British bike company Cotic were showing off updated versions of their popular Soul trail bike and its harder, bigger brother the BFe (beefy) at the Cycle Show in London as well as a new model in the shape of their X cyclo-cross bike. Don't get too excited about the 'crosser though – it's not available to buy... yet.
Cotic, like all UK companies building their own bikes from steel, have been greatly affected by the recent CEN regulations requiring more rigorous testing, and have had to alter their frame designs slightly to cater for this.
Cotic's X cyclo-cross frame was built for Kate Potter, the company's World Cup cross-country racer. Kate needed a 'cross bike for winter racing, so Cy Turner went to work and built this steel dirt riding machine.
Tipping the scales at a claimed 3.7lb, the frame uses a reshaped version of the Soul's back end and it's got a full UCI racing spec – cantilever brake bosses and road dropout spacing. It has two bottle boss positions on the downtube, ready to be used with side-loading cages for those longer 'cross jaunts.
Cotic say that if this frame went into production, disc mounts and removable canti bosses would probably be introduced. They're keen to point out that it won't have rack mounts though, as that's what the Cotic Roadrat is for.
After six-and-a-half years with no changes, the Soul has been slightly updated to conform with the CEN regs. The all-important geometry remains the same on the 853 steel frame, but it's now ready (and certified) to take a fork up to 140mm travel.
A new Ovalform top tube is now used, which apparently increases stiffness, and new machined dropouts out back include a replaceable mech hanger and are half the weight of the previous steel dropouts. Claimed overall weight increase on the new Soul is just 40 grams. It'll be available in six weeks for £470.
Cotic's BFe is the hard-hitter in the Cotic range, aimed towards the 4X, downhill and dirt jump scene but also great for building into a hardcore hardtail trail bike.
Built from a combination of Reynolds 853 on the downtube and Reynolds 631 on the top tube, seat tube and head tube, it's ready for forks with between 100mm and 160mm travel.
The 19in size has been re-introduced for taller riders wanting to use it as a cross-country bike, and a new XS model is available for those who want a smaller frame ready to be ridden on the 4X track or dirt jumps.
Cotic 4X rider Robbie Rickman, at 6ft 3in, rides a standard small model, so the new XS BFe is likely to be a hit. Available in January 2010, the BFe will cost £370.