There's been some great little vids posted up on Instagram over the last few days of people going big on their Cotic. Don't know why it's all happening now, but we love seeing them. Keep 'em coming. Get inspired. And as Richard says, "Bones mend, press send".
Right before he wrapped himself round a tree, @bobby_b3ar was up to his old tricks, getting rad at #bolehillsforever (probably the best bmx track in World). . . . #Repost @bobby_b3ar with @repostapp ・・・ Not done dirt jumps for a good few years.... still got it 😎 #mtb #sheffield #coticrocket275 #cotic #steelisreal
We having a bit of clear out of from ex-demo parts. We have just switched the MAX demo fleet to the Boost110 width McQueen so we can easily switch those bike between 29 and Plus wheels, which means we have quite a few pairs of little used Trace 29er forks available for NICE PRICE - starting from just £249 for the RL version. There's some ex-team Pike 29 for just £219. There are also a couple of Reverbs, the Large Rocket Demo bike and the Sam's previous frame - a small Rocket - available too.
Check out the Warehouse Specials page: https://www.cotic.co.uk/news/warehouse-specials
It's probably coming up to lunch time and if you are looking for something to listen to whilst eating your sarnies, then may I suggest getting your lugholes around our latest podcast?
Hookit Products (our Sheffield buddies, and team sponsors via the Joystick, 35 Bikes and Ninjaz Gloves kit) do a podcast. You might remember I was on the first one a few months ago? Well this week, to celebrate a great season of racing in which Swinny won the PMBA overall, Chay came 5th Overall and won Valleujah and they podium'd all but one race they entered, we did a team podcast. We discuss our backgrounds, how the season can together, the races, the kit, and why Soreen and Velcro are the future. Grab your beverage of choice and have a listen.
This week we're releasing our 2017 Silver spec bikes which now switch to the fantastic SLX M7000 11spd drivetrains, whilst keeping the same pricing as our previous 1x10 builds. We have been really impressed by the SLX. The shift action is lovely, and the mech looks great. As before, the hardtails start at just £1499 for the BFe275 Silver, and the droplink Silver bikes (Rocket, RocketMAX, Flare and FlareMAX) start at just £2799.
To celebrate moving over to the 11spd Silver builds we have put together a limited run of RocketMAX bikes with Rock Shox Pike RCT3 forks and a bunch of other lovely things:
Until the end of October (or we run out of Pikes!) we are doing this bike for just £2999.
It's available only on the RocketMAX, but in any colour or size on that bike. So either the Lime Green Matte, or the super popular Fast Red as shown, in medium, large or XL. Have a look at the gallery on the product page if you haven't had a look at the RocketMAX before:
It's only available directly from us at Cotic. All the usual payment methods, including 0% Finance are available. They are available now from stock.
Click here to order yours:
And if this particular bike isn't for you, the free Joystick Builder Bar and Grip upgrade is available on all our bikes this month too.
We get asked which is the 'best' shock to choose for the droplink bikes a fair bit. Last week Cy sent out a newsletter to the email subscribers talking through shock options we have, but also sharing some interesting discoveries made along the way with testing this summer.
The point of this weeks' email is shock choosing and tuning. With the choices of < ahref="http://xfusionshox.com/products/shocks/o2-series/rcx">X Fusion O2 RCX, Cane Creek DB Inline and Fox Float X2 on the Rockets and the first two on the Flares, there are options here both from a budgetary perspective, but also from a tuning and performance perspective. As you might expect I'm often asked which shock is 'best'. As you might expect from me, the answer is a big, obvious It Depends. So, I'll share some thoughts on why we use the shocks we do, but also some of the results of testing - both subjective and timed - that we have done which might help you understand a little more about the subject.
First up, the < ahref="http://xfusionshox.com/products/shocks/o2-series/rcx">X Fusion O2 RCX is their top of the range inline shock. Like all things X Fusion, don't be fooled by the price! The RCX version have 4 compression settings on it's little blue lever and although the fourth is very firm, it's not a full lock out like the less sophisticated RL and RLX versions of the same shock. Allied to this, because we work directly with X Fusion as an OE (Original Equipment) our shocks have our own compression tune on them. Because by and large we're not level flickers out of preference, we have more low speed compression damping dialed into the shock so that it's possible to run in the open or first compression modes pretty much all the time with good all round performance. It's a great shock, and particularly on higher load trails like bermy trail centres it really comes into it's own. Compared to the Cane Creek or Fox shock it does have some limitations when things get really fast and rocky, but then to be fair, X Fusion have other shocks which do this better.too. What we wanted was something with great 'set and forget' capability with a wide operating window for people who just want to get on and ride. There's a reason most of the demo fleet run this shock - when Sam needs fast turnarounds and quick set ups it's the X Fusion that wins hands down. It's easily the equal of something like the Fox DPS shocks and it's far nicer to ride than anything in the Rock Shox inline range we have ridden in our opinion. We know plenty of people like Rock Shox, but for preferences they have odd rebound behaviour.
Moving to the Cane Creek DB Inline this is the shock most people are weighing up whether to spend a little more money on. You have to be honest with yourself with this shock. Firstly, do you want to spend some time and use up a couple of your rides playing with the shock and doing runs down the same section of trail? If this feels like hard work, then get the X Fusion. Having so much adjustment on a shock can lead to what have called Setup Anxiety. When you don't fully understand the shock and are constantly thinking there must be a better option in there for the trail you're riding. It's a real thing and it can ruin your enjoyment of your riding if you let it get you bothered.
The second thing you need to consider is whether you're happy with the shock moving around quite a lot. The Cane Creek DB Inline has not only got a more capable feel than the X Fusion in fast, rocky, terrain, but it's also much less conventional feeling at slower speeds and when pedaling. It feels soft and even with the climb switch on it still moves a fair bit when pedaling hard up hills. This does some riders' heads' in. For instance it took Paul a long time to be happy with his Cane Creek shock after being a big fan of the X Fusion, but also I think because he's still very much a hardtail rider. He would ride his Soul out of choice for most rides, so the firmer, more supportive ride of the X Fusion made more immediate sense to him. That said, you can get that kind of feel out of a Cane Creek by increasing the low speed damping to the far end of the range, but our experience in testing would suggest that you're doing yourself a disservice if you do.
The Fox Float X2 seems to be very much the shock of the moment, but as with the Cane Creek, it's not for the faint hearted when it comes to knob twiddling. I have limited experience with this shock, but alongside us when we were testing earlier in the year, JPJ (from A Line Coaching, a brilliant rider coach and also a Cotic Ambassador) from was tuning in the Fox Float X2 for us on his Rocket. The thing with these big DH style air shocks (and I found this with the big DB Air) is that they're so supple and incredibly capable that they do definitely pull a bit of the life, pop and fun out of the bike. They're all about traction, bump absorption and speed. Which it has to be said, it's incredible at. The performance in high speed, rocky situations is fantastic. It's also about twice the weight of the inline shocks too, which is worth considering as well if you pedal to the top a lot.
Low Speed Damping
Low speed damping doesn't mean low bike speed, it means slow shaft speed. Damping is measure units of Force/Speed so the higher the speed of the shaft, the more force the damper exerts. In all dampers there are shims and ports which allow there to be different damping levels for different shaft speeds. Low speed damping is about managing your weight shifts, your support from the bike, and the pedaling as pedal induced movement of the suspension is definitely in the low shaft speed zone. It tends to manifest itself in how much movement you get under pedaling load, but also the small bump compliance, as small chatter might seem intuitively to be higher speed, but because the movements of the shock are relatively small too, it's still in the low speed domain. Hence low speed damping is not only linked to your preferences for the feel of the bike, it's also likely to change depending on your weight too. Because it helps the spring support you for things like bermed corners where the bike settles relatively slowly on it's suspension, but your weight is loading the bike, it stands to reason that a heavier rider will put more load in and need a little more 'slowing down' from the damper than a lighter rider. More low speed damping tends to feel more settled, more efficient, more 'conventional'. Less damping will see the bike moving more, but also feeling more lively.
High Speed Damping
High speed damping is the opposite of the above. High shaft speeds, so when you're travelling quickly of rough ground the shock is moving very quickly, but also big single inputs like drop offs and bigger landing where the shock is moving from fully extended to a long way through it's stroke very quickly. The trade off here is that the less high speed compression damping you can run the faster the suspension gets out of the way of bigger, faster hits, but it also means it will 'blow through' it's travel more easily on bigger single hits too. Whilst I had a good appreciation of high speed damping, I did ask Joel from X Fusion about their high speed damping range on their Roughcut HLR forks at Eurobike and, as you might expect from a suspension expert, he schooled me! My point was I was querying the range of high speed damping offered on the forks as I - being reasonably quick and weighing 85kg - only used a couple of clicks in from the lightest setting. Joel made the point that Robin Wallner, the EWS racer they sponsor keeps asking them for more high speed damping! He said it's nothing to do with rider weight at this point, it's simply how hard and fast you're hitting big amplitude impacts. For me, because I'm not big on jumps and drops and my local terrain is fast and rough, I can get away with running light high speed damping to get the best possible bump absorption on rough ground because I'm not doing the bike hits and drops that would need me to ramp up the damping to stop it hitting the bumpstops. So it's not about weight, it's about the speed and style of the rider.
Not only have we done plenty of general riding on the Cane Creek shock, we have also done some timed testing on a set piece of trail, with a bunch of us trying different things out and JPJ running the Float X2. The key thing was not only registering the subjective feedback; did it feel fast, loose, grippy, skippy? But we also used the timelaps watches and transponders to get timing data to see how these matched up. Here's where the interesting things came to light.
We didn't change the high speed damping for this particular test. As mentioned above, it's very much rider and terrain dependent so we stuck with base settings of 1.0 turns of HSC and 3.0 of HSR. We did a couple of warm up runs on base settings to get our eye in, then started tweaking. The key thing here is that I wanted to test the extremes of setup to get a feel for which direction the setup needed to go. This is called bracketing. Work at the two extremes to 'bracket' the performance, then decide which of the extremes you want to work towards.
Firstly we run full Low Speed Rebound. The bikes felt very stable, with lots of feedback of feeling like there was good pump and drive through rolling sections of trail. However the times showed that this setting was either the same or slower than the base settings. It felt secure, but it was slow.
After that we ran Low Speed Rebound all the way to the minimum. This went two ways here. For me and JPJ (on the Fox) the bikes felt pretty wild, with no drive when pumping and we went quite a bit slower than full LSR. However, Will and Rich both reported the bikes feeling loose - Will's notes read bike felt 'odd, but better' - and both were faster than with full LSR. Interesting!
We now put the LSR in a middle setting (12 clicks on the DB Inline) and Low Speed Compression all the off. Everyone got their fastest time on this setting! The feedback was that it felt like there was no pump, the bike just moved out of the way when you put your inputs in, but the flipside was that everyone reported incredible cornering grip, with the bike settling into the corner lowering the centre of gravity, but also firing you out as the shock rebounded.
After this we ran full LSC. Although intuitively you'd expect the feedback to be better pump and more stable feel, it wasn't the whole story. JPJ reported the Fox felt like it had "more pump, but skipping over surface so lost confidence". So, more HSC feels more efficient, pedals better, the bike feels more 'solid', but they doesn't absorb the chatter on the surface so grip is lost as is confidence.
The final run was done with LSC wound on, but less than half. On the DB Inline we ran 10 clicks of a possible 24, aiming for a sweet spot with a little more support but still keeping the grip. We all went slower and all the feedback was that it felt like a 'normal bike', but didn't seem to carry speed. Rich said it felt 'harsh'.
The most obvious thing we also noticed was how much the bikes moved around with very little low speed damping when riding back to the top of the trail. And this is where I come back to the more adjustable shocks not feeling 'conventional'. Or rather, they seem to work best when they're not setup to feel conventional. With all the low speed damping somewhere towards the middle, they worked well, but weren't the quickest option.
Our current base tune is 8 clicks of LSC and 10 clicks of LSR on the DB Inline. This is on the light side, but after this testing Paul has taken to running his DB Inline fully open on low and high speed compression on his Flare. He is on the lighter side at 65kg, but he was also struggling to come to terms with the way the Cane Creek shock worked until we did this work. Now he's happy for the shock to move around when climbing (it's not much, but it does still move even with the Climb Switch engaged) because it feels so good when travelling along the fun bits of trail. It helps that he knows from our testing that this is the faster setting. Personally I'm still with the base tune as I find fully open too wild for my preferences! I have been trying out running just 0.5 turns of HSC which is great on faster trails, but does need some management on drop offs. I think the upshot is that it seems to put ones mind at rest to have some proper back up for your choices. The other great bit of support from Cane Creek on the DB Inline shock is the new DIALED tuning app which helps you find your way interactively by asking you questions about each run. You can get it for Android and iOS here:
The Fox Float X2 seems to have a wider range of adjustment than the Cane Creek so JPJ hasn't ended up with running his compression all the way off, but after the experience with testing our base tune is now around 8-10 clicks of LSC and HSC to taste, but as light as you can get away with. Rebound damping set to rider preference, but definitely prefer the lighter end of the spectrum for LSR. We were running 2 volume spacers in the Float X2. Obviously there's much more you can fiddle around with, but I hope this gives you an insight into how you might set up your bike the best for you. Get some mates together and get some stopwatches out. It was an interesting morning on this particular test, but it was also a really good laugh being out on the trails with our mates, talking bikes.
If you have any specific set up questions, do feel free to drop me a line anytime.
If you'd like to hear more of this kind of thing from us, then sign up to the mailing list over on the Contact page.
WINNERS!! Swinny and Chay smashed it at the week at the PMBA Finals at Grizedale, taking 1st and 5th on the day, which in turn made them 1st and 5th in the overall series.
First time anyone has won an overall series title on Cotic and second time on a series podium for Chay since joining the team in 2013. So in awe of what these lads can do with our bikes and so proud of them. Thanks for your effort, commitment and speed fellas. It's been a bluddy pleasure.
PMBA has been brilliant all season putting on great events. The lads love racing them. Massive thank you to our sponsors WTB, Hookit Products with Joystick kit, Ninjaz Gloves, 35 Bikes spares and mudguards, plus ONEAL Clothing and Protection and Burgtec Pedals. And also to our supporters X Fusion Shox, Cane Creek, Hope and Shimano.
Here's the video from the round with a great little interview with Swinny about halfway through. What a season! It's been emotional.
This season the team have been campaigning in the PMBA Enduro Series, with quite a bit of success. Swinny has won or podium'd at all the rounds he's raced so far, and Chay has had some great results too. With the series working on a 'Best 4 rounds of 6 plus the Final' setup, the fact the boys missed a couple of rounds means that despite they're still seriously in contention.
With the final round at Grizedale this weekend, Swinny is leading the overall and needs 3rd or better to take the title. Chay is in 6th overall but just 3 points outside the top 5, and with more than that separating the points awarded for 3-6 position, a good result will see him move up the rankings too. COME ON LADS!!
If you're up at Grizedale this weekend, give 'em a cheer.
Here's a copy of the latest mailing list email that Cy sent. A more thoughtful piece....
On Sunday night I went for a quick spin on my Roadrat. Not so unusual you might think, it was a lovely
evening. But recently it has been quite unusual for me. I've got a little bit stuck on needing to go on a "proper" ride to make it worth the faff of getting ready.
I was feeling a bit 'stuck in the house' after tea. Been in most of the afternoon having a lazy day with the family, which was all very nice, but with rain coming today I felt like it would be wasting the nice weather not to do something. I was pretty tired and didn't really fancy dragging myself all the way up onto the moors on my mountain bike. One of the great things about where I live is that I can ride from the door onto the Eastern Moors around Sheffield. However, I've been riding this and nothing else for a while and it's a 300m climb to the top of the hill too, so that wasn't the one.
Having ummed and ahhed and prevaricated, for the first time in ages I decided to just grab my Roadrat and go for a roll around the block. Civvies, no gloves, no pack, no faff, no helmet (GASP!). So off I went for a spin. Up the hill, round the corner, off the main bypass and down the old road I never take in the car. Just spinning, looking at the view. Then I spot an Unsuitable For Motors sign on a right hand junction. Interesting. What's that? So I take this and lift my bike through the motorbike barriers. It's an old Hollow Way, dropping down the hill. Bit bumpy, but fine. Then I get to the golf course, vaguely know there's another trail around here. Spot a new trail on the left, but leave that for later. Carry on, down the drive, past the old Abbey. Then I recognise the place. It's where the nice singletrack at the top of the woods pops out. It's a lovely piece of trail I sometimes pop down for a lunchtime breakout. It's only 5 minutes long, and I never knew how to do anything but turn around and go back the way I came before. Now I have a bit of a loop.
So, turn around, head back, there's that trail I saw earlier, but now I have my bearings I reckon it might link up with the singletrack. Nothing ventured and all that......Off down this path, lovely views of the Abbey, quite a nice narrow trail, new things to see not a mile from my house. I've lived here 9 years and still didn't know this! And I was right, it does link up onto the singletrack, so I pop into the top of the woods and ride the skinny trail, popping the slick tyres over the roots and generally having a nice time.
I head to the end, over the road, past the pub, and into the other woods, and home. I've been out 40 minutes, not really broken a sweat, had a lovely spin and now have a nice little loop I can bust out on if the mood takes me.
Obviously it being dry helped enormously, but I was on my old 8spd bit box Roadrat; flat bars, rigid fork and seatpost, 37mm slick tyres. And it was nice. The sport was not progressed in any way, but I had fun and with minimal faff, minimal effort.
People who say "any ride is better than no ride" always strike me as insufferable, so that's not where I'm coming from at all. 4 hour death marches across winter moors you can keep. But I have definitely found myself guilty of not riding at all for the sake of it not being a 'proper' ride on my mountain bike. It's also easy to get carried away with the notion that it's imperative to have a head angle in the mid-60s, a dropper post and all the other toys to have a good time on trails, and with me having my designer head on most of the time I ride my bike, I'm probably more guilty of that than most. The Roadrat has a 72 degree head angle and a 100mm stem. EEERRRMYGEERRD! And I didn't die. It's not what I'd chose to attack Devil's Elbow any time soon, but it was lovely to just do a bit of idle exploring and to pass a spare hour of a sunny evening.
No real point to this I guess. Enjoy being on your bike. Any bike. Where does that trail go? Just thought I'd share.