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16/10/2019 - Winnats Pass poster


Pinkbike photo of the year

We have had a few A1 posters printed of Richard's ace Photo Of The Year shot... the model is our very own Will onboard a RocketMAX. Rich or Will probably built your bike by the way. Anyway, grab a poster... we don't have many...

Winnats Pass

Order your poster now…

Find out about the Pinkbike photo of the year…

Check out the magnificent RocketMAX…

14/10/2019 - We use steel for performance

We use Steel for Performance

Cy writes about the reasons behind the choice of frame material for most Cotics

Cy riding his Reynolds 853 steel RocketMAX

Some thoughts have been rolling around my head recently regarding why I design bikes the way I do. It got me fired up and excited and I wanted to share that with you.

This all crystallised by having to write a few words to put with our bikes that were on the Reynolds stand at Cycle Show a few weeks ago. Why did we use that material? I kind of surprised myself with what I came up with:

"We use steel for most of our bike frames, including our droplink full suspension. We love the super strong, air-hardening Reynolds 853 material, as well as our own custom specified heat treated cromoly.

Whilst this may be unusual, it's simply an extension of the reason why Cy first chose to use it for the Soul over 16 years ago. Steel is tough, durable and gives our bikes their beautifully clean lines. Because of its incredible strength it allows us to use it in relatively thin sections when designing the frames, which gives the bikes outstanding ride feel. Using steel gives our hardtail and full suspension frames a gorgeous, tactile, and traction enhancing flex along the length of the bike, allowing them to breathe with the trail instead of fighting it.

In short, we don't use steel to be different for differents' sake, or to be hip, we use it because we strongly believe it builds the best bikes."

Light Bulb

This last sentance in bold was a bit of a revelation to me. Although I've been designing bikes and using steel for them for over 16 years, I think that British trait of slightly under playing things had always got in the way of me stating what I feel about this, and that sentance sums it up perfectly. I don't use it to be different for different's sake, or god-forbid, 'niche', I used it on the Soul originally because I hated the ride feel of aluminium framed hardtails. Steel gave me the feel I wanted, left me less beat up, gave me more grip. The fact it looks beautiful and clean is a wonderful side benefit.

I Use Steel For Performance

Particularly with an off road bicycle, but even on road too, steel is a performance differentiator. If you are chattering across cambers, or hauling through rocks, why on earth would you want a material that transmitted every single ding and hit through to your wrists and feet? Why would you want your chassis to be so stuff that it ping'd your tyres away from the ground instead of riding the bumps? Even our droplink full suspension bikes generate grip you wouldn't believe when compared to a stiffer bike. And heavy? Well there's a few grammes here and there, and I work hard to keep the weight off the frames where I can through careful design. When Brand Ambassador Wayne Coates from ChamonixMTB got his FlareMAX (based on a Silver x HUNT build) a couple of weeks ago, there was some teeth sucking at the local bike shop....

"Some good banter at the local bike shop [in Chamonix]. Bit of chin rubbing, steel huh? Wow, so English! Must be heavy...Out come the scales, turns out it only weighs 500 grams more than the new S-Work Enduro at EUR10,999"

Not bad for a "heavy" frame eh?

Doing It "Wrong" for over 60 Years

I was at Goodwood Revival in September. It's a historic motor race weekend in the UK where there are scores of old cars being raced and showed off. This thought of mine about why I use steel had been fermenting for a few days, but a few things I saw at Goodwood really got me fired up about this. Iconic brands "doing it wrong" according to the so-called received wisdom.

Classic 911 at Goodwood Engine in the 'wrong' place

There were Porsche 911s everywhere, including being raced. For over 60 years Porsche have been building sports cars with the engine in the 'wrong' place. At the rear, slung out behind the rear axle. Why on earth would you do that? The weight is all wrong, it will understeer etc, etc.

Well, there's some very good reasons why; it frees up interior space; there are seats where the engine would be in a mid-engined car. The flipside of the weight being 'wrong', is that on corner exit, it's very, very 'right'. Work the front end on entry, get turned and 911s have phenominal traction to fire them out of corners. And despite decades of people telling them they have it wrong, they should build a mid-engined car, they have stuck to their guns, amplified the advantages, minimised the downsides and built what most consider to be the seminal sports car. The one by which all others are still measured.

There were also motorcycles, specifically for this example, Ducati's and KTM's. Again, companies with decades of production history, still 'doing it wrong' building steel trellis frame motorcycles when the 'right' way is aluminium. But here the parallel's with what I try to do here at Cotic are even more apparent. They believe that steel is a performance advantage, and the stiffness isn't the be-all-and-end-all of motorcycle handling. Trellis frames are stiff in the side view, but fairly soft laterally (side to side when viewed from above). When asked about Ducati's World Superbike's handling in turns, Honda rider Colin Edwards said,

“Yeah, they wallow [flex]. But they dig in and go around the corner.”

Casey Stoner on his steel framed Ducati MotoGP bike

Sounds familiar if you are a Cotic rider, doesn't it? When a bike is leaned over (either a mountain bike or a racing motorcycle) the suspension does less because the hits are coming out of plane of the suspension movement. It is here that it is ALL about the frame breathing with the surface to gain grip and performance.

During the same era, Honda were struggling for front end grip on the RC51, and bought a Ducati to benchmark. They found it half as laterally stiff! But what that gave the riders was feel, warning when the front end was going to slip, and less 'chatter'.

KTM take it even further: Founded in 1934 they have been building steel frame motorcycles for decades. They re-entered MotoGP - the pinnacle of motor sport - 2 years ago with the 'wrong' frame material, steel. Despite scepticism from a field that uses aluminium throughout, KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said,

"We will never win if we ditch steel. We will never leave aside the tubular chassis because it is one of the main advantages of our bikes"

What I believe he meant was, if they do it the same as everyone else, how are they going to beat them? They have won multiple times in Supercross and Dakar, so I wouldn't bet against them in MotoGP.


There are a lot of parallels and similarities to what I want to acheive here, but the difference in the bike industry seems to be that steel is always put in that box marked 'niche', 'small', 'hipster'. But that's not it at all. Sure, Porsche, Ducati and KTM aren't mass-market, but they aren't small time either. They are big, competitive, highly successful brands with class leading products. KTM sold 218,000 bikes in 2018.

There is a sea of aluminium and carbon bikes out there, but I don't want our bikes to ride like that. Our bikes are better than that. They ride better, the last ages, they can even be repaired, they can be easily recycled. Believe me, it is way easier and cheaper to build and aluminium bicycle frame than one made from high end steel. Our unit costs probably have more in common with mainstream carbon fibre frames than the aluminium frames we are often compared with. Again, we do this because we believe it makes a better bike. We believe the effort is worth the reward, the juice is worth the squeeze.

So if you agree with us, or maybe you're not sure but would like to find out more, get a demo and see how much better a combination of steel tubes and radical Longshot geometry can do for you. Join us for a better ride.

Order your next bike here…

01/10/2019 - Steel is real 2019

Steel is Real 2019

the best yet - here's why...

Steel is real 2019

Last weekend was one of our busiest demos of the year, the Steel is Real Demo Day at the Forest of Dean. After the previous year's challenging weather we were very glad the rain held off, and so were the 50 stoked demo customers we had through the day! Lot of happy riders, with comments like “that's the best bike I've ridden in 30 years!”. A lovely surprise was winning the award for Best Brand, as voted for by the members of the Steel is Real Facebook group. Big thanks to all who voted for us, it really means a lot. We managed a quick spin in the dying light at the end of the day too, which was the icing on the cake. The event had a great atmosphere, with some cool brands doing some great looking bikes, and room for everyone. It's an odd one for us, being pretty much the biggest companies and demo fleets at a show.

Steel is real 2019

As with last year, we made a weekend of it and held a Cotic CC ride on the Sunday with local legend Paul from FoDMTB. After raining all night, the sun came out for a nice fresh morning, and 12 smiling Cotic owners congregated at Pedalabikeaway. Paul the guide assured us we would be leaving the trail centre immediately for 3 hours of classic FoD singletrack. With the rain overnight, conditions were slippery to say the least, with plenty of polished roots to catch us out. We rode over to 'Dowies' trails which are some of my favourite in the UK. Fast, flowy woodland singletrack littered with well shaped berms and fun stump kickers. Not steep trails, but very little pedalling required for a lot of speed.

The highlight for me was the last trail of the ride, a steep and loose run built for a mini enduro race, which featured a vertical roll in off a fire road, and some tight, off-camber sections. Everyone nailed it though, and we rolled back to the cafe mud spattered and grinning, for a delicious local Wild Boar burger. Big thanks again to Paul who ran a nice relaxed ride on trails selected for the groups ability, including some great challenges. If you are looking to experience what riding in the Forest of Dean is all about, and want to get beyond the trail centre, give FoDMTB a shout.

Plans are afoot for another Cotic CC ride, in the Lake District over the weekend of the Kendal Mountain Festival. Keep an eye on the mailing list and social media channels for the latest.

In other exciting news, this week the main shipment of brand new BFes arrived at Cotic HQ. We are now fully stocked on all colours and sizes, including the new XL size. Place your order this weekend and you could have your new frame or bike in time for next weekend's ride! It's the most fun hardtail we make, and just begs to be thrown down the trails with wreckless abandon. Turns out it's also more than capable of some serious mile munching too. My brother did the Sandstone Way on his earlier this year, 120 mostly off road miles over 3 days through Northumberland. And if that isn't proof enough, this guy is currently tackling the Tour Divide on his Bfe:

Order the new BFe here…

01/10/2019 - New OneUp dropper post options

OneUp Dropper V2.1

New option for more drop

We have been fans of OneUp Components parts right from back when they gave us the option to go 1x10 on our Rocket26s.

Their first generation dropper posts offered a lot of drop for not a lot of insertion, with length tuneable in 10mm increments with shims. It looked like a great option on paper and we got one for Sam. At the time his chosen Demo Tour work steed of a FlareMAX in medium combined with his 5ft 7in height to make seat drop a little tight, due to upsizing his bike. In practice, the fact the seatpost used the outer housing movement to actuate it meant they were difficult to set up on our droplink bikes due to the cable routing around the pivot in the middle of the seat tube, and it was also a little finnicky to keep running, so at the time we decided against offering it to customers. One the flip side, it's been extremely reliable, and you could never accuse Sam's bike of being low mileage and fair weather!

FlareMAX 132

Earlier this year OneUp released V2 of the seatpost, with more drop options and some refinements. More excitingly for us was the V2.1 option. Supposedly developed for another brands bikes to avoid a seat tube pivot, it's the perfect solution for our bikes. Not only does the V2.1 actuator offset the cable entry from the centre of the post - which now makes for perfect cable alignment within the seat tube of a droplink bike - the V2.1 actuator also uses inner cable pull rather than housing movement, so no more snagging on internal hardware in the frames. Bonza!

Cy has been running a 180mm drop post in his RocketMAX all summer, and it's been great. He had been using a 150mm drop X Fusion Manic which was also great, but the extra drop has been useful on a couple of occasions. Being taller and running an XL size he could run a 210mm drop too.

As a result of this, we soft launched the OneUp V2.1 posts as an option for customers earlier in the summer. They are available now and we have 150mm and 180mm drop options in stock. Other options are available to order, but we'll need to double check your saddle height first. The easiest way to check is to look up the Maximum Seatpost Insertion value on the Geometry and Sizing chart of the Cotic frame you're considering, and then compare it to Dimension F on the diagram on the OneUp Components Website.

OneUp V2 Dropper Post Dimensions OneUp V2 Dropper Post Dimensions

If you're unsure, just put a note on your order when placing it and we'll confirm everything before we build you bike. That's the beauty of buying a bike from us - it's Your Bike Built For You.

FlareMAX 132

Order your Cotic now…

01/10/2019 - Announcing our new Escapade Platinum GRX Build

Cotic Escapade Platinum Shimano GRX bike

Escapade Platinum GRX

Here is our latest addition to the Escapade bike range - the Platinum GRX build.

The Escapade is our swiss army knife of a drop bar bike - road, trails, gravel, commute, adventure, or just out to that quiet place. You know the one.

With the advent of Shimano's new gravel focused GRX groupsets we have used this to introduce a range topping Platinum build with all the tasty bits:

Escapade Platinum GRX BikeEscapade Platinum GRX BikeEscapade Platinum GRX Bike
Escapade Platinum GRX BikeEscapade Platinum GRX BikeEscapade Platinum GRX Bike

These are available now for £2,499. We have blue, purple and mercury colours in stock, and remember, we build these bikes to order: That means if you want Horizons instead of Senduros? No problem. All purple Hope bits on your 700c build? Done! Your Bike Built For You.

Click Here to Order your Escapade

Read more about the Escapade…

Order your Escapade…

Read the 4.5/5 review…

26/09/2019 - Last Ever SodaMAX - No more after this

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SodaMAX - Going, Going, Gone!

We are down to our last handful of SodaMAX 2019 Limited Edition frames, and we have decided that this is it, we will not be doing any more SodaMAX. So, if you want some titanium hardtail uber radness in your life, this is your last chance. We are done. Finito. Basta.


SodaMAX is based on our spectacularly popular and award winning SolarisMAX, with the new titanium frame taking all the fantastic attributes of it's steel sibling and adding a big chunk of weight loss, a subtle and lively ride feel and beautiful bare metal finishes.


There are just 5 left as of today

Click Here to Order your SodaMAX

Read more about the SodaMAX…

Order your limited edition SodaMAX now…

23/09/2019 - Fork Offset - Does It Matter?

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Fork Offset - Does It Matter?

HELM29 forks with 51mm offset aboard a Cotic RocketMAX

Cy explains his views on forks offsets after much testing....

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 all the available 29er offsets: 42mm (short, on Lyrics), 46mm (X Fusion Trace 36 and McQueen) and 51mm (my current Cane Creek HELM29) and they all handle great. Slightly differently, but good.

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 any of the Cotic 29ers was anything other than really stoked on the handling so long as they had a fork they liked, set up nicely, it will be all good.

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16/09/2019 - Easy Ways Onto A New Cotic

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Easy Way Onto A New Cotic

SodaMAX Ti Loveliness

0% Finance

Unlike a lot of the other brands who sell direct, if you are in the UK we offer 0% Finance. For the last couple of years you have been able to get up to 24 months interest free to get you onto a new Cotic.

We have a finance calculator (click here to have a play) if you want to have a play with options, but for instance, a RocketMAX Gold build bike would be £837 deposit, £138 per month for 24 months.

Our Singletrack Award Nominated Flare frame with Cane Creek shock would be as little as £415 down, £66 per month for the same 24 months. You can get your monthlies down even further if you have a larger deposit too. It's all flexible.

Escapade Gold 1x

Cycle 2 Work

We have been offering Cyclescheme and Green Commute Initiative options for the UK's salary sacrifice option for a few years as well. The bike news this year is that they have lifted the £1000 cap and allowed 'top ups' where you can pay a bit of your own money for some extras if you have it. That means that rather than being restricted to buying a frame via the scheme, you can now buy complete bikes. We have already had a SolarisMAX Gold build go on Green Commute Initiative.

If they aren't already, you need to get your employer on board with either of these schemes, and then apply for a voucher. Once you have that code your can order your Cotic and send us the details. Simple as that!

FlareMAX 132

New Offer - Up to 3 Years 0% on Selected Models

Until the end of October, we are offering 3 Years Interest Free Finance on the SodaMAX, FlareMAX and Rocket model lines.

This is for frames and bikes, so you could get yourself on our 2019 Limited Edition SodaMAX ti hardtail frame for £377 deposit and just £39.50 per month. That is a lot of shiny Ti goodness for very small monthly outgoings.

Or if you want some droplink suspension action, a FlareMAX 120 or 132

, or a Rocket frame, are just £363 deposit and £38.50 per month with the Cane Creek DB Air IL shock.

The Rocket even comes in classic Cotic Orange, and everybody know Too Much Orange Is Only Just Enough.


Remember we have been consistent on all our components sizes with our bikes: Same headset, same BB, same seatpost size. So, if you have one of our earlier droplink bikes, or a hardtail, you could frame swap onto one of our brilliant Longshot geometry bikes very easily and get that new bike feeling.

The only change was moving to Boost from 142 on the 27.5" bikes, and we have Hope Boost conversions in stock. We have got you covered. If you send it your current headset we will even fit it for you. Just pop a note on the order.

To order on Finance, simply tick the box and the bottom of the form, choose your time period and click PLACE PROVISIONAL ORDER. We will then make sure everything is sorted with your order and setup your application. We like to keep an Actual Person involved in the process, which is why it might take a few hours or the next day before your finance application email comes through.

Hopefully that's got you thinking about your next frame or bike. Give us a shout if you have any questions about the finance or the bikes. We're always pleased to hear from you. Drop us a line any time.

Like these offers? Order your Cotic today…

Have a go with the Finance Calculator…

read news from earlier in 2019...