Cotic Soul frame£470.00

Singletrack serpent

BikeRadar score4/5

The Soul was one of the first long-fork configured steel frames and it’s just been updated to meet CEN safety standards.

The Reynolds 853 steel main tubes now have a subtly ovalised top tube and there’s a replaceable gear hanger too. Skinny, broad stance rear stays give loads of tyre room and the frame will take a 140mm (5.5in) fork fine.

The result is a responsive feel with plenty of resilience and spring, so you skip rather than clatter across rocks. Its ‘long front, short rear’ geometry makes it a tenacious climber. There’s a singlespeed version too.

It’s not the stiffest line holder, there are no ISCG mounts and we’d be concerned about repeated crashing. But the price is worth paying for its whiplash responsiveness and sheer singletrack entertainment.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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