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19/10/2018 - Singletrack Awards 2018


Awards 2018

Singletrack Awards 2018

Yesterday the Cotic crew attended the Singletrack Readers Awards 2018. Nominated and voted for by the Singletrack readers, we were so pleased to be nominated for the Best Bike under £4500 category with our SolarisMAX. The bike that was in the running was the gold spec XT / Helm build coming in at £2899 but even in platinum build with Cane Creek Eewings Ti cranks it's still under £4500!

It's a great day out on the bikes from Hebden Bridge, with lovely food and good beer too. To round off the great day, we won!! Thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for us, it really does mean a lot. Here's Kelvin accepting the award, he blinked on the first photo so here he is...definitely not blinking.

Singletrack Awards 2018

Watch the awards live stream…

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19/10/2018 - FINALE EWS

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Finale EWS

A quick video of a golden week in Italy

The final race of the season for the senior Race Team was the Enduro World Series at Finale. They spent a week in Italy building up to the race and Cy tagged along for riding, support, gelato, pizza and waving a GoPro around.

Read more about the race ready Rocket…

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15/10/2018 - Fork Offset - Does It Matter?

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The new RocketMAX 29er Enduro bike, Reynolds 853, built in UK

Fork Offset and Wheelbase

Does It Matter?

Cy talks us through the latest hot topics in bike handling

The RocketMAX is a pretty progressive beast in terms of geometry, and given some of the chatter that other brands have been pushing recently I've had quite a few emails asking about what fork offset works best and what my thoughts are.

My take on fork offsets is that it's a personal preference, and the marketing budgets of other brands are making it a bigger thing that it actually is.

I have tried the RocketMAX with 42mm (short, on Lyrics), 46mm (X Fusion Trace 36 and McQueen) and 51mm (my current Cane Creek HELM29) and they all handle fine. Slightly differently, but just fine.

With my preferred bar width of 770mm across the grips I do prefer the slightly shorter offset, although I'll be honest I couldn't tell the difference between 42mm and 46mm. I have to use 785mm bars to get a similarly calm feel on the 51mm offset as it's more lively around the straight ahead position. The slightly more linear rate of response of the shorter offset works a little better with the narrower bar width.

Remember though, this is real Princess-and-the-pea stuff. It's my job to be sensitive to these things. I'd be very surprised if anyone getting a RocketMAX was anything other than really stoked on the handling so long as they had a fork they liked, set up nicely, plugged in the front, just like I am down there on Stannage last week!

The new RocketMAX 29er Enduro bike, Reynolds 853, built in UK, Stanage Edge

A few more people have questioned the wheelbase on the bike. I have always thought that people get a little too hung up on wheelbase. I have never once designed a bike with a wheelbase in mind, or an intention to keep it a particular length. Wheelbase is a dimension that occurs at the end of the process when everything else more important is established and set. It's much, much more important to have the weight balanced between the wheels. Hence the chainstay length to balance the front centre.

The RocketMAX (even in the XL size I ride) feels like you would expect a shorter wheelbase bike to feel, because when you are stood up, you are on the vertical turning axis of the bike. When a bike has a long front centre and really short rear end, the turning axis of the bike is in front of the riders centre of mass, which makes those bikes feel ponderous. The force feedback they give you is that something is moving around in front of you. That kinda 'wheelbarrow' feeling. That's what's given long bikes a bad name in my opinion. I distinctly remember being on a ride early in the life of the 2nd longshot 29er prototype last year (the green RocketMAX with black rear end you might have seen if you saw me out and about over summer/winter 2017). We were at Wharncliffe on some of the really tight, steep, berms over towards where Max, JP and the Tree Tings/Clay Spades guys sculpt their masterpieces. And despite the bike being quite a bit longer and slacker than my first prototype (which I'd never quite got working right), this bike was whipping around these tight berms with hardly any need to 'muscle' it in, felt easy to whip it through these tight turns. It was one of the main lightblub moments on the project. When I realised I had got the weight distribution right, and the bike was suddenly around me instead of 'out front' or 'all at the back'. It didn't feel long, or short, it just felt right.

You can't just focus on one number then say it's rad. It's a whole system. The iteration I tried before the final geometry was settled was a degree steeper at the front and shorter front centre. It should have theoretically made it feel livelier in tight trails, and I'll be honest, I was a little concerned about customer reaction to the geometry I was leaning towards so I pulled it back a little. It felt awful. Like REALLY awful. The front end felt too tall and unconnected. It felt really light on the steering without enough feedback. Really spooky feeling. It was a real wake up call because up to that point, everything Longshot-esque I had built and tried had been really lovely to ride, even if they weren't spot on.

The new RocketMAX 29er Enduro bike, Reynolds 853, built in UK, Stanage Edge

I tried a bunch of different bars I spent a couple of weeks full puzzling - measuring, checking, rebuilding the previous prototype - trying to figure out how a bike with a 64.5deg head angle could feel so sketchy. It came down to the lower BB on that bike (which everyone thinks is good) and the shorter front centre (still roomy, but everyone thinks shorter is good for tighter trails) combined with the 160mm travel fork raising the stack and hence bar height combined to make it hard to weight the bike nicely. All bits of 'received wisdom' which combined to make a bike that looked great on paper not work at all. In the end I popped an angleset in it to go back towards where I was with the version before and it was transformed. Even on tight, bermed singletrack it felt MILES better. I could weight the front, loads of feel and feedback through the bars, tonnes of grip, I was in the middle of the bike again so it was moving around me instead of in front of me. That was the point I commited and went with what felt best to me, regardless of the numbers 'on paper'. And that's the bike we launched.

I talk a little about offset, weight distribution - amongst many other things - in the Downtime Podcast Longshot Special I did a few months back. Click on the link below to have a listen. It's on youtube as well if you want to watch me waving my hands at the same time ;-)

The first run of RocketMAX have sold out in all sizes apart from Small, but the joy of working with the Five Land guys is that we are only a month away from some more arriving, so you can order now with confidence. This kind of responsiveness is exactly why we wanted to try and do something in the UK.



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10/10/2018 - Kelly goes bike rafting

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Bikerafting. Sounds interesting right? Now I’m all over bikepacking, I’d even consider myself a bit of an expert. But chuck in a raft and you’ll find out I was in deeper (water) than I thought.

When planning an adventure, it’s always important to consider every aspect of it. New to ‘rafting’, I thought it best to start on something small. Time to drag in my water+obsessed, bike-obsessed and even more so adventure-obsessed friend, Mrs Nikki Read! She chose our trip to incorporate Coniston Water in the Lake District, a nicely sized body of water and surrounded by some great Mtb trails. We planned a water crossing, and a ride, followed by a nice hike up to a camping spot all on Komoot. I mean our plan was pretty bulletproof. We met at Coniston in the afternoon and spent some time mounting all our kit on our bikes, of which there was A LOT. We had the man behind Iron raft with us, Nick, to offer his packraft knowledge, and also capture the tour ( he’s pretty handy with the camera too). I’m going to be very honest here, the ‘idea’ of packrafting was a super exciting one; but when it actually came to it, became more of interesting one, not a ‘lets go and actually do it’ one…

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

I could feel my tummy doing somersaults whilst loading my Cotic Soul up (the best bike for the job), I’m a land lady! Not a mermaid (WHAT AM I DOING?!). The thought of paddling across the water with my bike didn’t have me stoked on life, I was more stoked to just go home. But Mrs Read is very good at keeping me positive (this woman has been on the water pretty much her entire life) and somehow managed to coax me to the water edge.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

The rafts are super easy to inflate, which was a welcome distraction from what was to happen next. Nikki and I chatted and laughed whilst racing to blow up our new method of transportation. Once on the water and sturdily afloat we headed across Coniston.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

What an adventure. Now I was panicking that I was going to sink and lose the Soul down into the deep deep water, but my raft however stayed very much above the water (thank god). I’ll be honest, I’m all for new experiences and trying out something different, but this will be the last time I raft, thanks very much. I felt very unwell! I’m a delicate one when it comes to motion sickness and seemed to have forgotten this when signing up.

All packed up I was very much ready to ride my bike. A little nauseated but I pulled through it because I REALLY couldn’t wait to camp.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

We met Jenny Nuttall for part 2 of our mission for day and headed up to Goats Water. Up the Bridleway and onto the footpath where we had to hike-a-bike. It was a pretty epic, lung busting climb up over some huge embedded rock, especially with my bike fully loaded with all the adventure equipment.

All of that was soon forgotten though, once we were welcomed with the most spectacular camping spot, Goats Water, which is a small tarn. Thanks Jenny, that’ll do.

I then spent some time sussing out the best place to pitch my tent, trying avoid any large rocks or uneven ground. Once I’d found it I then eagerly pitched it! I was hungry and my shelter building was the only thing that was getting in my way! I think I’ve said it a few to times now, I know I’m not made of sugar but it did start to rain A LOT, which isn’t ideal on a bikepacking trip, especially when my tent is about a centimetre big. Camp created, we found a massive rock to take shelter under and made our dinner.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

During the night, what happened is best described as biblical rain. The noises I heard through the night felt like a jet wash being sprayed directly at my tent with someone else repeatedly smashing a broom into the walls of it. These noises surrounded me the entire night. Haha.

By morning though, I’m happy to say I was alive and well and very surprisingly dry in my £48 tent from Amazon. I knew covering it with waterproof spray and NOT wiping away the excess was the best idea ever. In the morning after about an hours sleep I planned in my head how quickly I could get out of my tent, pack all my kit and get the heck off the mountain without completely drowning in the rain. I clambered out and went straight to see Nikki and Jenny. (I thought it worth mentioning here that Nikki and Jenny although also experienced a terrible nights sleep were completely unfazed by the rain and in super high spirits, those women are mega, I however woke up with a dark cloud above my head, figuratively and literally). They had a plan of action, and I was quite happy to go along with it. Unfortunately Nick had also a challenging nights sleep with a tent malfunction and spent a good few hours sleeping in an inch or so of water! (I mean I would have had a right princess moment and gone home). Eager to get dry and some food we all packed up and set off. The journey back down was pretty wet, the path which we had hiked up was now a river, making for a soggy experience.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

But gradually as we descended the clouds cleared and we eventually caught a glimpse of the sun through the clouds. Definitely lifted my spirts and helped my verging on hypothermic state! (That’s a bit dramatic, I was just cold and wet).

Once we made it to the bridleway the ride down the rest of the mountain was marvellous and the views flippin’ delightful as ever. That was enough adventuring for a soggy me though, we rode down to Coniston and finished out the trip with a nice warm breakfast.

Photos by Nick Kowalski

Read about the Soul…

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05/10/2018 - Launching the new RocketMAX

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So here it is – finally – the all new RocketMAX. Our brand new big wheeled enduro bike is here and it is NOT mucking about! The fastest bike in our fleet.....the new Longshot geometry RocketMAX turns the speed up to 11. It's all about the rockiest descents and the steepest technical trails. It's confident and blisteringly quick. This long travel big wheeler is ready for anything.


Cy - The RocketMAX is my bike of choice and this has been a very personal project over the last 2 and half years. It has it's own unique version of Longshot geometry, and I have been through many prototypes, many anglesets, many forks, many suspension tunes, and a lot of puzzling to get it where I want it. My goal was to move it away from the FlareMAX trail bike and into a whole new area of capability in terms of speed, composure and confidence on the biggest or steepest terrain. I have ridden this bike in its various forms around my home on the edge of the Peak District, around the Tweed Valley in Scotland, laps and laps of 'The Loop Of Truth' – my little cover-all-the-bases test section on Houndkirk Moor, Pila in Italy, the old Schladming DH track, raced it with friends, and just given it the workout of its life riding to support the race team at the EWS in Finale.


Despite its many guises throughout development one thread runs through all of them - especially the production version – they have incredible composure, confidence and speed in the wildest of situations. I have become more confident as a rider and have had so much fun in super steep technical terrain riding on this bike. I have been almost track standing on Repeat Offender at Golfie so I can check a blind section, then just dropped in and rode it. Where I have been better able to read the trails, I have ridden with speed and security I still get a buzz from. The precision of the steering, the position on the bike, the control and confidence it breeds means I am simply able to ride faster, steeper, harder trails than I could two years ago. It's a better bike and it makes me a better rider. It's that simple.

If you want to hear more about how I went about developing Longshot geometry, have a listen to our Downtime Podcast where Chris interviews me about the story of the new handling ideas.


Decked out with 150mm of rear travel on our proven droplink suspension platform, and designed around the latest 160mm 29er forks. It's capable of carrying speed through lines you've battled to get through before, and will do so with composure and ease, leaving a big grin on your face. You like steep and techincal? There is pretty much nothing you can't ride down on a RocketMAX. The incredible stability of the long front centre, coupled with the pinpoint precision of the short stem brings you swaggering confidence regardless of the gradient.

It's not all about racing down the hills though; this bike climbs too. More rubber on the ground and bags of support from our progressive droplink suspension help the RocketMAX skip up the most demanding climbs. We design and develop all our bikes in the Peak District, and our team race everywhere from local British races to Enduro World Series, so we know a thing or two about tough, technical climbs and long days in the saddle!

RocketMAX is wild and fast and just so much fun. It's almost like cheating!


As with all Cotic bikes, the frame's steel construction is compliant and naturally ground moulding. The RocketMAX uses Reynolds 853 super strong steel, and includes our custom ride tuned Ovalform top tube which helps to deliver sublime trail damping and that signature Cotic feel.

The massively exciting thing we can announce with this bike is that this is our first model where those beautiful ride qualities are put together in the UK.

We have teamed up with Five Land Bikes in Scotland to make production front triangles for these bikes. They are then partnered with our proven Taiwan made rear ends. Bridging the gaps are machined parts from Superstar Components made in Lincolnshire. We are assembling the frames right here at our base in the Peak District.


As you may know, we have attempted a UK made frame before in 2013/14. Whilst that didn't work out, the contacts we made and supply chain that we found definitely helped our prototyping and development over the last 3 years. All of the Longshot prototypes have been made in the UK.


Following on from this, Matt and Callum were looking to found a small batch production unit in the UK and we got talking. It fitted really well with what we needed. They are incredible framebuilders first and foremost, and they have also established a paint shop so the frames are finished with painted decals to an incredible standard. We are on a rolling production schedule with them so we should be able to keep more size/colour options in stock more of the time, reduce our overall stockholding, and be more responsive to the buying habits of our customers. There are a lot of positives, and as we grow again it's also great (and sensible) to spread our supplier base. The fact we have been able to do this credibly in the UK is a bonus. It's hugely exciting, but it's also a small first step. We still need and believe in our Taiwanese suppliers, and the Rocket, FlareMAX and all the hardtail and the rest of the range will remain being made in Taiwan.

The bike is available in subtle grey Metal-on-Metal and gorgeous Teal and Tangerine. You can run 29 x 2.6” tyres or 27.5 x 3.0”. It's boost spaced, 1x only, integrated chainguide, all modern conveniences.


The frameset pricing starts at £1749 with a custom tuned X Fusion O2 RCX shock, or £1999 with a Cane Creek DB Air IL. There is also a Coil IL option.

Bikes start at £2999 for our SLX based Silver build, through our best selling Gold XT and Gold Eagle builds with Cane Creek HELM forks and Hope bits for £4049, and go right up to £5648 for the Platinum build with eeWings ti cranks. HUNT wheels are now available alongside Hope wheels across the range.

We are opening orders today (5th October 2018) for delivery of the first frames on Friday 26th October 2018 in the UK. Full bike orders will be delivered a week or so later, as will international orders. You can buy directly from Cotic anywhere in the world, just place your order online.

The bikes will be in demo on the UK fleet from next week so get in touch with if you want to have a ride on the RocketMAX.

In a busy year of product launches (this is our 10th new bike in 14 months!) what this bike represents makes it one of the most exciting. Some of the most progressive geometry, handling and incredible ride feel you will find anywhere, combined with UK production expertise. It is a unique bike.


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28/09/2018 - SodaMAX Launched

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Titanium Flagship Hardtail is BACK

Well we kept this one quiet didn't we? From 2005 to 2011 we had the Soda as the pinnacle of our hardtail range. A super versatile, lightweight evolution of the original Soul, it was one of the first ti frames to be able to take up to 130mm forks and big tyres, but its weight and beautifully balanced handling found it a home on the race track. Our first sponsored rider Kate Potter dominated the UK long distance scene in 2005-6-7, hitting the podium in multiple endurance events and 24hr hour solo races. Then - in one of those 'pinch me' twists of fate we still can't quite believe happened - Kate was spotted by Cycling Australia and ended up representing her country at the Canberra World Championships in 2009, all aboard her trusty titanium Cotic Soda. We never expected THAT to happen when Cotic started!


Fast forward to 2018 and we bring you the latest frame to wear that Soda name - the brand new SodaMAX. Based on our spectacularly popular new SolarisMAX, the new titanium frame takes all the fantastic attributes of it's steel sibling and adds a big chunk of weight loss, a subtle and lively ride feel and beautiful bare metal finishes.


Cy has been riding the prototype since last winter, and it's actually the frame he used to prove out the Longshot edition of the SolarisMAX. It's a spectacularly fast and fun bike to ride.

Loads more amazing photos over on the product page

The new SodaMAX is limited to just 20 frames in 2018 - 10 brushed, 10 polished, in the full range of sizes.

Click Here to Order your SodaMAX

Read more about the SodaMAX…

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25/09/2018 - Camus Does Canada

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BFe in BC

Brand ambassador Dave Camus headed out to Whistler on holiday this year, here's how he got on...

Attacking Whistler on a hardtail:

I think it’s every mountain biker’s dream to have the chance to go to Whistler and ride – ever since jumping sketchy jumps and drops in our local sand quarry as a teenager; we'd get back and watch Roam and Seasons Whistler segments over and over. Every year myself and a few friends head out on a summer downhill riding trip such as Morzine, Hafjell or Andorra. This year all the cards fell into place and the whole crew had the cash and the time to consider a 3 week trip over the pond to British Columbia, so we costed it up and booked our flights. None of the group, 9 of us, had ever been before so everything would be new and fresh to us all!

Camus does Canada

The cost of taking two bikes on the plane wasn’t unreasonable, so I decided to take my Downhill bike for the bikepark, and pack my Cotic BFE to get some enduro laps. I’d scoured over trailforks for weeks before, and the list of trails inside and outside of the bikepark was endless. Like the Golfie on steroids! Sheffield being the close-knit scene it is, there were a fair few boys who have packed their bags for good and were living out there, so it wasn't long before some solid rides were planned to explore outside the bikepark.

Camus does Canada

In the end, the BFe got ridden way more than expected, and really took on everything I could throw at it. The janky shore, roots, rock rolls and steeps of the enduro trails there really tested the bike to its limits. Rarely would I see another hardtail, and locals were all rocking big enduro machines, which the BFe hung onto all week. After some successful enduro rides, I decided to take the BFE and have a couple of days shredding iconic trails in the bikepark too – it breezed through A-Line and Freight train, and managed to take in a couple of double blacks too! At this point I thought I’d make a choice selection of my favourite trails I rode on the BFe in Whistler…

Camus does Canada

Billy’s Epic – A black trail unlike a lot I rode, super steep, amazing views, rocky and fast with a huge chute in the middle. We linked it into ‘The Rockwork Trilogy’ which had three trails of neat tech rockrolls.

Green Monster - a short double black diamond trail outside of the bikepark with 3 huge rock rolls. The photo shows the first of the three – they only got bigger and more gnarly. Probably the scariest natural thing I rode. Rockrolls are just something we don’t get here in the UK – you must be super committed and stay off the brakes as much as possible. On the BFE the G outs at the bottom were something to contend with!

Camus does Canada

D1 – a short pro line trail just at the bottom of the Garbanzo lift. Think 50-01 line but with more stepdowns and gap jumps! Perfect berms, high speed and massively committing. Once you knew where you were going it was a hoot. One of the harder jump trails to master.

Camus does Canada

Lord of the Squirrels – a huge day out in the mountains on a sweet blue trail. 6600ft of climbing up to the top of Mt Sproatt. The climb up is purpose built and fairly steady, winding its way through the trees and then out to above the treeline with loads of sub alpine lakes and views. The climb itself felt like such an achievement to have completed, and we couldn’t have picked a better day for it. The trail down was just as rewarding. Super rough because of all the traffic the trail gets but loamy and the FLOW!

Camus does Canada

Crabapple Hits – The biggest jumps in the bikepark, topping out at about 55ft long, but with a monstrous lip. I’d hit these on the downhill bike on the first day, but massively underestimated the speed for the biggest and 50/50 cased it. I’d worked out the speed after than before going for it on the hardtail, but I knew on the BFE casing like that wasn’t an option. After a few deep breaths I dropped in and sailed through the whole set perfect first time. The amount of airtime is insane!

Camus does Canada

We only really scratched the surface of the riding in Whistler, and had the best time. There looks to be amazing trails in Squamish and Pemberton down the valley, as well as some proper ‘North Shore’ riding North Vancouver… I’m already looking at plans for next year! - Dave

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25/09/2018 - Sam does Germany

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Germany Demo

Sam recently headed over to Germany for a weekend of demos and an owner's ride, here's how it went.

I'm writing this with a cold Bitburger in hand, after a great weekend of demos in Germany, my first demo trip to mainland Europe. It's been a really successful trip, the love for the bikes has been huge, and the German and Dutch riders who came along have been really welcoming.

Cotic Germany Demo Weekend

After driving through Thursday, our German rep Carsten arrived with his friends Phillip and Mälte on Friday afternoon and the first demo day got going. As with most Friday demos it was a little quieter, but with some very keen riders who loved the bikes. I've been off the bike with a back injury recently, but I tried to do one demo lap on Friday afternoon. Pedalling on the flat was fine, and descending was OK, but as soon as I had to pedal up any kind of climb the pain stopped me straight away. A real shame, as it forced me to stay off the bike for the rest of the weekend. Especially frustrating as I didn't even hurt my back through riding, and had travelled so far for this demo! (Update: after a few weeks off the bike and a relaxing holiday, I'm now back riding again)

This wasn't going to stop the fun for everyone else though, on Saturday Carsten had organised an Owner's Ride with a local guide, which was very popular. After setting up plenty of demo bikes for a longer test ride (this is an option on our upcoming Forest of Dean Owners Ride too) the large group pedalled off into the sunshine for a big day on the trails. They all returned grinning and tired, having loved the trails and the bikes. Sharing a top quality German beer or two afterwards almost made up for not getting to ride.

Cotic Germany Demo Weekend

Sunday's demo day was a busy one too, plenty of riders having their first experience of a Cotic, highlights include one local rider claiming he'd fallen in love with the Rocket within 10 minutes of riding it, and another who said he felt like it had been his own bike for years, even after a short demo ride.

Big thanks to Carsten for helping to organise the demo weekend, and to Mälte and Phillip for being really helpful and making the demo days easy for me, they both shred too! It felt like a big step to take the demo tour to Europe, and I couldn't be happier with how it's gone. We will definitely aim to do more demos in Europe next year, and I'm itching to ride next time!

Photos by Jens Groß and Sam

Cotic Germany Demo Weekend

Read more about the Demo Tour…

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read news from earlier in 2018...