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 I知 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!), I知 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 it痴 needed also!
So I think want I知 trying to say is thanks for making another great frame, I just have a few things to change on the set up. I知 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 I知 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 I知 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. Also 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 Landy 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; it felt VERY soft at times and yet I only felt the rim on a rock once. 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.
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....
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:
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.