UK brand Cotic has released the fourth generation of its RocketMAX enduro bike, with plenty of new bits to shout about. Built to accommodate the new 38mm stanchion 170mm enduro forks, it’s available as a 29er or mullet build, 170mm or 160mm fork options, and tweaked geometry and suspension to offer enduro riders and racers the best possible experience.
Need to know:
Now available in 5 sizes
Lower bottom bracket
Seat angles adjusted for bike size/rider height
New droplink design
Built in the UK and ready for enduro-type action
Now available in 5 sizes
One big change for Cotic RocketMAX Gen4 is the frame size options. Previous incarnations came in the fairly standard S, M, L and XL. For the Gen4, Cotic has shifted to it’s own sizing system; C-Sizing. The RocketMAX will come in sizes C1 to C5 which cover a similar size range to the S to XL of previous models, so for example C1 would equate to a S, but with smaller incremental changes between them – just 19mm jumps in reach between each size.
The new RocketMAX comes in matte Stealth Gritstone or Light Metal gloss
This, Cotic says, means that it can design in shorter seat tubes and greater standover for the mid-range sizes compared to the previous M and L, and the largest size C5 finishes up with a 520mm reach which is greater than the former XL sizes, due to the steeper seat angle.
Cotic’s new sizing system is about more than finding a bike just based on rider height
Of course, if you haven’t already guessed this tells you that geometry has also been updated for the fourth generation of this enduro bike, and specifically Cotic has opted for size-dependent tweaks. The C3, C4 and C5 sizes have a steepened seat angle to ensure that riders of all sizes end up with one of around 76 degrees to increase pedalling efficiency on ascents.
Several brands over recent years have opted for a bespoke sizing system. Specialized has it’s S-Sizing, and Trek added a Medium-Large size between it’s Medium and Large. Cotic’s approach means that riders who sit within that mid-part of the sizing chart, which tends to be the largest proportion of riders, can get a more finely tuned fit and performance. It also moves beyond choosing a size purely based on rider height, and adding rider and terrain preference to the mix.
Apart from the seat angle changes above, overall the geometry has been tweaked to work with the latest 38mm stanchion forks with up to 170mm of travel.
Geometry has been tweaked for Gen4
Some things haven’t changed; the Gen4 RocketMAX retains its 63.5 degree head angle from the previous iteration when paired with a 170mm fork. This isn’t, Cotic are keen to point out, for lack of experimentation, with an adjustable prototype that allowed the bike to be trialled a 530mm reach and 63 degree head angle. It turned out that a 520mm reach with 63.5 degree head angle was the ‘sweet spot’ for the new C5 size.
The bottom bracket has been lowered, now sitting at 23mm on the 170mm 29er built, 28mm on the 160mm 29er build, and at 37mm on the mullet option. And while it’s lower, Cotic is keen to assure riders that there’s still enough clearance to avoid pedal strikes on techy terrain.
The RocketMAX keeps the Cotic Longshot geometry, and all sizes feature 35mm stems to increase responsiveness without compromising speed and stability.
Keeping it real with steel
High-quality steel is a hallmark of Cotic bikes, and is at the heart of the Gen4 RocketMAX
Cotic is know for it’s steel bikes, and that’s definitely still the case with the new RocketMAX, though the brand says the Reynolds 853 steel downtube has increased in strength and stiffness. In the words of Cotic founder Cy Turner; “We use steel because we believe the flex characteristics we can dial in along the length of the bike enhance grip and improve performance.”
“It’s fantastically durable, repairable and recyclable, and also happens to be the lowest environmental impact material you can build a bike frame out of. Except maybe bamboo, but let’s not get into that.”
New droplink design
A new droplink design makes its appearance on the RocketMAX Gen4, and is exclusive to it. It’s designed to reduce twist and flex through the linkage by keying the links to the axles, and also has reduced leverage ratios. This also means it’s available with both air and coil shocks, meaning you can get that 160mm of rear travel supplied in whatever form you fancy.
The low strut on the RocketMAX Gen4 frame adds strength for greater efficiency
And for those who prefer the mullet option to the 29er version, which carries over from the Gen3 model, this is still available and is achieved using an angleset to correct the geometry for that smaller rear wheel.
Bike builds and options
As ever with Cotic, each bike is assembled to order at Cotic HQ in the Peak District, UK, and is built to individual customer requirements, right up to fitting parts the customer sends in.
Cotic call this ‘Your Bike Built For You‘ and allows customers full control of spec (global stock levels considering).
That said, there are additional build options available, including:
RockShox Zeb Ultimate forks
Fox 38 Factory 170mm forks
Cane Creek Kitsuma coil shock
RockShox Yari forks (available from June)
Super Deluxe Ultimate shocks (available from June)
And if you did want something more off the peg, you can pick from the following (or mix and match).
Cotic offer demos on the new RocketMAX Gen4 (and its other bikes) from Cotic HQ in the Peak District, UK, which has some incredible trails and therefore great demo loops right out the door. You’ll need to book in advance with appointments available on Wednesdays, Fridays and select Saturdays.