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18/05/2022 - Steel City DH

Steel City DH '22

Better than Christmas, the biggest little race, Sheffield World Champs. Call it what you like, Peaty's Steel City Downhill 2022 was a brilliant day.

Absent from the calendar for the last couple of years, it was a triumphant return for the 10th anniversary of Steel City Downhill this weekend just gone. Held on a completely revamped track in Sheffield's Grenoside Woods, it was an unforgettable day.

Mel Super FifeBetter than a team
FastBetter than a team

We were on deck bright and early to set up our stand, in our traditional spot trackside at the top of the famous bombhole drop into the finish arena. After a cloudy start it soon became obvious we were in for a scorcher of a day, and not long after practise runs had got underway, spectators began lining the track in their hundreds. Huge shout out to the trail building crew led by JP, a total overhaul of the track had transformed it into a work of art. Early comments from racers suggested the biggest challenge was trying not to overshoot every feature it was running that fast. Fun to ride, hard to race. It was shaping up to be tight racing.

After not getting between the tapes for a couple of years, our resident FastLad Chay Granby seemed to have found a hunger as the day went on, and was absolutely hauling. Representing Cotic in the senior women's category was bike riding addict Mel Fife, also looking rapid in the increasingly dusty corners.

It was great to get both the latest Jeht and the Cascade on display, and lots of people were admiring the bikes in the sunshine, thanks to everyone who stopped by the stand to chat. It really does feel good to be meeting people face to face and talking about the bikes again. There were plenty of people staring longingly at them, and lots of nice comments too which was lovely. Remember, we are running demos at our Peak District HQ by appointment every Wednesday and Friday, and our next Saturday demo day is 18th June.

Racing got underway beneath a sunny sky, and clouds of dust filled the air. In fact they filled just about everywhere, I don't think I've ever seen conditions like it in Sheffield before. The Peaty's Trail Ale was flowing and even more spectators arrived to line the track. The atmosphere was superb, with every rider getting cheered down the track like a World Cup Downhill race.

Mel Fife bagged a great result with 5th in Senior Women's and then packed up to head to the Boltby Bash, where she raced all the stages blind to an amazing second place the following day! Amazing stuff.

Shout out to Dave Lavy taking his Rocket 275 to 14th in his first race in the Masters category.

Chay put down 2 storming runs and was loving being between the tapes again. 22nd in Pro-Am category and just a couple of seconds off Steve Peat's time. He'd have won Veterans by over 3 seconds too! Post-race beers well earned.

We spotted a few Cotics looking fast on track, well done to everyone, it's a daunting race to enter but one I can definitely recommend you have a go at one day. There's no other event quite like it, every rider gets cheered on as if they are famous pro racers. I think the biggest cheers I heard were for the inspirational Pat Horsecroft though. 78 years young and racing downhill, great to see Granny McGnarly complete another Steel City Downhill.

CascadeBustle
FastBetter than a team

I'm not sure we've managed to get all the dust cleaned up yet, and we're already looking forward to next year's race. If you enjoyed the day, and like the look of the new track, you can donate to Ride Sheffield to help keep it running sweet. Work is already underway on revamping the other trails in Grenoside, and it's only possible with your donations. Hit the button below to help out if you can.

Donate to Ride Sheffield

We have a quick turn around this week, as we are off up to Fort William for the Downhill World Cup. Another brilliant event we've missed for the last couple of years. If you're heading to the Highlands to catch the action, be sure to pop by our stand in the event village. We'll have merch for sale (we have a card reader now too!), stickers to grab and pretty bikes to ogle and chat about. Hopefully see you up there.


More of our photos on Flickr…

Demo A Cotic…

Pink Bike's 19 Race Bikes…

Pink Bike's Race Report…

Donate…


16/05/2022 - Cotic Are At Fort William World Cup

Cotic at Fort william

Cotic bikes, steel mountain bike, steel full suspension bike, steel enduro bike, reynolds 853, UCI world cup down hill, fort william

We are off to Fort William this week with a stand at the World Cup downhill. We have a stand in the Expo area in the pits, so when you're not watching the action, head over and see some of the new Cotic's in the metal.

It's the first time we've been back since 2019, but it's always a great do. Cy, Sam and Will are heading up to show off some bikes, chat about them, watch some of the best riders in the world do their thing and occasionally ride bicycles on dirt.

Who's coming?


16/05/2022 - we are open

We are open!

including demos

We are back open at our Calver HQ for Factory Collections and Demos strictly on a one-to-one, appointment only basis. So, as much as we appreciate your interest, no drop ins please.

It's easy to make an appointment to come and see us and the bikes in the coming weeks, so if you'd like to get involved, then click on the buttons below for all the ways you can get in touch. Thanks.

Contact us any time. We're here to help.

We're open Tuesday — Friday (9am — 5pm UK time) this week.

Contact Sales and Support

Contact our Demo team


29/04/2022 - RocketMAX Gen3 Sale

RocketMAX Sale

Cotic RocketMAX, steel mountain bike, steel full suspension bike, steel enduro bike, reynolds 853

It's the Mayday Bank Holiday in England and Wales this weekend, and we're celebrating with something we very rarely do, a sale!

Big savings on UK made RocketMAX, we are knocking a whopping £400 off all the RocketMAX frames we have in stock.

Frame + shock from £1699

Full bikes from £3649

We have medium and XL available in Matte Army Green, and small available in Gloss Navy Blue.

RocketMAX is our flagship UK made 160mm 29er enduro bike; a fiercely capable descender that is more than happy to climb back up the hard way for another go. Reynolds 853 steel, droplink suspension and longshot geometry; hit the button below to grab bargain.

Save 400 on a Cotic RocketMAX here

steel full suspension, steel mountain bike, enduro mountain bike

There are also a few bargains to be had over on the outlet page too.

Get your outlet bargains here


21/04/2022 - Cotic Ebike Project Update - Steel Prototype

Ebike Project Update - Steel Prototype

Cotic Ebbike Steel Geometry Prototype

Seeing as we 'outed' our ebike project a few months ago (if you haven't heard, head over to Our news story for details, or watch Guy Kes and I test and compare the prototypes in his excellent video further down this story) we decided we would be as open as we can be about the project development and where it's getting to.

The first ebike prototypes were signed off in mid 2019, but didn't arrive until late 2021. They were broadly an ebike version of the Jeht, with a 5mm higher BB (22mm BB drop static instead of 27mm on the Jeht). The thinking being we wanted an all round trail bike for our first ebike, and because you can pedal more up climbs you might want a slightly higher BB. It also had a slightly slacker seat angle than the Jeht because it was signed off about a year before the actual Jeht was, and in that time we learnt that we preferred the rider sitting a little further forward. Just as the production bikes eventually will, they use a Shimano EP8 based power system and an aluminium front triangle to house the internal battery in the down tube.

cotic ebike, ebike prototype, shimano STEPS, shimano EP8

Following a bunch of testing, we found we didn't need the ground clearance quite as much as we thought. Firstly, because the power of the eeb means you don't need long cranks, and we have been using 165 and even 160mm cranks, where our regular bikes are designed around 170mm cranks. Also, the Jeht doesn't have a super slammed BB to start with, because we ride up knobly tech climbs and we don't want to catch our pedals all the time, so going higher than the regular bike wasn't really necessary in reality. This is why we prototype!

Also, the higher BB made initiating turns a little more difficult, which is exaggerated by the down tube battery. Having 5kg of battery and down tube with it's centre of gravity high up and forward of the cranks means there's a fair bit of inertia to overcome in order to move it away from it's upright position and lean the bike over for a turn. I got busy with offset bushings and different shock lengths and strokes to see what I could work out. Certainly dropping the BB helped, but another option I tried for dropping the BB was to mullet the bike - put a 27.5" rear wheel in. I started out with a 2.8" rear tyre to do the geometry changes in smaller steps, but have ended up with a regular 2.5", but with no offset bushings or anglesets involved otherwise. This has resulted in slacker angles and a 12mm lower BB (now 34mm static), but still with no pedal clearance issues because of the short cranks.

What this has also done is transformed the ability of the bike to turn in. The big advantage of a smaller rear wheel is that it makes turns easier to initiate, at the expense of a bit of grip once you're settled in the corner (smaller wheel = less inertia/gyroscopic effects, but smaller contact patch). Being tall, and with my style of riding, I can never feel this effect on a regular bike no matter how many times I test it. I can just drop a full 29er into a turn with no issues at all. I know shorter riders have preferred it on our bikes, which is why we now offer a mullet option on our droplink bikes. However, on the eeb, with the added battery weight resisting turn in as well, the effect is obvious and very noticable. Even using various adjustments to match geometry, the mullet setup just drops into corners so much more easily compared to the full 29er, and once it's lent over and set it just rips around. The extra sprung mass on an ebike generates impressively increased grip compared to a regular bike.

What's Next?

Off the back of all if this testing, plus some discussions about what we want out of the bikes and where the market is going, we concluded that the production bike would specify as follows:

Even though these are relatively minor changes in the grand scheme of things, it was important we double check the changes and the quickest, easiest way to do with that was to go steel, hence the steel eeb geometry prototype.

Cotic Ebike Steel Geometry Prototype, shimano STEPS, Shimano EP8, steel bike, uk made ebike

This front triangle was built by our friends at Five Land Bikes in between building our UK production RocketMAX frames. It's full 853 - basically a RocketMAX tubeset with a slightly thicker wall down tube - with an external Shimano STEPS battery slung under the down tube so I can get our regular droplink suspension packaged in. Ironically in spite of it's looks this arrangement actually has better/lower centre of gravity position than the down tube internal battery.

The shock/linkage angle might look a bit odd, but it's just where my "join the dots" fell in order to replicate the proposed production kinematic using our toolbox of stock UK made links and shock mounts combined with the original ebike prototype rear end. On a bike carrying as much weight as a full power ebike, the 38mm chassis of the Zeb is just the tool for the job.

I told Five Land to paint it with whatever was going through at the time it was finished. Callum claims this was just using up "what was left in the gun". I suspect he was also showing off a bit, but I actually kinda like it!

Cotic Ebike Steel Geometry Prototype, shimano STEPS, Shimano EP8, steel bike, uk made ebike

First couple of rides have been encouraging, but have also raised a couple of questions about the proposed kinematic now it's giving out more travel on a longer shock, so there's some tweaks to try out. I'm still having no crank clearance issues on 165 cranks, despite having ridden straight up Devils Elbow (my usual suspension test track, but riding down) a few times, so wondering if there's scope to drop even lower on the BB. It's really interesting to see where these limits lie.

As for production, that's still looking like Autumn 2023. Our production slot is booked, but because delivery is driven by Shimano availability this is giving us the time and space to make these changes and hopefully make the bike as close to what most people want from one of these things.

As always on these kind of things, I super interested to hear your thoughts and feedback on where we're going with this. Do get in touch. Email cy@cotic.co.uk and let me know what you want out of a Cotic ebike, and what you think of the steel prototype.

Cheers

Cy


14/04/2022 - Singletrack Reviews the Cotic FlareMAX as part of a grouptest

Singletrack flaremax review

Singletrack have reviewed the FlareMAX as part of a "short" travel grouptest. It earned a coveted Singletrack Recommended red seal of approval. Go and have a read...

Cotic FlareMAX off-road-cc review, cotic flaremax, 29er mountain bike, uk made, downcountry mountain bike, short travel ripper, reynolds 853, steel full suspension

"This is not a stiff and efficient mountain bike in the traditional Lycra cross-country sense. It’s way better than that. It doesn’t ride like a hardtail. It doesn’t just give up a bit of off/on suspension when it absolutely has to. It has a rare combination of stability combined with whip-smart handling and traction tracking."

The review bike was built up around a blue UK Launch Edition frame, but we now have the more affordable Taiwan editions available from stock, in a glamorous gloss Hubble Purple, or super subtle matte Slate Grey. Totally customisable bikes start from £2999 for the Bronze build, with a Manic dropper post, microSHIFT ADVENT X 10spd Drivetrain, Rockshox fork and shock. Now we have plenty frames and components in stock, you could be riding your FlareMAX this month, rather than reading about one.


Find out more on the FlareMAX product page…

Read the Singletrack review…

Go and try out customising your own bike, see all the options…

Your bike, built for you…


05/04/2022 - Cotic Bikes Sustainability

Sustainability

cotic bikes sustainability, sustainable business, low impact, environment, recycling, eco

Cotic have always tried to run an efficient, low environmental impact business. We love spending time outside, and I think that makes us cyclists more acutely aware of changes to climate, weather, and local conditions. It wasn't until recently that we realised that we actually do quite a lot, and we ought to tell people about it. Partly to hopefully lead by example, partly to draw a line in the sand and say "this is what we do, and we still need to do more".

To this end, we now have a Sustainability page which tells why and how Cotic do things, and invite you as our customers and people who like our brand to tell us if you think we can do more, and what that might be.

Learn more about Cotic and sustainability here

If this subject interests you as it applies to the wider bike industry (and it really should), then have a listen to this podcast. It's got a lot of points worth considering.


25/03/2022 - 10 Years of Cotic Droplink and the Rocket

10 years of droplink

cotic rocket, steel full suspension, cotic droplink suspension, reynolds 853, iconic bike

Today in 2012, we did the press rides for the new Cotic Rocket; our second full suspension bike, but the first to feature droplink suspension, and steel construction. 10 years ago!

I remember being so nervous. There was a lot riding on this bike. We were still only me and Paul full time and Kelvin part time at that point. Tiny compared to today, and we had spent over 2 years and a lot of time, effort and money developing this bike. And it was steel. There were very good reasons for that, and actually the material used was the least interesting thing about the Rocket in my opinion. But, it was always going to be a tough sell.

We had 3 bikes available, and we booked in MBUK, MBR and BikeMagic in the morning. The guys came along and were friendly enough, but we did get quite a grilling about why we had made certain decisions about the bike. We went on a big ride in glorious weather. Paul chucked himself down a gravel byway and that was the end of his day. Ouch! We had a pub lunch and Jenn and Matt from Singletrack arrived. It was a slightly more chilled afternoon and we had the nicest ride out, and clearly they liked the bike. It was such a great day, but I was spent at the end of it! Their write up is still up on the website.

Click here to read the first Singletrack review of the Rocket

It was the start of something really big for us. It was pretty radical for 2012, with a head angle in the 65s and (for the time) pretty decent length. It was marked the time when we started becoming the modern Cotic. We spent a lot of the development time not only engineering the bike, but figuring out what Cotic was, what it meant to us and other people, and what a Cotic product should be. The Rocket was the first embodiment of this and - although refined over the years - that mantra has guided us ever since.

droplink suspension has been developed and refined through two other wheel sizes, single ring drivetrains, wider axle spacing, a huge leap forward in geometry, and some incredible shock development. However, the fundamentals are still there from that very first bike: The lively, poppy feel from a very progressive frame rate, simple and robust pivot designs, clean lines through the bike. If you rode a Rocket26 and a current RocketMAX back to back, they would be wildly different in a lot of ways, but I think you would also feel a distinctive and very obvious kinship in the way they rode too. The sweet feel across cambers, the life and pop in the suspension. It would all be there.

And if you're still rocking your Rocket, we've also got your back, because the pivot designs have remained broadly similar throughout as well. Not only does that mean we know we have a reliable product, but it also means that we have pivot spares for every droplink frame we have made. I spotted the Rocket26 main pivots this morning when I was at the workshop as it happens.

cotic rocket, steel full suspension, chay granby, enduro racing, steel city media, rocketman, cotic droplink suspension, reynolds 853, iconic bike

So here's to 10 years of fun, fast, steel droplink bikes. For everyone who's bought one over that time, thank you so much. You are a big part of Cotic's success, and we all massively appreciate you choosing one of our bikes in a world of carbon this and aluminium that. I hope they brought you as much joy as they have us.

And of course, no discussion of the Rocket could pass by without also celebrating 10 years of this guy....

Cheers, Cy


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read news from earlier in 2022...