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20/08/2019 - Cotic CC Ride Surrey Hills

Cotic CC

Sam in Surrey

Last Sunday we ran a Cotic CC social ride in the Surrey Hills. I was in the area doing a demo day on the Saturday, and we hadn't done an owners ride down south for quite a long time, so it seemed a perfect opportunity.

Cotic CC20190818_121439Cotic CCCotic CC

Despite the fairly late notice, we had 13 Cotic riders including team racer Will Easey for a great ride. All set up and ready to roll, and the heavens opened! A warm up lap of Barry Knows Best had a certain 'Pacific North West' feel to it, with the rain falling through tall pine trees on the lush green bracken. After a steep and soggy climb and another trail or two, the sun eventually came out and jackets were stashed.

Cotic CC

Plenty of the riders who came had never experienced Surrey's plethora of excellent trails before, big thanks go to Dan from Hunt Wheels, who came along on his Flare and took us to trails I would never have found. It was a muddy one, but the trails still rode fast with plenty of grip. There was a great mix of bikes in the group from Souls to RocketMAXs, including a lovely SodaMAX dripping in Hope bling. We've got plenty in the pipeline for Cotic CC events, keep an eye on the mailing list to be the first to hear the latest news.

Cotic CC

Meanwhile James Swinden AKA Swinny AKA Rocketman and co-team rider Wes Fife were out racing in Innerleithen. Despite injuries, crashes, tight transfers and the relentless Scottish climbs both boys got stuck in and came in the Top 10, they quite rightly came away smiling. Well done lads! Here are their race photos...

Swinny at Inners
unsponsored-inners-Aug19-00184

See future demo and Cotic CC events here…


13/08/2019 - Is Mixed Wheel Size The Future?

Is Mixed Wheel Size The Future?

Cy Writes.....

You might have heard much talk on the race scene and beyond this year about mixed wheel sizes; so-called mullet bikes. Business up front, party out back? 29" front wheels, 27.5" rear wheels. As usual, there has been a lot of hot air, a lot informed and not-so-informed chatter, hand waving and general pontificating.

As it's my job to get involved with new trends and see if they might result in better bikes, I ran a 27.5 x 2.6" tyre on the back of my RocketMAX earlier in the year for a few weeks. I didn't really notice much difference. It wasn't some big break through, but it wasn't awful either. Actually, I tell a lie: When I just put a 27.5" rear wheel in the bike, it was fairly awful, but nothing to do with smaller rear wheels being a bad idea in general, just for my bike. The 27.5" rear wheel dropped the BB about 10mm from an already low position and slackened the already very slack (63.5 deg as standard) RocketMAX head angle into the 62's. As I have mentioned before, we got to where we are with Longshot geometry because I went even slacker than we currently offer on our bikes, and found it was making the handling worse again. I talk about this in the first Downtime Podcast I did all about the Longshot Geometry development. The short story is, we went too far, too slack, too low, then came back to an optimum for production. The smaller rear wheel pushed the geometry back into 'too far' again. After a bit of geometry tweaking to get the angles and BB height back where I wanted them, the bike worked great, but as I said, it wasn't some massive difference or revelation.

Rocket with different sized front wheels

After this testing I got talking to Chris at Downtime Podcast about what I had found, and he put forward a point about it possibly suiting shorter riders better than me. I like 29" wheels, and at 6ft 3in there are pretty much no drawbacks to running them. Chris at 5ft 8in on his FlareMAX 132 found he sometimes caught his rear wheel on his shorts in steep terrain and it was certainly something he considered when moving around on the bike, and maybe a 27.5" rear wheel would suit better? As I had a rear wheel all ready to go thanks to our friends at HUNT giving me an Enduro Wide 27.5 to use, along with a big WTB 27.5 x 2.6 Trail Boss, I sent it over. As the FlareMAX isn't quite as the extremes of angles as the RocketMAX (it has a 65 deg head angle), Chris found he could quite happily drop the 27.5" rear wheel into his bike with no adverse effects or need for hardware changes to make it work right. In the end I think it was just a slightly tweak to shock and fork pressures and that was it.

We then got together with a stop watch and a couple of different bikes to get some data, and then we had a chat about it. Grab a coffee and see what we thought. Are they the future? Listen and find out.....


Listen to Cy's Longshot podcast here…


07/08/2019 - Announcing our FlareMAX 132 Pack frameset and complete bikes

new FlareMAX 132 Pack

more travel

You've all heard how versatile the Longshot FlareMAX is and how it carries speed over rocky terrain like a bike with much more travel.

Well, we thought what would it be like if it had more travel?

The answer is... even better!

By increasing the stroke on the rear shock to 50mm we've brought the rear wheel travel up to 132mm, and given it an extra dose of speed without sacrificing any agility on singletrack or climbs. As the shock length is unchanged form the standard FlareMAX the static geometry is unaltered so there are no downsides.

FlareMAX 132

Our 132 Pack is available as a frame and shock, and in multiple levels of complete bike build... from Silver up to Platinum.

We have two Cane Creek shocks available to take your FlareMAX up to 132mm rear travel, the DB AirIL, which is a no cost option on the complete bike builds, or the DB Air CS Piggyback which is a 200 upgrade available when customising the builds.

With this extra travel and speed you'll be wanting a front end set up on your bike to inspire confidence, so we've fitted our 132 Pack builds with the super stiff, super tuneable X Fusion Trace 36 HLR fork with 140mm of travel. The Cane Creek Helm Air is also available with 140mm of travel for just 150 extra when customising your build.

FlareMAX

"132" decal is removable, and we'll supply spares in multiple colours

FlareMAXFlareMAX

complete bike builds use the stout, controllable Trace36 HLR at 140mm travel, or upgrade to Helm

FlareMAX

the DB Air CS Piggyback shock is available as an upgrade over the DB AirIL

The 132 Pack is available now with frame and shock starting from 1749, and complete bikes starting with the Silver 132 build at 3249.


Read more about the FlareMAX…

Check out the 132 Pack bike builds, and all the custom options…


02/08/2019 - Cotic Women of Steel Ride Out

Cotic's Women of Steel is a group encouraging more women to get out riding bikes and meeting other like-minded women. We're hoping to get more women out on the trails and share the joy of cycling.

For this Ride Out we went out to Sherwood Pines, a place that some women in the group rode weekly, and some of us had never been. It seemed like the perfect place to meet up and be showed around.

Cotic Women of Steel ride out Sherwood Pines

We've had some terrible weather recently (especially those in North Yorkshire! Poor Ard Rock), so a few women opted to miss out on this ride, completely understandably... I wondered whether or not to pack my snorkel. It was great to see familiar faces and a new one join us as we got ourselves ready to hit the red trail.

Women of Steel at Sherwood Pines

Dodging the puddles we wove our way through the trails - quickly accepting that we were going to have soggy feet and get very muddy! We visited the DH track and encouraged each other to start at the top of the start ramp, quite a daunting thing when you haven't been on one before. We all did it and got a real buzz! We had a great time and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Cotic Women of Steel ride out Sherwood Pines

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02/08/2019 - Cotic CC Bolehills

Cotic CC

BMX track razzing

Cotic CC at Bolehills

For July's Cotic CC event we headed to the legendary (and we don't use that word lightly) Bolehills BMX track. First built in 1983, it has nurtured and refined the skills of thousands of cyclists over the last 35 years. Going through many phases of regeneration, the latest crew, headed up by our own Dave Camus, have created a masterpiece of flow. Gareth A Line uses the track to teach fundamentals, and riders travel from all over the country to surf the white waves.

Cotic CC at Bolehills

The rain put off a fair few but with the Cotic Women Of Steel session running at the same time, we had a couple of die-hards turn up. The WoS aren't made of sugar!

Cotic CC at BolehillsCotic CC at Bolehills

Progressing quickly from the pump track to the main track, there were smiles all round as the first-timers begun to unlock the magic secrets of "the pump".

Cotic CC at Bolehills
Cotic CC at Bolehills
Cotic CC at Bolehills

Even Baybutt, part time mechanic Antti, new demo guide Darren and Hannah (THE Woman of Steel) got involved.

Cotic CC at BolehillsCotic CC at BolehillsCotic CC at BolehillsCotic CC at Bolehills

Want to see the majestic Bolehills for yourself? Of course you do! Track info is here
Keep your eyes on the newsletter for the next Cotic CC event - you can sign up HERE if you're not already on it. We'll see you at the next one.


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31/07/2019 - Ardrock 2019 cancelled

After the awful news about the floods up in Swaledale, Ard Rock is understandably cancelled this weekend because of the dangerous conditions and the clean up that will be required. Our thoughts go out to all the people of this wonderful area, and we will be back whenever they are ready for us.


22/07/2019 - Hope EVO Cranks Now Available on Cotic Bikes

Hope EVO Cranks Now Available

Hope have recently updated their cranks, and we rather like the look of them. The usual Hope made-in-the-UK goodness, in all the colours. We have added them at a 100 upcharge option on the Gold XT spec bikes, in your choice of colour. Given that the Gold XT bike comes with Hope headset and seatclamp, and the no cost option of Hope wheels, you can really get your colour coordination on with some of these cranks.

(Sorry, due to warranty reasons we can't offer them with SRAM)


Order your Gold XT Cotic Bikes with Hope EVO Cranks here…


17/07/2019 - Recall on RocketMAX Longshot Large and XL Sized Frames

RocketMAX Recall and Repair

Official Statement - 17th July 2019

It has come to light recently that there is a fatigue life problem with the large and XL size RocketMAX introduced in November 2018. As a result, Cotic is issuing a recall on all large and XL RocketMAX frames produced since the start of the production run. The safety of our owners is of utmost important to us, and therefore we had to issue the recall.

We have now had 3 fatigue failures of high mileage frames where the rider as done nothing but ride their bike a lot. No massive jumps, nothing ridiculous, these frames have just been ridden a lot, and have failed at the seat tube/BB weld. This is where the lab test frames fail at very high cycles on the fatigue test, having well exceeded the legal and our company requirements. Whilst three might not seem many in the context of a production run, these are the kind of failures that should only happen years and years into the life of a bike, if at all. For this many to have manifested in a matter of months means something is not right, and therefore we had to act.

The frame design (in XL size) went through the entire suit of ISO4210 tests (you might know them better at CEN tests, the name when it was a European, rather than International Standard), through other tests I devised which go well above and beyond ISO testing, and then went back on the rig with the horizontal ISO load case and did nearly the entire test again before failing therefore demonstrating nearly double the fatigue life of the legal requirements. This same tubeset has been in production for 18 months on the Rocket with just a single failure in several hundred frames sold. The same down tube has been in use throughout the droplink range since it's re-introduction in 2015. The frames went into production based on these facts backed up with years of ride testing prototypes using a similar tubeset.

My conclusion is that these frames, in large and XL sizes, are longer than anything else we have yet produced using this tubeset. Despite exceeding all requirements both I and the law have for them, the down tube bending due to shock loading in regular riding conditions experienced by these fast, radical bikes, is slightly overstressing the BB/seat tube weld and reducing the fatigue life. We have had no similar issue on small and medium frames, and these have tubes sizes and lengths within the spectrum of other bikes in the range with good service records, with fatigue stresses below that of the larger frames, so they are not subject to recall.

If you have a small or medium RocketMAX from the current model year, or any 1st generation frame (green or fast red from 2016-18) these are completely fine, and sales of current model year frames continue on these sizes unaffected by the Recall and Repair.

To fix the situation, we are adding two small gusset plates either side of this joint, which stress analysis shows reduces the stress in the weld by 20%. Because of the way fatigue life works, just a small reduction in stress massively increases the fatigue life. To give you a feel for this, a 20% reduction in stress in the XL RocketMAX down tube brings the stress down to roughly the same as experienced by the medium sized original Rocket 275, which experienced no failures of this nature at all to my knowledge.

This isn't a recall and replace. This is a wasteful practice which the bike industry is very guilty of perpetrating. It is highly likely the large and XL frames haven't cracked, but we don't want to wait for this to happen and end up with a scrap frame, and potentially riders hurt. We want to fix this. Because we are working with Five Land on this, we are doing a Recall and Repair. No scrapping of otherwise perfectly good frames. No needless use of the worlds resources. One of the joys of using steel, and manufacturing in the UK.

If you are interested in a large or XL RocketMAX, we will be back in full production at the end of September

If you have any questions regarding this issue, email me personally on cy@cotic.co.uk

Cy Turner

Founder and Director

Cotic Bikes


read news from earlier in 2019...

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