Now then chaps. Thanks for the comments guys, glad some of you are liking the bike.
This has been covered pretty well by a couple of the guys, but the steel front end came about because the seat tube we use is 35mm (same diameter as most aluminium seat tubes), so the fact that steel itself is stiffer than alu and the diameter wasn't helping the aluminium because they're roughly the same size (same dia, thinner wall on the steel), the steel seat tube is way stiffer than the aluminium one we used on the Hemlock. It's a little heavier, but way stiffer, so that allowed me to tie the back end really tightly to the front (both pivots on the seat tube are 15mm through axles). When you need the frame to be strong for an application like this, there's not a deal in it compared to aluminium because the 853 is so damn strong you don't need to use that much to get great durability. You need to use a LOT of aluminium to match that strength, so the weight goes up. I wrote a load about this and other things about the bike earlier in the year and it's all in the Development History on the Rocket product page on the Cotic website.
Weight-wise, it's in the game I think. Similar to an SB-66a, 5 Spot, SC Butcher/Nickel, Covert, touch more than a Five or a Remedy.
If you have any specific questions, drop me a line or post up here and I'll try and get to them ASAP.
Oh, someone mentioned demos - We're doing Peak District demos from our base in Calver on 14th April, 12th May and 9th June. We'll also be at Rd3 of the Gravity Enduro at Hamsterley and the Fort William Endurance DH in July.
Re the Hemlock comments - we did have some trouble with the middle iteration of that frame, but the first and final ones were fine, and as mentioned they regularly get a firm thrashing from happy owners. We've always sorted any trouble we've been made aware of immediately with replacement latest parts (all Hemlock parts from 09 onwards are interchangeable), and we've stocked up on pivot kits, mech hangers and assorted other parts to make sure all warranties and maintenance can be honoured for the foreseeable future. Just because we don't make the frame anymore doesn't mean we leave our customers behind.