes, all loving it and plenty of them placing orders. Thanks for coming all who came, and especially big sloppy kisses to those who ordered bikes!!
Want a piece of this? Of course you do!! Get involved on May 16th or June 6th. Email email@example.com to book on. Due to the new loop being a touch shorter than the old one, we're re-jigging the timing a little, so there are rides at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm on the next two demos.
If you can't make it to those and are South Coast bound this weekend, Quest Adventure in Worthing have a demo on and we're sending them a small and medium Soul275, and a medium and large Solaris for people to have a shot on. Give them a call on 01903 573700 to book on.
Taken from a newsletter email from last week, Cy writes....
We have been doing a little more riding on the 27.5+ WTB Trailblazer tyres over the last few weeks and thought I'd share what we are finding.
Firstly, the pressures I quoted in my first update of 15psi front, 20psi rear were way off. That's what I sent them at the day before the ride, but as you'll recall (check out the news story if you haven't seen that letter: http://www.cotic.co.uk/news/2015/chubby) I found the tyres pretty soft, but just about usable on that first couple of rides. As it turns out, the day between pumping up and riding was key given that I'm running them tubeless. Subsequent resetting of pressures to 15/20 and riding immediately resulted in a very firm ride, and not dissimilar to normal tyres. It lost that monster truck feeling of smothering the bumps, although the front end handling was sharper.
In reality the pressures I was running those first couple of rides was closer to 9 front/12 rear (all these are indicated pressures on the same pump BTW, not with a calibrated gauge) which with more experience I have found is right on the very lowest limit for me to ride weighing 85kg. My preferred set up has moved towards around 13 front/16 rear. It rolls well enough yet still smothers the bumps. I'm always skirting on that limit of where it's too soft at the front so the tyre collapses and spreads out when I loaded the front end, and getting a postive front end but still some float.
A couple of weeks ago, Paul and I took our Solaris's to Sherwood Pines to do some back to back testing with regular 29er wheels. Paul rides a small, and I ride a large. It was an interesting morning. Here's Paul's take on it:
"Cy's been riding and enjoying the chubby wheels for a while and I wanted to try them too so we set up a back to back comparison test. Both of us on Solaris bikes, one with standard 29er wheels and 2.2" Maxxis tyres and the other with the 27.5"+ wheels and WTB TrailBlazer 2.8" tyres.
I rode the standard wheels first and followed Cy along some swoopy singletrack. I was happy with the control wheels and I was riding as I expected, but in longer corners or S bends Cy could just pull away a couple of bike lengths. Must try harder to keep up I thought, but each time it was still the same little gap appearing as before. Time to swap wheels!
With the 2.8" tyres I instantly felt more cushioned or isolated from the trail vibration as you'd expect from running with just 12psi front, 14psi rear. They obviously require a bit more effort to get them moving, but once rolling I didn't feel any extra resistance or drag over the standard wheels. On the twisty bits it was my turn to lead and I pulled out the same 2 or 3 bike length gap over Cy riding the standard wheels that he was able to do before.
There's more grip available, but there's also good feedback on the grip level which allows you to lean over more and hold more corner speed. In a series of linked corners it's possible to open a gap over a bike with standard wheels, then on rougher straight sections the greater cushioning allows you to hold more speed too.
As for downsides, well I haven't ridden them on long climbs yet so the extra weight might be more apparent over a long ride, but they'd certainly be fun on the other side. Also, we're using quite narrow rims for this size of tyre and occasionally it was possible to squidge the tyre over on an off camber lip or root - perhaps a bit more pressure would solve this.
Overall I was impressed at how well they rolled and how much fun they were to ride."
My thoughts on the day agree completely with Paul. It was fascinating to feel comparatively rattled around and a little bit hampered by the bumps on what would usually be considered smooth riding 29" wheels. I also did ran some different pressures, going as low as 8 front/11 rear which was much too soft, although not completely unrideable. I came back to my more usual 13/16 setup at the end and that felt good.
Following on from this we have decided to get a set of the wide Scraper i45 rims to see what a difference they make to the performance. It will certainly be interesting to see if more support on the front tyre helps. The major downside of these rims is that they're 260grms heavier than the KOM i25's per rim, so it's a big chunk of weight to add to the bike. We will see what this trade off brings. The key thing we're working towards is finding our preferred setup so we can spec a 27.5+ option on the Solaris complete bike later in the summer.
If you'd like to feel for yourself what these tyres are like, we have decided to offer the option of running them on a Solaris on the demo days. We currently only have one set of wheels/tyres so it will be one bike per ride, so there will be four opportunities to give them a go during each demo. If you already have a Solaris booked you can give them a go, or maybe add another ride in with these to compare to regular 29er wheels? The demos are on 18th April, 16th May and 6th June at our place in Calver, Derbyshire. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book on.
At London Cycle Show we were approached by a couple of guys who got chatting to us about riding the Transcontinental Race or TCR for short.
They were clearly a bit bonkers, but in the best possible way and loved the look of the Escapade as a possible race bike. Once they told how they ran the coast of Britain for fun, in 50-something days, these guys clearly weren't messing. The phrase left ringing in our ears was this...."We're probably not the fastest, but we are stubborn. That's what we're relying on to be competitive". Blimey!!
We've decided to support them on the race and are in the process of building them some custom spec Escapades for the job. We'll have some pictures of these bikes up when we get the final parts, as we have some custom made USE Dynamo hubs and a couple of other tweaks to get sorted. Anyway, the guys are Simon and Tom Rounding and here's what they have to say by way of introduction.....
The first thing you notice when you meet us is that we both look similar, its pretty obvious that we're brothers, we both spent our formative years growing up in Yorkshire and even though we no longer live there, it still has a pull on us today.
The Transcontinental Race is an event that is relatively new. 2015 will be the 3rd time it has run, when you read about it you could easily be transported back to a long gone era. When times were tough and people were tougher
This is what the organisers of the TCR say.....
It will be no coincidence that the most prepared will be the most successful. For those who rely on luck alone; Transcontinental Number 3 will raise the stakes. Many will fail.
One stage Ė The clock never stops. Racers chose where, when and if at all to rest.
No Support Ė Racers can only use what they take with them, or what they can find en-route at commercially available services.
No Route Ė Only mandatory controls ensure that racers visit some of the most famous pieces of road in Europe and connect with the suffering of their forebears. The rest is up to them.
Tom and I are relatively late comers to cycling. We - like most kids - had bikes and were always out on them but as we grew up bikes seem to disappear from our lives for a while. We both have served in the Armed forces and Tom is still serving approaching 20 years, hence why we have selected the charity we are fundraising for for the TCR.
Keeping physically fit has been an important part of our lives and endurance events seem to always manifest, I think this is partly due to liking to challenge ourselves but also because you really need strength of mind or what I know to be stubborness. Tom is pretty stubborn which is a good attribute when your muscles are aching and everything is telling you to stop....Tom says I'm more stubborn all I can say is that I'm not sure about that.
Tom recently completed a challenge where he was on the go for many months skiing across Norway, cycling across europe and running across Britain. To condense such a mammoth effort into a few lines is impossible, so more on this can be found at http://www.1664challenge.co.uk/. While I on the other hand come from a mountaineering background have started to ride my bike a lot more than commuting having rode from Lands End to John O'Groats in under 4 days and riding 12 hour Time Trials, yes for fun.
Anyway Tom and I rode the Marmotte which is considered a hard sportive, which it is... there's 5000m of climbing! We got round without doing much training I think the furthest Tom had ridden before that event was 35 miles on the flat. We basically relied on that stubborn streak and really enjoyed the freedom of riding bikes for a long distance. We decided to come back together for the TCR.
When undertaking an event it's important to know your strengths and weaknesses, Tom and I already know that we won't be the the fastest but we intend to be competitive so that means we have to ride longer than most people will want too, where aiming at about 260 miles every day for 10 days. We have been looking at the bike market for sometime looking at suitable bikes for what we plan to do and the Adventure bike that seems to be this years fashion is the way we wanted to go, many companies have a model they have labelled adventure.
We decided to make our minds up at the London bike show show as we had a short list of bikes and the plan was to check them out and discuss what we were going to put them through. After many hours of walking round and checking out our shortlist I have to be honest many people we encountered either were not that passionate or that knowledgeable about the bikes. This was not the case when we crossed paths with Paul and Cy, the passion and interest was obvious and when I mentioned what we were doing and that the Escapade could be the bikes for us the lads didn't just say yes and jump at the chance of selling a couple of bikes, they said let us have a think and see what we can come up with. We took note of this the guys are passionate but also want to make sure that the bikes don't let us down .....now we have to make sure that we don't let the bikes or Cotic down.
We shall keep going and try our best you can follow our progress on our blog https://brothersontwowheels.wordpress.com/
We will also let you know how the bikes cope. Thanks for all your help guys, Simon & Tom
What an adventure!! We're looking forward to helping the guys get the bikes right and get behind them for the race. There are spot trackers for the riders so we'll be able to keep you updated on their progress when they start in July. If you'd like to support them and their charity then please click the justgiving link.
There are still some places available on our demo on 18th April at our Peak District base, Calver in Derbyshire. We're offering the option to try out the 27.5+ wheels and tyres we have been testing if you demo a Solaris. There is still a small Solaris available for the 2pm ride and all sizes available for the 4pm ride. Come and see what all the fuss is about?
As you can see from the photo we are also running some BOS Dizzy forks to try out. As always with BOS, initial impressions are great and with factory and UK support all sorted out we will be looking to add these forks as an upgrade option on the complete bikes in a month or so. This is the large demo Solaris so if you're booked on that bike then you'll be able to see for yourself.
To book onto the demo email:
As well as the Solaris bikes with either 29" or 27.5+ wheels, we also still have small and medium Soul275 demo bikes available for all rides, 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm. We've also cooked up a new demo loop for this season which will be fun. Get it booked now! See you in a couple of weeks?
For a while now we've been looking for a nice carbon bar upgrade option for our complete mountain bikes. Local guys Hookit Products have been bringing in Joystick components for a while now and they have been getting some great write ups and feedback, so from this week we're offering the Joystick Analog Carbon bar in a 20mm rise and 800mm width (it is trimable!), for a £100 upcharge on the BFe275, Soul275 and Solaris bikes.
It's a beautiful thing, and saves 130grms (over 1/4 lb) over the stock Race Face Respond bars. Here's what Joystick have to say about it:
ANALOG CARBON Ė Our Analog Carbon bars are manufactured with premium composite materials specially designed for Joystick and molded in our own unique custom molds. With a lab tested strength to weight ratio and incredible feel the Analog Carbon delivers results on the trail and the podium. Analog Carbon has been designed to enhance ride control and dampen vibration from trail feedback. These bars feature reinforced clamping zones in all the key clamping areas for your controls and stem interface. Destructive and real ride testing is done on a regular basis to ensure our standards are continually met.
We're just catching up with the IT side of things so they're not currently on the drop down menus for ordering, but if you put a note on your order that you would like to go carbon on the bars then click 'PLACE PROVISIONAL ORDER' we can sort it all out for you.
We did the shoot around Sheffield where there are a series of murals by Rocket01 which we thought would make a great backdrop for our Life Bikes. It's Harry Brearley behind the Escapade; he invented stainless steel. More obviously behind the Roadrat is Neil Armstrong and Patrick Moore.
The Escapade and Roadrat are now available from stock, and you can order now:
If you'd like to know more about the murals or indeed commission one, then head over to the Rocket01 website:
The weather has scuppered us! Just heard from the port that the high winds have shut the cranes down so container loading is massively behind and the train ours was supposed to be on has been missed. The way it works when we have a full container is that it goes by train from Felixstowe up to Doncaster and then is road hauled to us. So, the container is now booked in to be with us Thursday lunch time. Not a lot we can do except do the best we can and get as much as possible out in the couple of hours we will have between the container arriving and TNT collecting boxes.
Once we have got through that we'll be in on Tuesday next week to catch up and get back on track so hopefully the most your shipment will be delayed is 1 day. We'll keep the updates coming on here if there is any more trouble getting the container on a train.
Really sorry for the late notice, but we only heard ourselves 10 minutes ago.
We have a pretty busy week coming up as we have the long awaited container full of Escapades, Roadrats and Soul275s arriving on Wednesday.
Plan is to unload and sort on Wednesday and dispatch Thursday. If you already have a frame on back order that should go out this week for delivery next Tuesday. We would normally try and dispatch before the Easter weekend, but we don't get a guaranteed time slot for the container delivery on Wednesday so if it arrived late we'd get into a right old mess trying to dispatch on the same day. If we sort Wednesday and dispatch Thursday then we are much more likely to get the right things in the right boxes going to the right people. I hope you understand, and don't mind waiting a few more days.
Bikes with the new disc only rim wheels are going to take another couple of weeks as we need to get them built up at the wheelbuilder. If you'd be happy with the older style rim brake wheel for £50 less then let us know and we can get that out to to you next week as we have a few of those wheelsets too.
Although we have a fair number of back orders to work through, don't let that put you off. We have plenty of stock coming in and we'll be able to get you a frame or bike in the next couple of weeks for sure even if you order now:
As well as the Life Bikes, we have more Soul275 coming in. It's all proper finish, full spec awesome on these from now on! Don't forget you can come and give one a try at our demos on 18th April, 16th May or 6th June. Email email@example.com to book on, or if you know it's the bike for you order yours now here:
On another subject, Paul and I have been out testing our Solaris's with the 27.5+ tyres. We're putting together our thoughts on this and will be sending those out later this week.
Had some problems with the phones last couple of days. If you've tried to call, even if you left a voicemail, can you give us a ring back please? We haven't been able to retrieve our voicemails and the diverts haven't been working properly. Sorry for the bother.
Chay was off racing his second race of the season yesterday, the Welsh Enduro Series Round 1. And he only bloody came second! It's his (and our) first Elite podium in Enduro and we couldn't be happier. Awesome effort Chay!!
Here's Chay's thoughts from the weekend.
First round of the Welsh Enduro Series is here and I thought Iíd have a go.
Itís based at Coed y Brenin trail centre in North Wales, which if you havenít been is a beautiful part of the world. It's a few miles up the road from Barmouth where a walk on the beach with a ice cream never hurt anyone!!! (this is why you should always go to races a day early)
Anyway, so itís a 1 day event with practice in the morning and then your timed stages in the afternoon, we have 3 stages the first traversing across the hill side on a nice flowing singletrack, the killer part being two little techy uphillís half way through. The key seemed to be maintaining a good speed the whole way and not just sprinting the first 100m then blowing outta your back door for the rest of it. I normally run flat peddles but to keep my pedal on I opted for spds so I could keep it spinning.
There is no timed transitions at these events so a gentle ride/walk with the boys gets us up to the top of Stage 2 where its fair to say ďthat view were grand ladĒ.
This one has a little tech 30 seconds in some trail centre stuff then what seemed miles down a fire road; it's not far but spinning all the way down it really hurts! You're then into a spot of fresh cut that was ace, and finally you join Snap, Crackle and Pop as its named to end the stage.
So thatís twice in two stages I'm on my knees trying not to be sick. Was it to many jelly babies before I set off or that fact Iíve pedaled like my life depended on it? Iím not sure.
Coedy is real rocky and punctures are a real threat. Iíve got my tyres pumped up pretty hard despite running tubeless, hoping to avoid any flats. This makes it a night mare on the wet corners but thatís outweighed by the super-fast rolling on the long flowy trails. The 29er was deffo at home here in wales where flow and carrying speed is key.
I'm dreading Stage 3 as its between 7-10 mins long and that kinda race used to be called an xc race when I were a lad, so Iím kinda thinking donít go guns a blazin' and have some dignity at the end.
That kinda worked but the fire road in the middle is enough to make anyone feel ill, however I was still able to push on and not look like a wet lettuce in the bottom switch back part. It's amazing how you can still stand up when you see a camera man watching you. That said Iím still on my knees when Iím done which must be a sign Iíve done some graft.
The timing at these races is the same as PMBA and is done instantly you arrive back. You hand in the transponder and they print out a receipt that tells you the current position youíre in. Thatís bitter/sweet as when it says I'm currently 1st, things can only get worse and my stress levels seem to rocket!
So their all in and counted and somehow I'm 2nd Elite and 3rd overall out of apparently 240ish riders. That will do lad, that will do.
Crackin event, crackin folk, crackin weather and a crackin result. What more can you ask for? Well, that ice cream in the sunshine on the beach was damn good too.
Massive thanks to Cotic for backing me in this 3rd yr of racing for them and roll on more weekend like that one.
As we're assembling the 2015 demo fleet ready for the 2015 Calver Demos, we are identifying parts we have which we no longer need from previous years. Over the next few weeks we're going to have an Online Yard Sale for these, and we'll start with the 26" wheel forks. For all the details and prices you need to head to:
All prices include UK mainland delivery, and we can credit or debit cards, or paypal payments.
For 2015 the team will be receiving kit and protection support from ONEAL. It's great kit, but one of the main attractions was the possibility of doing our own ride jerseys, something which we haven't managed to do in previous years.
Due in a couple of weeks are the exact same Cotic ONEAL ride jerseys that Chay will be riding and racing in this season. It's based on a the ONEAL Element FR jersey, with a couple of tweaks to the features and in glorious Cotic orange. The V-neck means they stay cool when you need them to, and they have a slightly dropped tail to work properly on the bike. They are £49 delivered (remember, no hidden postage or extra costs with any Cotic product) and you can pre-order yours here:
They are available in S, M, L and XL sizes.
Credit - MJP Photography via Roots and Rain
Chay Granby continues with Cotic Steel City Media Racing in 2015, and did his first race last weekend, taking in the PMBA Round 1 at Gisburn. This looks like being a great series and he'll be doing more of these plus the UK Gravity Enduro, Steel City DH and the Scotland EWS this season, continuing in the Elite category.
He's still racing the development Rocket29, which will be seeing some improvements as the season progresses and we solve the issues on it and move it closer to production.
If you see him, give him a cheer!
We've had a fair few people asking what's happening with our 26" hardtails recently given that we've run low on mediums in particular.
To confirm, there is another batch of BFe26 coming in about 3 months. We've been caught out a bit with this because the medium sold through whilst we still have good stock of small and large, but they will be back and we'll be running matte green and gritstone as the colours again.
As regards the Soul26, unfortunately for our founding product we have decided that the current batch in stock is the end of the road. Whilst BFe26 sales are still strong, at the lighter weight, higher end of the market the 27.5 and 29 inch wheels have pretty much taken over. At the current level of sales compared to the 27.5 Soul and 29 Solaris we can't justify another batch of Soul26. We need to be able to move at least a batch per year, and over the last 12 months it has dipped below this point, whereas Soul275 sales have rocketed right from the moment we introduced it. We're sorry to be saying this, and it's weirdly emotional for us given that - as I said - it's our founding product. However, the Soul lives on in the 275 version, and times change. We've always said we are all about building Modern Steel Hardtails. If that doesn't include 26" wheels anymore, then so be it.
So, if you want an awesome 26" wheel, light weight, zippy trail hardtail, this is your last chance. Once they're gone, they're gone. You can order yours here:
On a brigher note, that man Craig Evans has a big write up on Pinkbike today, which features his starring role in #26aintdead. Seems pretty appropriate today, for the BFe at least. Get some berms smashed!
After bringing back the Rocket product page last week with some initial details of the new bike, we have added a little more information. Firstly, we have published the sizing and geometry tables for the new Rocket275 due later in the year, so head over to the new product page section to check that out.
Secondly, at the request of existing and new (to them) original Rocket owners, we have now revived the original Rocket page for the 2012-2013 26" wheel frame.
This has the original descriptions, gallery, specifications, geometry and components sizes along with a link to download the Owners Manual which has all sorts of information about the frame and how to set it up.
Ian and Kate Potter from AQR Holidays have just set up camp in Portugal for their annual Spring trips. Cy went a couple of years ago and the blue skies and warmth are a tonic at this time of year! Ian's just finished his new Soul275 for guiding this year and sent us a few words
Just thought I would drop you a line to let you know how Iím getting on with my NEW Soul 275! Bike is built and ready to start its first season of work here in Portugal and then on to Luchon for the rest of the guiding season, where it will share its guiding duties with the FS.
After spending the last couple of seasons on a Solaris (which of course is a great bike!), Iím enjoying the feeling of the bike having a more agile handling feeling about it. It has the impression of quicker turning, is really good on the manuals, jumps and bunny hops, but still feels really planted, which in turn gives you great confidence on the trail. This then makes you want to ride better, and does not feel any different from the Solaris, and its climbing like a dream and very quick. The frame feels nice and stiff when you stamp on the pedals, giving a nice lively ride. The Soul275 tracks very well on the loose and rocky descents, keeping on the line you choose, without the feeling of being beat up at the bottom of the descents. I love the feel of the 853 steel frame, stiff where you need it to be and compliant where itís needed also!
So I think want Iím trying to say is thanks for making another great frame, I just have a few things to change on the set up. Iím going to put a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 on the front and must get around to putting the forks up to 120mm travel. After that I think I might play with the stem length just to see what is best for me. Otherwise Iím quite happy on the bike after only a few rides. One thing which is quite nice and different from the Solaris, is the option of having lower gearing because of the smaller wheel size. Looking forward to getting the Soul275 back to Luchon, France, by then the snow will have disappeared, so I can get out in the big mountains, and see how I get on.
Oh and by the way, save me a couple of mugs to feed my coffee addiction, I will pick them up when Iím back in the UK.
We're being asked a little more these days about whether there's a thru axle option on our hardtails. There currently isn't. It's good old 135mm QR. Below are laid out the reasons why this is the case and we're interested to know what your thoughts are on this; whether you're not bothered, simply would like the option to swap wheels between other bikes with thru axles, or some other reason we haven't thought of yet. So, here's the case for the status quo:
Firstly, from a performance point of view, we don't think there is any point. A hardtail frame is very stiff at the back end and a thru axle will not make any noticeable improvement or different to this. It's not like on a swingarm of a suspension frame where you don't have that intrinsic stiffness, or a fork where it's two long slender legs resisting all the twisting on their own. A Rocket, for example, benefits a great deal from having the Syntace X-12 system we use on that, and none of us here would ride with anything other than a thru axle fork, but that's because the thru axles in those situations bring obvious and marked benefits.
Second reason is weight. One of the things we pride Cotic products on is not carrying unnecessary weight. When we had to add a thicker head tube and gussets to the Soul in 2009 to meet the CEN regulations, we redesigned the dropouts to the current design to offset the weight gain. Our current dropouts with mech hanger weigh just 93 grams. A Hope rear QR skewer weighs 65 grams so you have a system weight of 158 grams. We have been offered a thru axle dropout system from our factory which weighs 187grams and uses a Maxle or E-thru axle. Best case here is the Maxle for weight at 74 grams claimed, although we prefer the e-thru for function which is 97 grms from the XTR version. Even best case it's 261grams, and given our preferred option more likely 284grams. That's a 126 grams weight increase - over 1/4 of a pound! - for no obvious advantage apart from convenience and everyone else is doing it. We find that a bit hard to deal with when we try so hard to keep every gram from our frames, our flagship 853 frames in particular.
We did design a dropout system in steel for when we were looking at possibly doing the Rocket swingarms in steel last year, but even using the X-12 axle which is only 39 grams, the system weight on this was 215 grams, which is still a fair bit heavier at 57 grams more than the regular QR option.
Finally there's cost. To keep these dropouts even remotely sensible weight they're considerably more complex to make than our current dropouts, plus we would have to make more complex mech hangers and also supply an axle with each frame. Rough estimates suggest needing a £50 price increase on frames to include a thru axle, and mech hanger prices in the £20-£25 region, not the current £13 price.
So that's the reasons why for the moment it's staying QR, but we want to know your opinions on this. We sent this out to the mailing list subscribers last week and got a fantastic response (sign up to the mailing list here), mostly supporting our view that 135 QR works great so no need to change. However, there were a number of good points made arguing for thru axles too, so whilst we're not looking to adopt them on the hardtails any time soon it's certainly given us food for thought.
It's possible we might be getting a little too precious about a few grams here and there, so let us know if you think you'd carry the extra weight for the convenience. It's not like we're adversed to adding weight for performance gains. We all have disc brakes, suspension and and dropper seatpost on our bikes, all of which are heavier than the older technology they replaced, but they bring performance gains which are well worth carrying them around. We can't see that with thru axle hardtails yet, but go ahead, tell us we're wrong!
Mugs are back! Soul orange, Solaris blue, BFe green or Cotic Wrap. Fully optimised hot beverage receptacles. Gets yours ordered, click the link below now.
Don't forget we also have plenty of our other merchandise in stock too. How about a nice T shirt to show what a discerning cyclist you are? Free handsomeness with every one!
Today we're launching the 2015 Calver Demo Season, with the first three dates across April, May and June. After a break last year we're excited to be back doing these, running rides from our warehouse in the heart of the Peak District. They're a lot of fun, and we get some proper riding in so you can get the best idea about the bikes you're interested in. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits have been purchased. We're ready!
Why from Calver? It's actually pretty central, and there is tonnes of amazing riding to be done up here. We'll do proper guided rides around our 60-75 minute local test loop which has some great climbs and really fun descents, and it'll give you a flavour of where and how we develop our bikes.
Come and make a weekend of it. Ride a demo on Saturday, do another local loop once you're done with us, a big Peak Classic on Sunday and you've had a lovely time.Dates are as follows:
We're building up a demo fleet of the latest bikes and for the first demo we will have the following bikes available:
When the BFe275 frames arrive we will build at least one medium, but that won't be available until the May demo at the earliest.
Either Paul or Cy will guide you, answer any questions you may have and generally have a nice time. Rides will go out at the following times:
If it gets busy we will add a 4pm ride weather/daylight permitting.
You have to reserve the size and model of bike you want to ride and which ride you're planning on doing as we're limited to 8 people per ride.
To book, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07970 853531 with your name, phone number, preferred ride time and bike preference and we will reserve it for you. Feel free to book a couple of different bikes on different rides; maybe try a couple of different sizes if you're not sure, or the two different wheel sizes.
Once you're booked on, we will send you a map with our exact location (sat nav's don't work) and some other joining instructions. At the very least you'll need a helmet. No helmet, no ride. All you have to do then is turn up in Calver 30 mins before your ride to be set up on the bike of your choice.
And as if Peak District riding wasn't enough on it's own, another great advantage of coming to the Calver demos is that if (as we hope) you're over the moon with the bike you've ridden, you can walk away with your new frame that very day as we're all set to prep and process your new frame order whilst you wait, although if you want a complete bike we'll need a few days to get that built.
If you do take our advice and make a weekend of it, have a look on Visit Peak District for some accommodation and maybe some things to do for partners/kids.
If you need route advice then both of these Vertebrate Publishing guides for the Dark Peak and White Peak are ace and packed with info. And of course, our local Cotic dealer and all round top shop 18 Bikes are in Hope to help you with any kit you need/want/break during your stay.
Although we do get asked, we're afraid we have no plans to demo anywhere else. With just two of us doing demos on top of running the company, we simply don't have the time to put into scouting locations elsewhere and setting up the demos. We would rather do the demos here and know we can do them properly and give you a proper ride on the bikes. We hope you understand.
Looking forward to seeing you.
A little bit of Rocket news today. A few weeks ago we removed the Rocket from our product pages, and following feedback from people at London Show it was clear that this has caused confusion and plenty of people to think we're not doing the Rocket anymore. This is definitely not the case!
The Rocket will be back, and it is going into production back in Taiwan with our current framebuilder. The new frame will have 27.5" wheels, and we will no longer be doing the 26" bike. It will have all the features of the original, and similar spec - 150mm travel, 140-160 forks, 853 front end, all that jazz, and combined with some developments we have made over the last couple of years and evolved geometry to make the most of the bigger wheels and latest kit. There will be Fox Evo and Cane Creek DB Air shock options.
This was the main reason we took the original product page down, as it no longer represented what we were working on. It was clearly the wrong decision to make, for all the people who are following the project and are still interested in the Rocket.
The aim is to have them in late summer, but we're not making any firm declarations or taking any orders until we have frames in boxes on a boat. We've learnt our lesson there!
The Rocket29 bike which the team raced in prototype form in the 2014 season is still being developed, but we have no firm date for getting this into production. We love the bike, but it's not quite right yet. When it is, we'll let you know!
The reason we have gone back to Taiwan is that after so long out of production we simply need product available and they can guarantee that. It was also clear from the emails received back in December that for every one person who was psyched about the UK Made project, another just wanted a Rocket wherever it was made. We have learnt a lot working with UK suppliers, but for the moment it's on the backburner.
One of the nicest things about the London Show was how many people came by to ask about the Rocket and were clearly excited by the bike and wanted to know more, as well as existing owners saying how much they loved theirs. It was fantastic to hear that, and gives renewed energy to us to get this project completed and get frames to people who want them. A lot of the decisions regarding what to say when about this project have been clouded by the emotions brought on from our difficult year last year, so I'll be the first to admit that we made the wrong call pulling the product page down. It's now back, explaining all about the bike, and the current status of the project, plus there's some archive videos and tech write ups from earlier in the project, and of course, Rocketman.
From our latest email newsletter, Cy writes....
Thanks to everyone who dropped by to have a chat at London Show. We really appreciated it, and had a lot of fun having some good natters about the bikes with lots of people.
But now onto something I mentioned a few weeks ago. You might recall I fired a couple of pictures around when we received a sample set of WTB's new semi-fat (I'm going with chubby) tyres, the 27.5 x 2.8" Trailblazer and some rather lovely KOM i25 rims to put them on. The idea with these is that they're big volume, wide tyres which come up around the same size as regular 29er wheels so you can go chubby on your regular 29er without needing specific frames, forks and the other paraphenalia associated with 'going fat'.
By the time I had got the wheels built (you need minimum 25mm internal width rims for these tyres, hence the i25's) it was nearly show time so I put them on the show Solaris for giggles. They certainly drew plenty of attention and plenty of people were curious about their performance.
Show over, I finally got the wheels in my Solaris and took them out for a first ride on the Wednesday night ride. This was on my local trails around the edge of Sheffield; Houndkirk and Blacka Moor. A couple of big up and downers on fast, rocky trails.
I pumped them up to 15psi front and 20psi rear. First thing on the quick-spin-up-the-road test is that they feel very different to regular tyres on hard surface. They're quite rounded in profile so the transition to a turned handlebar when turning corners was very noticable, like a big camber change. I found the rear tyre bounces a lot when spinning along. Kind of understandable when you have effectively strapped a virtually undamped 1" travel air spring to the back of your bike. Pedaling induced movement was way more obvious than it is on my Rocket with 150mm of suspension. Final thing I noticed was a lot of squirm under braking going down hill on a road.
All this slightly alien feel left me a little trepidatious heading offroad, but just like a jacked up Land Rover will be a soggy mess on the road, but perfectly at home on the dirt, so it was with the Trailblazers. There is this incredibly addictive soft edged, floaty, muted feel to the feedback from the trail, but handling wise the most surprising thing is how unsurprising they feel. You just ride the bike. They roll way faster than they have any right to being so big, but get them leaned over and there's some serious grip to be had. Hats off to the WTB guys who designed this tyre. Proper clever piece of tread work.
Speaking of leaning, that was one thing I noticed is that you don't really steer the bike as such, and I don't know if it's because I've not ridden 29" wheels for a while or not but I seemed to be needing a lot more lean angle in corners than I expected. That said, lean angle is the proper way to get around corners so once I adjusted it was working great.
The big tyre and near 29" wheel diameter meant some pretty serious speed even on choppy terrain. I was a bit nervous of the lack of pressure in the rear; due to there being a day between first inflation tubeless and riding offroad, some pressure had come out and it felt VERY soft at times, and yet I only felt the rim on a rock once. (N.B. subsequent checking suggests this first ride I was running around 10psi front and 12-13psi rear on the ride). It's just a whole different area of perception in terms of the feel of the bike.
In the muddy sections the footprint seemed to spread and keep me on top of the slop with very little slip under power and I had no issues with clogging despite running a front mech and a fork brace style front mudguard on my Solaris.
No firm conclusions yet, but as I'd hoped these big tyres are much more all round usable than any kind of full on fat bike would be, but they seem to offer a good degree of that float which fat bikes are reknowned for. My plan for the next few weeks is to fiddle with tyre pressures a bit on the local loop to see how that affects things, and also get in some trail centre berms-and-jumps style laps at Parkwood Springs to see how they go there, again with some pressure fiddling to see if I can find a good setup. JPJ from A Line Coaching has the medium Solaris demo bike at the moment so I'm planning to get out with him and do some swapping of wheels to see what we both think.I'd be interested to know what your thoughts having this as an option on the Solaris.
The sun's out here today, but we just got sent some lovely pics from a local Solaris owner who was out near our Peak HQ during the recent heavy snow.
It's just so bloody pretty with lots of snow round our way.
And if snow isn't your bag, then this is what you can do with a Solaris when the sun's out....
Introducing our latest model - the BFe275
The frame uses our new Optimised For Inline frame layout which was developed for the Soul275 but with a 1 deg slacker head angle for a given fork travel. For example, where the Soul275 has a 69 deg head angle with a 120mm fork at ride height, the BFe275 is 68 deg. Once you're up to 150mm forks the BFe275 the head angle is 66.8deg so it's a little more like a hardtail Rocket, and rightly so. This is one fast bike!
The BFe has always been the hooligan of the range, and now in giving the BFe unique geometry we're turning that up to 11 with a proper little riot machine.
It's available to pre-order now for delivery in early May. There is the matte green you see up there, or matte blue as seen on the Soul275. The new BFe275 is £349 for the frame, and the complete bike starts at £2,000.
One of things we were determined to offer when we started Cotic was a 'no hidden extras' policy. Since day one all our frames come with everything you need - bottle bosses, hose clips, chainstay protector, even free delivery, but always, always with a seat clamp included. Cy bought a very expensive frame back before he started Cotic and was pretty pissed off when faced with another £50 to spend on a proper seat QR, a chainstay protector and all the other bits he needed, and didn't want to put his customers in that position. So, Cotic mountain bike frames have always come with a really nice seat QR. Hope on the 853 frames, and a nice Cotic one on the BFe.
However, with the growing popularity of dropper seatposts (Cy would put one on his Roadrat if he could), and the fact that all our mountain bike frames have been compatible with droppers for a while, more and more customers have been asking for a bolt up option instead of the usually included seat QR.
As usual the lads and lasses at Hope have come up with a great solution, with their Dropper Clamp. It gives nice tidy routing for your dropper remote and works brilliantly in tandem with the under top tube routing provided on the Soul, BFe and Solaris.
So if you are aiming to put a dropper post on your new Cotic, from this week you can order your Cotic with a Hope Dropper Clamp for an upcharge of just £15 on your Soul26, Soul275 or Solaris, or £25 on your BFe.
Don't forget we're at the 2015 London Bike Show this week, which is being held at ExCeL in Docklands 12th-15th February. We will have the Hot Yellow Escapade, Roadrats in both build options, Soul275 and a 27.5+ equipped Solaris. Come and see us for a chat!
To order your tickets, head over to the London Bike Show website.
For 2015 we have swapped one colour on each of the models; Roadrat continues with Gloss Olive/British Racing Green as it's luuuuurvely and people are really liking it, and will now come in the matte orange as beautifully modeled by the Soul275.
Escapade continues in Duck Egg but with the Blacklite reflective graphics introduced last year on the Gloss Olive Roadrat, and new for 2015 is Hot Yellow, a spiffing gloss finished vision of loveliness. It's going to look fantastic as the Complete Bike option with all the black kit.
We still have small and medium Roadrats in stock in Duck Egg if you prefer that option or you'd just like a lovely looking bike RIGHT NOW DAMMIT!
We're aiming to have the Hot Yellow Escapade and Matte Orange Roadrat on our stand at London Bike Show next week. To order your tickets, head over to the London Bike Show website.
To pre-order your 2015 colour Escapade frame or bike, click here now:
To pre-order your 2015 colour Roadrat, or to order your Duck Egg Roadrat for delivery this week, click here now:
If you have no idea what the Escapade and Roadrat are, head over to the product pages or check our launch video. This is what these bikes are about....
Sorry if we've seemed a little difficult to get hold of today. We've been at the Shimano 2016 Product Launch. We could tell you what we saw, but then we'd have to kill you. Soz. Just back in the office now and catching up.
We'll be dispatching on Monday to catch up with orders from this week we haven't had a chance to ship because of the snow. We've still got 25cm here!
Well, we tried, but there's no way we're getting any frames out today. We have actual Thundersnow in Sheffield, and the Peak is a white out. Paul made it in to the warehouse, but there's so much snow coming down he's getting out soon. Cy can't even get out of Sheffield, and having spoken to the courier drivers neither can they. Really sorry if you have an order booked on this week. We're going to take a view on what is possible later today, but our feeling is that it will be Monday before we can get anything out, which will be delivery on Tuesday.
In meantime, have a nice pic of Chay's Racin' Rocket at EWS La Thuille last summer.
We have just received our first batch of 2015 Soul275 frames. They're available to order now in frame or bike form. Don't forgot we offer 0% Finance options on all Soul275 options from Frame Only upwards.
To order your frame or bike now, click here:
We're exhibiting at the 2015 London Bike Show in, which is being held at ExCeL in Docklands on 12th-15th February. We'll have some new things to show you, and we're looking forward to seeing you all for a chat about bikes.
To order your tickets, head over to the London Bike Show website. See you there!
Got a lovely package from Mike at WTB today which we've been looking forward to for a while. Some of their 27.5x2.8 Trailblazer "semi-fat" tyres to try out. The idea is that they give some of the float and traction of fat bikes without the weight and drag. By running them on 27.5" rim they come up a little smaller diameter than a regular 29er wheel, but a little wider with bigger volume. On the rather lovely KOM i25 rims they will fit in a Solaris so once the rims are built up we'll be fitting them to demo bikes and giving them a go.
What are your thoughts on this? Drop us an email and let us know.
Those fine purveyors of viral entertainment at Steel City Media have been doing #metalmonday for a bit, but this one with Eddie Masters is properly funny top off gomping.
From time to time we get sample parts in to assess them for possible future use. One of those sets of parts last year was an Alfine 11spd set. We're still not sure about putting this into production as an option - we'd love to hear your thoughts on that - but we've built up a lovely medium Duck Egg Roadrat one off bike.
There's only this one, and it's only available in medium and Duck Egg, and you can buy it for £1149. It's too much faff to add this to the database, so if you fancy a Roadrat that goes up to 11 (I couldn't leave out a Spinal Tap reference, could I?) then drop us an email or give us a ring on 07970853531 and we'll do things using Actual Talking. How very 20th Century!
Saw ace raw BFe smashing at Forest of Dean. Look at the jumps!
Annnnnnnnnd....We're back in the room.
Hope you had a good break and enjoyed the snow if you got any. There was loads round our way and it was a lot of fun to play in!
We're back today answering the phone and emails and processing orders, and we're doing a dispatch on Monday (5th Jan) for delivery on Tuesday to clear orders that have come in over Christmas. So if you're hovering over the ORDER button then get on it! Frames, T Shirts, mugs, hats, any orders received up to 10am on Monday will be sent Monday for delivery Tuesday. Make it a Cotic New Year and get your order in now.
Just about to shutdown for Christmas holidays, we'll be here until lunch time on the 23rd, but before we go we've cooked up a little something with Steel City Media to get some smiles on your face.
We've done a mashup of all the bangers (see what we did there?) from our videos from the last 3 years, and as it's Christmas, there's some Director's Cut never-seen-before footage as well courtesy of Joe at Steel City Media. Here's what Joe has to say about it:
It's been a pleasure to work for Cotic Bikes over the last few years.... Here's a bit of a montage of all the best bits, plus some previously unseen footage!
Give all the featured/rad riders a follow:
@JPswinny - Rocketman, Size Matters, Late For Work, Soul Brothers
@CraigEvans1 - Mr #26aintdead himself
@RossPhelps - Escapade/Roadrat
@RichNorgate - Escapade/Roadrat
@robstokes87 - Naked guy in Late for work
@swedehanna - Lass at the start of Rocketman
It's been fun to work on and makes us grin every time we watch it. Hope you enjoy.
As you may know if you follow Cotic, 2014 has been a pretty tough year on some fronts. We wanted to get the year finished with a smile before taking a break and coming out swinging in 2015. We'll be back on Monday 5th January.
We want to thank you for your support and if you have bought a Cotic, recommended one to a friend, dropped us a line off the back of one of the emails this year we especially want to say thanks for the invariably kind words and positive comments. It's been a huge help to know that so many people are behind the brand and what we're trying to do.