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Cotic Launches UK Made FlareMAX Gen5

May 19, 2023 at 2:47
by cotic-bikes  
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Press Release - Cotic Bikes

New Bike Day! Today we launch the 5th Generation FlareMAX, further refined in search of the best ride possible. It's our lightest, shortest travel, most infectiously fun droplink bike. And yes, it almost certainly is a Downcountry bike. (Pinkbike drink bingo - drink now)

What's a FlareMAX then?

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If you haven't seen our FlareMAX before, it's a 125mm travel full suspension bike, which can be built light and lively with the latest generation of 120mm forks and fast tyres, or with 130 or 140mm forks and burlier wheels for a tougher trail style setup.

Our Ops Manager Paul's bike of choice is the FlareMAX. Here's why it's his dream bike:

"It's all about the handling.

The Longshot geometry on the FlareMAX gives me confidence in the front end whether it's flicking through twisty singletrack or down chunky rock gullies. I ride in lots of different places and my FlareMAX will do everything I want it to.

There's less pitch fore and aft on a shorter travel bike like the FlareMAX, so when I move my weight around it has an immediate effect on what the bike does. I love cleaning techy climbs, and this direct connection to the trail really helps in those situations.

My FlareMAX skips down the trail rather than smothering and feeling disconnected, a feeling reminiscent of riding a hardtail but with more grip and no aches afterwards!

It's interactive and fun at lower speeds, and demands more rider involvement as speeds increase which I find very rewarding."


So what's new?

Gen5 will be made and painted exclusively in the UK by our friends at Five Land Bikes. The gorgeous new paint finishes are Limestone and Teal. This is particularly pleasing for our Hannah, as internally this colour is "Hannah Teal" and it means we can finally get her on a new bike!

Rider fit has been improved with the introduction of our C-Sizing 5 step sizing regime first introduced on the RocketMAX Gen4. It aims to get more people their perfect fit by reducing the reach steps between sizes to under 20mm, and shortening the seat tubes for the C2, C3 and C4 sizes when compared to the old Medium and Large frames. It also introduces steeper seat angles (drink!) on the C3, C4 and C5 sizes compared to the C1 and C2 to improve the rider fit on a size-specific basis.

In practice this means you will be less likely to drop 'between' sizes, and with shorter seat tubes you will be able to maximise your dropper post drop. Add to this a mullet (drink!) option which drops 9-10mm reach off each size, and you can really get into the weeds on your bike fit with our droplink bikes.

Handling and frame design is a subtle evolution of the super popular geometry first introduced on the Gen2 Longshot frames in 2018. For 2023 the Gen5 FlareMAX gets a 4mm lower BB (drink!) for even more planted feel through the corners, and the latest evolution of our Reynolds 853 tubeset has a new down tube and a BB brace to make a durable frame even better.

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When I was writing the 'new' bit, in some ways it felt a bit odd not to have some 'holy cow' new geo idea, but Longshot geometry was such a big step back in 2018 that it's refinement rather than revolution now. I hosted a Cotic CC owners ride a couple of weeks ago, and one of the riders was running a 2018 FlareMAX. I was struck by just how good it still looked. There can't be many 5-year-old mountain bikes that still strike such a sweet note in 2023, but the FlareMAX is certainly one of them.

Pricing

The FlareMAX Gen5 is available right now, with prices starting at £2,099 / EUR2,000 / USD2,299 for the frame and Rockshox Deluxe Select Plus shock.

We have all our new Downcountry and Trail builds on the shelf ready to go starting from £3,599 / EUR3,359 / USD3,875.

It has our current Free AXS Upgrade offer for anyone shopping for an Eagle GX or Deore XT based Gold build bike. As always it's Your Bike Built For You, so if your dream FlareMAX doesn't quite conform to our stock builds, we can change the spec to pretty much anything you want to make it spot on for you.

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We have a C2 and C3 demo bikes, with C1 joining soon. If you're in the UK, come and visit the new HQ in Chesterfield, check out the showroom and the excellent coffee. We can ride from the door.

All the other information, reviews, geometry and details are over on http://www.cotic.co.uk/product/flareMAX

Any questions, drop a comment below.

Cy Turner
Founder and Director
Cotic Bikes
www.cotic.co.uk

Author Info:
cotic-bikes avatar

Member since Dec 12, 2017
32 articles

115 Comments
  • 41 2
 Im starting to really consider these smaller british manufacturers. same price as a taiwan bike but wayyy cooler
  • 13 1
 Price seems very good given it's made in UK
  • 6 0
 Steel is the way to go. I have a Pipedream TFM, the bike frame hit a rock in a crash, zero damage. You pay a little weight penalty in return for never worrying if your frame is going to snap.
  • 5 2
 Isn't only the front triangle made in the UK? Nothing negative about their Taiwanese builder (who also makes their BFe hardtail iirc) as I trust they do an excellent job (as they'd probably do for Pipedream too). I never had a Cotic (I'm not one to replace my frame often) but always liked what they did.
  • 3 1
 @vinay: Pipedream is full steel front and rear, fully made in UK.
  • 3 1
 @8a71b4: Ah, I thought the full Moxie was produced in Taiwan entirely.
www.pipedreamcycles.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/The-Full-Moxie-Data-Sheet.pdf

I thought the full suspension Cotic bikes have their front triangle made in the UK and the rear in Taiwan (especially the aluminum parts) but I'm not sure whether they changed that over time. They were indeed pulling production back to the UK.
  • 8 2
 @vinay: These do use Taiwan rear triangles. UK made links, shock mounts, and of course front ends and paint.
  • 2 1
 @cotic-bikes: Thanks for the clarification. Is the CNC stuff still done by Superstarcomponents?
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: how come it is cheaper in euros?
2000 euros = £1739
  • 3 0
 @aljoburr: That's a price before tax, since it varies depending on which country in Europe you're buying from now.
  • 2 0
 @8a71b4: I like the enthusiasm… but that is just false. Your claim, not the anecdote.
  • 1 0
 Had the same thought.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: no. These are done by Rideworks
  • 6 1
 @aljoburr: No VAT on exports after brexit. They pay vat in their own country plus fees when it arrives. Thanks Brexit
  • 1 1
 @8a71b4: Pipedream is fully made in Taiwan!!!
  • 23 1
 Looks good, well done Cy and team! You absolutely nailed the geometry for a trail bike. I especially like the tall front end paired to the long-ish reach. Very small steps in sizing are also a big plus. There's way too many bikes where I'd end up right between a size L and XL - not on this one.
  • 10 0
 Thanks! Glad you like the updates.
  • 6 0
 I find the "actual seat angle" terminology on the geo chart confusing. They list an "actual seat angle" at different saddles heights. I think they mean "effective" seat angle. "Actual" is normally in reference to the angle of the seat tube itself, which doesn't change with saddle height.
Effective seat tube angle is angle from center of the top of the seat post to relative to center of the bottom bracket.
  • 3 1
 You're reading information written by an English engineer, so no surprise the terminology might not align with what we're used to.
  • 20 0
 I guess I mean it's "what you're ACTUALLY getting" at those heights.
  • 3 0
 It’s like when they give geometry at sag so you’re unable to do a quick direct comparison of geometry with its competitors
  • 5 0
 @cotic-bikes: Maybe the industry should standardize calling it "saddle height-dependent seat tube angle" just to have an official bike term that uses both "saddle" and "seat" interchangeably in one phrase.
  • 3 0
 @i-like-toytles: a while ago someone (a pinkbike editor?) suggesting using real seat tube angle + amount of offset from the BB and that seems pretty straightforward
  • 2 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: That would be technically accurate, but I'm not sure how much it would help customers looking online figure out what they will feel on the bike though.
  • 1 0
 This is the effect of a bent seat tube. Makes for some widely different seat angles putting your saddle in identical "reach" and "stack" positions relative to the BB.
  • 3 1
 The most pinkbike comment ever. Just ride ya bike
  • 2 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: I actually like that they give the geometry at sag. When I want to compare bikes with different amounts of suspension travel (hence different amounts of sag), I'd still have to do the math to compare the sagged bikes, shouldn't I? Some say the angles of full suspension bikes don't change much when sagged but I'm not so sure. Especially when front and rear travel is different (like with this Flare bike here) and/or when you run different amounts of sag front and rear. Either way, you're riding a sagged bike and I hope these engineers don't design bikes around unsprung geometry. Could just as well give the sagged geometry the way it is to be ridden.
  • 3 1
 @cotic-bikes: Sure, but the rest of the industry say it's what you're EFFECTIVELY getting. Yes it's semantics in the end, but the common use is opposite to how you're using it, for what it's worth.
  • 11 1
 OK so where can I get some MTB riding overalls?
  • 1 0
 I believe these might be suitable.

riptonco.com/products/mensperformanceoveralls
  • 1 0
 Flylow has some too but the riptons are the best. Worth every penny.
  • 2 1
 It's really the overall jort crowd that's getting the bum rush.
  • 5 0
 @cotic-bikes I'm still bashing a 2017 (pre-longshot) Flare and loving it. It has had many component changes and bearing replacements over the years but it just keeps on going. Best frame I have ever purchased!
  • 5 0
 same here @cotic-bikes my gen2 2018 Flaremax is still a ripper. It´s taken a proper beating over the years, its been to Nauders twice.Its endured 5 winters and frequent rides on my hometrails. best of all, its just a bloody fun bike to ride. cheers
  • 4 0
 I just built up a Gen 4: www.vitalmtb.com/community/chunderboy69/cotic-flaremax-gen-4-hubble-purple?keyword=Cotic&frame_brands=&sort_by=changed

I can honestly say of the 3 FS bikes I've owned (aluminium, carbon, now steel), this is easily my favorite. It may just be the short travel and long reach geometry, but it's just so incredibly poppy and fun. Climbs like a mountain goat. It's the first bike I've owned that I just know will be in my fleet forever.
  • 2 0
 That is so good to hear.
  • 8 1
 “Drink!”

How? Where’s the bottle go?
  • 2 0
 Under the top tube. Not a lot of room but it can work
  • 3 1
 @mashrv1: an upside down cage on a mountain bike seems like a frustratingly futile endeavor to me.
  • 7 1
 @mtallman2: Works pretty well actually. Fidlock are good.
  • 5 1
 Girls, Feck!
  • 1 3
 @cotic-bikes: Except then you can only use Fidlock bottles and good luck finding one when travelling if you lose one. Also there are no stainless fidlock bottles.

The suspension performance would have to be life changing to accept a frame that cannot take a bottle in a 'normal' cage.
  • 4 0
 @andrewbikeguide: It can take a normal bottle cage, just in our experience fidlock are a little more secure. I used I little o ring to loop around the spout of my bottle and did a full EWS without losing my bottle.
  • 3 0
 Reading the geo chart: (XL w/140mm)
Seat tube - 1mm shorter
Seat Angle - 0.5 degree steeper
Chainstay - 0.5mm shorter
BB - 6mm lower
Reach - 6mm longer
Stack - 6mm higher
Max seatpost insertion - 17mm longer
  • 2 0
 I really am torn between this or a starling murmur. Really the only downside I can see on the flaremax is the pivot in the seat tube. How much of a dropper can someone on a med/c2 run?
  • 3 0
 Depends on saddle height, but a 180 one up is doable for a lot of riders. Check out the geo chart on the website. The maximum seatpost insertion is listed.
  • 3 0
 Had a gen 3 FlareMax and not a day goes by I don't regret selling it. Bags of fun, super simple to maintain, amazingly capable. New ones look great!
  • 4 0
 sorry Flaremax you will never replace my loved BeFeMax, which fits TWO bottles on the downtube.
  • 2 0
 I love the look of the Cotics be sad to see another manufacturer not offering 27.5 options. Would love a 27.5 steel, short chainstay, 160mm-ish travel steel ripper as a park bike. Back to trawling ebay I suppose
  • 5 0
 We love them too, but we only stopped building the Rocket 275 because sales we so low. Final year of production was less than 30.units. Couldn't afford to keep making it.
  • 2 0
 Those frames look AWESOME.
Having had a 130/120 in the past, my bet is that frame is very versatile.
The improved geometry in the mtb world should be pulling a lot of enthusiasts to shorter travel builds.
  • 2 0
 I wonder about the brace from the seat tube to the down tube. Were you seeing any warranty claims? Shy of a huge geo change, I can't imagine "feeling" that area flex.
  • 3 0
 We had a few frames go there a few years ago. We had gussets there (still do on the Jeht) but UK is now setup for this brace after we did it on the new Rocketmax.
  • 4 3
 Sorry but since Brexit, I don't buy anything in UK.
It's a shame, cos I like steel machines.
Last time I ordered an angleset at Works Co, I had to pay + 22€ custom fees for a 70€ headset. I can't afford Brexit.
  • 1 0
 For small stuff the admin fee is annoying.
For anything bigger the only significant difference is that instead of the seller charging you VAT, it gets charged by your own government via the shipping agent, when you receive it - so the cost should be basically the same, you just pay the ex VAT price up front and then the ~20% VAT when it arrives.
  • 10 0
 We are really sorry too. Brexit it so stupid. At least in this case the UK made element is so large that you wouldn't pay import duty on a frame. You would just the 22 euro handling fee and French VAT when it arrived. Drop us an email if you are interested. We miss our European neighbours. We are European, despite what any stupid referendum says.
  • 4 1
 @danstonQ - We can’t afford Brexit either. Small minded ruinous stupidity costing us a fortune on every level…
  • 3 0
 Only 4 drinks? I expected more buzzwords for more drinks...
  • 24 2
 We make steel frames. There's only so many buzzwords we can fit in before we hate ourselves too much.
  • 27 2
 Plus I wrote this at 10am UK time. Wasn't exactly beer o'clock at that point. You can always try reading it multiple times if you're on for a sesh.
  • 2 0
 the flair sure is maxed on those pics, didn't anyone see how bad the lighting is?
  • 2 0
 If only brexit hadn't made these crazy expensive to buy from the EU (for customs import).
  • 1 0
 Just buy a frame or a frame with UK made parts on it. It won't attract any imports tariffs.
  • 1 0
 Brexit won’t have changed the cost of a predominantly UK made frame - zero tariffs and you just pay VAT at your end, instead of to the UK seller.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a great ride - Id like to see the cables cleaned up though. I'm not asking for them to go through the headset - but it could look cleaner!!
  • 1 0
 I think I would prefer it if they all ran under the downtube TBH
  • 4 2
 That limestone colour looks awesome
  • 5 2
 It does, but maybe not so much with that blue fork.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: It looks great in the metal, but those blue SIDs are surpringly marmite. I love em!
  • 1 0
 How does the mullet setup work? Just slap on a 27 wheel? Is there no geo adjustment?
  • 1 0
 You switch to a 220x50 (gotta fab it, but pm me for details), which will push the swing arm away from the front triangle. I did it for a 29er setup to get a steeper seat tube angle while running a 140mm fork.
  • 2 0
 We add am angleset to sort the geo
  • 3 1
 Cy, those bikes are beautiful! Nice work!
  • 1 0
 Thanks
  • 1 0
 t.me/talktomehere2023

Wickr id: peterking2014

Oxycodone Valuim xanax psychedelics adderall buds tramadol and more
  • 3 2
 It's not really a downcountry bike though, is it?
  • 35 1
 Downcountry is a state of mind maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan
  • 3 1
 Thought so too. This is what I'd call a trail bike.
  • 1 0
 What's the @cotic-bikes opinion on size-specific chainstay lengths?
  • 2 0
 Will get into that Monday. Just away for the weekend. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @cotic-bikes: Any thoughts on this point? Genuinely interested (as an XL rider) to know if this is something that's potentially in store on future versions of Cotic bikes. Don't think I've read anything about this topic from you anywhere previously (please point me in the right direction if I'm wrong on that!).
  • 1 0
 @Paco77: We have no plans for size specific stays. We have done some work on it, but ultimately our staff who test the small/C1/C2 sizes all really like the handling balance of those bikes, and I (riding an XL/C5) haven't found any advantages to going longer, so we leave it. Being completely honest, being a small volume manufacturer (100s per year not 1000s) the extra difficulty it would add to our development and production flexibility far outweighs any tiny perceived handling benefit.
  • 2 0
 @cotic-bikes: thanks for the reply - that’s interesting. Good to know you are also an XL rider though, so us larger riders are not getting anything you wouldn’t ride yourself. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @Paco77: No problem. We do our due diligence on sizing. It's super important for a direct sales brand that we really understand how all the sizes feel, but the fact our sales guys ride the smaller sizes and I ride the largest helps bracket it nicely.
  • 3 2
 Will these all be welded by Matt Stitt?
  • 2 2
 @cotic-bikes: awesome, glad to hear it.
  • 2 1
 Jeez I wish Cotic had an Australian distributor!
  • 1 0
 We sell direct. Hit us up!
  • 1 0
 external is the future... luckily i make my own stick on hose holders.
  • 1 0
 I wish the Wolfpack tyres were more widely available. They are excellent.
  • 2 0
 Happy to sell separately. Get in touch
  • 1 0
 Please make a 27.5 full suspension bike 140/150!
  • 3 0
 We used to. No one bought it so we had to stop. We love 27.5 inch wheels, but we can't keep a product in production if it sells less than 100 per year. We lose money. In the last year of production, combined 27.5 sales across Flare and Rocket were 55 total.
  • 3 2
 No internal storage? /s
  • 15 0
 We do custom fit framebags, so there is external storage. Plus skinny steel tubes. You might get your Enduro Banana in there, but not a lot else
  • 1 1
 Not an expectation of steel frames.
  • 2 0
 @carlitouk: a pencil hatch would be nice for those who like to sketch?
  • 1 1
 Never tried a steel fs, but i loooooved and miss my Transition trans am!
  • 2 1
 Beauty!
  • 1 3
 @cotic-bikes
When are you going to start producing/ selling licensed “Cotic Mulally downhill bikes” giving Neko commission.
  • 2 0
 Would love to, but that Nekos baby.
  • 4 5
 Bike look great. If I didn't build my own frames I'd likely be on a Cotic.
  • 2 1
 Thanks. I appreciate that
  • 3 3
 Sadly no UDH hanger.
  • 9 2
 If you're here for steel, external touring, and elegant, functional design, you're probably not going to bother with the whizbang $3,000 electronic drivetrain that will be obsolete im three years.
  • 7 0
 @fentoncrackshell: You can put mechanical drive trains on UDH hangers. And get easy hanger replacements.
  • 6 0
 @fentoncrackshell: But wouldn't that customer, a customer who's probably going to keep the bike longer than a carbon customer, want a future-proof, brand-independent hanger that's already easy to find in shops?
At this point it's weird to see a new release (or justify a new frame purchase) without UDH.
  • 3 0
 I'm actually happy that Cotic hasn't ditched Syntace X-12 just to keep up with the joneses. It's uncomplicated, already exists as a standard, the dropouts are easier to fabricate for a metal frame, easy to find spare hangers and the system allows you to iron out slight variations in manufacturing tolerances.
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