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11/11/2018 - New web server

Welcome: If you're reading this, then you're seeing our website at its new home, on a new server.

We had to move as our old server was having far too many periods of being uncooperative - not good for you, not good for us.

While the transfer was being carried out, our order pages were unavailable, sorry. They are back up now, but feel free to contact us with any queries you have, using the links below...


contact us by web form, email or phone…

contact us about demos…

chat to us via facebook…

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09/11/2018 - Tweed Valley Fun

Baybutt: A couple of weeks ago I finally visited the Golfie, gatecrashing the Fifeís big Scotland camping trip. These guys are proís so I knew Iíd be shown all the good stuff; good translated as the steepest & most terrifying! We even managed to convince Mr Will Easey to venture north of the wall. As promised, the trails were phenomenal, the Rocket was the ultimate machine for the job and my van pretty much saved my life - it was THAT cold. (Poor Will was only and armed with his wafer-thin decathlon sleeping bag and we had to crack the ice to get out of the door in the morning.) Will & Wes are joining Chay & Swinny on the full factory team next season so this was a perfect way to round off the year & get stoked for the next one. Thanks to everyone up there and if you havenít yet been to the Tweed Valley, get it booked now. Not now, Right now!


You'd be faster on a Rocket…


05/11/2018 - Website downtime

Sorry if you tried using our website today (Monday)... it has been either out of action, or very slow, for most of the day. Hopefully everything is now back in full working order... if you have any further problems with the site, or just want to ask about anything at all, please don't hesitate to get in contact. Check the link below for all the ways you can speak to us.

Thanks for your patience.


contact methods (phone, email, webform, social media)…


02/11/2018 - RocketMAX Megabuild

RocketMAX

Megabuild

RocketMAX mega build

Today a dream customer bike build left us. This RocketMAX, dripping in Fox and Hope parts...

New owner Karl has been in touch with us since before last Christmas, creating this custom build and waiting for the new RocketMAX. He says it's been well worth the wait!

We can custom build any bike, we build your bike for you. Drop us an email to get the ball rolling!

RocketMAX mega buildRocketMAX mega buildRocketMAX mega buildRocketMAX mega build

Read about the new RocketMAX…


19/10/2018 - Singletrack Awards 2018

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Singletrack

Awards 2018

Singletrack Awards 2018 Singletrack award winner 2018. Cotic SolarisMAX

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…

Read all about it…


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…

Order your Rocket…


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.

Cheers,

Cy


Read more about the RocketMAX…

Order your RocketMAX today…


10/10/2018 - Kelly goes bike rafting

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Kelly-Jayne

Bikerafting

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

When planning an adventure, itís always important to consider every aspect of it. New to Ďraftingí, 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 ( heís pretty handy with the camera too). Iím going to be very honest here, the Ďideaí of packrafting was a super exciting one; but when it actually came to it, became more of interesting one, not a Ďlets go and actually do ití oneÖ

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), Iím a land lady! Not a mermaid (WHAT AM I DOING?!). The thought of paddling across the water with my bike didnít 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). Iíll be honest, Iím 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! Iím 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 couldnít 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, thatíll do.

I then spent some time sussing out the best place to pitch my tent, trying avoid any large rocks or uneven ground. Once Iíd 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 Iíve said it a few to times now, I know Iím not made of sugar but it did start to rain A LOT, which isnít 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, Iím 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! (Thatís 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 flippiní 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…

Visit Kelly's blog…


read news from earlier in 2018...

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