Here you'll find the latest news from our ambassadors. They're a great bunch of people, flying the Cotic flag around the UK and sometimes beyond!

10/10/2020 - Kelly-Jayne's Cotic Escapade Pregnancy Flat Bar Conversion

Cotic Escapade - The Pregnancy Version

Our Brand Ambassador Kelly-Jayne Emmerson is pregnant, but she's been determined to keep riding. For the first half of her pregnancy she has been getting out, and sticking to more tame terrain aboard her Shimano Gravel Union Cotic Escapade.

Kelly-Jayne Emmerson, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnant
Kelly-Jayne, 28 weeks pregnant with her Cotic Escapade, in regular drop bar guise with full GRX800 2x drivetrain

Now well into her third trimester, Kelly was getting too uncomfortable grabbing for the drops, and needed a much more upright position to keep her comfy and rolling on the trails. So, the idea was hatched to do a flat bar conversion on her Escapade. This isn't something we usually recommend as for most riders it would result in a position far too short and upright, but short and upright is exactly what is needed in later pregnancy when a rider needs to make space for bump. Kell says....

ďDo you know what, Iím so happy that Iím still riding, so many women that Iíve spoken to told me that they had to stop at around 25 weeks, just Ďcos it was so uncomfortable, so I feel really lucky that the guys have hooked me up. It would be so boring if I couldnít go out riding. Just getting out there.Ē

It wasn't the work of a minute to do the change, as these days drop bar and MTB drivetrains are almost entirely lacking in cross-compatibility. In the end, after much discussion between Cotic and Gravel Union sponsors Shimano, we went for an XT 8100 1x12 drivetrain, SLX brakes with flat mount to post mount caliper adapters, Cotic Calver MTB riser bars cut down to 720mm and a diddy PRO Tharsis 35mm stem.

Kelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Cane Creek eeSilk, riding when pregnant

ďItís awesome, so upright. I donít have to lean forwards at all which makes it so comfortable, Ďcos itís got such a short stem and the flat bars just makes such a difference. My thighs were hitting my bump when I had drop bars which really wasnít ideal, so Iíd have my legs spread open wide way too much and be really uncomfortable cycling, so yeah, Iím really happy now.Ē

Kelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnantKelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnant
Kelly-Jayne Emmerson Cotic Escapade flat bar conversion, Cotic Escapade, gravel bike, steel gravel bike, steel is real, Shimano GRX, riding when pregnant

We're wishing Kelly-Jayne all the very best for the rest of her pregnancy and beyond. If you're pregnant, then we hope this has inspired you to keep getting out on your bike if you can. What an exciting time!

Follow Kelly-Jayne on instagram…

Read more about Kelly-Jayne's cycling adventures here…

20/08/2020 - Downtimes' RocketMAX

Downtime Podcast' Custom Cotic RocketMAX Build

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAX

We've got a big bike check for you today - Chris from The Downtime Podcast has written up his RocketMAX build. It's a detailed one so we'll hand over to him right away...

If you follow the podcast, then youíll know that Iíve spent the last 2 years riding a FlareMAX. I built it up with a slightly longer stroke Fox shock, so it was effectively the first FlareMAX 132, giving me a bit more travel to play with. Iíve loved every minute with the bike, which begs the questionÖ why change to the RocketMAX? Well there are three main reasons, and only one of them is really justifiable!

Itís nice to change things up every now and then I was hoping to go on at least one trip to some big mountains this year and felt like more travel would be a wise move for the bigger mountain terrain I ride quite a lot with Cy, we are generally a fairly similar speed, but he keeps pulling away from me when it gets really rough and rowdyÖ he rides a RocketMAX!!

Iíll let you decide which of those is the justifiable one.

So the frame element of the bike was decided, and then itís on to what to build it up with. Iíve been lucky to have support from some great people since the early days of the podcast. Cy is the obvious one, but Dustin from We Are One Composites and Jordi from Fox have also been supporters from really early on. So it was an obvious choice to put the Fox 36s and X2 on the bike, and Dustin recommended their new Faction 29er wheels on Industry 9 Hydra hubs for my build. Iíve been blown away by the performance increase over the 34s and DPX2 that I had on the previous bike, and the added adjustability appeals to my inner geek. The wheels have been great too. They are the next generation of product from We Are One, and theyíve managed to make things even better. They are lighter, stronger and have an amazing ride feel that I love. Direct, without being punishing, and nicely damped. Oh, and those Hydra hubs make a lovely noise.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Last year I was put in contact with Aaron from PNW Components, and they have been supporters ever since. Aaron sorted me out one of their awesome Batchelor Dropper Posts and a Loam Lever Remote for this build. Iíve had a lot of issues with droppers in the past, but since switching to PNW Iíve not had to touch them once.

Since meeting and chatting with the guys from CushCore in 2019, I knew that theyíd really thought about their product and I was keen to try them. Theyíve been in my bikes ever since, and the RocketMAX is no exception. The damping they provide is worth any weight penalty as far as Iím concerned. The added protection is just a bonus.

Finishing kit this time around came from Nukeproof. They are a relatively small brand in the grand scheme of things who seem to just be quietly getting on with things, taking EWS overall wins and making some really nice components. So bottom bracket and headset are their new titanium coated ones which come with a great warranty. Never a bad idea in the UK climate! Iíve got their Horizon stem and Horizon V2 carbon bars (cut to 760mm) as my cockpit. I actually wanted the ally version of the bar, but it wasnít in stock at the time, and Iím really glad about that. The carbon bar doesnít feel too stiff (which is a problem Iíve had in the past) but still has the added damping that carbon provides. The shape is also really good and Iíve had no issues with wrist/hand pain at all. Iíve opted for the new version of the Sam Hill designed enduro pedal, and it doesnít disappoint. Itís well sealed and provides a tonne of grip. If anyone knows flat pedals, itís Sam!

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX
Grips are DMR Deathgrips, and these have been my go to grip for years now. I have tried a few others over that period of time, but never found anything that is as comfortable for me as Deathgrips are. Iíve chosen a Mucky Nutz Mug Guard short to keep the Ďsummerí out of my eyes, and it hasnít disappointed. These guards are made from recycled plastic and are a bit sturdier than some of the other front mud guards out there, so you donít end up with them deforming and contacting the tyre. I also like the fact that they come with reusable velcro straps instead of zipties, so they are easy to take on and off with no waste.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

I recently did a podcast episode with WTB about their saddles, where they explained their Fit Right system which helps you select the right saddle for you. It told me that a medium width Silverado would do the trick and it was right. Itís super comfortable and Iíve been riding without padded shorts with no issues. Iíve also got their 2.5 Verdict Dry Light/High Grip up front with 18psi in it. The rear is finished with a Maxxis Aggressor 2.4 with Double Down casing and 19psi so itís super fast rolling.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Brakes are the SRAM G2 Ultimates. Iíve not ridden SRAM brakes for a long time (since they were Avid) but Iíd heard good things about these from Cy. He wasnít wrong, they have a nice lever feel, and plenty of power with the 200mm rotors that Iíve specced front and rear. I do have a bit of a soft spot for the oil slick ti-bolts too! SRAM have also finished off the rest of the drivetrain with a mixture of GX and XX1. Iím a big fan of the Eagle stuff, it just works and gives me enough range for 99% of the things Iíd want to ride up. I just need bigger legs to get that last 1%

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Iíve put a FUNN bashguard on there, just incase I catch anything. That way, itís not going to damage the chainring. It adds very little weight but is good for piece of mind. Iíve also covered the bike in Invisiframe to protect itís lovely paint finish, and popped some trusty Marshguard Slapper tape on the chainstay to help deal with any chainslap.

So letís talk a bit about set-upÖ Initially I was running the stem around 12mm from the top of the headset, but I had felt like front end grip wasnít quite right and I kept feeling like I was going to lose the front wheel. I initially tried bringing the stem down 2mm, and that did feel better, but not all the way there. So I tried going up 8mm to 20mm from the top of the headset and that seems to have sorted it. Bar height is such a complicated one, but itís super easy to change with spacers, so itís well worth a few repeated runs with the stem in different positions to see what feels best for you.

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAXDowntime Podcast x RocketMAX

Ok, suspension is where it gets a bit more complicated. Here are my initial settings which were based on the manual, and with the number of spacers that the fork/shock came with pre-installed.

66 psi - 1 spacer
HSC 11

165 psi - 3 spacers
LSC 19
HSC 16
LSR 17
HSR 12

(Clicks from fully closed)


Since then, I got my hands on a Motion Instruments Enduro Expert system and have done 3 sessions on my local trails recording data and making changes to improve my set up. The main thing I noticed was that the suspension was too progressive for me, especially the rear, and that the rebound was not fast enough front and rear. Here is where Iíve ended upÖ

66 psi - no spacers
HSC 11
HSR 8 (fully open)

160 psi - no spacers
LSC 19
HSC 18
LSR 19
HSR fully open

What difference has all the fiddling made? Well itís transformed the way the bike feels to be honest. There is so much grip that my confidence in cornering has increased massively. It also seems to recover grip really quickly if it does break traction. It carries speed much better through rough terrain, I assume because the bike is packing less. It feels more lively to ride, which at the moment is great. I havenít had a chance to ride it on anything with significant compressions/g-outs or jumps yet, so I need to see if I can handle it in those circumstances. If not, I may need to slow down the rebound a little to help me. I am by no means a great rider, so having this increase in performance purely from some suspension tuning is well worth having! Itís made the insanely fast RocketMAX even faster. I canít wait for more time on this absolute beast of a bike. Time to see if Cy can keep up...

Downtime Podcast x RocketMAX

If youíve got any questions, then drop me a note to Otherwise, donít forget to give the podcast a listen over at

Thanks for reading,


Click here to visit The Downtime Podcast

Read about the latest RocketMAX here…

Buy the latest RocketMAX here…

29/06/2020 - Cy's RocketMAX

Boss Card - PLAYED! Cy's RocketMAX

Cotic RocketMAX, steel full suspension, UK made, Reynolds 853, Cy Turner, Cotic Bikes, enduro mountain bike, 29er mountain bike, full suspension mountain bike, steel is real, cy from cotic

Ever idly wonder what bike you'd build as your dream bike? Well, that's pretty much what Cotic's owner and bike designer Cy Turner gets to do. Here's the bike that Cy built.

The frame itself is the final pre-production proving prototype of the Gen2 RocketMAX, built by Five Land Bikes in June 2018. It's been Cy's bike ever since, up until now wearing the Metal Grey paint finish of that generation of bike. Now with the Gen 3 RocketMAX why not just have one of those? Over to Cy....

Despite the changes for the Gen3 bike, I actually did all the suspension development on this very bike, by moving the shock mount up the down tube and only using two bolts (do NOT try this on your own bike!). Using offset bushings and different shock mounts, I could test the 230mm shock and different leverage curves without building a whole new prototype. I knew that I didn't want to change the dynamic geometry, because it's already my favourite bike and I just couldn't come up with any reason to change it in a big way. The slightly steeper seat angle on the new one is simply due to the slightly more linear leverage curve needing a bit of help from the rider position to keep the weight centred on steep climbs. You'll note my saddle is right forward on the rails because I have the older frame.

A couple of months ago we got talking about switching out my frame and running a new one, putting mine in the museum storage where all our significant frames get put. But I didn't like that idea. Partly because in the first couple of months of the production run of any of our UK bikes production volume is always a little bit behind demand, and partly because I felt really strongly that it's still a great frame, with a lot more life left in it. We are focused on sustainability, and a big part of that is building durable products that last. Why ditch a perfectly good frame for a new one?

It's also an emotional attachment too. The month this bike was built was the culmination of a very stressed and hectic few weeks trying to get the geometry right. I got it near where I wanted on the previous prototype using an angleset, and this was the frame delivered to prove out both the final geometry, and the paint finish. It was done so fast it never even got the e-coat corrosion protection! But I remember that first ride like it was yesterday. I was over the moon with how it felt and how it was everything I wanted it to be. I was so excited. It's the OG Rad Bike. It's been my main bike for all my adventures these last 2 years, and I love it, and everything it represents about my journey as a bike designer and a company owner.

SO, it was sent on holiday to Five Land Bikes to get a modified shock mount position (so i can safely run the Gen3 long shocks, not the shonky 2 bolts option i used during development!), stripped, e-coat, and this GORGEOUS paint test orange with the latest Gen3 artwork. I think it looks AMAZING.

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The graphics are the silver decals from the Navy Blue Gen3 RocketMAX with the cut through down tube graphics from the Army Green, complete with the new head badge. You'll also notice some random holes in the swingarm. This is the less glamourous side of running a development bike - you get to drill holes in it to test things. These are leftover from an abortive attempt to find good rear mech cable routing via the swingarm. Didn't work, but the holes remain! Also above are a couple of pics Cy took during assembly. Again, partly for sustainability, and partly to prove a point, all those pivot parts removed from the bike were cleaned up and put back in. The only things that were replaced were the bearings, which were due a refresh. All of these parts are two years old with a lot of use, and once cleaned up, it all went back together tight as a drum.

For the build kit, as you might expect for a heavily used bike it features some of the best parts available, and it's broadly based on our Platinum build. As a result it's running a full SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, which has been in place for over 2 years, and has just received it's first replacement cassette and jockey wheels. Cy's a big fan of the 10-50 range, as he's a sit-and-spin kind of rider, so the 30/50 bottom gear means he's always got an option to keep on top of a gear. The drivetrain is topped off by the absolutely amazing Cane Creek eeWings titanium cranks with a Unite Components chainring, DMR Vault pedals and Hope BB.

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Over to Cy again...

I'm a big fan of the SRAM drivetrain, and the range suits me really well. I've just got the 10-50 cassette, and I have no plans for a new rear mech and 10-52 of the latest verison just now. I'm happy with this as it is. Maybe in another couple of years when this cassette wears out I'll do the change.

eeWings? I can't defend them on any kind of value for money grounds that would make any sense, but they're amazing - tough, light, fit and forget - I love them. To paraphrase an old movie, "they are so choice. If you have the means I highly recommend picking some up."

Cane Creek HELM MK2, Cy Boss-Card RocketMAXSRAM Guide RSC G2 Brakes, Cy Boss-Card RocketMAXHUNT Trail Wide, Cy Boss-Card RocketMAXCotic saddle, Cy Boss-Card RocketMAXCy Boss-Card RocketMAXCy Boss-Card RocketMAX

The suspension is courtesy of the new Cane Creek HELM Mk2 fork at 160mm, and the DB Air CS shock originally used during the Gen3 development, both of which feature on the Platinum build. Brakes are SRAM Guide RSC G2 4 pots (an option on all our bikes), a One Up 180mm dropper post holds up a very well used Cotic saddle.

Wheels are HUNT Trail Wide, tyres are WTB Verdict 2.5 Light High Grip Slashguard front, with a Trail Boss 2.4 Light Fast Rolling rear.

Cockpit is a regular 35mm Cotic stem, WTB Padloc Commander grips on Spank Vibrocore 30mm rise bars cut to 775mm across the ends of the grips. In the centre of the bars is the permanently installed Exposure Lights bracket for a 6 Pack light.

We'll let Cy have the final word....

I'm new to the HELM Mk2, but they feel great so far. We helped Cane Creek during the development of these by trying some of the lighter oils they were proposing, so my previous HELM Mk1 had been running the 2.5wt oil that's stock fitment in these for a while. With all the other changes, these are definitely a step on from that, but I guess it's not quite a big a difference for me because of the damper tweaks I'd already done. The rear shock is just amazing. Plush, controlled, capable. I run the DB Air IL most of my time on this frame, with an OPT remote, and I do miss the remote a bit. However, the new kinematics, big can shock and extra travel over the Gen2 definitely give it a more capable feel when it gets hectic.

I'm quite fussy about brake feel, and I just don't get on with the strong initial bite of Shimano brakes. It's a preference thing. Up until a year ago I was on Hope E4s which were great, but I got these SRAM Guide G2s in to test prior to potentially offering them as a build option, and they never came off again. I really like the feel and power.

Cockpit shape is fairly standard Cotic; the Vibrocore bars are a similar shape to our Calver Bars which I ran before. However, after my Finale trip last year I was suffering a bit with arm pump and sore forearms, so I got some of these to see if they would help. They do a little - they're defintely a soft bar. I find carbon bars too stiff for my liking. I've been running the Padloc grips since they came out. I know it's a faff to cut the angle on your bars for them, but they work so well for how I ride. I've used single collar grips for years because of my tendency to roll my hands over the ends of the bars. The Padloc just put a big, soft comfy bit of rubber right where I do that, which is ace. Bar width is what I settled on a couple of years back after doing a lot of testing during Longshot development. You can read the blog I wrote about it here.

The light bracket stays on there, because just like most of you, I actually do most of my riding out of office hours, so for 8 months of the year in the UK that means evening rides with some level of darkness involved. I like the simplicity of the Exposure lights all-in-one nature. Saddle is just me shaped. I know some people don't get on with them, which is why we have the Fabric saddle option, but this just works for me. I could (and do) sit on it for hours.

I've been running the TrailWides since I got some production samples in summer 2018 and I really like them. They're light for what they are, give the big tyres a nice profile and roll super fast. Freehub bearings needed a refresh for the rebuild of the bike, but they're great.

The Verdict / Trail Boss has become my go-to, year round setup. I found when WTB moved to the Slashguard option on the Light tyres (reinforces the sidewalls, but not the tread area) I could run the lighter tyre on the rear too. I used to run Tough rear tyres before. The stiffness and feel of the new WTB casings is great, and I run 19psi front, and 22psi rear. I experimented with Cushcore and Rimpact, but I'm not a habitual wheel wrecker and I prefer the lower weight without the inserts. After years on the Vigilante, I am a big fan of the Verdict on the front. Grip for days!

So that's it. My RocketMAX. The smile says it all. I got it all back together last week and it's still managed to surprise me with how much fun it is. I am a very fortunate lad.

Cy Boss-Card Cotic RocketMAX

Click here for the Cotic RocketMAX

Read about the latest RocketMAX here…

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26/06/2020 - Camus' Rocket

Camus' Custom Cotic Rocket Build

Camus gets his Rocket lit

Camus, the emeritus professor at the hardtail university, has graduated to full suspension! This is a big deal - we found it hard enough to keep up with him before, now we've no chance!

His choice of bounce has gone to a new UK made Rocket in the same Sunny Yellow as his old frame. All the parts from his BFe carried over and all there is left to do is tweak the suspension, pump up the tyres and ride the hell out of it.

Camus gets his Rocket lit

Staying relatively close to a Gold Build, He's gone for a bump in travel on his Helm mk1's, up to 170mm. The rear is looked after by an Air CS shock. Wheels are provided by Hunt. Endurowide on the front but the rear is their DH rim - much needed when you ride as fast & hard as Dave on a hardtail. There's cushcore in there too. All the padding.

Camus gets his Rocket litCamus gets his Rocket litCamus gets his Rocket litCamus gets his Rocket lit

Hope components adorn the headset, brakes and crankset, whilst sram GX is the drivetrain of choice. These are held up by a pair of Burgtec Carbon bars tied to a Burgtec 35mm stem. Dave's feet are kept firmly in place with a well-loved pair of DMR V12's and the saddle is a Fabric Scoop - just like the ones we have in stock right now.

Camus gets his Rocket lit

If you want to get your hands on a copy of this exact bike then drop us an email and we can get it ordered for you. Unfortunately we can't promise you'll ever be as fast as him though...

Camus gets his Rocket lit

Click here for the Cotic Rocket

Read about the latest Rocket here…

Buy the latest Rocket here…

01/11/2019 - New Ambassador Shauna Coxsey

Shauna Coxsey

We're so excited to introduce our new ambassador, Redbull Athlete Shauna Coxsey, Britain's most successful climber and all round great person! "Coxsey is one of only four women ever to have climbed a boulder route graded 8B+, the third-most difficult rating of all. She has also won every British Bouldering Championship sheís ever entered." - Redbull

Shauna Coxsey

She chose Cotic as we're local to her and fell in love with our Escapade as it'll be a perfect addition to her training. She's wanting to cycle as part of her fitness training and ride a mixture of on and off road, making the Escapade the perfect choice for her.

Shauna Coxsey

She's been lucky enough to be helped with the build by Shimano who sent over some rather nice GRX kit and WTB sent her tyres and a women's specific saddle, which built her the perfect gravel weapon.

Shauna Coxsey

We also fitted her a Life Bike bag which she can use to store snacks, tools or perhaps some climbing chalk if she spots a good route on her adventures. We look forward to seeing where she gets to on her Escapade.

Shauna Coxsey

Follow Shauna Coxsey on Instagram…

See the Escapade GRX Road Plus Build Options…

Purchase a Life Bike frame bag…

12/04/2019 - Escapade


Enjoy the commute


What do you do on the coldest day of the year so far? Well, you obviously bivvy overnight in an abandoned shed and pedal to work in the snow!

Get where you need to be, with a smile, on the Cotic Escapade. The ultimate road / gravel / highway & byway "life" bike. 700c or 27.5+ wheels with all-carbon forks.

Enjoy the Commute

Take a closer look at our Escapade…

Demo an Escapade…

10/10/2018 - Kelly goes bike rafting



Bikerafting. Sounds interesting right? Now Iím all over bikepacking, Iíd even consider myself a bit of an expert. But chuck in a raft and youíll find out I was in deeper (water) than I thought.

When planning an adventure, itís always important to consider every aspect of it. New to Ďraftingí, I thought it best to start on something small. Time to drag in my water+obsessed, bike-obsessed and even more so adventure-obsessed friend, Mrs Nikki Read! She chose our trip to incorporate Coniston Water in the Lake District, a nicely sized body of water and surrounded by some great Mtb trails. We planned a water crossing, and a ride, followed by a nice hike up to a camping spot all on Komoot. I mean our plan was pretty bulletproof. We met at Coniston in the afternoon and spent some time mounting all our kit on our bikes, of which there was A LOT. We had the man behind Iron raft with us, Nick, to offer his packraft knowledge, and also capture the tour ( heís pretty handy with the camera too). Iím going to be very honest here, the Ďideaí of packrafting was a super exciting one; but when it actually came to it, became more of interesting one, not a Ďlets go and actually do ití oneÖ

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

I could feel my tummy doing somersaults whilst loading my Cotic Soul up (the best bike for the job), Iím a land lady! Not a mermaid (WHAT AM I DOING?!). The thought of paddling across the water with my bike didnít have me stoked on life, I was more stoked to just go home. But Mrs Read is very good at keeping me positive (this woman has been on the water pretty much her entire life) and somehow managed to coax me to the water edge.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

The rafts are super easy to inflate, which was a welcome distraction from what was to happen next. Nikki and I chatted and laughed whilst racing to blow up our new method of transportation. Once on the water and sturdily afloat we headed across Coniston.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

What an adventure. Now I was panicking that I was going to sink and lose the Soul down into the deep deep water, but my raft however stayed very much above the water (thank god). Iíll be honest, Iím all for new experiences and trying out something different, but this will be the last time I raft, thanks very much. I felt very unwell! Iím a delicate one when it comes to motion sickness and seemed to have forgotten this when signing up.

All packed up I was very much ready to ride my bike. A little nauseated but I pulled through it because I REALLY couldnít wait to camp.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

We met Jenny Nuttall for part 2 of our mission for day and headed up to Goats Water. Up the Bridleway and onto the footpath where we had to hike-a-bike. It was a pretty epic, lung busting climb up over some huge embedded rock, especially with my bike fully loaded with all the adventure equipment.

All of that was soon forgotten though, once we were welcomed with the most spectacular camping spot, Goats Water, which is a small tarn. Thanks Jenny, thatíll do.

I then spent some time sussing out the best place to pitch my tent, trying avoid any large rocks or uneven ground. Once Iíd found it I then eagerly pitched it! I was hungry and my shelter building was the only thing that was getting in my way! I think Iíve said it a few to times now, I know Iím not made of sugar but it did start to rain A LOT, which isnít ideal on a bikepacking trip, especially when my tent is about a centimetre big. Camp created, we found a massive rock to take shelter under and made our dinner.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

During the night, what happened is best described as biblical rain. The noises I heard through the night felt like a jet wash being sprayed directly at my tent with someone else repeatedly smashing a broom into the walls of it. These noises surrounded me the entire night. Haha.

By morning though, Iím happy to say I was alive and well and very surprisingly dry in my £48 tent from Amazon. I knew covering it with waterproof spray and NOT wiping away the excess was the best idea ever. In the morning after about an hours sleep I planned in my head how quickly I could get out of my tent, pack all my kit and get the heck off the mountain without completely drowning in the rain. I clambered out and went straight to see Nikki and Jenny. (I thought it worth mentioning here that Nikki and Jenny although also experienced a terrible nights sleep were completely unfazed by the rain and in super high spirits, those women are mega, I however woke up with a dark cloud above my head, figuratively and literally). They had a plan of action, and I was quite happy to go along with it. Unfortunately Nick had also a challenging nights sleep with a tent malfunction and spent a good few hours sleeping in an inch or so of water! (I mean I would have had a right princess moment and gone home). Eager to get dry and some food we all packed up and set off. The journey back down was pretty wet, the path which we had hiked up was now a river, making for a soggy experience.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

But gradually as we descended the clouds cleared and we eventually caught a glimpse of the sun through the clouds. Definitely lifted my spirts and helped my verging on hypothermic state! (Thatís a bit dramatic, I was just cold and wet).

Once we made it to the bridleway the ride down the rest of the mountain was marvellous and the views flippiní delightful as ever. That was enough adventuring for a soggy me though, we rode down to Coniston and finished out the trip with a nice warm breakfast.

Photos by Nick Kowalski

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25/09/2018 - Camus Does Canada

BFe in BC

Brand ambassador Dave Camus headed out to Whistler on holiday this year, here's how he got on...

Attacking Whistler on a hardtail:

I think itís every mountain bikerís dream to have the chance to go to Whistler and ride Ė ever since jumping sketchy jumps and drops in our local sand quarry as a teenager; we'd get back and watch Roam and Seasons Whistler segments over and over. Every year myself and a few friends head out on a summer downhill riding trip such as Morzine, Hafjell or Andorra. This year all the cards fell into place and the whole crew had the cash and the time to consider a 3 week trip over the pond to British Columbia, so we costed it up and booked our flights. None of the group, 9 of us, had ever been before so everything would be new and fresh to us all!

Camus does Canada

The cost of taking two bikes on the plane wasnít unreasonable, so I decided to take my Downhill bike for the bikepark, and pack my Cotic BFE to get some enduro laps. Iíd scoured over trailforks for weeks before, and the list of trails inside and outside of the bikepark was endless. Like the Golfie on steroids! Sheffield being the close-knit scene it is, there were a fair few boys who have packed their bags for good and were living out there, so it wasn't long before some solid rides were planned to explore outside the bikepark.

Camus does Canada

In the end, the BFe got ridden way more than expected, and really took on everything I could throw at it. The janky shore, roots, rock rolls and steeps of the enduro trails there really tested the bike to its limits. Rarely would I see another hardtail, and locals were all rocking big enduro machines, which the BFe hung onto all week. After some successful enduro rides, I decided to take the BFE and have a couple of days shredding iconic trails in the bikepark too Ė it breezed through A-Line and Freight train, and managed to take in a couple of double blacks too! At this point I thought Iíd make a choice selection of my favourite trails I rode on the BFe in WhistlerÖ

Camus does Canada

Billyís Epic Ė A black trail unlike a lot I rode, super steep, amazing views, rocky and fast with a huge chute in the middle. We linked it into ĎThe Rockwork Trilogyí which had three trails of neat tech rockrolls.

Green Monster - a short double black diamond trail outside of the bikepark with 3 huge rock rolls. The photo shows the first of the three Ė they only got bigger and more gnarly. Probably the scariest natural thing I rode. Rockrolls are just something we donít get here in the UK Ė you must be super committed and stay off the brakes as much as possible. On the BFE the G outs at the bottom were something to contend with!

Camus does Canada

D1 Ė a short pro line trail just at the bottom of the Garbanzo lift. Think 50-01 line but with more stepdowns and gap jumps! Perfect berms, high speed and massively committing. Once you knew where you were going it was a hoot. One of the harder jump trails to master.

Camus does Canada

Lord of the Squirrels Ė a huge day out in the mountains on a sweet blue trail. 6600ft of climbing up to the top of Mt Sproatt. The climb up is purpose built and fairly steady, winding its way through the trees and then out to above the treeline with loads of sub alpine lakes and views. The climb itself felt like such an achievement to have completed, and we couldnít have picked a better day for it. The trail down was just as rewarding. Super rough because of all the traffic the trail gets but loamy and the FLOW!

Camus does Canada

Crabapple Hits Ė The biggest jumps in the bikepark, topping out at about 55ft long, but with a monstrous lip. Iíd hit these on the downhill bike on the first day, but massively underestimated the speed for the biggest and 50/50 cased it. Iíd worked out the speed after than before going for it on the hardtail, but I knew on the BFE casing like that wasnít an option. After a few deep breaths I dropped in and sailed through the whole set perfect first time. The amount of airtime is insane!

Camus does Canada

We only really scratched the surface of the riding in Whistler, and had the best time. There looks to be amazing trails in Squamish and Pemberton down the valley, as well as some proper ĎNorth Shoreí riding North VancouverÖ Iím already looking at plans for next year! - Dave

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23/07/2018 - Kelly's Bikepacking Adventure


Kelly takes the Escapade bikepacking in Scotland

Our ambassador Kelly has been exploring Scotland, ticks, midges and all. She left her Rocket at home and took the Escapade instead. She tells us about it here.

When asked if I was free to join a bikepacking trip in Scotland with Komoot and Cyclist mag, I practically jumped at the opportunity. Having got the taste for bike packing earlier in the year I was super keen to head out again on another adventure. This time with actual camping on the agenda, so no fancy air B&B for me. Fiola had planned our ride on Komoot which was a gravel ride, so the kind folk at Cotic loaned me their adventure bike for the trip, the Escapade, which has drop bars (YIKESSSS). Tyres wise I ran WTB resolute- they are cracking tyres and WTB arenít wrong when they call them their Ďset-it-and-forget-it tire that keeps on keepiní on Ď. My trusted and tested WTB womenís Koda pro saddle and Burgtec flat pedals. I didnít fancy clipping in with all the weight Iíd have on the bike (visions of me falling down some mountain side bike and bags attached, no thanks).

Bike setup sorted, now for packing. Iíd asked my good friends Hannah and Nicole for advice on what I should take as theyíve both been on far greater bikepacking missions than me, and itís also good to get others tips incase youíve forgotten something super important, like underwear (thanks Hannah).

Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

I have my brilliant Polaris bags to load up with all my kit, with an extra edition to the bag squad from Cotic, their new waterproof frame bag. So bike and bags sorted, all thatís next was the camping essentials. I have a small, very lightweight Outdoor Gear ďbackpacker 1í tent, weighing in a just 1.3kg and also a super lightweight Forclaz sleeping bag that packs up super small and is 985g along with a Forclaz air matt weighing 500g. All of these I took out of their original bags and distributed them between my handlebar bag and seat post bag. Polarisís handlebar bag is waterproof, so I put my sleeping bag, down jacket and spare clothing in there and the tent got stuffed into the seat post bag.

Then everything else including the kitchen sinkÖ I compiled a list:

  • Stove
  • Mytimug
  • Gas
  • Lighter
  • Food-dehydrated meals (firepot outdoor food)
  • Water bottles x4
  • Cutlery
  • Torch
  • Warm jacket
  • Change of socks
  • Leggings
  • First aid kit
  • All the bike tools
  • Spare tubes JIC
  • Riding snacks
  • Spare Polaris straps
  • Battery pack and cable
  • Toiletries (Lush soap bars for the win)
  • Money
  • Oh and UNDERWEAR
  • All of this I squeezed into the seat post bag and my frame bag. As I mentioned before, Cotic have a new frame bag, and itís flippiní good. Due to it being waterproof, spacious and easily accessible I put all my electrical items, some snacks and my waterproof in this bag.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    Now that took a lot of effort to figure out with plenty of unpacking and packing, juggling and umming and ahhing about what I ACTUALLY needed to take, like hair curlers- there just wasnít the space.

    All packed up I headed out for a nice drive up to Fort Augustus to meet the other riders, Fiola, George and Joe. Once we all arrived we sat and looked at the tour that was planned on Komoot and got a good nights kip before our adventure began.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    We woke up to classic Scottish weather, rain. Had breakfast, grabbed our bikes, admired the Fort Augustus canal locks and then we were off! GRAVEL RIDING? what exactly is that then? I certainly felt like I had the right bike for the job, but after a good million miles of canal path and road I canít remember meeting the gravel.

    Scottish highlands are unpredictable and super harsh at times, so the first days riding took us all along some amazing lakes and then up a few incredible mountains.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    Mountain paths that were unrideable and nearly unwalkable at times, lugging my bike up them with bags in tow was a struggle to say the least, but the sweet feeling of success when I reached the summit made the pain train super worth it!

    On the descents the bags all remained very much attached to my bike as I hung on for dear life on the drops riding down the rockiest Ďgravel pathsí Iíd ever seen!

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    After a good 80k we arrived in a beautiful hamlet called Arnisdale, all pretty tired and hungry we set up camp for the night.

    This was my favourite bit of the trip. Iíd packed THE best food and was cosy and content in my dry clothes. Tent up and fire lit we sat and enjoyed the sunset over the Isle of Skye before rolling into our tents for some much needed rest.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    The best nights sleep followed by a lovely coffee and bowl of porridge on the beach to set me up for the day, which luckily was a dry one!

    We made our way out of Arnisdale and stopped in a village called Glenelg to grab some more snacks, fill up our water bottles and look at the days route.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    Sometimes it doesnít matter how much you plan for a trip, some things just donít work out! After the mega first day riding, we came to the realisation that we were going to be struggling for time to get back to Fort Augustus on these Ďgravel pathsí. Fortuntely Komoot makes it super easy to re-route a trip, so thatís what we did. This meant however A LOT of road to cover.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    I donít have much to say about this part of the tripÖbut what I will say is, forget the views and Ďtrainingí I am not a road rider and I never will be. Singing ĎWalking In Memphisí and ĎFall At Your Feetí at the back of the pack was keeping me going and then some ĎTubthumping (I get knocked down)í ft Fiola was also a distraction from the dismay. (I only cried once). During our Scottish A-roads tour we stopped off at a nice pub, the Cluanie Inn where we enjoyed a coffee and some cake and then removing over 20+ ticks from mine and Fiolaís bodies. Already struggling on the roads the last thing I needed was some new pals trying to hitch a ride.

    AHEM, after an interesting I donít knowÖ80k? We finally made it to some GRAVEL ROADS, so the last 12k of our ride was pretty nice, up and through some forests with lovely views down the valley.

    We arrived back in Fort Augustus and treated ourselves to a bag of chips and a cold beverage on the edge of the locks. Although not the one we had planned, what a trip, Iím going to be busy plotting my highlights on Komoot for a while! And may I add, zero flats and zero mechanicals aboard the Escapade, what a bike. Due to the ticks I spent the last night in my car, luckily itís an estate.

    Kelly Bikepacking in Scotland

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    24/04/2018 - Tricky Moore on the top spot

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    Tricky Moore

    Hardtail hooligan Tricky Moore has got his brand new BFe frame built up and raced it at the MIJ Downhill Round 1 race at the weekend and got the top spot on the podium in the hardtail category. Well done Tricky!

    Tricky Moore
    Tricky Moore's BFe

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    Roots & Rain Results & Photos…