Cotic Launches RocketMAX 29er Enduro Bike

Oct 5, 2018 at 9:11
by cotic-bikes  


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

The RocketMAX is my bike of choice and this has been a very personal project over the last 2 and half years. It has its own unique version of Longshot geometry, and I have been through many prototypes, many anglesets, many forks, many suspension tunes, and a lot of puzzling to get it where I want it. My goal was to move it away from the FlareMAX trail bike and into a whole new area of capability in terms of speed, composure and confidence on the biggest or steepest terrain. I have ridden this bike in its various forms around my home on the edge of the Peak District, around the Tweed Valley in Scotland, laps and laps of 'The Loop Of Truth' – my little cover-all-the-bases test section on Houndkirk Moor, Pila in Italy, the old Schladming DH track, raced it with friends, and just given it the workout of its life riding to support the race team at the EWS in Finale. Despite is many guises throughout development one thread runs through all of them - especially the production version – they have incredible composure, confidence and speed in the wildest of situations. I have become a more confident rider and I have so much fun in super steep technical terrain riding this bike. I have been almost track standing on Repeat Offender at Golfie so I can check a blind section, then just dropped in and rode it. Where I have been better able to read the trails, I have ridden with speed and security I still get a buzz from. The precision of the steering, the position on the bike, the control and confidence it breeds means I am simply able to ride faster, steeper, harder trails than I could two years ago. It's a better bike and it makes me a better rider. It's that simple.

If you would like to hear more about how I developed Longshot Geometry, check out the Downtime Podcast Special I did earlier in the year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For all the information and lots of beautiful photos head over to the product page.

We are opening orders today for delivery of first frames on Friday 26th October in the UK. Bikes will be a week or so later, as will international orders. You can buy directly from Cotic to anywhere in the world. Just order online.

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

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

Hope you like it!


Cy Turner
Founder and Director
Cotic Bikes


  • 67 1
 Thanks for the kind words everyone. It's been some work pushing this one over the line bit we are really excited about it. For you guys not loving it, that's cool. Plenty of swoopy looking bikes out there for you. Be boring if we were all the same! Cheers Cy
  • 5 0
 I love the look of these! Also a huge fan of steel, so it is great to see somebody pushing the envelope with full suspension in high quality steel. Thanks!
  • 24 2
 Hell yes!
I am curious what this rad machine weighs in at maybe in a large.
Maybe chromag will follow suit and build a full suspension?
Steal is real!
  • 7 3
 Thank goodness steal aint dead!
  • 44 0
 @richierocket: STEAL ain't dead....check the Rocky Mountain article.
  • 40 6
 ‘Steel’ you all illetirate?
  • 44 4
 @zyoungson: Oh sweet irony.
  • 13 3
 @MtbSince84: No, I'm pretty sure he said it was steal, not iron.
  • 14 1
 Cheap too. What a steel.
  • 1 0
 A medium frame weights without axles/shock/headset 3,48 kg
  • 9 0
 Cotic are a grerat example of a small buiness doing things right. CY is really responsive on questions and they have an engineering and riding passion for bikes. No marketing BS - they build bikes for what they ride and are not afraid to say that might not suit everyone.

This is a great vid to watch if your thinking about butying a cotic

PS the flare max in nikel in the flesh is a thing of beauty
  • 5 0
 Glad you liked the video @Karve The Cotic team are great, super passionate about what they are doing, and just want more people out there having fun on their bikes.
  • 2 0
 Love this interview watched it countless time, could listern to CP & CY talk all day, make so much sense (to me)...

Function over fashion.
  • 2 0
 @G71cey: yeah I need to get CP on for a chat!
  • 12 1
 I love everything about this bike. Especially the pictured builds.
  • 8 0
 Great work with the development and getting things made in the UK. Pricing is pretty sharp too. (Might need to proof read press release first)
  • 6 0
 Cotic bikes are the real deal and steel IS real! Had a few of their bikes and this new Longshot geo is so spot on. So stable !
........and you won’t read a bad word about their customer service or how they treat employees (including freelance film makers!! ;-) !!) etc etc. Cy and his team have always helped me out with anything. Rider based rider owned. They just wanna see people who buy their bikes happy!
  • 7 0
 this is what a trek will look like in 2030 .
  • 4 0
 Have to just say, I think the paint jobs you guys are doing are the best in the industry currently, and since Klein are no longer making, as they were on par with y'all.
  • 2 0
 I love this bike. I love steal. I actually still ride my 20 year old steel mtb to work. One question: aren't you kicking the water botle with your knees while pedaling? I have very wide knees and on most bikes I pedal very close to the top tube. Anyone tried this with a cage installed yet?
  • 1 0
 Try some footbeds/insoles with better arch support, and if you run clipless, move your cleats towards the outside of the shoe. Should help your knees stay in line better.
  • 2 0
 490mm reach on a large, 467 on a medium. I don't know if I should be excited, or scared! Lol.
I'd had my eye on the rocket but was half waiting for the updated rocketmax. Currently on an XL Bronson with 475mm reach and 73.5 sta. I wonder how much the steeper sta would help in making the 490mm reach of the large manageable.

I realize reach has to be considered I combination with start and stack,, but I still think it's funny that 2 years ago I sized up to xl to get 475mm reach, now I almost have to size down to medium in some brands.

I'm guessing getting the front end light/manualling these bikes takes some getting used to..?
  • 2 0
 Bronson 2.0 should be 74d sta. Medium Rocketmax does appear to be the comparable size. Even with the 2cm of extra chainstay on the Cotic, it still has more front center than Bronson. The greater stack on the Cotic also makes the reach more usable, i.e. less spacers. Think of the steeper sta and longer reach as a forward rotation of rider around bb, with toptube length conserved and longer front center to compensate? As a 183cm tall rider of a Large 5010 2.0, I thought a Medium Firebird 29 was long at 1216mm, but this is unthinkable. Plus wheelbase does not equal bike length; 29ers fit bigger. A Stumpjumper Evo S3 could be demo'd for comparison, but the wheel size still isn't right.... As for wheelieing, I reckon it's harder to get up, but easier to keep up. It's surprising our esteemed Pinkbike bike reviewers don't have more to say about these sizing changes.
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: sounds about right. I have a 160mm fork and a couple of spacers under my stem, so when you account for that, my stack and reach that started at 475/615 are probably very close to the medium rocket max at 467/638

Also I am 180cm, so right in between cotics medium and large. Makes sense, I'd agree. Even with the 160 for I guess I'm less than 1240mm for wheelbase, so the medium is an inch longer! That's definitely as long as I'd want to go I think. Interesting stuff.
  • 9 0
 @KennyWatson: Some interesting comparisons there. At your height you are absoultely right, you'd get on either a medium or a large so you can go for what you'd prefer. With the shorter seat tubes I put on the latest Longshot bikes, most people have the option to go for a couple of different sizes depending on your preference.

As for the wheelbase length, I think people get a little too hung up on it. It's much, much more important to have the weight balanced between the wheels. Hence the chainstay length to balance the front centre. This bike (even in the XL size I ride) feels like you would expect a shorter wheelbase bike to feel, because when you are stood up, you are on the vertical turning axis of the bike. When a bike has a long front centre and really short rear end, the turning axis of the bike is in front of the riders centre of mass, which makes those bikes feel ponderous. The force feedback they give you is that something is moving around in front of you. That kinda 'wheelbarrow' feeling. That's what's given long bikes a bad name in my opinion. You can't just focus on one number then say it's rad. It's a whole system. The iteration I tried before the final geometry was settled was a degree steeper at the front and shorter front centre. It should have theoretically made it feel livelier in tight trails, and I'll be honest, I was a little concerned about customer reaction to the geometry I was leaning towards so I pulled it back a little. It felt awful. Like REALLY awful. The front end felt too tall and unconnected. It felt really light on the steering without enough feeback. I tried a bunch of different bars I spent a couple of weeks full puzzling - measuring, checking, rebuilding the previous prototype - trying to figure out how a bike with a 64.5deg head angle could feel so sketchy. It came down to the lower BB on that bike (which everyone thinks is good) and the shorter front centre (still roomy, but everyone thinks shorter is good for tighter trails) combined with the 160mm travel fork raising the stack and hence bar height combined to make it hard to weight the bike nicely. All bits of 'received wisdom' which combined to make a bike that looked great on paper not work at all. In the end I popped an angleset in it to go back towards where I was with the version before and it was transformed. Even on tight, bermed singletrack it felt MILES better. I could weight the front, loads of feel and feedback through the bars, tonnes of grip, I was in the middle of the bike again so it was moving around me instead of in front of me. That was the point I commited and went with what felt best to me, regardless of the numbers 'on paper'. And that's the bike we launched.

Feel free to ask more questions. It's fun to get into the details.


  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: Thanks for the detailed reply. How tall are you? What are stem length and fork rake on your XL? Flat or nonflat pedals? Handlebar dimensions? Need non-POV video of ascending tech jank--because you're not busy enough already! Maybe Pinkbike will publish the whole lot as the best bike check ever.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: Thanks for your explanations... i think you're absolutely right on chainstaylength.
My left knee is pretty toast and i can't shift my weight on the bike in a way i want to.
This means have to rely on the neutral standing position being well balanced.
On my current bike (patrol v1) i'm having trouble getting consistent grip in the front.
Sometimes it works out, sometimes not... i think it depands on where exactly i place my foot on the flat pedals.
Long chainstays might be the key for me!
Can't wait to build my rocketmax.

I couldnt quite follow on the lower BB part. Let's assume it's not too low so you are not smashing into rocks all the time. Is there another disadvantage of having a low bb besides the stack being increased?
Did you run out of spacers below your stem so you couldn't compensate the increased stack?

I'm also wondering if you have the maximum insert length for the seatpost (medium frame; with or without actuator) on hand?
I'm trying to figure out wether i can run a 185mm revive post.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: thanks Cy. I love the 'wheelbarrow effect' analogy. Part of my fear of going longer front center is that my Bronson definitely verges on having this, especially uphill. I can mostly counter it by shifting way up to the tip of my seat or hovering even further up than that, but it is a very energy intensive way to ride. The flip side is that when in the air you really have to screw up to land nose heavy. All in all great for thought, thanks again. This frame, fugitive LT, and evil offering are all on the short list for a frame purchase this spring... I have a DPX2 and a dhx2 for the Bronson which shares a shock size with the rocket/rocketmax so that definitely works in its favor.
  • 3 0
 @ceecee: I'm 189cm or 6ft 3in in old money. I run a 35mm stem on an XL, and currently run 51mm offset Cane Creek HELM29 forks, but I've tested with 42mm Lyrics and 46mm X Fusion Trace36. I run flat pedals. My bars are current 785mm across the ends of the grips, with WTB Padloc grips (I love rolling my hands over the ends of the bar so the big pad of rubber on these feels great). The bars are rolled very slightly back from vertical on the rise section static, the bars are Cotic Calver bars which are 25mm rise, 780mm wide, 5 deg up, 9 deg back sweep. If you keep an eye on the Cotic channels in the next couple of weeks there will be a video coming out which I shot a lot of riding some pretty janky tech in Finale, and I did a bike check on the beach one morning too. I think that's got you covered!

My take on fork offsets is that it's a personal preference, and the marketing budgets of other brands are making it a bigger thing that it actually is. As I said, I have tried the RocketMAX with 42mm, 46mm, and 51mm and they all handle fine. Slightly differently, but just fine.

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

Remember though, this is real Princess-and-the-pea stuff. It's my job to be sensitive to these things. I'd be very surprised if anyone getting a RocketMAX was anything other than really stoked on the handling so long as they had a fork they liked, set up nicely, plugged in the front.
  • 2 0
 @Ben-P: Low BB can be a blessing and a curse. It's more stable in corners once you're in the corner, but it's harder to pull the bike back upright again. Low BB became one of those 'Things That Are Good (tm)" because it helps calm down the bike and keep you below the front axle on steep terrain, which when you have a short, steep bike you really want that! On a long 29er where the BB is a long way below the axles, the bike has so much intrinsic stability that a low BB potentially makes it too hard to move around, certainly to move it from edge to edge. You can balance the stability by keeping the BB a reasonable height and dial a little more liveliness back into the handling, because you're not relying on the low BB to keep the rider from going over the bars. There is also the issue of pedalling up climbs. We don't have much in the way of smooth climbs around here and it drive me nuts if I am constantly catching my pedals riding up rocky climbs. The RocketMAX has a 346mm static BB, but once you're on the bike you really wouldn't want it any lower in my opinion.

Minimum measurement from BB centre to saddle rail at full pedalling height on a RocketMAX is 69cm. That will be give or take a cm or two depending on what gubbins is on the bottom of your seatpost. That number is based on an X Fusion Manic 150mm dropper. The frame insertion is about 220mm, again depending on actuation parts.
  • 1 0
 @KennyWatson: Good to know. Look forward to hearing from you when you're closer to the decision.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: keenly observed. Tt lengths are still a little scary, but looks like stas are more closely matched. Eyes on channels!
  • 5 0
 My current Rocket Max is amazing. This thing looks fucking epic!
  • 6 1
 Loving the UK made front triangle! A rad machine no doubt.
  • 2 0
 I'm very intrigued by this bike! Although I like the sleek, smooth look of my current carbon frame mtb, this steel Rocket just looks badass and I'm sure it rides fantastic Smile Cotic officially on the shopping list!
  • 1 0
 I'm kinda saving for when my bike breaks and my next bike can't be anything other than a steel 27.5 hardtail. The Cotic Soul is a thing of beauty and "not" terribly expensive (but I'm guessing import will suck)... The bit connecting the seatstays to the downtube is not the best looking, but overall the Soul looks great!

This one is also great looking!
  • 4 0
 Give me silvers! I want all of the silvers! It looks amazing!
  • 6 2
 **snicker** Taiwan-made rear ends.
  • 3 0
 @Cotic-bikes if it stops me eating shit on liver damage and second base I'm in
  • 4 0
 liver damage will seem flat on one of these !!!!
  • 1 0
 Not ridden Liver Damage yet, but it's epic on Repeat Offender, 3G, Loam Wolf, all of those.
  • 4 0
 Sweet bike. Can't tell if it looks retro or futuristic...
  • 3 0
 This bike looks awesome in every single way. I would love to shred this beast.
  • 3 0
 I've never heard of them before, but love the name RocketMAX!
  • 5 0
 Started out making steel hardtails that are some of the best in business then added full sus bikes about 6 years ago or so? Never met them personally but never hear bad things about the bikes and sound like they're a stand up bunch of people.
  • 1 0
 The “MAX” bit means 29er. They also do a “Rocket” which is longtravel 27.5. Also have the “Flare” and “ FlareMAX” which are shorter travel trail bikes. Then there’s a few steel hardtails from 26 up to 29! .......Bfe 27.5 is a beast of a hardtail!!
  • 1 0
 I have a 2012 BFe and have had nothing but good times on it. Zero issues with the frame. I played around with a Marzocchi 55 micro Ti fork at 120mm, 140mm and 160mm. Feels best at 140mm. Though it doesn't see much action, I have a 2nd Gen (2015) Solaris 29er that sees daily riding, also zero problems, it is fun to break out the BFe 26er a couple times a year. I forgot how nimble, how easy 26er's accelerate and how they manual. The best part about Cotic, send them an email, Cy Turner, the owner of the company, actually responds back to you. In a timely manner to boot. He cares about his bikes and the people that buy them. Can't say that about too many companies these days. I was thinking Evil, but another Cotic might be the ticket. If the tariffs don't push it out of reach that is..
  • 4 1
 More mainstream manufacturers need to have geo like this.
  • 13 0
 Or just buy from one of these small manufacturers that already have geo like this
  • 3 0
 A glorious metal framed beauty! Love it!
  • 1 0
 so... if the flare MAX remains at 120mm and the rocket MAX pops up to 150mm... does this create space for a bike in the middle?
  • 1 0
 Bloomin love mine-guess it's out of date old hat now there is a new one out. Mainframe made in UK now too, tidy.
  • 2 0
 Sweet, had a few of their hardtails, they ruled as i imagine this would.
  • 3 0
 Steel still is a steal.
  • 2 0
 (And girls)
  • 4 3
 Evil bikes eat your heart out
  • 1 0
 The blue looks 29 up front 27.5 in back?
  • 2 0
 Definitely both 29. Slight lens distortion, plus those tyres are the latest G2 Series WTB. The 2.5" Vigilante front is a little taller and beefier than the 2.4" Judge on the rear.
  • 1 0
 No talk of fork offset to make all the secret sauce work?
  • 1 0
 Click on the link in the press release for the downtime podcast special or watch here.
......big explanation of their views on geo etc etc
  • 1 0
 'Headset: 44mm for Taper Steerer forks' taken from the cotic rocketmax spec on the website
  • 3 1
 @freductions: shirk-007 asked for tye fork offset (often called rake), not the headtube internal diameter.
  • 7 0
 My take on fork offsets is that it's a personal preference, and the marketing of other brands are making it a bigger thing that it actually is. I have tried the RocketMAX with 42mm (short Lyric), 46mm (X Fusion) and 51mm (my current Cane Creek HELM29) and they all handle fine. Slightly differently, but just fine. With my preferred bar width of 770mm across the grips I do prefer the slightly shorter offset, although I'll be honest I couldn't tell the difference between 42mm and 46mm. I have to use 785mm bars to get a similarly calm feel on the 51mm offset as it's more lively around the straight ahead position. The slightly more linear rate of response of the shorter offset works a little better with the narrower bar width. Remember though, this is real Princess-and-the-pea stuff. It's my job to be sensitive to these things. I'd be very surprised if anyone getting a RocketMAX was anything other than really stoked on the handling so long as they had a fork they liked, set up nicely, plugged in the front.
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: Thanks for the reply.
  • 1 0
 Can you get them in the US yet?
  • 3 0
 Yeah they'll ship one over to you
  • 3 0
 Yup, just order via our website. It's frames and some parts only at the moment as the shipping on bikes gets a little too pricey for most people, although we're happy to quote. If you click on USA in the country chooser in the address section on the Order page it will automatically deduct UK sales tax and add shipping so you have an accurate price. Any questions, drop us a line any time.
  • 2 1
 Needs to be longer and lower
  • 1 0
 I can't tell if you're joking.
  • 1 0
 does any steel framebuilder do hydroformed tubes?
  • 2 0
 It is possible to hydroform steel, but it's not a process that lends itself to the really really high strength steels we use. Our tubes are cold rolled into the oval shape for the top tube and pressure formed and swaged for the seatstays. Everything else is nice straight lines to keep weight off and efficiency high.
  • 1 0
 Sweet ????????
  • 1 0
 Long and Proud!
  • 1 2
 #Cotic-bikes if it stops me eating shit on liver damage and second base I'm in
  • 1 0
 I love cromoly.
  • 2 2
 Ye boyeees
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