18/04/2024 - Somebody, Not Everybody - Courage, Cotic and Steel

Somebody, Not Everybody - Courage, Cotic and Steel

Cy writes....

This one is going to be a bit stream of consciousness and hand waving. I hope you follow along, but do bear with me.

Cy riding in Les Gets

This idea has been swirling around in my head for a while now, about why people choose to ride steel bikes, and Cotic's in particular. Why I choose to use this wonderful material, flying in the face of the industry 'received wisdom'. Some things I have read and heard recently began to help me get a handle on what I was feeling.

First thing I heard recently that helped crystallise these thoughts and ideas and feelings was a, rather randomly, a paraphrased quote that they were talking about on the Russell Howard Wonderbox Podcast,

"It takes guts to be [this bands] fan. A lot of people don't like us, so we have to make the best music we can for our fans so they can be proud of that".

Another thing that provided the context was overheard at the Surrey demo as a group of guys on ebikes rode by:

"Rider 1 - What's all that then?

Rider 2 - That's Cotic. They're heavy, flexy steel bikes"

These really struck a chord with me. Not that people don't like Cotic generally, but it made me realise that it probably takes some people a bit of courage to buy a Cotic. To stand out from the crowd and to maybe deal with some ribbing about their steel bike. Especially if you have a gobby, know-it-all mate who's got prejudiced and entirely wrong-headed views about what we do. (No they're not that heavy. Yes, there's some flex engineered in. That's what generates grip. That's A Good Thing). And, not to hate on ebikes, but the irony of a guy on an ebike calling our bikes heavy is not lost on me!

But all this drives me. I don't just build our dream bikes and share them with you. I aim to build bikes so good (and the team here aim to get your perfect spec and amazing customer support) so that if you do get stick about 'that old gate' you're riding, you're having so much fun, riding so well, and loving your bike so much that you just don't care.

Never Strays Far x Cotic Art Bike
The Never Strays Far x Cotic Escapade Art Bike

The other thing that helped me get a handle on this was a CHPT3 campaign I saw. I have been a fan of CHPT3 since before I did our collaboration with David Millar on the Never Strays Far x Cotic Escapade. A beautiful bike, a fun project, and resulted in a slightly chaotic podcast!

It's one of the great, bizarre, wonderful things about this job that I got to meet and work with David, who is something of a hero of mine. I like what he does with CHPT3 and he is a thinker. I appreciate that. One thing they did recently that struck me was their Unfollow campaign. At the risk of blatantly cribbing their work,

"[It is] being someone, not everyone. It will mean something to those that know."

That really struck a chord with me. We're not the crowd, not the swoopy-carbon-internal-headset-cables mainstream.

We're iconoclasts.

We love the old school made modern.

We love the many qualities of steel as a material that transcend the latest trends or marketing led bullshit. We love clean lines and hand made joints.

Bikes that are easy to live with as well as a joy to ride.

Bikes that are built just for you. The parts just so. The little touches exactly as you want them.

Forward thinking engineering laid over centuries old tradition.

Inclusion, and bikes as the solution, and hopefully leaving our planet a little better than we found it.

It's about performance, sure, but it's also about soul (Soul?), feel, interaction, love of the outdoors, a great bike making things that little bit nicer.

I've been emersed in steel for over two decades, and I chose to lead a brand that designs, builds and promotes steel bikes, so I am clearly somewhat bloody minded about the subject. I had missed that for some people it might be a bit tricky to step away from the norm and make the choice to ride a Cotic. If that's you, have courage my friend. It might be made of steel, and look a bit different, but it's just a bike. It's a great bike.

If you have got a Cotic, thank you. If you haven't yet, we've got you. You won't regret it. Get some steel in your life, and unfollow.

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Thanks for reading.


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