First Look Review : Pete’s Cotic RocketMAX Gold GX.

The longest travel bike in the Cotic stable, Pete has been finding out how the UK-made RocketMAX handles his usual riding spots.

Big on travel and angles, small on rear wheels, the Cotic RocketMAX has plenty going for it. Pete has gives his opening thoughts on the big silver piece.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate 170mm fork
  • Rockshox Super Deluxe Ultimate shock
  • SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drive
  • Magura MT5 brakes
  • Hope Fortus30 wheels
  • BikeYoke Devine dropper
  • £5669.00 RRP

The RocketMAX is Cotic’s enduro machine, and comes in either 29″ or Mullet flavour, all wrapped up in a UK-made, Reynolds 853 downtube package. Angles are aggressive, reach numbers are modern and the 160mm rear wheel travel is managed by a linkage-driven single pivot, or Droplink in Cotic parlance.

The Gen4 RocketMAX was launched last summer seeing the Droplink stiffened and a brace was added between the down and seat tubes. Sizing dropped from 4 options to 5 with the introduction of C-sizing, but reach grew 19mm across the sizes. BB drop would also increase on this latest iteration of the RocketMAX.

The RocketMAX sports a frame welded and finished here in the UK by Five Land Bikes, with a steel front triangle who’s downtube is Reynolds 853. The rear triangle is aluminium. Everything is finished and painted in the UK prior to assembly. The Gold GX build has had some rolling changes that mark this bike out, namely the move from the Lyrik Ultimate to a Zeb Ultimate.

Dampers are both Rockshox Ultimate units as above. Lyrik on the front, Super Deluxe air out back. No prizes for guessing the dependable SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain. Brakes on this specific bike are Magura MT5s, but the stock Gold GX model comes with SRAM Guide RSC units. Wheels on the Mullet bikes are Hope Fortus numbers, shod with WTB rubber, namely a Verdict Slashguard on the front and a Trail Boss Tough Fast on the rear. The dropper is a BikeYoke Devine model.


The bike tested here is the C1 size in Mullet configuration.

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Reach on the C1 is 435mm with a seat tube of 390mm. Head angle is 63.5 degrees with a 74.5 degree seat tube angle. Chainstays are 448mm across the sizes, with the C1 wheelbase being 1233mm.

Opening moves

The now obligatory car park setup was made easier by having the handy Rockshox sag markers available, then it was simply a case of dialling in damping and tyre pressure, then lever throw and away we went.

Noticeable from the off was the climbing speed for such a big bike. This was partly due to the complete lack of movement in the rear suspension when climbing, even out of the saddle, and partly due to a slightly over inflated Trail Boss. I’d be at the top of the climb before I knew it.

Three things caught me out on the opening descent and two of these were things I should likely have foreseen. The Trail Boss has limited grip, especially under braking, and the Magura MT5s are far more powerful than I remember. A little less wind in the wheels and winding the levers in definitely helped cure most of this pretty quickly. You can’t have a true fast-rolling tyre that gives you tonnes of grip anyway… It’s one or the other, or a compromise of the two…

From here it was merely a case of getting the dampers tuned a click either way for the most part, then getting after it in the bone-dry conditions we’ve been enjoying of late. From this point onwards, the RocketMAX has comfortably gone faster than my brain can process, and it’s been a case of trying to catch up with the bike.

We have here what’s known as ‘The Randy Climb’. It’s the climb to a trail called Randy the Goat. You get classic gravel forestry footpath up to the old mine level. It’s stone pitching and gravel path, interspersed with water bars. Whilst relatively short, it’s punchy as all hell. I’ve cleaned it eight times out of probably on hundred odd attempts. The RocketMAX cleaned it on the first try.

Not only does the big steel piece go down a hill like a greased weasel, it offers super climbing grip without you losing a heap of your juice to a wallowy back end. So far so good then. Let’s just pray for a bit of rain to dampen down the loose stuff to help that Trail Boss hook up.

You can check out the Cotic RocketMAX over on their website here.