A few years ago, a young lady was in peril. Luckily a super-hero equipped with a bright orange hero-bike drifted and scraped his way to her aid. If you’ve not seen the Rocketman videos, you’re missing out. Take five minutes to watch the original and the follow ups… the Rise of Straitline and the Return of Straitline. All up to date? Awesome.
The Rocket first appeared five years ago, 26″ was still cool, and all was well with the world. There were a few issues and it was never as popular as it should have been. Luckily, all that changed and the Rocket was reborn with 275 wheels as well as bang up to date geometry and configurations for building some seriously fast, seriously fun bikes. In the Return, Rocketman is awakened from his sleep by a nightmare that includes cutting turns and innumerable “standards”. Building this frame up was a dream, not only are all the specs you actually need clearly listed on the Cotic website, but they are all pretty normal. A threaded BB – yes please, 142x12mm rear axle – oh yes, a headtube that doesn’t need some sort of mystery headset – yep!
Out of the box, and built up, there’s not a lot of internal cable routing going on, but well thought out cable clips mean everything can be run tidily, as well as a bit of internal routing for the mech and a stealth dropper. If you wanted, you could even run a front mech. ISCG05 mounts keep the options open for a chain device around the regular 73mm threaded BB, and you’ve got all the options open to you with the Syntace 142×12 rear axle.
I built my Rocket up as a bike I could ride all day down wild trails, race enduros, and muck about on holiday with. An 11 Speed SRAM drivetrain and brakes, Joystick finishing kit, Pikes out the front and the lovely Amercian Classic Carbonator wheels. When you order a Rocket you get a choice of shocks from the entry level X-Fusion for £1500, up to just shy of £2000 for a Fox X2 with climb switch. That’s a hell of a lot of bike for £1500, and you can get a full build for £2699. There’s a load of builds available and you can go all sorts of custom with the builder on their site. My frame came specced with the Cane Creek DB Inline Air, the first one blew the main seal within 4000m of descending, but this was swiftly warrantied and shortly after the revised shock was announced. Since then it’s delivered perfectly, but it is a pain to service! Now they have stopped exploding I’ll be looking to swap it for an X2 with a climb switch.
Geometry wise, I went for the XL frame, and I’m really glad I did. A roomy 640mm of effective top tube, combined with a wheelbase of XXXX and a 65 degree head angle (measured with a semi slick on the back) give a really stable ride. The suspension is is really supple, giving a load of grip through both fast stuttery trails and plenty of support for bigger hits off. Using the Cane Creek app made it really easy to get my set-up just right, and I’ve been impressed with just how versatile it has been. With the lever in “climb” there’s next to no bob under pedalling, and even stinking climbs like up to Mologno in Finale (900m up, in a oner, in the hot sun, bleak) were great. Flick that off and it pedals well through flatter trails as well.
Who’s the Rocket for then? Well I’ve done a whole load of things on it from holidays out to Finale Ligure for big days out pedalling hearty climbs to amazing trails to short, sharp gnar fests in the forests of North Wales where a DH bike is the more appropriate beast! It’s got me round the Dyfi Enduro (the long way one rather than the race) and dragged me up the results at some regional enduros. It’s put up with a ton of abuse, and while I wince a bit when big rocks kick up and smash into the downtube, I don’t have to stop and have a paranoid check for splinters! I’m going to make a bold claim, but one I’m happy to stand by. The Cotic Rocket is the best trail bike I’ve ever ridden. In fact, it’s so good, I just bought one! With actual money!
Cotic are really switched on with their demo events, so get in touch with them if you want to swing a leg over a Rocket, the shorter travel Flare, or some classy hardtails.
Click HERE for more info on Cotic Bikes