The bike tested here is the C1 size in Mullet configuration.
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.
Any preconceptions I had about steel and full suspension being a weighty, offset by the natural twang of steel were hastily discarded when it came to testing this Cotic RocketMAX. Far lighter than you might think, with a composed climbing nature that sees all your power going into the dirt, combined with a fast rear tyre meant that this bike was, and is, a flyer.
It was also nice to be disabused of the notion that long travel bikes are fickle pieces that need warp speed to make them sing. Somehow, Cotic have managed to breathe into the RocketMAX an air of grounded stability at speed, capable climbing and a playful nature through the slow and tech. Getting hung up on the small back wheel I think is probably not worth it. I doubt all that amount of pop comes from the rear wheel alone.
There are, naturally, a few caveats and things I would change. That said, they are minor, and likely the things anyone might change if taking on a serious purchase of such a vessel.
The rear tyre, while fast, was consistent in its ability to inspire terror on anything but hard pack. This isn’t helped by the Magura MT5s being potent. Even on dry rock, the Trail Boss is unpredictable. I don’t think a grippier tyre would lose you the pace at which this bike crosses terrain, whilst a measure of control would most certainly be restored.
Reach-wise, the C1 was spot on for me, although I do prefer a longer reach than most might at my height (5 foot 4 inches/165cm). The BikeYoke dropper performed flawlessly but the fitted post had the best part of two inches of static post out of the frame, so there’s definitely scope to get the saddle lower on the descents than on this particular bike.
Finally, this is something anyone actually buying a bike now wouldn’t have to consider but would be worth mentioning here. The current Gold GX spec RocketMAX comes with a Rockshox Zeb Ultimate. Not only is this a bigger fork, so would add some front end stiffness, they’d be the newer version of both the Rockshox air spring and dampers. This would be a considerable improvement, having ridden both this Lyrik and the current one recently, the newer forks are far better performers.
Components-wise, the bike has been flawless throughout, allowing me to crack on and really test my ability to deal with the rear wheel’s lack of grip in a dry-dusty local. It’s hard to overstate this bike’s ability to chew up and spit out anything from flat-out good times to the death tech and everything in between. You’ll likely have a big old grin on your face whilst you do it.
What do we think?
In the RocketMAX, Cotic have managed to create a bike that may well be all things to all… humans. I couldn’t find a type of trail where this bike wasn’t fun. That it’s UK-made puts the asking price into the realms of the ‘why would you not?’ and the ride backs that up.
The RocketMAX is now on my list of ‘if I had to build my own bike, what frame would be the base’. It’s that good.
Steel is real
Seriously good fun everywhere
Could do better:
Stickier back tyre
You can check out the Cotic RocketMAX over on their website here.