I was at a mates house the other week and there, in the corner was Josh Brycelands HighBall XC rig. Full black carbon, 800mm DH bars, a dropper post and I had a massive bikegasm. Thats it I thought thats the dream!
So I put a post on my personal social media explaining I wanted a HT Carbon 29er and does this make me a bad person. Will I have to go to confession! A mate posted up saying he had Cotic Solaris which I can borrow for a week or so if I like. I thought well why not, its not the Carbon XC race bike I had in mind but I "Knew" I liked steel so I hopped on.
That was a month or so ago now and I'll be honest. I miss it............
Steel is from the earth, it moves and flows with the trail! Its got soul :-0
Knowing isnt doing! Riding is not an intellectual endeavour. My head knew I liked steel but my body had forgot.
When you look at the stats on the Solaris it does not show any particularly aggressive geometry, in fact it has been designed to give very neutral handling. This works for me. The bottom bracket height isn't as low as some who brand themselves as aggressive but this makes movements such as manuals etc much more efficient!
People say the big wheels are much less capable on steep and tight terrain but I didn't find this to be true. To prove it heres a video of me falling off....... There were a number of bikes I could have used for this challenge but I chose this one !
Not an advert for a bike or our riding skills but as far as Im aware that corner is still unridden! I think its fair to say the bike was not the limiting factor.
- Was I comfortable riding steep technical terrain - YES
- Did it corner well - YES (got my best results racing ThisIsSheffield Dual on this beast)
- Did it jump well - YES (jumped everything I can on the Brondog)
The material a full suspension bike is made of is important in terms of stiffness and weight etc but for a hardtail, the material has a profound effect on the ride, on the "feel".
If your thinking of picking up a new hard tail I'd encourage you to put all your preconceived ideas to one side and get on a test ride! All the desk time and study can help map out the costs but when it comes down to it......Let your body decide!
If your interested in organising a test ride with Cotic get in touch direct at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07970853531!
Im going to test ride a couple more but Cotic is at the top of list!