Steel hardtail masters Cotic unveiled their new full-suspension bike to the public today at the second Bespoked Bristol handmade bike show. The 150mm-travel Cotic Rocket is unusual in that it combines a Reynolds 853 chromoly front triangle with an aluminium swingarm.
Otherwise, all the contemporary trail/all-mountain features are present and correct, including a tapered-steerer-compatible 44mm head tube, ISCG05 chain guide mounts, Syntace X-12 142x12 bolt-through rear axle and a seat tube sized to take a dropper post. Geometry is slack and low – with a 150mm fork (140mm and 160mm can also be used), the Rocket has a 66.5° head angle and 13.3in bottom bracket height.
The bike uses a new suspension design with linkage-driven shock that Cotic have dubbed 'Droplink'. It's not the company's first foray into full-suspension – that was the all-alloy Hemlock, launched in 2008. The new bike is said to have a much more progressive leverage ratio that gives a lively feel like the short-travel version of the Hemlock, but with the same amount of travel as the long-travel variant.
Cotic main man Cy Turner told BikeRadar that the Rocket came about after one of his friends said he should stick the back end of the Hemlock onto a BFe (Cotic's hardcore hardtail) front end. At first he wasn't sure, but he was looking to update the Hemlock and the more he looked into it, the more a steel front end seemed like a good idea.
It was important to Cy that any new suspension bike from Cotic had a very stiff connection between the front and rear ends. Using steel for the front triangle meant this could be achieved with smaller diameter, thinner walled tubes, minimising the weight difference compared to aluminium. "We started doing the numbers and, particularly for a hard riding bike, it starts making a lot of sense," said Cy. Claimed weight for the 17.5in size is 7.3lb (3.3kg), including Float RL shock.
Cy's second requirement was that the new bike must fit in with Cotic's brand aesthetic, and with its clean lines and wraparound down tube decal, the Rocket certainly does that. The frame is available now, with prices starting at £1,350 with a Fox Float RL shock (including Hope seat clamp, chainstay protector, bottle boss bolts, hose clips and delivery) and topping out at £1,580 with a custom-tuned BOS Vip'r. Three sizes are available: 16, 17.5 and 19in. Look out for a first ride review of the Rocket on BikeRadar soon.
Also on the Cotic stand at Bespoked Bristol, which is open all weekend, was the new Solaris29er, which aims to replicate the ride feel of the 26in-wheeled Soul in wagon-wheeler form. Made from True Temper OX Platinum steel tubing with a Reynolds 853 Ovalform top tube and 4130 chromoly wishbone stay rear end, it has a 10mm longer reach than the Soul, 15mm longer seatstays and a 1° steeper head angle.
The Solaris has two contemporary features not yet found on the Soul – a seatpost sized to take a dropper post (31.6mm internal diameter) and a 44mm head tube. It's designed to be used with either a 80-120mm travel suspension fork or a rigid fork, and comes in three sizes, for £499. Claimed weight of the largest 19in frame is 4.9lb (2.2kg).
Cotic had a very special version of the Solaris on show in Bristol, made from Reynolds 931 stainless steel tubing, with a polished, chrome-like finish. Apparently it's just a prototype at this stage, as the material is expensive and offers minimal weight saving over 853, but if enough people show an interest, who knows...