Review: Ben's Cotic Rocket (vs The RocketMAX)
April 18th, 2017
April 18th, 2017
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I recently picked up my Cotic Rocket, 650b from Cotic’s understated warehouse a few miles out of Sheffield. Being a small (but expanding) UK brand they may not have the mass buying power or instant brand appeal of some of the high flying, already established, brands, but, in their own way, they have some brilliant advantages. Advantage 1: I rolled up to their door, knocked on it and was instantly offered a cup of tea. Advantage 2: Cy, originating founder of the Cotic brand (Cy Cotic, get it?), was keen to show me the new 29er version, The RocketMAX, before I 100% settled on the 650b model. He knew my riding style and approach to bikes from emails prior to my visit and thought it was something else I should put in the mix. Advantage 3: Being based on the edge of the Peak District, they are lucky enough to have a perfect test track on the doorstep, and having their operations based out of one spot they have a test fleet of each of their bikes available to hand. After a day lapping the tracks and trying my best to compare comfort, speed and agility through corners, dirt bomb holes and rocky straights, it took a lot of soul searching and geometry number crunching before i finally decided on the 650b. I still look back and wonder what could have been with the 29er, but at the same time, there are no regrets with this weapon of a bike. Advantage 4: I’d chosen the wheelsize, but that only limited me to the frame. This is one of the most influential advantages of the smaller, more personal bike brand, in that nothing is set in stone. Although they provide stock spec bikes available to buy from the website, they have accounts with all the usual suspects, which allows you to create your dream build. No more buying the bike closest to what you want, stripping parts, pawning them online to put back in the pot to fund the dream brakes or carbon wheels you wanted on your final build. Instead, you can ring up the workshop and speak to a real person about your build. The guys who pick up the phone will most likely be the guys wielding the spanner on your final build too. In a company of 6 employees there's not much variance… damn, that should have been Advantage 5: You can speak with any one of the dudes working there, if you have an on going build, chances are they're all aware of it. The blue pedals to match your top caps and headset cups, the cheeky colour coded bolts on your brake callipers. All fixable before its delivered to your door. There is also a vast selection of components available within a stones throw of the Cotic base; Burgtec, Hope, Hookit Distro, all on call to help ensure that dream build is… well… dreamy. Advantage 6: A little leftfeld, dependant on your taste in bikes, but no.6 is close to my heart. Cotic are a small, independent brand, they're not creating bikes that simply tick boxes, they don’t all “look like a trek”, not that I have anything against Trek, but the Cotic Rocket is a unique looking beast. From the seat tube forward you’re basically riding their cult status BFe hardtail frame as far as aesthetics go and from the suspension back-end you’re into the realms of a visual masterpiece. A steel constructed front triangle and seat stay, mixed up with an alloy chain stay gives just enough stiffness, in all the right places, making it ready to take on whatever you can throw at it.
Being based in the Peak District the bike has a certain terrain at heart, but it is willing to take on anything you can throw at it. I'm based in the Lake District, so my rides vary from fast woodland singletrack to high mountain rocky tech fests, and the Rocket takes everything in its stride. The -3mm BB gives it goat-like ability on the climbs, but the 66 degree slacked out head angle makes sure you’re on point and confident as soon as you point it back down again. I wont go into numbers, but the geometry, simply put, lends itself to a full asset of riding situations. Along with the aforementioned ability to build this bike to any spec you desire, if you’re in the market for a solid, reliable, consistent 150/160mm travel bike, the Rocket should really be in your considerations. On that note, Advantage 7: they have a travelling demo fleet, and you get to spend the day razzing about with Sam. So there you have 7 advantages to keeping it British, buying local, talking to real people and getting yourself a real razzable bike. The Rocket is primed for the keen trail rider through to the podium chasing elite, is comfortable and is similarly as able on a techy alpine pass as it is cruising along in lowland sloppy single track. Guaranteed to turn heads and keep you buzzing from start to finish with unsustainable levels of stoke! This is my Rocket, and those are just seven reasons, of many more, as to why I chose it.