Review: Cotic RocketMAX Gen4 - Stealthy, Steel, and Simple

Jul 4, 2022
by Matt Beer  

Cold, hard steel - even though there are 1.6 billion tonnes produced each year it's one of the world’s most recycled materials, so it’s not that surprising to see it used to build objects that get hurtled down hillsides, such as mountain bikes like the Cotic RocketMax. Entering its fourth generation, this frame underwent subtle changes to extend its workmanship and now includes five sizes to better fit a wider audience.

Building a RocketMAX can be straightforward or leave indecisive riders at wit's end because Cotic will get their hands on any components that suit your fancy - nothing is too custom for their team. Plus, there are multiple wheel and travel options for the ultimate tinkerers. Their build kits start around $4,220 USD and frame kits begin at $2,270, but if you want a particular handlebar or set of tires, just ask and you shall receive.


Cotic RocketMAX Gen4 Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Travel: 160mm rear / 170mm front
• Reynold 853 steel, aluminum chainstays
• Chainstay length: 448mm
• Reach: 444, 462 (C2 tested), 482, 501, 520 mm
• 63.5° head tube angle
• 75.8° seat tube angle
• Weight: 15.51 kg / 34.20 lb
• Builds from £3999 / $4220 USD / €3870
• Frames from £2099 / $2270 USD / €2070
cotic.co.uk

Homebase for Cotic borders on Sheffield, also known as “The Steel City”, near the Peak District, where there’s no shortage of quality tracks to test the soot-colored RocketMAX. The sub-64-degree head tube angle and 160mm of rear wheel travel point towards agro riding, but how would it shake down a world away in British Columbia?





bigquotesThe RocketMAX embodies the acronym K.I.S.S. - keep it simple stupid. Durable tubing, external brake hose routing, no geometry adjustments, and a coil shock signify what this two-wheeled instrument is all about; less fiddling and more time spent riding. Matt Beer




Cotic RocketMax

Frame Details

I know what you’re thinking: the RocketMAX is another steel single-pivot from the U.K. And to be fair the Cotic is… well, at least the front triangle. The Reynolds 853 steel tubing is welded and painted in the UK by Five Land Bikes, while the seatstay and alloy chainstays are manufactured in Taiwan.

First, Cotic forms the top tube into an oval shape to add stiffness, and Reynolds 853 and the heavy-duty downtube are exclusive to Cotic. I was surprised that the bolt-on shock mount wasn’t modular like we’ve seen on Starling’s steel full-suspension bikes, which would allow for geometry tweaks. After chatting with Cotic owner, Cy Turner, he explained that while it may work for shocks driven solely by a single pivot, their 'droplink' suspension layout is sensitive to a position change, and sliding that mount in any other orientation would disrupt the suspension kinematics too much for their liking.

Like most steel frames these days, a 44mm tapered headtube uses an external lower headset cup, whereas the top is semi-integrated for a lower stack height. A 35mm seat tube supports the droplink rocker arm to add progression as the swingarm pushes on the shock. A pinch bolt clamps down on that link and the Gen4 frame now uses a hex-shaped pivot axle to retain stiffness. In my eyes, integrated clamps look ultra-tidy and I would appreciate the same construction applied to the top of the seat tube too, rather than a bulkier alloy option.

Before we go any further, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the water bottle cage rests under the downtube where it gets sprayed with dirt. Under the top tube are more bosses to mount a tool or tube, but there's not enough room for a water bottle. Yes, it’s a minor inconvenience that I dealt with by easily removing the lid. As long as the spout is closed, the crap won't get in and it’s not like it stays as clean as a whistler on the top of the downtube either. You’ll have to be mindful when loading the bike onto a tailgate pad so as to not snap off the cage.

Cotic RocketMax
These pivot bolts protrude a little too far. Although I never clipped my heels on them while pedaling, I tagged my shins from time to time when hiking the bike uphill.
Cotic RocketMax
Storing the water bottle under the downtube just meant I had to spray the dirt off first or twist the cap completely off. The location isn't ideal and it was trickier to reach on the fly, but at least it's there.

Moving to the rear of the bike, the chainstay is built from forged 6066-T aluminum to reduce twisting under loads while staying in slim packaging that maximizes tire clearance. A Syntace axle keeps things tidy without the need for extra pinch bolts. Where the seatstay pivots on the chainstay, there are bolts that do protrude outwards past the tube profile. This didn’t pose any mechanical mishaps, though the chain can ping off of these bolts, as well as your shins when walking beside the bike. A sleeker execution and smoother shape would be welcomed.

Speaking of appearances, the cable routing is a mix of external on the front triangle that are held down by some clever clamps; only the dropper post cable runs inside the front triangle. On this build, I didn’t need to fuss with the routing through the stays since it came loaded with SRAM’s AXS electronic shifting. Only the shift housing passes through the seatstay since the brake line remains outside along the top of the chainstay.




Cotic RocketMax

Suspension Design

You might expect the single pivot design to be quite linear and the coil shock to hit bottom too often, but the droplink rocker adds nearly 30% progression to the leverage ratio. Near the end of the travel, the increase in progression tapers off to allow the coil shock's bottom-out bumper to do the heavy lifting. There are no flip-chips to alter the progression, travel, or geometry, but there are build options to mix that up if desired.

This RocketMAX was built with a 230x65mm stroke shock to give it 160mm of rear wheel travel, but there is the option to reduce that amount with spacers down to 155 or even 150 mm.

The frame is compatible with air shocks, but I found the small volume of the Marzocchi Bomber to be too progressive on the RocketMAX. That stacked too much ramp from the shock on top of the steep leverage curve, which is not a fault of either product, but an unfortunate pairing that reached the limits of what large impacts could be controlled.

Anti-squat numbers start just below 100% in the largest cog with a 32-tooth chainring, designed to keep traction while climbing and the Cane Creek shock is equipped with a three-position lever to seriously shut off the damping - it’s a true lock-out when fully closed.

Cotic RocketMax
The 'droplink' adds 30% progression to the single pivot system and now sits on a hex-keyed axle.
Cotic RocketMax
A slick Syntace axle requires only one 5mm allen key bolt to remove the axle and never wandered loose.





Geometry

Cotic's Longshot geometry sees a long reach and a slack head angle combined with a 170mm travel, 44mm offset RockShox Zeb Ultimate, and 35mm length house brand stem. RocketMAX frames are designed to fit riders from 162 to 192cm, and the five frame sizes stretch from 444mm of reach to 520mm. At 178cm tall, I chose the C2 frame to test with a 462mm reach. The gaps between each size are only 21mm at the largest, so I could have found myself on the C3 at 482 if I wanted the bike to excel in straight lines. Keeping in mind the steel frame gets an alloy chainstay, that 448mm length piece is used across the size range.

For rowdy steeps, I’ve been a fan of head angles below 64-degrees and the RocketMAX delivered at 63.5-degrees. Angled at an actual 75.8-degrees, the seat tube length of 417mm allows for plenty of standover clearance when the saddle is fully dropped. The head tube is moderately tall on the C2 size at 120mm and produces a 639mm stack height.

If you’re interested in running a 27.5” rear wheel, Cotic can build a RocketMAX in that configuration too. By installing a 1-degree altering headset, the resulting geometry reduces the reach and seat tube angle slightly, while retaining the head tube angle. Here are the geometry tables for the three other fork and wheel combinations; 170 Mullet, 160 29er, 160 Mullet.

Cotic RocketMax
To handle high-speed stability, the RocketMAX features a 63.5-degree head tube angle. Speeding up the steering is a short stem and fork offset.
Cotic RocketMax
No flip-chips or alternative shock mounts. A 75.8-degree seat tube angle is counteracted by a firm shock lockout.




Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2022
Price $6790
Travel 160
Rear Shock Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil
Fork RockShox ZEB Ultimate 170
Headset Hope Tech
Cassette SRAM GX Eagle 12 spd
Crankarms SRAM GX 170
Chainguide Cotic
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB BSA
Rear Derailleur SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle 12 spd
Chain SRAM GX Eagle 12 spd
Shifter Pods SRAM GX AXS Eagle 12 spd
Handlebar Renthal FatBar 31.8
Stem Cotic 35mm
Grips Cotic
Brakes SRAM G2 RSC
Wheelset Hunt Trail Wide
Tires WTB
Seat Cotic
Seatpost OneUp



Cotic RocketMax




Test Bike Setup

Cotic goes the extra mile to help with setup, and that's not a special treatment exclusively for tech editors. Details like the shock's spring weight, dropper post- ravel, and handlebar width are all taken care of for each order.

The brand’s owner, Cy, suggested a 400 lb spring to get me sitting at 30% sag and that worked perfectly from day one. Four-way shock adjustments, like those on the Kitsuma, can be a lot to digest if you’re starting from scratch. I found comfort and poise on the bike quickly without straying too far from Cy's recommendations.

I set the Zeb’s air pressure to 78 PSI and dropped the stem on the steerer tube halfway through the first ride. I’d been used to 638-ish stack heights on longer reach bikes, so the combo of the shorter foot-to-hand placement meant I needed to put more weight on the front tire by lowering my stature.
Matt Beer
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Age: 35
Height: 5'10" / 177 cm
Weight: 170 lb / 77 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mattb33r

Touch points are such a personal preference, but I did swap the saddle and grips immediately for something with a bit more cushion. Aside from the usual first ride fiddles, less fussing with air pressure adjustments made getting familiar with the RocketMAX a snap.




Cotic RocketMAX


Climbing

Getting up before going down then. I’m not put off by heavy bikes because that usually means they can deal with more on the descents. Steel ain’t lead, but this isn’t exactly a featherweight bike either, so the RocketMAX had a few disadvantages on paper. Let’s not judge a book by its cover just yet, though.

Downsizing to the C2 size frame kept my posture in a comfier seated position because the seat tube angle lies south of 76 degrees. That meant that the top tube length was 15mm longer than a size large Transition Spire; a bike with a massive wheelbase and a 485mm reach.

We often get acclimatized to only looking at reach numbers and assume all seated positions are the same now, with geometry converging to 78-degree seat tube angles, so as a reminder, a glance at all of the numbers is worthwhile when deciding on size.

I’m not convinced that slack head angles, such as the 63.5-degree one on the RocketMAX, make for a poor climber either. It simply requires more planning in tight switchbacks and less drastic steering inputs to avoid the front wheel from flopping over. Steeper seat angles do help to alleviate the amount of weight pulling back on the handlebars when pointed uphill, and the Cotic did rest on its laurels more than stand on its toes while climbing.

With all of that said, the 448mm chainstay meant that the RocketMAX remained calm on the climbs and resisted wheelies on steep pitches. Finding grip and pedaling through the jank was actually surprisingly easy for the single-pivot beast. The higher bottom bracket and low anti-squat work in conjunction to settle the bike, giving grip and clearance where needed, although there is a noticeable amount of bob when standing up to put the power down. If you're bothered by that, you'll want to firm the suspension for long, smooth climbs.

Cotic RocketMAX
Cotic RocketMax




Cotic RocketMAX


Descending

The RocketMAX reminds me of a rudimentary British sports car - just the bare bones; manual shift, no ABS, and an engine that can be felt and heard. The frame is built with geometry that lets you dive into steeps, and the straightforward suspension layout is backed by a quality, highly adjustable coil-sprung damper. Surely single pivots can’t hold a candle to multi-link linkages and their marketing jargon, or can they?

You can attack the steep slopes with that slack head tube angle, higher stack height, and the 170mm fork but have to drive through your feet to get your weight further back and lower. That felt a little old school to me, although I recognize I am on the cusp of jumping up to a C3 frame based on Cotic’s sizing recommendations. The chainstay for the C2 size is long in proportion to the reach and nibbles away from its low-speed snap, but it does secure the bike when the going gets rough. I could envision the front and rear centers of the C3 size frame working more synonymously, although taking a few millimeters off of the C1 and C2 chainstay lengths might add to the fun factor for shorter riders.

SRAM's AXS derailleur shifted perfectly throughout the test, although there is considerable chain slap. Either a stronger clutch or more protection on the frame wouldn't be out of the question. I stuck some mastic tape to the inside of the chainstay bridge and some velcro under the brake line to silence any unwanted noises.

High-pivot bikes are known for their stutter bump-eating appetite because the rear axle moves with the direction of the force from each bump it encounters, while the low single pivot on the RocketMAX has minimal rearward axle path. That made the RocketMAX more intuitive to predict through bigger bomb holes as the bike moves through the travel and never pitched my weight back and forth. Off the top, the buttery Cane Creek Kitsuma coil shock, with all of the adjustments, offers reasonable small bump compliance for a single pivot but didn't quite have that same magic carpet ride as a high-pivot or FSR design.

On the deeper side of that travel, there was a high, but predictable amount of progression that took care of large hits by using most of the travel, leaving just a smidge for those “oh shit” moments. While there are a few aspects that hold the RocketMAX back on the descents, the droplink rocker and Kitsuma combo added a surprising amount of control.

Steel tubing does create unique feedback from sharp hits that translate through the frame, producing duller “pings” compared to most other carbon bikes out there that can feel jarring at times. There is some flex, but it’s not a wet noodle and doesn't snap back or bounce you off line easily like some carbon bikes. It’s not the plushest ride or a complete mistake-eraser, although there is a decent amount of forgiveness when you get into the middle part of the travel.




Cotic RocketMAX
2022 Orbea Rallon review
Orbea Rallon

How does it compare?

Just because it’s not carbon, doesn’t mean it can’t race enduros, so how does it stack up against the Orbea Rallon? Of course, the frame weight and costs are worlds apart, but the front and rear travel numbers stack up evenly; a 170mm fork and 160mm at the rear wheel.

You could build the RocketMAX or the Rallon as a frame with the components of your choice, plus they can run a 27.5” rear wheel, after small modifications. Both brands offer customizable parts packages. Either bike can utilize an air shock, but coils were the spec’d in this case. I held the Rallon in high regard for its incredible traction. The carbon Spaniard smoothed out all bumps, large and small, without diving through the travel. A less progression design (24% vs. 30%) meant that bottom-outs did occur more frequently on the Orbea, though.

Then there’s the geometry. The Cotic really loved to dig into corners and let me hang off the back. With a shorter reach and slacker head angle, I could pull back on the bars and drive my feet down on the pedals as I pushed out of a turn. Getting loose and reeling it back in wasn’t a chore on the RocketMAX.

The Rallon’s longer reach and steeper head tube angle also required more attention. I’d have to move my weight forward in order to avoid not tucking the front wheel on loose or flat corners, whereas on the steelie, staying in an attacking hinged-hip position meant less body movement to find front wheel grip while I was still absorbing large compressions with my legs.

If the Rallon was the preppy kid in high school, the RocketMAX would be the badass with the leather jacket.





Cotic RocketMax
I wanted more power and less force at the lever than the SRAM G2 brakes offered, especially for a 160mm-travel bike.
Cotic RocketMax
Hunt's Trailwide wheels use aluminum rims and refused to give in to any abuse.

Technical Report

Hunt Trailwide Wheels: Labelled as “trail” rims, these wheels didn’t have an easy life as the RocketMAX served as my daily driver throughout the spring months. Neither obscenely muddy conditions with constant bike washing or off-line detours were enough to disturb the hub seals or rim sidewalls.

SRAM G2 RSC brakes: I like strong, crispy brakes and the G2s just didn’t cut it. It’s been said before that bumping up to Code brakes brings only 40 grams per end and more power. For an enduro bike that is bomber-built and can tackle some hell, the RocketMAX was worthy of stronger brakes that would allow you to charge harder and brake later.

Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil:A clear winner in my books. The Kitsuma performed brilliantly with a smooth breakaway, never knocking between the compression and rebound directions. Heavy hits are supported by a large bottom-out bumper that lands like a kick to a deflated soccer ball, eliminating any metal-on-metal crunches. The range of adjusters allowed the shock to stay active on small bumps in the open position, and it never felt over-damped or like it couldn’t keep up with what the bike was asking for. The climb switch basically made the RocketMAX into a hardtail. In between fully open and completed locked, the middle setting is plenty for trail climbs.

WTB Light Duty Tires: The tread patterns of the Verdict and Trail Boss looked promising to me for the mixed trail conditions through the west coast spring. Unfortunately, I had to resort to tougher tires on the second ride. Under very average riding conditions and at a slower pace than normal, I experienced two front flats, dead center on the casing. I would gladly accept the 130-gram penalty and move to the stouter casing option

Cotic RocketMAX





Pros

+ Brutish chassis is resilient and low maintenance
+ Straightforward, quirk-free ride dynamics
+ Settles in to attack corners well

Cons

- Water bottle under the downtube will be a deal-breaker for some riders
- Chainstays are lengthy on C2 frame size
- Relatively heavy, no adjustments (if you care about those things)





Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThrow out any preconceived notions of single-pivots and steel bikes. The aggressive 63.5-degree head angle and control produced by the Cane Creek Kitsuma coil shock surprised me with what I could get away with on the RocketMAX, both in corners and on descents.

By swapping the light-duty brakes and tires while silencing the chain slap, the RocketMAX's decent-focused attitude will appeal to riders who live by a “set-it-and-forget-it” mindset.
Matt Beer







315 Comments

  • 71 17
 Water bottle under the downtube will be a deal-breaker for some riders
For some?? Who doesn't like a good sip of muddy grainy water while riding
  • 63 0
 We have horses on the trail where I live…
  • 5 0
 Yeah, my Process 111 is stuck with a bottle under the downtube and it gets filthy even on the driest days. The cap helps but it's still gross. I only use it for super long rides where I need an extra bottle.
  • 8 7
 It's not ideal, but bottles with valve covers exist and Dawn to Dusk makes the Dirt Mask cover that can be added to common bottle cap sizes.
  • 15 0
 @unrooted: I have cows…
  • 5 0
 @Betacygni: yummy.
  • 22 9
 Better than no usable bottle mounts at all... Like most of the gen2/3(?) COTIC's. Fidlock cages are a great option for the underside of downtube bottles.

If you love getting loose and steezy there's no better bike to do it on than a COTIC. I've ridden Revel's, Trek's, and Specialized trail/enduro rigs but always come back. 853-steel is surprisingly light and dumb strong, leading to lots of carefree crashes in the woods(if you're into that). The suspension linkage, in my case, also lends itself to encouraging as much "off the brakes" time as possible. I find that the rear wheel jacks up a bit more than some bikes under braking, but when off the brakes you can experience a "bottomless" travel sensation and controlled grip no matter the kind of terrain. Anyways, I'm super biased. I'm sure there are bikes that ride better and faster without compromise, I just happen to like my Cotic.

I can relate to Cotic bikes really letting you get off the back and digging your heels in, and surviving gnarly steep terrain without too many death grip moments.. Nice review!
  • 13 0
 @Betacygni: I have humans
  • 22 5
 To be fair, even my bikes with water bottles mounted in the "normal" position still get covered in mud so it wouldn't make a massive difference.
  • 4 3
 @DC1988: anything can get dirty anywhere. Hydration pack - you get mud flung from the front tire. Hip pack - mud from back tire (not as likely). And you can crash anytime and loose a bottle or drag it through the dirt.
  • 7 0
 I rode a DB Release for a few years, water bottle under the downtube. Camelback podium dirt with the rubber cap on a fidlock boa adapter. Sure, the mouthpiece would stay clean but it was difficult to grab while riding and often unsuccessful at returning. Bottles covered in dust, horse and cow crap. Moved on to inside the triangle bottle and the difference is night and day. Easier to grab and bottles stay way cleaner. In dusty zones I still keep the rubber cap on. I'm never going back.
  • 7 0
 On the C3 size and up a 560ml fidlock bottle fits, even with the kitsuma shock. I reckon you could get a 400ml one in the C2.
  • 5 0
 @Betacygni: Don't have a cow man.....
  • 3 3
 I thought this was a joke, why wouldn't you want a extra bottle, FFS peeps are so ungrateful...
  • 3 0
 If there's enough sloping the most practical could be to fix it over the top tube.
  • 11 0
 I REALLY don't understand why in this situation the company doesn't just put the bottle mount on TOP of the top tube. With such crazy stand-over there would be plenty of people who would much rather run it there!
  • 2 1
 @WestwardHo: if you have a size large or XL, you can epoxy a water bottle cage onto your 111. I did it a while back and rode it for years. Plenty of room.
  • 2 0
 @cgreaseman: If adding the weight does nothing for you because the cap is disgusting and you don't want to drink it, then yes...it is actually worse than no usable bottle mounts.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: Thats sounds fantastic...
  • 3 0
 Any recommendations for a bottle cage that actually holds onto bottles over rough terrain when mounted under the downtube? The standard wire unit did not work for me...to the point where I only used safety orange bottles to have some hope of finding them after launch.
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: Lezyne flow cage?(not the side load one) is the most secure that I've come across so far.
Or just get a hip pack that takes a bottle like the Camelback flowbelt. *shrugs*
  • 8 0
 You can get a 500ml bottle in a lezyne sideloader cage on the C2 under top tube.
  • 2 0
 @ryetoast: fidlock. Bottle stayed put in all circumstances.
  • 3 0
 @ryetoast: with a regular cage like that I bought some 30mm o rings off ebay for a couple of quid and looped two together on the end of the cafe, then popped the other end of the loop over the spout of the bottle.
  • 3 0
 @unrooted: we have dogs around here
  • 3 0
 @ryetoast: I’ve been running a fidlock bottle and no issues. Even risked it riding in Bike Park and it stayed put
  • 5 0
 If you'd mount the shock so that the piggyback is below and at the seatstay end (so basically flipped 180 with respect to how it was mounted in the picture), wouldn't you just be able to mount the bottle under the toptube? Or is there a reason the shock can't be mounted like that, that it would collide with the downtube? I think it is going to be close but my guess is that it would just work as this mount not only moves forwards as the shock compresses, but also a little bit upwards. @mattbeer: Have you tried this?
  • 14 0
 @vinay: I've just checked the CAD and the Kitsuma would clear the down tube if it was mounted upside down at the seatstay end, as you suggest. So that would work to get a mid-sized bottle on the C2.
  • 11 0
 @cotic-bikes: Ah good, so that solves the issue for everyone in this thread. Done with the moaning, back to the riding bit.
  • 2 0
 @AFunFox: Santa Cruz, eh?
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: the old specialized ribcage is the best I found. Lost a few of bottles before switching to the ribcage....nothing lost since.
  • 3 0
 @cotic-bikes: Maybe put a handy little guide on your website as to what water bottle fits where like this one from Guerrilla Gravity.
ridegg.com/blogs/dispatch/dampening-not-damping
  • 2 0
 As I live in the high desert, a standard water bottle mount ends up being high on my requirement list. However, I have found a mountain feed bag, www.revelatedesigns.com/index.cfm/store.catalog/Cockpit/MountainFeedbag, to be a good option for a second bottle. It may work for a lot of people on this bike. It doesn’t hurt handling as I thought it might, and it keeps the bottle in a clean location. I originally got it for bikepacking and it’s stayed on my bikes since.
  • 2 1
 Counterpoint: modern trail and enduro bikes usually get a bottle cage to work in the frame because the down tube comes straight forward from the bottom bracket to make room.

I love having a bottle in the triangle for shorter rides, but don’t love the horrific damage that down tube belly gets on bigger 2-4 foot ledge-up moves.

Last couple of bikes have I’ve owned accommodated a bottle, so I use one. I’d still buy this and always grab the ass bag if I had to. And beat up my bike less on the ups.

It’s a compromise either way.
  • 3 0
 @wyorider: 2-4ft ledge ups? You would get on very well with Paul, our Ops Manager. He loves a trials move. I do too, but I am not as good at them!
  • 1 0
 @bigbluebike: under or above the shock?
  • 3 0
 @wyorider: sorry, but if you're "horrifically" smashing any downtube while climbing, you weren't getting up the ledge in the first place.
  • 2 1
 @thegoodflow: Maybe we interpreted his post differently, but my understanding was that for him, the downtube belly gets in the way whereas a straight downtube doesn't. So if it doesn't get in the way, he gets up the ledge. If it does get in the way, he smashes that downtube and indeed doesn't get up the ledge.
  • 3 2
 Some of us don't care about water bottle mounts.
  • 2 0
 @cotic-bikes: Beautiful bike . Please, please keep the longish chainstays long. I like it that way!
  • 1 0
 @stefanroussev: Thank you. We will!
  • 48 1
 15.51 kg is not heavy. I know about carbon enduro bikes that weight the same.
  • 12 1
 Agreed, pretty standard enduro bike weight. Similar to my Slash before pedals in fact.
  • 10 0
 What the hell? My half carbon half alu 150mm bike weighs 15.2kg (with pedals) with an air shock, Pike, and EXO tyres. FML!
  • 13 0
 Most of our builds come in at this kind of weight.
  • 15 0
 There's just no weight advantage in carbon gravity frames because of CFRPs poor impact resistance.
  • 8 0
 @SickEdit: My heart stops every time a massive rock hits my carbon downtube.
  • 7 9
 @SickEdit: Also because making light and strong frames (any material) requires lots of careful and detailed engineering work. And thats not something companies are willing to invest in frames which get turned over every few years to follow the latest trends and fashions in MTB.
  • 7 0
 @Ttimer: They definitely do. There's so much competition out there that getting it wrong is extremely costly and difficult to fix. The fact that they have to update every few years is the result of that R&D.
  • 5 1
 @Ttimer: Your first sentence is correct. Your second sentence is not. The reason mtb frames are so expensive is, in part, to cover the costs of development investment.
  • 5 8
 @Blerger: I don't buy that. Even basic city bikes which had basically no R&D for the last decade, are super expensive right now. It's simply demand outstripping supply.
@redrook Right now, there is almost no competition in the MTB world. People buy what bikes they can get.

And it's not like frames need to be this heavy. Scott, Specialized, Giant, Liteville and Last show that strong frames don't need to be heavy. It's just that most companies don't bother. They don't need to, because customers don't care enough.
  • 4 0
 @Ttimer: You can not buy it all you like pal Wink Bikes are pretty available now. Not as before, but there's plenty of choice around. Basic city bikes don't require R&D as not much is required of them. If you want to pay a lot more for very light frames you can - as you say, some of the biggest brands have shown this (so you've kind of beaten your own argument lol) but you'll be paying a lot more than most consumers want to spend on a mtb. If you want to drop big bucks on one, nobody's stopping you.
  • 5 0
 @Ttimer: Yep, because raw material and logistical costs (i.e. fuel) have gone up. If R&D had been done on those bikes the cost would be even higher. But as redrook says, city bikes don't exactly require R&D. Mtbs are being raced, so that's where R&D goes.

The reasons why everyone doesn't have a superlight frame are pretty clear, since companies have to balance what's possible with what's economical for people to buy. Sure, they could all be incredibly light and strong, but they'd also be incredibly expensive to produce and therefore buy.
  • 1 2
 @Blerger, @redrook: So you are saying that heavy frames (Santa Cruz, Norco, Rocky Mountain) are much more reasonably priced than light frames (Giant, Last), right?
  • 3 0
 You may like to check the Cotic Geek Pages where the choice for steel is being explained. Basically, when strength is critical and space is limited (because of suspension links and drivetrain parts nearby) steel wins.
  • 2 0
 @Ttimer: You need to be specific about which frames you're talking about and their weights, right?
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: So we're only talking about weight now? Because you mentioned strength before too. So I'm interested to see how you'll prove your strength argument. SC also don't provide their frame weights, so you might have to do some digging to even make your weight argument.
  • 35 4
 Someone should tell Matt that's an XX1 derailleur he's running there.

Also I'm not sure why all the fuss about single pivot. It's a link-driven single pivot, an incredibly common layout and something you'll find on a ton of bikes right now ie Kona Process, Commencal Meta, Devinci, Trek (technically they're split pivot but same same), and I don't recall anyone ever being concerned about those bikes being too 'simple'.
  • 3 15
flag baca262 (Jul 4, 2022 at 11:57) (Below Threshold)
 most likely the bikes people didn't like weren't done in cad so leverage curve was guesswork and it didn't turn out all that good. single pivot without linkage is the most bulletproof, stiffest and maintenance free layout there ever was if you can get the leverage right.
  • 3 2
 it's all on Aston, making it a bigger then it ever was
  • 10 3
 @baca262:
Single pivot without linkage is stiff? Come on...
  • 8 6
 @lightone: Big bearings, big pivot bolts. Come on…
  • 10 5
 Devinci and trek are split pivot, not the same regarding braking… the Commencal has gone VPP, so really only the Kona is single pivot and it behaves like it… some like it, I’m not a fan personally, but I guess all designs have their strengths and flaws
  • 1 25
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 4, 2022 at 14:07) (Below Threshold)
 @SonofBovril: Commencal are still link driven single pivots or at least the meta is and VPP basically is a single pivot. It’s a twin link, two counter rotating links that create a virtual pivot point or a virtual single pivot.
  • 4 0
 @SonofBovril:
Let's compare apples to apples, clearly I meant the meta.
My point remains, lots of high performance single pivot bikes out there.
  • 23 1
 @thenotoriousmic:
VPP is not 'basically a single pivot' in any way.
  • 2 1
 I had in the past two Cannondale bikes,both single pivots. To me a single pivot design made more compromises than others more complex. Worst thing I would said is brake dive. VPP&6 bar have a more complex design but IMO require less fine tune to work or feel really good and have a very constant feeling.
Now I have an S.Enduro and it is a really easy bike to setup with more range in the settings than any off my past bikes.
Have the chance to ride back my last bike for a few moments weeks ago and I would never would go back or miss that suspension kinematics hehehe. But I love the way steel frames looks,big names could do a steel bike again with more involved suspension designs.
  • 2 20
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 4, 2022 at 16:45) (Below Threshold)
 @notthatfast: the axel rotates around a single point like a single pivot and there’s no pivot on the chain stay. What’s the difference?
  • 13 0
 @thenotoriousmic:
No it absolutely does not. VPP is, as the name alludes to, a virtual pivot. The two counter-rotating links mean that the instant center moves as the suspension cycles and is very much the opposite of a single pivot. Do some reading on suspension designs.
  • 2 0
 @homerjm:
Steel frame and floating pivot designs are not mutually exclusive - ie there are floating pivot steel bikes, much the same as there are aluminum/carbon single pivot link driven bikes. My point was I feel like the "steel bike single pivot" thing was driven home for shock value more than anything else.
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: Steel VPP bikes looks chunky,cos most bike are from same material head to toe with some alloy links. It is not so easy to design a frame in steel with more intricate parts or pivot points,that´s why so many steel bikes are single pivot,cos they are easier to build.
Shock is key in a single pivot bike,totally agree. In other designs a bad shock or a not so good tune could be decent,but not so in a single pivot bike.
Love to see more carbon/steel frames,narrow front triangle looks amazing to me. I remember photos of an Evil bike rear end on a custom steel frame from not so long ago,what a lovely bike!
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: is there a reason VPP is rarely seen on EWS podiums?
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: plenty of VPP stuff in the podium almost every week.
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: isabeau cordurear was winning on an instense which uses vpp a year or 2 ago.
  • 5 0
 @ceecee: Because Santa Cruz doesn't have an EWS team (that I know of). They do ok on the DH tour I think though...
  • 2 0
 @BigHerm:
Not a team as such but Iago Garay does reasonably well as well as a handful of other riders. Obviously SC Syndicate is legendarily successful
  • 36 1
 We still use droplink because - despite having tried a few different pivot layouts - we still come back to liking the characteristics of this layout. It has a more "honest" and consistent pedalling feel and response than horst or vvp bikes, which we like, and even testing at Revolution Bike Park I didn't find any massive advantages in lower anti-rise either. Engineering a pivot takes time and effort wherever its put in relation to the rear axle. We don't use this layout because we can't do anything else, we use it because we like it and we believe in it. If you prefer different riding characteristics then that's cool. We are all different.
  • 3 3
 @thenotoriousmic: it's only braced at one point, basically it's a big lever fixed at the frame, free to move lateral and twist, the worst kind of layout as far as stiffness is concerned
  • 2 15
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 5, 2022 at 1:50) (Below Threshold)
 @notthatfast: I have extensively please do the same and tell me why I’m mistaken. It’s a twin link, virtual pivot point not virtual pivot points. Essentially what it is, is a link driven single pivot only the pivot point is invisible and might migrate as you go through your travel.

www.santacruzbicycles.com/files/vpp_axlepath_img2.jpg
  • 1 2
 @adespotoskyli: there is bracing to take care of that. meanwhile other layouts have more than one bearing between the frame and the swingarm and there's far more play there than swingarm twist. bearings aren't perfectly stiff otherwise they wouldn't rotate freely.
  • 1 2
 @adespotoskyli: bracing and swingarm width. look at single pivot gambler swingarm, it's broad so it's stiff.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic:
More material does not mean its stiffer. It depends more where this material is.
  • 11 0
 @thenotoriousmic: omg you need to stop. While yes at any given moment there is only one pivot point, as you just pointed out it moves or "migrates". You asked "What's the difference?" Does the pivot point of a single pivot frame ever move? No. FFS next you're going to tell us how Infinity link and DW are also "just single pivots".
  • 7 0
 @thenotoriousmic:
The fact that the instant center moves as it cycles is the exact thing that separates VPP from a single pivot. If you don’t understand that then I don’t know what else to say but trust me when I say that you ARE wrong.
  • 1 12
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 5, 2022 at 10:00) (Below Threshold)
 @skierdud89: Two counter rotating links create a single pivot point, there’s no pivot or hinge at ether the rear axel or on the seat stay, the rear axel archs or rotates around that single pivot point, the top link controls the axel path, the rear link also controls the axel path and drives the shock. Just like a link driven single pivot. I’ll just give up when someone can prove that what I’ve said to be incorrect. And that’s not going to come from you if you don’t even know that a yeti is also a link driven single pivot just with a little damper that allows the pivot location to move as you go through your travel. And try reading again nobody said just a single pivot, I said basically a single pivot. I’ve clearly demonstrated I know the difference between the two systems.

@notthatfast: yes I’m well aware that the pivot point can migrate as the suspension moves through its travel if that’s how the twin links are configured again you haven’t answered my question.
  • 3 0
 @baca262: no matter the bracing, the weakest point will always be the pivot point connecting the swing arm to the frame. That's basic engineering. Overbuild to acchieve the same results, yes it can be done but two links will be much stronger and lighter. 4 bearings definently better than 2. Bearings have tolerances, not play. If you want to know how much play a bearing has and if it’s noticeable educate your self on bearing tolerance classes and then reconsider what you just said
frames no matter the material flex way beyond the lower class bearing can allow, in fact frame or swing arm flex can be measured in mm even cm's when under load.
  • 1 3
 @adespotoskyli: you're talking out of your ass and we both know it.

now go sell your woo to someone dumber.
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic: all bike suspension designs pivot around a single point at a given moment in the travel.

The difference between single pivots (regardless of linkages to drive the shock) and all the other designs is that the pivot point does not move.

All four (or more) bar designs have a virtual pivot point that moves through the travel - it doesn’t matter if they’re long (Horst etc) or short (VPP, DW, etc) link designs.

Split pivot etc are halfway between the two, like the former under pedalling but the latter under braking.
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic: dude you have no idea what you are talking about. A single pivot is when the wheel axle rotatrs around a fixed pivot point on the frame hence single pivot point. All other system have an imaginary line extending in front of the pvarious link point where they intersect and is constantly moving while the wheel follows an arc, that imaginary intersecting point is not fixed. It's a not single point in the moving plane is multiple points throughout the moving plane. Your problem isn't just you don't know what you're talking about but rather that you think you know better than those who design suspension configurations
  • 5 0
 @notthatfast: he is isn't just wrong, he's arrogant af
  • 6 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I can calculate a radius of curvature and a normal vector (i.e. a pivot point) at every point along the path my dog takes while chasing a rabbit through a field. That doesn't mean he's "basically" attached to a single pivot mechanism.

By your definition every possible combination of bars, pivots, sliders, belts, springs, and rollers is "basically a single pivot". The statement is so broad as to be meaningless.
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic:
All you've demonstrated is that you don't know what you're talking about.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: Bro is confusing Instant Center to mean the same thing as single pivot.
  • 4 0
 @notthatfast: @thenotoriousmic is probably thinking of a bike with rear suspension and two wheel steering. That has more than one independent pivot. So it's not single pivot. Smile
  • 2 0
 @baca262: ohh I see, you already have a degree in bearing play studies along with pivot placement MSc Good for you...
  • 4 0
 I think notoriousmic might be onto something. Maybe everyone else is wrong and he's got it all figured out.
  • 1 1
 @adespotoskyli: no, in fact, i've been shadowbanned yesterday so i couldn't countertroll you.

meanwhile arrogant? that's ad hominem and what people who don't have a legit argument resort to. also, people talking out of their ass don't get to be arrogant.
  • 2 0
 @baca262: you are still trying to redefine engineering fundamentals, go on, I'm all ears
  • 1 1
 @adespotoskyli: i don't feel like trying to dispute thy omniscient intellect, oh our lord and saviour.
  • 2 0
 @baca262: for a moment I thought you were going to present how bearings actually work and have play and how a braced swing arm with one fixing point is better than a braced swing arm with twice the fixing point. I guess I was wrong....
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: In case you hadn't noticed it just yet, he's a class 1 troll and best ignored.
  • 1 1
 @adespotoskyli: you're mixing your idea with tangible reality. what you think is out there isn't necessarily what IS out there. the map is not the territory. the menu is not the meal.

and one big bearing will sure af have less play and flex than 2 bearings.
  • 2 0
 @baca262: you are regurgitate the same thing,is what I want you to do is demonstrate how a single pivot like starling and orange is stiffer from a privateer/spesh style system whith twice the links holding the swing arm fixed to the frame, start with side loads then twisting forces.
  • 1 2
 @adespotoskyli: twice the links means twice the bearings. and a link between the swingarm and the frame.

with a single pivot there's only one pivot and no links between the frame and the bearing. one piece stuff is stiffer than 2 piece stuff because there are less non rigid parts in it.

what's stiffer, a telescoping pole or a one piece pole?
  • 3 0
 @baca262:
What od stiffer? A front triangle built of down tube and top tube, or just single tube joining head tube with seat tube?
  • 2 0
 @baca262: what telescopic poles have to do with swing arms and how the mechanics of two completely different structures relate? When you need a long pole to stay in place you use guy ropes, that's the equivalent of linkages bracing the rear triangle to the frame, not just a pivot point. But that's not what I asked. I need your "idea" of single pivot poin being stronger/stiffer than multi point swing arms lay out in engineering terms, not an abstract idea in your head, can you do that?
  • 1 2
 @lightone: that's a wrong analogy. single pivot swingarm doesn't necessarily have to have one stay. look at old scott gambler swingarm, or evil's dh bike.

and single broad stay can be plenty stiff.
  • 1 0
 @adespotoskyli: you are being deliberately obtuse to trigger me to get pissed so you could point finger at me saying "look, he bad!".

that's called crazymaking and is what narcissists, sociopaths and gasligters do. get offline and see a shrink, troll.
  • 3 0
 @baca262: another question to enlighten us, did you remove all the hinges from your house doors appart from one because less pivot points and less bearings are stiffer thus holding the door more securely? Did you leave the bottom, middle one or top one and why? What are the benefits of having only one hinge aka pivot point and which position of a single hinge is better?
  • 1 0
 @baca262: dude, you have to realise that no matter how much braced is the swing arm, one pivot point won't hold the frame and swing arm tegether better than two points. Get your head out of your ass and ask an engineer. Or your physics teacher, or technical drawing teacher.
  • 1 3
 @adespotoskyli: I know exactly what I’m talking about and it’s hilarious from your response how little you know. I’ve already said the pivot location can migrate if that’s how you choose to configure your two links, remove that little feature and you’re left with a linkage driven single pivot just like a switch infinity. Stop getting your information from the comments on a GMBN post.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: no it's not, if you remove that little feature you didn't explain anything about, it becomes something else that also you can't explain. Basically you can't be anymore, dead wrong in one response.
SC is a single pivot because ypu said so?! Ffs remind them how wrong they are with your thesis on suspension engineering
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic:
Just stop dude.
  • 1 4
 @adespotoskyli: Haha, I’m sure you believe that but as you’ve demonstrated you have absolutely no clue what your talking about, I honestly don’t even think you’ve read my messages properly because your clearly don’t under what I’m trying to tell you, maybe wait until gmbn does an episode on suspension design and we can continue this conversation once you’ve understood the basics.

@notthatfast: again absolutely nothing to contribute, don’t post until you have something to say.
  • 1 2
 @threehats: that’s not true, for example a four bar has a pivot at the axel or seat stay with the brake mount attached to the seat stay to help prevent braking from effecting your rear suspension and the axel doesn’t rotate around a single a single point, the axel can move vertically, rearward, even forwards if you wanted to, it’s totally different to a single pivot or a virtual single pivot. A four bar is like the suspension on your car turned sideways.

Here’s a better diagram to help you under how a vvp system works and rotwild has a very good description on their webpage. Well worth a read.

i.ytimg.com/vi/wK9xY7Rfy5k/maxresdefault.jpg
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I like the fact that you think I get any information from gmbn but post up informercials to explain how suspension works from people that "review" stuff on youtube, ok, get a book and educate your self.
There's no such a think as a virtual single pivot, if there are more links than one holding the swing arm it's multilink. No virtual, no imaginary.
And I'm still waiting for that thesis
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Switch Infinity isn’t a linkage driven single pivot, it’s a four bar design with one short link and a sliding pivot which can be represented mathematically as one infinitely long link.
  • 6 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I don’t know what you mean by a virtual single pivot - is it a linkage driven single pivot?

Every dual short link design is a four bar design. It’s interesting to note that you haven’t separated long link four bar designs into co- and counter-rotating types, as hanging upper link counter-rotating designs are more similar to linkage driven single pivots than they are to co-rotating four bar designs, whilst dual short link designs like DW and KS link sit more in the middle.

If you want to understand this then you need either draw it out and read and understand the theory behind linkage modelling or spend hours playing with the software until it makes sense.

Most bike journalists don’t get it. Most marketing departments don’t get it. Most MTBers without relevant education don’t get it. But some will argue about it because they know too little to understand how little they know.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: "Virtual single pivot" holy shit dude you may have just given Orange the marketing lingo they needed to be relevant again! lol
  • 2 0
 @threehats: Just for linguistic sake, I would say that a virtual single pivot is a four (or more) bar design with an instant center that remains practically in the same place throughout the travel?
Not sure what @thenotoriousmic means by the term, he or she certainly does not appear to know what they are on about. Makes for good entertainment tho.
  • 29 2
 Black steel bikes are cool Cool
  • 3 8
flag slipperyseal (Jul 4, 2022 at 10:44) (Below Threshold)
 If it was all steel I would be interested.
  • 2 5
 @baconforce: steel is real
  • 45 1
 @baconforce:  Why is the swingarm aluminium? That's mostly pragmatic. We have prototyped steel swingarms, and whilst it's possible to get reasonable performance, they are very fabrication intensive - lots of little parts welded together - which makes them expensive and difficult to make, and also lots of fabrication around bearings and pivots means much more potential for misalignment. With the big forged keystone head parts we get lots of stiffness and good alignment, and we can more easily keep weight off the dropout end because the Syntace interface and that short run to the seatstay pivot don't lend themselves to being made easily, cheaply or lightly in steel. For our suspension layout, aluminium is the best option here. Using steel would just be dogmatic for this part. We use steel elsewhere (most specifically the front triangle) because we believe the flex characteristics and strength are a genuine performance advantage. In the case of the swingarm, aluminium does the best job.
  • 8 0
 @cotic-bikes: @cotic-bikes: Can confirm that steel rear ends are the work of Satan. I'll still keep building my bikes with steel rears though. I like the flex and strength and toughness that steel can give in that area. Great bikes Cy.
  • 4 0
 @devlincc: Thanks, and right back at you. Your frames are beautiful.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: thanks mate. Labour of love.
  • 2 0
 @devlincc: @cotic-bikes If you're building single pivot bike I think steel still makes a lot of sense. Building a 4-bar rear end I can definitely see why Aluminium would be preferred. Great looking frames!
  • 3 0
 @morphcycles: I think the pro's and con's are subtle. It's obvious both materials work. Neither need specialist fabrication other than the aluminium possibly needing heat treating (grade dependant). Personally with my bikes part of what I do is build all steel bikes. I braze and not weld so aluminium is not something I can take on with the resources I have. I could possibly save a few grams in weight if I went with aluminium but I prefer the toughness that steel brings to that area of the bike and the flex characteristics give the bike a lot of feel. It's definitely not a soft bike and tracks awesome and you can feel the limit of grip approaching when cornering.

I don't think we can keep lumping certain bikes or styles in with certain materials only. All the materials are awesome to use and some have better applications in particular areas of the bike. We have to be mindful we aren't trying to produce space shuttles or F1 cars. We just want to produce great riding bikes. That can be achieved in a few different ways and can be different for everybody. None of the choices devalue what is a choice for anyone else really It's just different.
  • 19 0
 I'm a sucker for steel frames. That is one sexy bike!
  • 6 0
 Thanks
  • 13 0
 I have a gen 3 and love it. Fidlock bottle fits under the top tube even with a piggy back shock on my size M... All the hardware for cotic full suspension bikes is the same and it's all super standard stuff, you can do a full rebuild really cheaply and easily. A quick note on customer service, note that I live 30 minutes away from them which does help... I had issues with breaking shocks, one cane creek broke 3 times and a rockshocks monarch broke too, Cotic took the frame and fully rebuilt it checking alignment on their jig, free of charge even though the bike was out of warranty. They also lent me demo shock for a few months to test it out and eventually sold it to me at a really reasonable price, I can't praise them high enough for their support and service!
  • 13 2
 Hold on... isn't there another bottle cage mount under the top tube or am I tripping? Flip the shock and put your bottle there? This looks like a bike that will outlast the rider, I like it!
  • 2 0
 You'd have to rotate the shock and mount the piggy back towards the rear and pointing down, but that should work...
  • 3 0
 @kanioni You might be able to sneak a smaller bottle in there on the larger frame sizes, but a 650mL won't go on the C2.
  • 1 0
 @mattbeer: alright gotta compromise somewhere I guess
  • 2 0
 600ml camelback podium fits in a side load cage under the top tube on my gen 2 large. I'm also 178cm and keep thinking I might prefer the new gen4 c2 for fit and the linkage changes but the bottle position on the smaller size makes it a tricky choose.
  • 2 0
 @woots: That's good to know. Thanks! I wish we had time to try all the possible combinations of bottles. I snapped the popular Zee cage near the mount when I tried to stuff a 650 in there.
  • 2 0
 @Loche: dunno, would that drive the reservoir into the down tube? anyone do a coil with no resevoir?
  • 2 0
 @WillW123: cane creek do...
  • 5 2
 What is the problem with having a small bag for a tool, pump and a water bottle? I dont get it why its such a big deal. Its called luxury problems
  • 4 0
 @Zany2410: Not a huge deal, but it just feels so great to not wear anything at all. I'll wear a small hip pack for racing when I need a second bottle and have to carry more stuff with me or when I'm with the kids for similar reasons. But riding without one is just so nice. So, when there are so many bikes that offer proper on-bike bottle storage vs forcing me to wear a bag for every ride... it makes not buying this one easy.
  • 2 1
 @islandforlife: Cotic do a custom bag for tool etc storage between the shock and BB. And the larger sizes fit a bottle under the top tube.
  • 3 0
 @Jake-G1: unfortunately not in the 230 shock size. Lovely shock though.
  • 4 0
 @islandforlife: 'nothing at all' - Ned Flanders
  • 1 2
 @islandforlife: True, but i wont ride without my leatt airfit chest/back protector. at least a bit protection... i dont even notice that i have my uswe backpack on
  • 13 2
 It's a steel Meta with external routing. I dig it. The world needs more bikes like this
  • 5 1
 Thanks. We would agree!
  • 10 0
 Shame brexit. Frame might be possible to order but full bike prices goes through roof.
  • 15 0
 Totally agree on brexit, as bikes do attract a big import duty. We could send most of a bike minus something big like the fork as parts to only attract the 4.9% import duty (as opposed to 14% for the bike), or, as you say, we can do a frame.
  • 22 0
 Fuck Brexit.
  • 16 0
 @redrook: Indeed.
  • 8 1
 I like Cotic as a company, I think they understand the UK riding landscape very well and they make bikes which are built for purpose. Steep natural trails, rocky Lakeland fells, big days in the Highlands...have done it all on my Cotic with great pleasure and will continue to do so until it retires.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Iain. I'm glad you're enjoying your bike so much.
  • 6 0
 Really annoys me how reviews like this don't specify the frame weight!
It's clearly going to be a talking point on a steel framed bike, so why not be specific about it and save us all the guess-work in the comments?
It's not even hard to find out on a bike like this that's available as a frame-only option - I'm sure Cotic can tell you exactly what it weighs if you ask them!
  • 14 2
 Frame weight is 4.2kg without shock.
  • 3 0
 See! Thank you @cotic-bikes
  • 7 1
 The prices seem....reasonable? Maybe strong dollar is paying off. Anyway, shout out to Hunt TrailWide wheels, love mine. Took it to several park days, no issues. Amazing value.
  • 4 0
 Big kudos to Cy for answering questions here in the comments and for all the insight on his designs. I've had my eyes on a Soul for like a million years, but I never got to own one. Brexit has made this even harder now, which such a pity as every single bike that grabs my attention happens to be from a UK brand. Cotic, Orange, Whyte, Pace, Starling, Privateer, Pipedream... all great in their own right.
  • 2 0
 Thanks.
  • 9 6
 This bike looks great, but the lack of space available within the front triangle for a normal bottle mount is a no go for me. It might be do-able with a non-reservoir shock or maybe a flipped over reservoir shock, but otherwise no thanks. Down tube bottle mounts suck.
  • 6 0
 It is tricky with this design, with this much travel to fit bottles inside the front end on the smaller sizes. That's why we added the down tube mounts so there was at least another option. It is possible to mount a 500ml bottle inside the C2 under the top tube inside the triangle.
  • 3 0
 @cotic-bikes: any reason you couldn't add a mount above the top tube, right at the back? it might not work for some smaller sizes but standover just isn't an issue for a lot of taller riders (including Matt if you look at how much lower is showing on his dropper post)
  • 4 0
 @hughlunnon: On the C3 size upwards you can get big bottles on the under-top-tube mounts. I can get a 900ml bottle in my C5. I hadn't really considered on top of the tube, but it would be easy enough to test.
  • 2 0
 @cotic-bikes: I love the esthetic and geometry* of the bike. It does look like there would be enough room to get creative with the shock orientation or run a different shock (Cane Creeks are notoriously bulky) to allow room for at least a 22oz bottle* beneath the top tube. The CC might just make it without the reservoir hitting the downtube, but there are other coil shocks that would likely fit.

*I'd love see how the longer numbers (reach, chainstay length, wheelbase) on this would fair against my current ride which shares the same HA/SA and fr/rr travel

**That is what I run 98% of the time and that's plenty for a sub 2 hour ride even in the sweltering southern US heat. Saw a guy on a Cotic at my local trail recently. They are rarity here as I'd never seen one irl.
  • 5 0
 @hellbelly: Thanks for the post. The geo tables are all over on www.cotic.co.uk/product/rocketMAX#sizing

I replied to a post above, but I checked the CAD and you could flip the Kitsuma on the C2 and clear everything, making room for a reasonable sized bottle.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: what bottle cage do you use with that? I’ve found cages for there you need a side mount cage but they all seem to be pretty bad at holding the bottle in.
  • 3 0
 @B3NBiker: The Specialized Zee cage is pretty sturdy and aggressively holds bottles (especially the Specialized Purist bottles). I'd think it would work fine even upside down.
  • 1 0
 @B3NBiker: The Lezyne Flow cages work well in our experience.
  • 8 2
 "Cool bike man. What size is it?"
"Thanks Bro, its a C3. I was gunna go for the C4 but CY talked me out of it."
"oh, ok."
  • 5 0
 It's not heavy.... it weighs a good kg less than my carbon 2021 Specialized Enduro. and it's a steel bike with a coil shock. Shows how fat the Spaz is.
  • 3 0
 Own the latest gen Flaremax and love it, bottle under the top tube works way better than downtime ever did. The supplied stick on chain protector was shizzer but whacked some VHS tape on which fits perfect and it’s quite as a mouse now.
I do find my calves rub on the droplink under heavy cornering - a rubber cover for these would be incredible Wink
  • 3 0
 Had a first generation Rocket Max and really liked it. I didn't have a piggy back shock so a water bottle fitted no problem. The underside of the top tube is a really good place for it because it's so close to hand. I used fidlock and never once lost a bottle
  • 5 0
 Always like the way smaller brands like cotic and starling behave in PB comments section. Shows you that there are cool riders behind the brands.
  • 5 0
 If you sell a bike . Its good to back the product. Refreshing to see Cotic answering people's questions and concerns. Also no crazy hype just solid opinions.
  • 2 0
 I quite love the feel and the looks of steel frames. More brands need to make bikes like this,if the rear end is better in Alloy or carbon, why not mixing materials?
I see why single pivot,but whit full alloy rear end they could made more intricate suspension designs.
Best thing ridding steel is the sound little rocks made in the downtube. I have now a dirt jump bike only made from steel,but I was looking at the Cotic Flaremax.
  • 3 0
 The droplink suspension is plenty intricate in terms of design, research and execution. We have tried different suspension layouts, but we keep coming back to this for a number of reasons, including how the suspension feels. Believe me, a pivot on the chainstay doesn't magically make it 20% "better". Different pedal feel mostly. I never notucdd any major advantages to lower anti rise.
  • 2 1
 @cotic-bikes: there are many ways to skin a cat. I have no doubt in your work to design a suspension, I cannot do it that´s 100% real fact hehehe. I quite like your bikes,the Flaremax is a good candidate to me for a trail bike.
I hope more brands made bikes like you,good steel front end and alloy or carbon rear end,makes sense.
  • 2 0
 This sounds like a good purebred enduro race bike in the same bracket as a Slash, Megatower, or Enduro. Lots of travel, long wheelbase. Climbs well enough, but mostly a reliable partner for going race-pace on unfamiliar trails.

Frame weight isn't all that important on a bike likely to have Cushcores and double casing tires installed on both wheels. With a reasonable (for bike stuff) price and what sounds like excellent support/setup advice this would be a good choice for a privateer racer looking for a burly race bike.
  • 1 0
 Thanks
  • 2 0
 Too often I see reviewers complaining about components that come "stock" on bikes. Do what most of us do and swap in the stuff you like, and see if that changes the ride experience. There's some degree to which the components that are spec'ed on a bike straight from the factory is a very deliberate decision, things which are designed to work best with the way the frame is designed. But other components are purely personal preference — brakes, seats, droppers, stems, bars, pedals, etc. These are not the things that really matter in a review. Swap in the stuff that works for you. Then see how you like the frame and suspension and the way the bike rides.

Also would be cool to see reviews for 29er bikes that incorporate DIY tweaks like mulletizing and seeing how the geo / handling changes.
  • 1 0
 Especially true here… because every Cotic bike is a custom spec… you can change everything and anything when you order one.
  • 5 0
 Our customer can do exactly that, and when Matt mentioned preferring some stronger brakes, we tried to sort out some Hope V4s (which is our stronger brake option), but the lead times didn't work out. Late on when talking options we also offered to ship out an angleset so he could give it a go Mullet, but his work schedule didn't allow for it unfortunately. These guys are pretty slammed to get through the bikes they test, so we're grateful we got a slot. Benji over at Singletrack has a RocketMAX on long term test and is running that mullet, and with a bunch of different parts as we only shipped him a frame. Would be worth your while heading there and seeing what he's up to on his.
  • 4 2
 " A less progression design (24% vs. 30%) meant that bottom-outs did voccur more frequently on the Orbea, though."

That's quite a deductive leap there. There are so many other variables: Same average leverage rate? Same starting or ending leverage rates? Same sag recommendation? Same shock with the same settings? Same spring? Same fork (yes, how the fork acts can have a quite noticeable impact on how the rear acts) with the same settings? Same frame geo? Same ride position?

So many things can affect bottoming out, just citing a couple tenths difference in the respective change of leverage rates tells so little of the story it's really not worth mentioning.
  • 2 0
 Love the thin steel tubes, simplicity, looks great, and relative Pricepoint value. As a previous v2&v3 flaremax owner I wonder if the seat tube lengths and design have changed on thev4? The main con on these past rigs for me was annoyingly high lowered saddle height

The stack was slightly high feeing as well

5’10 & 33 inseam. Tried a large v2 and medium v3 with a few different seatposts Great cornering memories
Cheers Cy
  • 2 0
 Thanks. I am glad you liked the bikes. If you are more of a Flaremax / Jeht rider the latest Flaremax and Jeht share the same droplink layout which increased seatpost insertion by 20mm compared to the geb2/3 Flaremax, so with a shorter dropper like a One Up you should be able to get a 180 drop post on a medium or large size of the current frames.
  • 2 0
 I've never ridden a modern steel bike so have no opinion on the "feel" of steel, but I do like the look.

I came close to ordering a Cotic Jeht at the end of last year just because I can sometimes be a sucker for alternative offerings. However, being relatively new to mountain biking I decided to play it safe, ending up with a carbon Ripmo that I bought through a shop. Cost was roughly the same. I have to say, though, that after seven months the Ripmo has failed to endear itself to me. Buyers remorse has me wondering if I should have lived a little more dangerously and went with the Cotic!
  • 2 0
 I can understand your decision though, as we do recognise it's a bit of leap of faith to order a frame from halfway around the world without having seen it. We'll be happy to see you if you decide to swap out that frame at some point.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: Hopefully you guys go on a demo tour. I'd love to try one!
  • 10 7
 "Chainstays are lengthy on C2 frame size"
I don't know, maybe for size C1. But I think that a 448mm chainstay is great for a bike with 462mm reach
  • 1 1
 Would be very grateful if there's more input on this. Have on order a lower travel (130mm) bike with 455mm reach and 450mm chainstays. The longer chainstays was a bit of a concern.

I'm thinking it's not gonna pedal that well (surely anti-squat has to suffer on this CS length), but will be more composed on the descents. There's not many comparable bikes out there, anyone with more experience to share on this?
  • 6 1
 @chaoscacca: Chainstay length has almost nothing to do with pedalling feel or efficiency. That's all governed by pivot location, shock rate and shock tune. Up steep tech climbs the longer stays will be great. You will keep your weight more centred and still have traction.
  • 4 0
 @chaoscacca: I just put together a G4 FlareMax C2, 465 reach with 448 chainstays and it is incredibly balanced in flat corners, much more so than my AM bike with 470 reach & 432 chainstays. In tight spots all it takes is a slight weight shift to bring the backend around. So far it hasn't been a hinderance for me YMMV.
  • 1 0
 @Joecx @cotic-bikes :

Thanks for the replies, great to hear from people in the know!
  • 4 0
 I like Cotic bikes and have owned a few but I don't see it as being any more ''low maintenance" than most other bikes.
  • 5 1
 15.51kg is pretty light for a bike in this travel range? my enduro with a coil was nearly 2kg heavier lol
  • 5 0
 Light wheels and tires, no inserts. If you're pushing this as a true enduro, you'd have to add/upgrade those parts right off the bat and your weight would be back up. But you're right, once it's set-up properly, it's really no heavier than any other enduro bike.
  • 3 0
 With tough tyres and inserts it would be about 800grams heavier.
  • 3 0
 Agreed. My steel Curtis comes at almost 17kg with coil and zeb. Looked at the Cotic before I went for the curtis, it looks like it's a nice bike, I believe on the Gen 3 you weren't supposed to mount a coil, that was a dealbreaker.
  • 4 0
 @Greyfur: Yes, we changed the down tube on the Gen4 so we were happy to let coils work on this version.
  • 1 1
 @cotic-bikes: Thumbsup for that!
  • 2 0
 I'm very surprised by the claimed weight of 15.5kg. On the scale bikes are usually a few hundred grams heavier than claim but even so, that seems light for a steel framed bike.
  • 2 3
 Same weight as my Starling with DH tyres and coil.
  • 12 0
 Most of our rocketmax bikes come in at this kind of weight. It's not a massively heavy bike for what it is. Mine is 14.5kg with full Bike Industry Wanker build, but no carbon bits.
  • 1 2
 I guess the "heavy" comments in the review were relating to the frame, which is on the heavier side but still not a boat anchor.
I suspect the bike weight has been kept down with the questionable choice of G2 brakes and "trail" wheels, as well as high-end drivetrain bits.
Personally I'd absolutely want the "enduro" wheels and some meatier brakes on this bike (which I'm sure is awesome to ride based on my experiences of other Cotic FS models).
Also, I'm surprised @mattbeer holed the front Verdict, that's not really a "light" tyre at all and mine's been superb (with an insert). The "tough" WTB carcasses are hard graft on the front.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: The Enduro wheels and some Hope brakes would only add about 300 grams to the weight of the bike. Matt did ask about the G2 spec (and cards on the table, I like and run G2s on my RocketMAX), and we offered to get Hope brakes out to him, but the lead times didn't work out.
  • 1 0
 Maybe they have nailed the implementation of the syntace hanger. In my experience, this would be more of a dealbreaker than even the hydration drama. Worst hanger design I've ever come across. When Norco had it on their bikes, the hanger tab never, ever fit tight enough to prevent the hanger from slightly rotating left to right. The end result was a bike that always shifted poorly. Having said all that, single pivots are super fun to ride, and this bike looks rad.
  • 3 0
 We have been using it on our bikes for a decade and it's been great, plus we always hold stock of spare hangers. If it didn't work we wouldn't still be using it. Sorry you had trouble with your bike though.
  • 2 1
 Maybe somebody needs to make bottles to fit bikes, rather than making bikes to fit bottles. Bottles are just cheapish bits of plastic. Must be easier just to make a triangular one or something than redesign a suspension system etc
  • 2 0
 Unfortunately blow moulds for that kind of cheap plastic cost about $75,000
  • 2 1
 Check out the YT Thirstmaster 5000
  • 2 0
 I think the c3 would be great with the bottle inside the front triangle and balanced geo, weigh is normal for an enduro rig and best part is that the bike shops quickly.
  • 1 0
 Thanks
  • 3 0
 Will there be a long term review of the kitsuma? It's pretty much impossible to find an in-depth review on the damn thing.
  • 5 0
 Check out the Aston MTB channel on youtube. He's done a bunch of work on Kitsuma coils. @mattbeer I'd be more than happy to leave the shock with you if you want to swipe it off the bike before we have it collected.
  • 1 0
 @iridedj Mike Kazimer reviewed the air version of the Kitsuma a while back: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-cane-creek-kitsuma-air-shock.html
  • 3 0
 @mattbeer: To be fair, that was with the launch tune which hasn't been that setting for about 18 months. Your shock and all the air shocks now available have a lighter shock tune which makes a big difference to the performance and how good they feel on the trail. The tune they run now was only ever supplied on Cotics because we changed the launch spec shocks ourselves after testing with a lighter tune.
  • 4 0
 Who else clicked on the geo chart to see the other tabs?
  • 2 2
 "Throw out any preconceived notions of single-pivots and steel bikes. The aggressive 63.5-degree head angle and control produced by the Cane Creek Kitsuma coil shock surprised me with what I could get away with on the RocketMAX, both in corners and on descents."

What exactly are those preconceived notion that should be thrown out? They don't corner or descend? Didn't realize anyone was saying that. You also directly attributed the head angle and the shock as contributing to the cornering and descending prowess, but those have nothing to do with the single-pivot or steel nature of the bike.

I don't think anyone is saying one can't "get away with" a given ride style on single-pivots or steel, just that they have a different feeling. It's impossible to make a single-pivot feel the way some multi-link systems do, and even if the SPs can "get away with" the same stuff, it's a different feeling. And while frame flex is a kinda personal thing so some will like/want it and some won't, steel frames just can't really keep up with stiffness and maintain reasonable against other materials, where-as some of those other materials can be made almost as compliant and maintain a competitive, if not lower, weight.

So, my preconceived notions are that steel is relatively flexy, or heavy, or both (that's not necessarily bad, but it is true), and single-pivots cannot provide the same feel as multi-links (again not bad, but true), and despite what this bike can "get away with", it's not going to change those notions.
  • 3 1
 Price in euros is cheaper than pounds, and Francs are stronger than euros. Wild time to be alive
  • 3 0
 Euro price has no VAT/sales tax, remember to account for that to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: swiss VAT is around 8%, uk VAT 17.5%. 'usually' euro is 10% weaker than the pound, and the franc is 10% weaker than the euro.. so even with tax included thats a 20% discount
  • 1 0
 @qualms23: 20% vat in uk
  • 4 1
 An amazing machine. Simplicity at its best.
  • 2 0
 Thank you
  • 3 1
 Amazing looking bike. Although anyone with big feet would hate to have the rear pivot bolts sticking out like that.
  • 3 0
 Size 11 feet here, riding a FlareMax til recently. I have caught my heels exactly twice, and that was only the first week I owned it. Never happened again.
  • 7 1
 We have had a pivot design like that for nearly a decade and it's not an issue on the bike. Even Paul our Ops Manager - who has notoriously narrow pedalling stance - didn't have trouble even on the shorter rear ends of the 275 bikes when we made them. We have tried a couple of flusher fastener options, but they all involve smaller Allen key heads which didn't last so well. I'll grant you it's not the smoothest thing ever, but it's bomber reliable. PS - Now I have mentioned 275 bikes, please don't get on at us about not making them anymore. We loved them, 2 of the staff still ride them, but no one bought them. In the last year of production less than 100 people bought 275 bikes across 2 model lines. We couldn't keep doing it.
  • 3 1
 @cotic-bikes: Thank you for being so candid. I do like that people might have the option of 27.5, but of course I'd never buy one myself, haha,
  • 2 0
 @cotic-bikes: I appreciate the honest response! My bikes usually end up with scuffs from heel rub from my back foot in that area. Clearly it's not an issue on your frame. Shame the 27.5's didn't sell.
  • 2 0
 Cool looking bike; sounds like the ride wasn’t all that impressive though.
  • 3 0
 Stealthy, Steel, Simple and BEAUTIFUL!
  • 3 1
 15.5kg Isn't really that heavy, at least not for the travel it has and compared to similar bikes.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, they build up a good weight. Even carbon Enduro frames aren't that light anymore.
  • 2 0
 It is possible to a water bottle under top tube as i have done on mine, but it is a 450ml bottle.
  • 2 3
 @cotic-bikes
Why would someone want to add spacers to the shock to limit the travel? Loads of companies are selling this as a feature these days, however as has been asked by many different people in many different comment threads, why would you want to?
  • 6 1
 Because we assemble every single bike to order from the frame up - Your Bike Built For You - it's just easy to offer the options. People have preferences about amounts of travel front and rear, and plenty of riders see a 150/160 bike as a very different proposition to a 160/170 bike. The Rocketmax feels surprisingly different as a 150/160 bike. And by that I mean even as thw person who understands this bike in paper better than anyone else, it was still a surprisingly different ride. For a start, with a Float X2 and Lyriks it's about 0.5kg lighter than that zeb/coil spec, and the slightly steeper angles just gave it a livelier feel on flatter terrain. We are definitely focusing on the 160/170 enduro style builds, but we have 160 lyriks and can adapt the shocks so if someone wants a hard hitting trail bike kinda vibe then we can do it.
  • 1 1
 @cotic-bikes:

You are talking about the forks. My question was about the shock. Why would anyone ever want to limit the shock stroke? The way the bike rides will be completely unaffected, other than it will bottom out unnecessarily.
  • 3 1
 @gabriel-mission9: It doesn't bottom out any more easily as most travel reducers also reduce the air spring volume, plus you would run a little less sag with less travel. Our feedback and market research suggest most riders prefer a little less travel rear than front, so with the 160 fork option they can spec 155 or 150 travel should they so wish. Just because the shock has slightly less stroke doesn't mean it will suddenly smash into the bumpstop
  • 1 5
flag gabriel-mission9 (Jul 6, 2022 at 2:12) (Below Threshold)
 @cotic-bikes: When did I say it would bottom out more easily? I said it would bottom out unnecessarily, ie, you will hit the spacer you have put into the shock, when before you put the spacer in you wouldn't have...
It seems like you are trying very hard to avoid actually answering the question. What is the actual advantage of putting a spacer in your shock to make the rear end bottom out sooner than is necessary? How will the bike ride better, because an extra bit of plastic has been added to the rear shock, and how is this a feature?
  • 5 1
 @gabriel-mission9: I'm not avoiding the question, but I'm also not quite sure what you're driving at either. A shorter stroke shock will bottom out sooner than a longer stroke shock. Putting spacers in is just how all shock brands make their shocks different stroke lengths, so we're not doing anything weird or different by offering that. In terms of pure speed across the ground, there's no advantage at all in shortening the travel. In terms of ride feel, you have to run the shorter stroke shock a little firmer which gives a different ride feel, which some riders might prefer. It's not really a black and white, data driven option. It's just giving people an option for shorter travel if that's the feel they would like. If you want the full 160mm travel, then you go for it.
  • 1 6
flag gabriel-mission9 (Jul 6, 2022 at 2:54) (Below Threshold)
 @cotic-bikes: This seems to be a thing loads of companies are selling as a feature these days, but it is literally no different to telling customers: "Your new truck has a range of 600 miles on a tank, but if you like you could fit a spacer to the tank and it'll only have a range of 400 miles!!" And then wording it in a way that suggests this might be a good thing to do...

If you want the firmer ride feel, just run the longer stroke shock a bit firmer, there is no need to limit the travel. And doing so offers absolutely no advantages whatsoever. It just makes the bike objectively worse. The marketing spiel should actually read "the bike is quite good, and if you want you can make it less good! Thats a great feature isnt it?"
  • 5 1
 @gabriel-mission9: There is another thing to consider. As Cotic sell frame only options this gives the buyer a little more flexibility with using existing parts i.e. shock that could be either 230x65, 62.5 or 60. I think the idea of being able to adapt your bike more based on your existing parts and riding needs, rather than a set configuration is a great approach. This may not be a necessary option for those that just want to by a full bike, but for people like myself that building up from frame and like to experiment with configuration, its a great option.

I agree with @cotic-bikes, shortening your travel doesn't make the bike "less good". It makes it feel different - how good that is depends on the rider and the terrain.
  • 1 2
 @Smollis: Oh it absolutely makes it less good. And if your current shock is 205x60 (for example) you can easily make it into a 205x65, by removing the pesky spacer...

But to be clear where my stance is, (and I believe this to be an objective truth) if you take a frame design that is capable of producing X amount of travel, and you limit its ability to do that by adding travel reducers to the shock, you have made your bike less good. There is absolutely no advantage to be gained through bottoming out earlier than necessary. It is essentially the same idea as buying a car with a 90L fuel tank, but only ever filling the tank half way. You are just making your life less good, for no advantage.
  • 1 2
 It honestly blows my mind that I have to explain this to people...
  • 2 2
 @cotic-bikes: "most travel reducers also reduce the air spring volume"

"Most" travel spacer are pretty small compared to "most" volume spacer. You have an example of one that noticeable reduces volume and travel together? On some (many? most?) travel reduceable shocks the shorter lengths actually allow more volume spacers because the ending pressure just doesn't get as high, so there is just less spring rate at bottom out for a given pressure. Yes, pressure will probably go up to get the lesser sag on a shorter overall travel, but that's just a few psi to get 1 or 2 mm less sag, not gonna make a huge difference at bottom out unless volume spacers are added as well.

And how about on a coil?
  • 3 0
 @justinfoil:Seems like every post of yours makes you sound like an argumentative know it all asshat.

I think you need to get a life.
  • 4 1
 @gabriel-mission9: It blows my mind that you still don't get it.
  • 1 2
 @Joecx: That I don't get what? Why so many bike companies are telling people its a feature that you can set your bike up wrong?

Would you care to provide some actual input, or are you just one of those people that likes to say irrelevant stuff just so they can feel like they are taking part?
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: My AM bike is made to take a 57.5-65 mm stroke shock for 150-165 wheel travel and use a 160-180 mm travel fork. I prefer the way the bike handles with a 160 fork and like my suspension firm and rarely if ever use all the travel available unless I do something stupid. To get the proper front/rear balance the spring rate has to match and there is no way that will happen if I use a 65 mm stroke shock.

Yes, it is personal preference and you can {and will) argue all you want but that doesn't make it wrong.
  • 1 0
 @Joecx: You understand you can put a firmer spring on the longer stroke shock right? It won't catch fire.

Fitting the wrong shock to your bike is personal preference yes. You can put your tyres on backwards and your brake levers upside down too. It's all personal preference, but that doesn't make it right.
  • 1 0
 Companies saying "you can fit a shorter stroke shock if you want" is really no different to them saying "you can fit your brake levers upside down if you want"...
Of course you can, but it's a terrible idea.
  • 2 0
 @gabriel-mission9: I think you and justtinfoil should get a room and hash it out, I'm done with you.
  • 1 0
 @Joecx: However shall I cope?
  • 1 0
 @Joecx: And just to confirm, you are aware you can put a firmer spring on a longer stroke shock yeah?
  • 1 0
 @Joecx: "To get the proper front/rear balance the spring rate has to match and there is no way that will happen if I use a 65 mm stroke shock."

If the 65mm stroke shock is actually the same shock as the 60mm, just with a travel limiter, how exactly is the spring changing?
  • 2 1
 Those seat stay pivot bolts... like, come on, low-profile bolts for applications like that have been around forever. And they're rusty already!
  • 1 0
 If carbon was any good they would make aluminium from it and if aluminium was any good they would make steel from it.
E=Mtb²
  • 3 1
 simply the nicest looking frame out there. fight me.
  • 8 0
 I might hug you instead? Thanks.
  • 2 0
 @Cotic-bikes where’s the dh frane I want it!!
  • 1 0
 Oh man we love a bit of DH, but it's too small a market for us to put enough r and d into to do a good job.
  • 2 4
 "For rowdy steeps, I’ve been a fan of head angles below 64-degrees..."


I thought the fascination with head tube angle as a singular number of import was on the way out. Since what you're actually a fan of is a certain (long) front center, that's what's making the rowdy steeps fun. FC is connected to HA, and reach, and wheelbase; but none of those alone, including HA, can really tell you much. Could have a super slack HA but a tiny reach, FC, and WB, and it still wouldn't be what you want for rowdy steeps. Which bring us to:

"If you’re interested in running a 27.5” rear wheel ... by installing a 1-degree altering headset, the resulting geometry reduces the reach and seat tube angle slightly, while retaining the head tube angle."

Who cares if the head angles match to the nearest 10th of a degree? That option also takes 11mm out of the front center and the wheelbase, and that's going to make a bigger difference than just changing the HA by a degree.
  • 4 0
 Whilst front centre does definitely have a part to play, the steeper but longer orbea Matt tested will have had a very similar front centre, but quite different handling, because the bars were further forward relative to the front wheel. I agree its all a system, but head angle definitely has a disproportionate effect on how the bike rides compared to a lot of other variables.
  • 1 4
 @cotic-bikes: It's not disproportionate, as you just pointed out by mentioning all those other variables. You'll say that same FC with different surrounding variables handles differently, but then try to say that same HA with different surrounding variable somehow handles less differently? Hands relative to the front wheel is important, but so is CG relative to the front wheel, and that's greatly affected by FC and reach. Maintaining HA while reducing FC and reach leaves the hands where they were but moves the CG closer to the front wheel, thus changing handling significantly.

Not even to mention that hands relative to the front wheel can be affected by more than just HA: stem length and height, bar sweep and rise and roll, and fork offset. If FC is the driving factor for managing rowdy steeps, then CG to axle can remain the same for a range of head angles, and hands to axle can also be adjusted to suit the same range of head angles.

HA is no more or less important than anything else, and does not really tell much without other variables: front center or reach at the very least.
  • 3 0
 @justinfoil: I defy anyone to detect an 11mm change in front centre (less than half a size for most bikes) whilst a 1 deg change in head angle (as you get from swapping a 29 wheel to a 27.5 wheel) is pretty obvious to a vaguely sensitive rider.
  • 1 2
 @threehats: and what else changes when you swap those wheels (and I'm assuming the fork as well)? Reach will shorten, stack will rise, front center will lengthen. And that's the point. It's not just head angle, it's the whole package.

There are more than a few bikes (Guerilla Gravity, SC V10, for some examples) out there with adjustable headsets that can change both reach and front center, but nothing else, by 5 to 10mm in each direction. It's not ridiculous to think that someone sensitive to the bike (and this does not mean they have to be crazy fast or uber skilled, just observant) would notice 11mm of front center alone.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: reach adjust headsets are to help optimise the fit of a bike. I’ve never heard of anyone making that adjustment to tweak their wheelbase or front centre.

I’ve experimented with fork length, angle headsets and adjustable geometry on past bikes - I did four different combinations on my last hardtail and about a dozen on my full-sus. Fit aspects (reach and stack) are very obvious. Head angle is very obvious. The other stuff is more of a muddle, harder to separate out.
  • 2 0
 I love their bikes - dying to try one. Thanks for the review.
  • 1 0
 We can't offer a demo for you over in Canada, but we do offer a 30 day Love It Or Your Money Back policy. If you buy a frame or bike, and aren't happy with it after month, send it back to us at your cost and we'll refund you, assuming it's not completely battered, T's and C's apply etc etc.
  • 2 0
 @cotic-bikes: i'll certainly keep it in mind
  • 1 0
 Beautiful bike . Please, please keep the longish chainstays long. I like it that way
  • 1 0
 Wow, @mattbeer has one heavy inseam!
  • 2 0
 Real nice.
  • 2 0
 So sick
  • 1 4
 “Steel tubing does create unique feedback from sharp hits that translate through the frame, producing duller “pings” compared to most other carbon bikes out there that can feel jarring at times. There is some flex, but it’s not a wet noodle and doesn't snap back or bounce you off line easily like some carbon bikes. It’s not the plushest ride or a complete mistake-eraser, although there is a decent amount of forgiveness when you get into the middle part of the travel”.
  • 1 0
 Ho oh zaskia gotic goyang itik.
  • 2 5
 Steel, check Singe Pivot, check Heavy, check Long Chainstays, check UK, check The likelihood that I will by it, CHECKMATE It certainly does look nice, love that matte black. Maybe upgrade that suspension design and shorten the rear end ....
  • 2 0
 Sure is pretty
  • 2 0
 Thank you!
  • 4 5
 Looks amazing, but those long Chain stays would be a deal breaker for me. I like playful bikes....
  • 7 0
 Ok. On longer stays you don't need to load the front wheel as heavily as a short stays, you could have a more upright position and not have arm pump issues, be more prepared in case of a washout, have more control in case of the rear wheel tryes to pass you, have a more stable bike where you'll have your weight centered more easily, it'll be easier to pedal up steep sections, more predictable feel. I'm sure I forgot some good things.
  • 1 1
 @Notmeatall:
All valid points, but just not as fun (in my opinion!)
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: fair enough. Personal preference must be considered when getting a new bike.
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall:
Yea, also I don’t have any of the issues you mention with a 435-440mm chainstay...

I find the industry swings from one extreme to the other. 5 years ago everyone was making CSs as short as possible - Canfield even managed to get down to 415mm on a 29er lol.

Now we are heading back towards the 450-460mm is cool again.

But really, somewhere in the middle 435-440mm on a 29er with 480-490mm reach is where it is perfect for *me*
  • 2 0
 @rich-2000: Other geometry parts of the bike have changed in those 5 years. Reach is one of them. It got considerably longer. I can see why you would want a chainstay so short, when the front end was short as well
  • 1 0
 @Notmeatall:

Yea, I’m rockin’ a 485mm reach 430mm chainstay transition scout and its the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden. Just sayin’
  • 2 2
 Why arent all bikes steel?
  • 8 2
 Because then there would be too much awesome in the world.
  • 2 3
 2016 called and wants it's banshee back..
  • 2 2
 Killer looks!!
  • 2 5
 Steel is Real!
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