03/11/2021 - Mullet Builds Available Now

MULLET DROPLINK BIKES

Today we launch our 'mullet' mixed wheelsize option on all our droplink full suspension bikes. Pairing a 29er front wheel with a 27.5" rear to give more wheel clearance in steep terrain, and a more playful feel on the trail than a full 29er bike.

Having more room to move over the bike and minimising that unpleasant meeting of back tyre and shorts is a good thing, especially for shorter riders.

Jeht UK Mullet


The new Cotic Mullet option is fitted in our otherwise stock 29er droplink bikes; the RocketMAX, Jeht and FlareMAX - with a Works Components 1 degree angleset installed to correct the geometry. As such, it is simply a build kit option on any of our full suspension models.

When you fit a smaller rear wheel wheel to a 29er bike, the BB drops about 10mm, and the head angle slackens nearly 1 deg. By installing the angleset to steepen the head angle again, this also acts to lift the BB up too. Check out how the Jeht's geometry is affected in these tables:

Jeht_150mm_29er
Jeht_150mm_Mullet

Overall, the head angle is almost identical, but the reach, front centre and wheelbase are all a little shorter. The seat angle gets a touch slacker, around 0.5 deg depending on the model, and the BB is 4-6mm lower.

These geometry numbers are based on a regular 27.5" x 2.5" tyre.



SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN ON THE BIKE?

The upshot of these changes on the geometry are that the bars will be a little higher and a little closer to you when stood up on the bike, and assuming you are happy pedalling a very slightly slacker seat angle there is hardly any difference in the cockpit room when seated.

If you do nudge the saddle forward to compensate for the seat angle, you might need to be a little careful with your sizing if you're on the boundary between sizes. Consider sizing up if you're looking to run a mullet build. As always, we're here to help with that so please get in touch if you're in any way unsure.

The shorter wheelbase and smaller rear wheel does everything you expect from a Mullet setup - it's a little more lively and easier to turn, with lots more clearance over the back of the bike in very steep terrain.

The BB is 4-6mm closer to the ground in Mullet mode, but Chay didn't find that something he noticed when testing when running 170mm cranks.



TESTING.

I did some testing a couple of years ago on mixed wheelsizes with Chris from Downtime Podcast and whilst it wasn't my preference as a tall rider, Chris really enjoyed the feel of his FlareMAX with the smaller back wheel. At the risk of promoting another bike brand, Chris re-visited the subject very thoroughly just last week.

He and two other riders around 173cm tall (who would typically ride a medium Cotic) all did timed and subjective back-to-back testing of a bike now available as 29, Mullet and 27.5 only. It's worth a listen if you're mixed wheelsize curious.

chay mullet

One of the key testers throughout for this project was Chay Granby, our one time racer and long time Brand Ambassador. Having raced and rallied most generations of Rocket and RocketMAX across 26, 27.5 and 29 wheel sizes, he was the perfect person to help me figure this out.

Interestingly, given a lot of the advantages are claimed to be for shorter riders, Chay is as tall as me - 189cm - and currently prefers to ride a 27.5" wheel Rocket.

OVER TO CHAY...

"Having raced the RocketMAX (29er) and Rocket (27.5) both in national and EWS events I like to think I had a pretty good relationship with both bikes, and all Cotics from 2013 for that matter. (they were 26" wheel that year! see picture)

ChayWallpaper

I'm never going to deny that the RocketMAX is ridiculously fast at covering ground. That's a given. Faster than the Rocket 27.5, but not as nimble. Obviously those smaller wheels are going to turn easier.

I was in the fortunate position to have 2 identical bikes from 2 race seasons: One 29 and one 27.5 so I could do back to back rides and tests. The bottom line is I always found the 27.5 to be that bit more playful and fun. It's not as quick granted.

But that opens up a question about "why do you ride your bike to start with?" Is it to become a World Champ or is it to have fun?

I was always curious about combining the two to bring both elements into each other. So when the market demand decided for us all that 27.5 was going to have to stop (from Cotic sales point of view, anyway - Cy) it was an obvious thing to test.

Now, I am talking about a very small margins in difference, so some may say "don't bother". But for some riders, just to have that smaller back wheel to give more room on the very steep stuff, whilst still having the improved rollover on the front felt great. Also something I had noticed was the hairpin corners where you could feel its just that bit easier to get round. Again some folk may have no issue on the full 29er, and that's fine. It's a personal opinion of what ever suits you.

RocketMAX_Chay_mullet1

I took the RocketMAX Mullet to a full spectum of riding spots including Torridon, the Golfie, Laggan Wolftrax, Farmer Johns, Revolution Bike Park and my local the Peak District to name a few. I wanted to do a thorough comparison to my 27.5 bike and not just have a spin and say "yeah, its fine!"

I matched the tyres, wheels, inserts, suspension setting and set up to be sure its not just 2 different bikes.

The end result was I loved it. It's certainly still fast and just lets you be that bit more nimble when required.

The mullet definitely deserves to be considered, because if you can have half the fun I had, you'll be doing ok.

Cheers, Chay".

RocketMAX_Chay_mullet2

In addition to Chay's testing, Wayne Coats over at Chamonix MTB has been trying out his RocketMAX in Mullet form:

"Let me start by saying I love my RocketMax, but since jumping on it from the 650b Rocket I struggled to put my finger on what was going on underneath me, some days I would pull big gaps on my mates and then the next day I would struggle to keep up and make the bike work. I ride a medium Rocket Max, Iím 175cm and suffer with short legs, so the medium is bang on for me. Oh and I should also point out that I ride day to day in Chamonix in the French Alps, famed for its steep tech, rocks, roots, sharp switch backs and surprises.

After a bit of puzzling I decided to bite the bullet and try a mullet set up.

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-03 at 14.32.33

Straight away the bike felt familiar, it gave me the same feeling I had riding the 650b Rocket but with a little more composure, I donít know if its a placebo effect but I feel I can move the bike around a lot easier, muscle it and drift in to corners with more ease and predictability. I couldnít tell you if its a faster set up but Iím puzzling less and that means Iím having more fun.

Donít get me wrong the full 29er experience is amazing I just felt for me it was hard to stay consistent on it, the mullet works for me on my day to day riding be it local laps to big alpine single track descents, its definitely a confidence inspiring setup which lets face it is no bad thing!"

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-03 at 14.32.05


WANT ONE?

The Mullet option is available to spec from today using Hope Fortus wheels, Works Angleset and WTB tyres on our FlareMAX, Jeht and RocketMAX bikes.

It's a no-cost option on the Gold XT builds, and we have put together a Silver Deore 1x12 Mullet build using the excellent value Deore groupset too.

Due to the lead time on Hope wheel orders it's a minimum of 5 weeks delivery on a Mullet bike at the moment, assuming we have everything else in stock ready to go.

YOU CAN ORDER YOUR DROPLINK MULLET BIKE HERE.
UK Jeht Gritstone


LEGACY.

If you have an older Cotic droplink bike and think this option might be interesting, it is backwards compatible up to a point. The headset you need is the Works Components 1 deg angleset EC44/EC44, which you choose based on your head tube length.

I would strongly recommend getting a shop to install this with a proper headset press. It needs time, accuracy and a steady hand even with the right tools.

The only downside to doing this conversion on an older Cotic is that the seat angles aren't as steep as the current generation bikes, so making them even slacker might not result in a comfortable seating position even with the saddle pushed right forward.

A Gen2 FlareMAX for example (the 2018 version with Longshot geometry) has a seat angle some 2 degrees slacker than the current bike, so could get quite out of shape with this conversion done.

Same goes for pre-Longshot bikes, although through the lens of 2021 and our experience with Longshot geometry now I am kind of tempted to say just put a smaller rear wheel in your RocketMAX or FlareMAX Gen1 and see how it feels. It'll slacken the angles and drop the BB and still won't be as slack and low as the current bikes!

I'm happy to work up the actual numbers on CAD for you if you have a specific bike in mind, so drop me a line if you're curious.



THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS.

If you're interested in this option, but have questions, don't be afraid to ask. This took a fair bit of puzzling out, and we do this for a job. Drop us a line on info@cotic.co.uk and we can help you out.

Really interested to know what you think.

Cheers,

Cy.


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