Cotic Longshot Geometry, Longshot geometry, progressive geometry, mountain biking, enduro mountain biking, trail riding, mountain bike, full suspension mountain bike, 29er, 29 inch wheels, 27.5 inch wheels, best handling mountain bike

Cotic Longshot Geometry

The aim of Cotic's radical Longshot geometry is simple: Make riding bikes more fun, by making the handling so good you can be a better rider.

Longshot geometry keeps the bike stable through the rough stuff, planted in the corners and pinpoint accurate in the steep tech. It's lively and engaging, always letting you know where the bike is.

The key is building the whole sizing range around a super short 35mm stem. We optimise the head angle to balance the steering feel, and the short stem breeds incredible confidence: Like you can't tuck the front wheel. Like you can feel the contact patch of the tyre through your hands. It's that good, and feels amazing on the trail.

The cockpit length, angles and wheelbase bring incredible poise and composure, and in turn this gives you the confidence to take on the trail anywhere, any condition, any technicity. It results in test quotes such as this for our wild RocketMAX enduro bike, "when it comes to crazy speed and confidence, the RocketMAX isnít just the best bike Cotic has made, itís one of the best anyone has made."

Longshot geometry started life in late 2015 as an experimental development project, after a quick ride on Chris Porter's Geometron and finding it just rode like a bike. Different, sure, but still a bike. I put my preconceptions aside, and got to work. You can read more about "The Long Shot" here: Project Longshot - Status Experimental

The result of Longshot geometry is slack head angles and long wheelbases. I have always thought that people get a little too hung up on wheelbase. I have never once designed a bike with a wheelbase in mind, or an intention to keep it a particular length. Wheelbase is a dimension that occurs at the end of the process when everything else more important is established and set. It's much, much more important to have the weight balanced between the wheels. Hence the generous chainstay length to balance the long front centre.

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The RocketMAX (even in the XL size I ride) feels like you would expect a shorter wheelbase bike to feel, because when you are stood up, you are on the vertical turning axis of the bike. When a bike has a long front centre and really short rear end, the turning axis of the bike is in front of the rider, which makes those bikes feel ponderous. The force feedback they give you is that something is moving around in front of you. That kinda 'wheelbarrow' feeling. That's what's given long bikes a bad name in my opinion. I distinctly remember being on a ride early in the life of the 2nd longshot 29er prototype last year (the green RocketMAX with black rear end you might have seen if you saw me out and about over summer/winter 2017). We were at Wharncliffe on some of the really tight, steep, berms over towards where Max, JP and the Tree Tings/Clay Spades guys sculpt their masterpieces. And despite the bike being quite a bit longer and slacker than my first prototype (which I'd never quite got working right), this bike was whipping around these tight berms with hardly any need to 'muscle' it in, felt easy to whip it through these tight turns. It was one of the main lightblub moments on the project. When I realised I had got the weight distribution right, and the bike was suddenly around me instead of 'out front' or 'all at the back'. It didn't feel long, or short, it just felt right.

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Cy aboard his green RocketMAX Longshot 2nd prototype

You can't just focus on one number then say it's rad. It's a whole system. The iteration I tried before the final geometry was settled was a degree steeper at the front and shorter front centre. It should have theoretically made it feel livelier in tight trails, and I'll be honest, I was a little concerned about customer reaction to the geometry I was leaning towards so I pulled it back a little. It felt awful. Like REALLY awful. The front end felt too tall and unconnected. It felt really light on the steering without enough feedback. Really spooky feeling. It was a real wake up call because up to that point, everything Longshot-esque I had built and tried had been really lovely to ride, even if they weren't spot on.

I tried a bunch of different bars I spent a couple of weeks full puzzling - measuring, checking, rebuilding the previous prototype - trying to figure out how a bike with a 64.5deg head angle could feel so sketchy. It came down to the lower BB on that bike (which everyone thinks is good) and the shorter front centre (still roomy, but everyone thinks shorter is good for tighter trails) combined with the 160mm travel fork raising the stack and hence bar height combined to make it hard to weight the bike nicely. All bits of 'received wisdom' which combined to make a bike that looked great on paper not work at all. In the end I popped an angleset in it to go back towards where I was with the version before and it was transformed. Even on tight, bermed singletrack it felt MILES better. I could weight the front, loads of feel and feedback through the bars, tonnes of grip, I was in the middle of the bike again so it was moving around me instead of in front of me. That was the point I commited and went with what felt best to me, regardless of the numbers 'on paper'. A production enduro bike with a 63.5 deg head angle and 1320mm wheelbase. That's the bike we launched.

So, what I would urge you to do - particularly if you have been riding a while and got used to certain numbers being 'right' for you on the bike - it put that to one side and try a Longshot geometry Cotic. Even if the numbers look crazy long and slack to you, you will find on the bike it just works. Not only that, it works better. We just want to build better bikes.

All this didn't happen over night though. It is a story, a long time spent doing a lot of work: Testing prototypes, putting aside our preconceptions, being open to new ideas, and getting really excited at the possibilities. We have been doing this longer, lower, slacker thing longer than most - our first Longshot bike appeared in 2017.

Cy Turner, Founder and Bike Designer, Cotic Bikes

Cy sat down with Downtime Podcast to explain where Longshot came from, how it was developed, and why it's great.

You can listen, or you can watch on Youtube with diagrams illustrating some of the points




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