Cotic 29er

Posted: May 17, 2011 in 2011, New Products

No pictures yet but it seems Cy is well on his way to getting these into production. The following is an excerpt from his latest newsletter…

I had one of the few XL Souls that were ever made and it was a fine bike, just not right for me. I couldn’t get it set up right – a little like the trouble I have (had) been having with the Swift. Maybe I should have persevered but at the time I knew exactly what I wanted from a bike and this was not it. The back end was too flexy and I was really after a fast, nimble, XC machine. I will be watching developments with interest because I really like what it going on with these small companies and old hat it may be but I really love a good, steel bike.

29er Project  

I know lots of you are interested in the Solaris frame, so here’s the update. It tooks some doing to get comfortable on the bike as I like low-ish bars, but the Sunline 762’s I got from One Industries Europe have been spot on, especially since I chopped them down to my usual 710mm width. Even though the Solaris has short top tubes as 29ers go, the 29er layout does make it hard to get bars low if you like that, so we’ll be recommending flat bars mostly and sizing you guys up carefully to make sure it’s spot on for you. It’s also hardened my resolve not to do a small size. If I’m 6ft 3in and I found the bike felt too high with anything other than flat bars on it, then there’s no way small size people are going to get anything out of a 29er in my opinion, or certainly nothing apart from something that rolls quick but you can’t throw around, and where’s the fun in that? A bike you can’t chuck around certainly is not a very Cotic bike, that’s for sure.  We’ll be doing medium for people down to around 5ft 9in, and there will be an XL size inserted above our usual large for guys up to around 6ft 7in ish.

I’ve been really pleased with how the bike handles and I’ve been doing a lot of direct back-to-back loops with the Soul to get a really firm idea where we’re at with this bike. Climbing is pretty similar between the two, with the Soul making easier weight shifts and trialsy moves vs the Solaris running over larger bumps easier.  Contouring and on swooping singletrack the Solaris just flies. It carries speed so nicely. Really impressive. On numpy downhills, (Devil’s Elbow/Piper Lane in Blacka Moor for the Sheffield locals), the most marked difference was observed.  It’s a fast downhill with fist to babyhead sized rocks, and a lot of possibilities for straight lining bumpy sections as the DH boys have carved in their own lines. The Soul is just a massive amount of fun down here, boosting off rocks, over sections, whipping between lines. The Solaris, on this particular size of bumps is COMPLETELY BALLISTIC. Proper FS bike speed. Not as easy to pop or move line, but I didn’t need to, it was so insanely fast. I was laughing like an idiot at the bottom of the hill! Just to see how far I could push it I took it up to somewhere seriously bumpy where 150mm travel bikes usually fly. Definitely found the limit of the 29er bump smoothing! Rode fast, but was really quite scared and took a while for the vision blur to stop at the bottom 😉 Really interesting defining the differences between the bikes though. I can’t see us every replacing 26″ wheel hardtails with 29″ wheel, but they both have their pros and cons, and for smooth speed the 29er is incredibly fast.

There are some things not quite right though, the main one being seat angle as I went a little slacker on the Solaris because I reasoned that the longer back end would mean the weight distribution didn’t end up getting mucked up, and the taller gentlemen has longer legs which suit slacker seat angles. It unfortunately hasn’t worked and the front end is a little too wandery on climbs for my liking. I also planned on making the front end longer to compensate for the shorter front centre brought on by steepening the head angle relative to the Soul. This would allow a 10mm shorter stem as well to keep steering sharp. I managed to mis-calcuate this due to the increased height of the head tube compared to the Soul and the bike has ended up effectively a couple of mm shorter than a Soul size-for-size. As the bar height has been an issue I’m also going to look into 44mm zero stack head tubes as well to bring the bars down further. So, another prototype required, as I need to bring the seat angle back to Soul equivalence, and I need to do my sums right on the top tube length!!  It’s got be right……


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