Cotic RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29 review

MAX speed and confidence

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,999.00 RRP

Our review

One of the calmest, most confident and outrageously fast frames I’ve ever ridden
Pros: Radical, confidence-boosting geometry; shock-shrugging yet muscularly accurate steel mainframe; sorted suspension
Cons: A little heavy; might be too rad and relaxed for some; Cane Creek shock needs astute tuning
Skip to view product specifications

The new RocketMAX is Cotic’s longest, slackest frame ever and the first with a UK-built front end. It’s also one of the fastest and most nonchalantly confident enduro/trail bikes I’ve ever ridden.

Advertisement

Cotic RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29 frame

Cotic offers four build options, with a choice of 29in or 650b+ wheels
Cotic offers four build options, with a choice of 29in or 650b+ wheels
Mick Kirkman

The front end of the RocketMAX uses Cotic’s proven custom Reynolds 853 air-hardening steel tube mix. That includes the distinctive flat-fronted ‘Ovalform’ top tube, ‘DZB’ down tube and custom 35mm seat tube, which helps keep the ‘droplink’ shock-actuating linkage in line no matter how sideways you get.

What’s new is that, for the first time, these tubes are meticulously welded together by Five Land Bikes in Scotland. Five Land also anti-corrosion dip and paint them in a choice of two different RAL auto paint colours, with masked and painted (rather than stick-on) graphics.

They’re then sent down to Cotic’s HQ in the Peak District, to be matched to Far East-made alloy rear ends and linkages, with small parts machined by Superstar Components in Lincolnshire. All frames are fitted with a Datatag security chip too.

Detailing is neatly functional. The seatstays get transverse junction tubes at the shock end and pivot on chunky machined 3D dropouts at the far end for stiffness.

There’s plenty of room between the chunky chainstays for 29×2.5in or 27.5×3.0in tyres, and you get ISCG mounts on the threaded bottom bracket and one of OneUp’s excellent top guides fitted as standard.

The gear cable is routed internally through the swingarm but joins the other control lines to run along the top of the down tube. It’s good to see a bottle mount, but because it’s under the top tube, it can occasionally hit your knee pads.

A medium frame and shock weigh 3.85kg / 8.5lb, which is heavy but not horrific. With frame and shock prices starting at £1,749, it’s only £250 more than a Cotic built in the Far East, and fantastic value.

Cotic RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29 kit

It’ll shrink the thrill you get from previously scary situations, but that’s hardly a criticism of a flat-out enduro bike
It’ll shrink the thrill you get from previously scary situations, but that’s hardly a criticism of a flat-out enduro bike
Mick Kirkman

Cotic offers four build options, with a choice of 29in or 650b+ wheels. There are plenty of ‘custom’ upgrade options too, including parts from Hope and Burgtec.

The key thing for this test is that the Gold spec comes with the super-adjustable and sublimely-controlled Cane Creek Helm Air fork and DBair [IL] shock as standard. My bike also had Hunt’s impressive Trail Wide wheels, with a choice of WTB tyres.

Cotic RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29 ride impressions

The potential of the RocketMAX to be an absolute flat-out monster is clear immediately. Cotic’s ‘Longshot’ geometry stretches out the large size with a radical 63.5-degree head angle, 490mm reach and 1,290mm wheelbase, giving a super-stable, confidence-swelling footprint.

While there’s definitely a sense of steel twist and spring shrugging off the biggest, bluntest impacts, the RocketMAX is still muscular enough to feel controlled even when you’re ploughing the Helm fork into huge hits. But that ductility also keeps it remarkably comfortable through extended chaos, reducing fatigue so you can stay relaxed and mobile.

While not the lightest, it’s one of the most swaggeringly confident, dynamically drama-shrugging and gobsmackingly flat-out fast bikes I’ve ever had the pleasure of dominating the trails on
While not the lightest, it’s one of the most swaggeringly confident, dynamically drama-shrugging and gobsmackingly flat-out fast bikes I’ve ever had the pleasure of dominating the trails on
Mick Kirkman

Once you find your sweet spot on the highly-adjustable fork and rear shock, they’re an amazing combination: plush yet big-hit controlled. I was just off dry-condition PRs on my test tracks on greasy days, without a hint of drama.

Even without resorting to using the climb lever on the shock, the RocketMAX pedals efficiently enough to make its mass less of an issue than you’d expect and traction from the long rear end is good too, with decent ground clearance.

Inevitably, a bike as extreme as this has some downsides. It won’t ever jib, flick or frolic as easily as a shorter, lighter bike and it’ll also shrink the thrill you get from previously scary situations. That’s hardly a criticism of a flat-out enduro bike though, and when it comes to crazy speed and confidence, the RocketMAX isn’t just the best bike Cotic has made, it’s one of the best anyone has made.

Cotic RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29 specifications

The custom Reynolds 853 steel tubing includes an ‘Ovalform’ top tube, ‘DZB’ down tube and 35mm-diameter seat tube
The custom Reynolds 853 steel tubing includes an ‘Ovalform’ top tube, ‘DZB’ down tube and 35mm-diameter seat tube
Mick Kirkman
  • Sizes (*Tested): S, M, L* XL
  • Weight: 15.34kg
  • Frame: Custom Reynolds 853 main tubes,aluminium alloy rear end, 150mm (5.9in) travel
  • Fork: Cane Creek Helm Air, 160mm (6.3in) travel, 51mm offset
  • Shock: Cane Creek DBair [IL]
  • Chainset: SRAM GX Eagle DUB, 32t
  • BB: SRAM DUB
  • Cassette: SRAM GX Eagle XG-1275, 10-50t
  • Chain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Mech: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Shifters: SRAM GX Eagle (1×12)
  • Hubs: Hunt
  • Axles: Boost 110x15mm front, Boost 148x12mm rear
  • Rims: Hunt Enduro Wide
  • Spokes: 32 Pillar, double-butted
  • Tyres: WTB Vigilante TCS Light/Fast Rolling 29×2.5in front, WTB Vigilante TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 29×2.4in rear
  • Wheel weight: 2.44kg (f), 2.84kg (r), inc. tyres
  • Headset: Hope
  • Stem: Cotic Shorter, 35mm
  • Bar: Cotic Calver, 780mm
  • Grips: Cotic lock-on
  • Saddle: Cotic
  • Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic 150mm dropper
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore XT M8000
Advertisement

Cotic RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29 geometry

  • Seat angle: 75.5 degrees
  • Head angle: 63.5 degrees
  • Chainstay: 45cm / 17.72in
  • Seat tube: 46cm / 18.11in
  • Top tube: 66cm / 25.98″
  • Bottom bracket height: 34cm / 13.39in
  • Wheelbase: 1,290mm / 50.79in

Product Specifications

Product

Name RocketMAX Gold Eagle 29
Brand Cotic

Description Price is for Frame and Shock
Stem Cotic Shorter, 35mm
Rear Wheel Weight 2840
Rims Hunt Enduro Wide
Saddle Cotic
Seat Angle 75.5
Seatpost X-Fusion Manic 150mm dropper
Shifters SRAM GX Eagle (1x12)
Weight (kg) 15.34
Rear Shock Cane Creek DBair [IL]
Spoke Type 32 Pillar, double-butted
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.39
Chainstays (in) 17.72
Seat Tube (in) 18.11
Top Tube (in) 25.98
Wheelbase (in) 50.79
Rear Tyre WTB Vigilante TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 29x2.4in
Rear Hub Hunt
Available Sizes S M L XL
Frame Material Custom Reynolds 853 main tubes,aluminium alloy rear end
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB
Brakes Shimano Deore XT M8000
Cassette SRAM GX Eagle XG-1275, 10-50t
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Cranks SRAM GX Eagle DUB, 32t
Fork Cane Creek Helm Air, 160mm (6.3in) travel, 51mm offset
Front Hub Hunt
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle
Front Tyre WTB Vigilante TCS Light/Fast Rolling 29x2.5in
Front Wheel Weight 2440
Grips/Tape Cotic lock-on
Handlebar Cotic Calver, 780mm
Head Angle 63.5
Headset Type Hope
Frame size tested L