Mudguards are back in stock, now with a Hot Yellow option. Just £10 posted, and still available is white, orange or green. I know it's late April, but it's snowing outside right now, so I think we'll be good for needing the 'guards for a while longer until Summer decides to turn up.
Now Demo Sam and the Rocket Bus are on the road, we have opened a dedicated Demo page on the website with all the details, contact information and calendar of our public demos. There's a button on the menu bar up there at the top of the page too. See?
As well as all the latest updates on where and when the Rocket Bus will be rocking up with lovely Cotic's to ride, you can also get in touch about our Demo To You service. You don't have to wait for a public or dealer demo. If you you and a few mates want to ride a bike, get in touch using any of the options on the Demo Page and let us know. Sam will then work you into our schedule to have a private demo just for you. How good is that?
Our mates over at Hookit Products who supply us with the lovely Joystick bars we offer on the bikes, and sponsor the team, are now doing a Podcast. Davi invited Cy to be the first vict.....er....participant.
There has admittedly been a raft of 'where Cotic started' type things recently, which is all a bit of a coincidence, but apart from the intro to where Cotic came from (feel free to skip the first 5 mins if you're a long time follower of Cotic and know the story) we get into all sorts of things about how we feel about what we do, working for ourselves, good advice we've been given. It was a fun chat, and seems to have been well received, so if you'd like to know a bit more about what makes me and Cotic tick, have a listen....
Hope you enjoy it.
Sam's just got back from a great weekend of demo days in Wales, the trails were dry and the bikes were flying, smiles all round. Here's what he got up to, and the details of where you can try out a bike over the coming weeks.
Penmachno off piste demo.
This weekend definitely felt like summer is on its way. I had three days of sunshine in Wales and some brilliant demo rides.
On Friday I headed to Penmachno and met up with Sam, Alex and a few other locals to give the Rockets a pasting on the rocky singletrack and steep, local built DH tracks. With hot sunshine and barely a breath of wind we rode all day, and the bikes took everything in their stride. The trails at Penmachno are maintained by volunteers, and are very well built with plenty of flow and features to keep you on your toes. It's well worth a visit if you're planning a Wales trip. I'll certainly be back there again with the demo bikes, so let me know if you'd like to ride a Rocket there. A Solaris would also be great on the singletrack there, the big wheels make short work of the rocky, technical sections.
The demo stand in a very sunny Nant Yr Arian car park. Three days of sunshine in Wales!
On Saturday I was further south at Nant Yr Arian for another private demo, in yet more sunshine. I was pleasantly surprised by the trails here, some of the flowiest singletrack I've ever ridden, with hundreds of Red Kites riding the thermals above us. The Soul was the most popular bike for the trails here, carrying speed like a dream and inducing big grins all round. The final descent, High as a Kite, can be lapped really easily from the car park, so is perfect for demo rides. I set up in the car park on Sunday for a busy public demo, and I'll certainly be back here again later in the year, so let me know if you'd like to try a bike, and when suits you.
Sounds like a good time was had by all! Next weekend is a big one, and Sam is trucking down to the South West over the Bank Holiday.
The plan is:
Hopefully you can join Sam to take a bike for spin. Call 07398189114 or email email@example.com to book on to the demos.
The following weekend he's back up North:
As we mentioned above, drop Sam an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call him if you'd like to reserve a bike for any of the public demos.
Currently there are no plans for Friday 6th May, so if you're anywhere in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria or even North Wales and want to try a bike, give Sam a shout. He's pretty flexible and can join you for an afternoon or evening ride too if you fancy finishing work early to play bikes!
Sat 16th of April marked the 6th Steel City Downhill at Greno Woods near Sheffield, and it was - despite the best efforts of snow and ice - still The Best Day Of The Year. The Biggest Little Race In The World hosted us and around 2000 other hardy souls racing, watching, heckling and having a good time.
The new race jerseys got the first run out and looked MINT! Best tops we have ever had.
Cy raced and had fun in his first year with the Distinguished Gentlemen in Vets, and came 11th, narrowly being beaten by night-riding buddies Simon and Matt who came 10th and 4th respectively.
At the pointy end of things, Chay put in the run of his life to bag 4th in the Elites. We think he went to quite a dark place to pull out that time! Cy caught up with him after Run 1 on the stand and he pulled his helmet off, eyes like dinner plates, and just gave him a huge hug and said "I'm 4th!! I don't think I braked!". Love it. Swinny put it on the box again and bagged third despite nearly crashing off the start ramp hooking a pedal up on the transition! The team are currently 3 podiums from 3 races in 2016. Not bad lads, not bad. And you get your photo taken with these couple of legends too.
We were all buzzing from start to finish, and Nick Hamilton, Henry Norman, Steve Hardcastle, Jon Dallow and Peaty all did an incredible job of putting the race on again, especially in the difficult weather conditions we had in the run up.
If you have never visited the race, you REALLY should. Even if you're not racing it's one of the most fun mountain bike events to attend. Loads to look at, easily accessible course, legends like Peaty and Tracy Moseley racing, tonnes to eat and drink, awesome atmosphere.
If you would like a jersey, as of time of writing, we have one orange left in large, and a few small and medium in black. But we have re-ordered all options for delivery end of May, adding in a green option and XL sizes as well.
Hope you made the most of the dry trails. An early taste of what's to come this summer? Fingers crossed...
Our new stock of Solaris has arrived, and because they are in new colours, we took them out for a photoshoot on Friday.
The first new colour is, by popular demand, our Gloss Gunmetal with reflective downtube panel. We've only used this on our 700c bikes before, so this is our first mountain bike in this colour, and it looks... AMAZING in the metal.
The other is our Gloss Hot Yellow, this time with an under the top coat black panel with the yellow showing through the 'COTICs'. For the shoot, and for fun, we built this option up with our 275plus build kit: how quickly this kind of chubby build has started to look, well, 'right'!
As you might expect of any bike company, we're always working on new ideas and trying out new things to make Cotic bikes are as good as they can be. Over the last year geometry ideas and other developments have arguably moved faster than at almost any time in the history of the sport. And whilst we believe the current Rocket is the best bike we know how to build, we would be arrogant, not to say foolish to dismiss some of the more out there ideas completely out of hand without trying them for ourselves, but with our own frame of references.
One of the things that slows you down when working with Taiwan for production is that whilst they're awesome at building batches of frames, it takes an awful long time to get prototypes and 1 offs out of them which can make trying out ideas for the hell of it a little more difficult that it might be.
Last year the fine fellows at Shand Cycles stepped into this gap, by offering to make us custom front triangles to pretty much whatever shape we wanted. The first front end they made was the final proving prototype of the current Rocket275 before we finalised it for production. Last November, after catching up with Chris Porter and his Geometron at a Tech Talk that A Line Coaching put on in Sheffield, I decided I needed to give this super long thing a go. Just about the same time Steven Shand asked if they could put a Shand built Rocket on their stand at Bespoked, and a plan was formed. I sent Steven the drawing in early December and I had this front end built into a bike 2 days before Christmas. Two and a half weeks from idea to riding the bike. Now THAT is what I'm talking about!
At Bespoked last week where the bike was on show, Dave from Radventure dubbed the bike the "Long Shot". We hadn't got a name for it up to then, but it's very suitable! Fundamentally this is the longest Rocket275 you can build with a Reynolds 853 down tube, and even then they made me a special extra long one for the job. The geometry can be configured to be the same as a current Rocket, with the regular back end, or we can put a longer back end from the 29er project on there to see how that affects things. Then there's anglesets and other things we can play with.
Speaking of rear ends, yes, that is a carbon rear end on the bike. I keep an eye on things carbon within the industry because it's becoming a massive thing for other companies. Adrian at Swarf Cycles has form for building his own carbon fibre rear ends for his Curve suspension bike so I asked him if he'd be interested in making me something so I could work with someone in the UK on this. It was a great collaboration, as he got to try out some new techniques, and I got to see what a carbon rear end might look like without the massive tooling costs required when working with the Asian production facilities. I also wanted to try out a Boost spaced rear end, and as all our Rocket production jigs are 142mm it was actually quicker and cheaper for Adrian to make this for me than waiting for the factory to tool up a fabrication jig for a metal back end.
The linkages were made by Blair Precision up near Aberdeen. Alan there is a friend of a friend and has been really great to work with getting us short runs of linkages and other items machined up for the frame. APE in Sheffield made the rest of the pivots and fittings.
As well as geometry and handling, there's things we have been trying out with the kinematics and rates of the suspension, and I have been riding the bike in a bunch of configurations, around here, at a test day at Revolution Bike Park with the Team, and then the team lads did their own work and fed back their own conclusions. Some of that is balancing what the team lads have been asking for and what is suitable and usable for mere mortals like you and I.
First and foremost, despite the beautiful presentation (thanks to the Shand boys wanting to show off their awesome painting prowess for the show) this is in no way one of those 'prototypes' which then turn up as the production bike two months later. This is very much a rolling research rig, a ridable concept. We're still working with Shand on getting custom front ends to test ideas, and this is working brilliantly. There are no plans to do anything else with Adrian or with carbon. He's brilliant to work with, and I've learnt a lot about what I like and don't like about carbon construction, but as mentioned he mainly helped out by making me a new configuration rear end very quickly when the factory in Taiwan needed to be focused on production.
The other conclusion we came to, across everyone who rode the bike was that despite trying some pretty extreme geometry settings, the angles everyone preferred were the current Rocket angles. So there's no radical changes on the horizon there!! Let's face it, with 160mm forks the Rocket has a 65.5 deg head angle which ain't exactly steep!
As for the length? That was much more of a mixed conclusion. Some of us really liked the extra length, others thought it too much and limited what they could do with the bike. Everyone loved the diddy stem handling. Some interesting feedback to think about, but that said, the next batch of Rocket275 due in June will have an XL size option which is 20mm longer than the current large, so we're already into production with some of the ideas that this bike took to the extremes.
Our friends Dave Anderson and Sim Mainey have just launched a new website/media outlet for people who like riding bicycles on dirt. It's a place with lovely pictures and words about mountain biking. They launched today, and some of the lovely pictures and words are about us, as they came and did a feature on Cotic back in November after attending the Rocket275 launch. They chatted to Cy about the company, past, present and future.