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21/01/2020 - Women of Steel Beat the Blues

Beat the Blues

Women of Steel

Cotic Women of Steel, steel, full suspension, mtb, cotic, womencycling, cycling, enduro, reynolds 853, peak district, winter ride, mountain bike ride, riding group, cycling club, adventure

The fourth Cotic Beat the Winter Blues ride, and the only one without any snow! For January the Women of Steel joined in on the Cotic CC ride and set out on a Peak District ride. W certainly picked the right day for it, we were so lucky with glorious sunshine; vitamin D levels were topped up and we were all smiling for it. More write up from the Cotic CC to come, Women of Steel keep your eye out for the next couple of events to be announced soon!

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15/01/2020 - Sam's sledge

Sam's custom RocketMAX build

To start off our recurring feature on staff bikes, here's Sam's RocketMAX he uses for the demo tour. Find out why he chose this bike and what changes he's made to make it his own...

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Despite being our longest travel and most capable descender, I ride a RocketMAX for everything; from demos at trail centres to downhill tracks, night rides from the house and big days in the Lakes. My RocketMAX is the best fitting and most capable bike I've ever ridden. For those occasional demos where I'm following a local down a steep, technical trail I've never ridden before, I can completely trust the bike to look after me. That being said, I can still pop and skip my round a trail centre, or charge down rocky Peak District gnar all on the same bike.

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When the longshot RocketMAX came out, my first go on one was in the infamous Tweed Valley. On an exclusive demo day with a local club, we were riding Cresta Run, a classic downhill track at Innerleithen. I remember thinking to myself, mid corner, how I hadn't ridden those trails for several years and the last time I did, I was on a 10 inch travel DH bike on an uplift day. The RocketMAX was guiding me down the hill with tonnes more confidence and control, and I'd pedalled it to the top, and it wasn't even my bike!

I had to have one, and this is it, Violet. Metal-on-metal with a generous helping of purple parts, size small. Cane Creek takes care of the bits that go up and down, I spend a lot of time setting people's suspension up and making tweaks to improve their demo rides, so I've become quite picky with my own set up, and learnt a lot. I love the amount of adjustment the Helm fork has, and the grip from the rear shock is brilliant without sacrificing pop and playfulness.

My favourite part on the whole bike has to be my uber bling Rust Titanium handlebars. The perfect shape, not too much backsweep, and a dreamy compliant feel. I'm ultra fussy with bar set up, my brake levers have to be just so, and anything not in the right place throws my head! The silver Hope stem and matching Burgtec spacers complete the look. Diva and proud.

I'm a big fan of the Shimano Zee brakes. All the crisp lever feel of twin-pot Shimano brakes, but with just that bit extra modulation which lets you trail-brake on steep, loose surfaces without locking the wheel. For the small weight penalty I'd much rather have brakes that feel great, and have monster stopping power when you need it.

Burgtec take care of pedal duties, as you can see they've seen some miles, but are still on their first set of bearings and are faultless. I wouldn't run anything else. They look great on the black Hope crank with purple chainring too. I've recently switched to a 170mm crank from a 175mm, and it seems to suit me really well.

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Super fast engagement on the Hunt hubs is the dream, once you've had hubs that kick in this fast, you can't go back. The TrailWide wheelset keeps some weight off the bike where it matters most, and give the WTB tyres a great shape. I've just fitted a Verdict 2.5 for winter duties, and I'm super impressed. The Judge 2.4 out back rolls better than a tyre that chunky has a right too.

It's taken years to find the right saddle, but I've got there with the Fabric Scoop. Just as comfy on the last demo lap on a Sunday as it is on the Friday afternoon, and looks sleek with the stealth graphics. Ti rails for added bling too, it sits on top of a OneUP 150mm dropper post. This being so short overall means despite me running a small frame I can still get the saddle right out of the way for those critical steep moments.

Reckon it needs more purple bits? Ti bolts might be an idea...


09/01/2020 - Cotic Escapade - Top 10 Gravel/Adventure Bike Of The Year 2019

cotic escapade, steel gravel bike, gravel bike, adventure bike, gravel bike of the year, steel is real, bikepacking

Cotic Escapade - Top 10 Gravel and Adventure Bikes Of The Year

Super happy to be named No6 in the Top 10 Gravel and Adventure bikes of the year by road.cc and off.road.cc.

"The Cotic Escapade is a brilliant bike. I haven't had so much fun in ages off the beaten track, and that all comes down to the way it handles and how it feels underneath you.

For a 10kg bike it is so agile and it's fast. The geometry gives it a racy ride......, yet it also works on the road too. It's a little more expensive than some near-rivals, but I'd say it's worth the extra."

The Escapade is a real Swiss Army Knife of a bike, from tough disc road on fast 700c's, to gravel bomber with 650b Plus WTB tyres, via bike-packing on the way. Thanks so much!

Read the full Top 10 here

Order one of the best gravel bikes you can buy here


02/01/2020 - Nat Rainbow Tour Divide

Women of Steel

Lantern Rouge - Tour Divide 2019

Hannah writes: In November 2018 I met Nat, she came into Cotic's office wanting to look at a SolarisMAX and told me all about her plans to ride the Tour Divide. Her attitude was contagious and I had no doubt that she'd complete it, even though she had little bike knowledge! I followed her progress on her tracker and was so pleased to see that she'd finished - and enjoyed - the experience. She's written about her journey below, have a read, get inspired and set yourself a challenge for 2020...

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

We can't all be the best, but we can do our best

Nat writes: The Tour Divide, for those that donít know, is a 2745 mile off road ultra-endurance mountain bike race. It goes from Banff in Canada, all the way down through America to the Mexican border. Itís 200,000 feet of climbing which is the equivalent of climbing seven Everestís from sea level. Itís self-supported. There are many challenges and dangers, the wildlife; bears, mountain lions, rattle snakes and tarantulas. Extreme weather conditions, desert riding, hike a bike sections, wild camping, the tiredness of riding consecutive days and travelling solo in new countries.

What can I say? I like a challenge and as soon as I read about the Tour Divide, I knew I had to do it. I didnít own or ride a bike when I made this decision in November 2018! I just had a strong feeling this would give me the opportunity to improve my Rheumatoid Arthritis whilst facing more fears and becoming braver. My training began and seven months later, this June, I headed out into the wilderness with around 160 other racers.

Nat Tour Divide 2019

What an epic journey it was! The winner, Chris, finished in 15 days. It took me 42 days, 1 hour and 38 minutes, averaging 65 miles a day. I was last! But then in context, less than 50 percent of those that started the race completed it. I reckon the bears helped me out a bit!

This was a huge adventure, physically and mentally. How did I complete it? I decided from the start that the important part was to finish. I knew there would be many challenges along the way, some I could try to prepare for, and some I couldnít - like doing a puncture repair on my backup water bladder the night before I went into the great basin dessert and having 96 miles to ride before the next resupply. To add to the challenge, when leaving in the dark I went the wrong way and added another 10 miles to my ride that day!!

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.ccNat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

The enormity of the challenge sparked and inspired me. I am so thankful to have the mental and physical well-being to be able to take on this wonderful challenge. I find joy in the most challenging circumstances. I am just so grateful to have this new lease of life after successfully managing my Rheumatoid Arthritis through lifestyle. To be able to ride over a mountain, in a thunderstorm, with noise so loud it rattles your bones, the lightening so close you find a fellow rider hiding under a fallen tree, as they were so scared of getting struck. One day, I was wet through as it had rained for hours and I knew I had to keep riding otherwise my body temperature would drop too low. On arriving at Platoro mountain village, in the dark, desperate for a warm shower and bed, the place was closed up! Thankfully a kind individual got myself and the fellow rider Iíd bumped into that day, beds for the night. Had he not then it would have been a cold night in tents, but then that would have just been another equally awesome memory.

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

I loved it all, the highs, the lows, the nature; especially the precious little hummingbirds and bears. The lovely locals, the riders I met and the inner peace I found along the way. When I finished last, it felt like the biggest win, on a personal achievement level but also as a collective: the Tour Divide community had supported and encouraged me via the Facebook group, throughout my journey, following me on my tracker right over that finish line. That final day, after 42 days of consecutive riding, I realised something that has really stuck with me: we can't all be the best, but we can have the best time, and try our best.

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

Firefly was my teammate throughout. She was built around the Cotic SolarisMAX. I didnít know much about frames, Jamie from ĎCycle Inní of Beeston recommended Cotic and I headed up to Hope Valley. Such a lovely bunch and good vibes meant I left very happy. Her vibrant red colour influenced her name and I fell in love with her and riding. Iím no hard-core rider, I was just someone who was sparked by the Tour Divide. I believed beyond doubt I was Ďmeantí to ride and complete the race, I decided I could, and I would. The only reason I gave myself for not finishing was being on the way to hospital in an ambulance.

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, solaris, cotic, steelisreal, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

Before heading out to Canada my training was partly around learning to ride off road and becoming fitter. More so it was about over coming fears, learning to ride solo, in the dark, in strange places, camping on my own, then gaining the experience and confidence in myself to care for Firefly. There was lot of preparation involved, the bike and equipment took some sussing out, so many options and opinions. As a complete novice coming into this new world it was all very daunting. My advice on this would be to use the Facebook groups to research, reach out to people for advice, then step back, write a list and make your decisions. Once itís all together head out for a mini adventure, this way you figure out what works or needs tweaking.

What would I say to anyone whoís going to ride the Tour Divide? Firstly, enjoy the whole journey, from the moment you decide to ride until the finish line and then back into life after. This ride is life changing. Secondly, go with a positive mentality, make the most of it all, the good, the mud, the pain, the heat, the tears, the laughs and the scary bits. My most challenging times became my strongest memories and had the most profound lasting positive impacts. Finally, approach with flexibility. The Tour Divide is quite a beautiful beast and has no interest in your plans. It likes to throw the unexpected at you, some of the front runners this year were caught up and held back by a severe snowstorm. Flexibility enables an acceptance of going with the flow, facing challenges as they arise and adjusting to accommodate the unexpected.

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, solaris, cotic, steelisreal, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

The best advice I gave myself and share with others is to be completely present in the experience, every moment. It is such an intense experience, even months after finishing I can close my eyes and be right back there, itís such an energising feeling. Then each day do your best and celebrate all your successes, itís your personal journey and the Tour Divide will send you away with many gifts. It truly is a life changing experience.

Know that you can never be prepared for every eventuality, but you can have the confidence in yourself to resolve the challenges as they arise on route. I learnt so much from the ride, but especially to pack light, then pack lighter and then make sure itís even lighter, I got this about right on the last few days!

This journey, as with life, was about embracing and enjoying it, being grateful for good enough health and to be there, taking part. To have the opportunity and means to be able to take on the challenge. Then to acknowledge that each day is a gift and an opportunity for joy, to smile and spread some happiness.

Nat Tour Divide 2019, solarismax, solaris, cotic, steelisreal, tourdivide, adventure, gravel, tour divide, bikepacking, offroad.cc

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Nat's blog, read more here…


31/12/2019 - Set off a Rocket at New Year

Let's celebrate New Year -

Set off a Rocket!

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Bring in the New Year with a BANG! 300 Pounds off Cotic Rockets whilst stocks last.

Click Here to order


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23/12/2019 - Office closed for Christmas

Office and workshop closed

Website Open

We're all off 'till the 2nd January, so won't be answering calls, replying to emails, or building bikes 'till then. Of course, if you want to ensure you get your bike as soon as possible (and in the case of models running low on stock or on clearance, ensure no one else gets your bike instead of you), go ahead and place your order on our website, and stock will be reserved for you, ready to be built and sent out in January.

Cheers,

All @ Cotic.


place your order now, to reserve your bike…


19/12/2019 - Birth of a Bike - Tube To Trail

Birth of a bike - tube to trail

At Cotic, the ultimate aim is to design and build our own dream bikes, so you can share in that dream as well.

Just over a year ago we embarked on our latest adventure with our friends at Five Land Bikes to make the RocketMAX (and subsequently the Flare) in the UK, and ever since we started in 2003 we have used super strong Reynolds 853 steel. The whole process is underpinned by people, passion, experience, skill and hard work and we have made a film to celebrate that: The Birth of a Bike - Tube To Trail

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Click Here for the UK Made Cotic RocketMAX

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18/12/2019 - Sam's Demo Highlights of 2019

Sam's Demo Highlights of 2019.

2019 has been another busy year in demo. With Darren joining in the summer, it's only gotten busier. For me it feels like it's been a really wet year, lots of journeys have involved the wipers on full speed, and I've seen more mud than dust. However there have been some brilliant moments, so in no real order, here are my demo highlights of 2019 and some random pictures from other, non-demo, highlights of the year.

Grinning up the Golfie, sneeking laps after Tweedlove with Baybutt & Cy

Barry Sidings.

After running the demos for almost 4 years now, there's an ever decreasing number of places in the UK I haven't ridden a bike, so it's always nice to check out a new venue. Barry Sidings in South Wales was one of the stand out new venues for me this year. There's a strong local scene here, which is no surprise given the size and number of hills in the area. The trails here all feel natural, but have clearly been built by riders who know all about techy flow. They mostly have steep entries and exits to deter dirt bikes, but once you're in, the gradient eases enough for maximum fun with minimum pedalling. The climb is a steady one with big views over the valleys, and the cafe is run by riders. It's just down the road from Bike Park Wales, so next time you're in that area, make sure you check it out, it's well worth stopping by. 'Coal Dump' and 'Mates Race' are two trails there you should definitely check out. I'll hopefully be back with the demo van next year.

2019-12-17_04-16-25

I had my first bikepacking experience this year, did the Sandstone Way in Northumberland with my Dad and Brother. Keen for more next year.

Pitfichie.

I'm often asked where my favourite place in the UK to ride is. The exact venue changes every time, but one thing is a constant, it's always somewhere in Scotland. Earlier this year I returned to Pitfichie in Aberdeenshire with the demo van, and this time the riders who turned up had a really good knowledge of the forest, and were happy to take on some of it's more challenging trails. One of which, built for an enduro race, is called 'Macchiato' on trailforks. If you've ridden 'Flat White' on the Golfie, the name makes total sense. It's like a more condensed version of that. Fast, twisty, flowy and fun. You can always see just far enough ahead to react, but no more than that, and it almost never goes in a straight line. Well worth a look if you're that far north. Open to suggestions for more demo venues in the north of Scotland for next year, drop me an email.

South Lakes Bike Fest.

This summer was a tough one for events in the bike world, with Tweedlove's Transcend being a total mudfest, and both Malverns and Ard Rock getting cancelled due to biblical rain, we haven't been to many big events this year. We did however make it to the South Lakes Bike Fest, which instantly became one of my favourite events. The whole 'just done for the sheer hell of it' vibe was a breath of fresh air, and you can't fail to enjoy riding in the Lake District. The charity ride on the Friday night from the Eagle & Child in Staveley was great fun, mid ride beers, jagerbombs and cake were a treat! Lots of happy demo customers, local beers, wood fired pizza, a live band and a true grassroots festival atmosphere. We are definitely heading back next year, and you should too. Group rides for all abilities and fitness levels, skills coaching for the kids and plenty more; plus it's moved to the August bank holiday weekend for 2020, winner.

2019-12-17_04-11-39

Eagle and Child Charity ride with Darren and my better half, Kelly.

Grizedale Cotic CC Ride.

Talking of the Lake District, a big highlight for me this year was our Grizedale Cotic CC ride. We managed to get a rare, rain free, day in November and headed out for a brilliant ride with a bunch of Cotic owners. Mixing sections of trail centre with classic Lakeland bridleways, we splashed, skidded and wheelied our way around the woods and moors. I've been riding round Grizedale since I was a nipper, and it never gets old. Despite my cranks dying and Grizedale Bikes very kindly driving me back to Hawkshead to grab a demo bike, I had a blast. Riding the new Bfe reminded me just how much fun a hardtail is. So much so, I might have ordered myself a new SolarisMAX frame, in purple. Obviously. Look out for more Cotic CC events and owners rides in 2020.

Steel is real 2019

We snook a quick lap in after the madness of the Steel is Real demo day.

No.1 Peebles Road Cafe Exclusive Demo.

Sometimes bike rides are scary in all the best ways. Back in March I did an exclusive demo with Craig from No. 1 Peebles Road Cafe in Innerleithen and his weekly night riding buddies. As you probably know by now, everyone here at Cotic is in love with the Tweed Valley, but I'd never ridden any of it in the dark before. Night riding heightens your senses on any trail, but slithering down freshly cut steeps in dense, dark pine forests, inches off the back wheel of a local who knows exactly where he's going definitely gets your heart racing! Just as we reached the top of the last section of Cresta Run, about to rail those corners, one of the group suggests we ride 'Date Night' instead. I'd heard of this trail, and heard it wasn't an easy way down. Full commitment, maximum exposure, minimum traction. I'm not sure if it would be better in the daylight or not, I'm taking more brave pills and big boy pants next time either way! Everyone loved the bikes though, and got to ride them on the trails they ride every week. If you like the sound of this, get in touch to arrange your own exclusive demo for you and your mates. It can be on gnarly chutes in the dark, in winter, but it doesn't have to be! Twisty woodland singletrack on a summers evening or a chilled Sunday round a flowy trail centre are less scary options if that's more your thing. I must plan another Tweed Valley trip...

2019-12-17_04-18-00

Riding local steeps in summer heat on the best bike I've ever had.

Big thanks if you came to any of our demos this year, if I've not made it to your local trails yet, let me know. I'll be doing lots of planning in January, and I need suggestions, so hit me up.

Have a great Christmas break; eat too much, drink beer and ride your bike.

Sam.


2020 demo days starting to be announced…

I ride a RocketMAX for almost everything, check it out here…

I'll be shredding on a new SolarisMAX as well next year…


read news from earlier in 2019...