From: BEN CHAPMAN
Date: 11 March 2010 19:39
As a mailing list subscriber, you're first to know about our brand new product, the Cotic RoadRat Factory Alfine. Here's the full lowdown on this great new option for our super versatile road bike.
RoadRat and Alfine Made EasyToday we launch the Factory Alfine option on the flat bar RoadRat, for just £849.
Using the latest Shimano wheels with dedicated flangeless straight spoking, the bike looks great, and keeps it's sweet singlespeed lines even though you've got an 8spd hub gear to make things easy on the hills!
We're also offering our Magura Julie Disc Brake upgrade on the bike for a total of £989. All the prices are under the magic Bike2Work limit, so what are you waiting for? Order yours now from Cotic or one of our 15 dealers to make sure you're first in line. We'll be shipping the first orders in early April when our delivery of wheels arrives from Shimano. For more details, drop us an email or give us a call.
I'm pretty excited about this. I built the first bike yesterday for the photos and it looks even better in the metal. I hope you like it.
I've been answering a lot of questions about set up for the Soul and BFe on the forums recently, and it occurred to me that as well as prospective new customers benefiting from this, it'd be pretty useful info for anyone with a Cotic bike.
There's been a lot of 'what fork?' and 'won't Xmm forks be too long/short?' and a lot of opinion offered on these subjects on the forums, and in the magazines and websites, over the last few months. There's an element of personal preference going on, but also, riders tend to be very wary of moving their saddle and handlebar positions because of the comfort factor of a familiar set up, yet this can have the most profound effect on what your bike rides like. I include myself here too. It's only with playing around with a lot of different set ups (fork lengths, stems, bar heights, etc) over the last year or so that I've really, deeply begun to understand how this all works. Hopefully I can pass some of that learning on to you.
The biggest problem people seem to encounter when running longer forks is wheel lift on climbs. The weight balance of the Soul means that with 100-120mm forks you can take pretty big liberties with your saddle position and your weight will still be nicely centred between the wheels. With longer forks this is still entirely possible, but you can't expect not to move some bits around to make it work. Perfect example is my own Soul set up. I like 100mm forks on a Soul, but when I moved to the Peaks I wanted a slightly higher front end for the steeper, rockier trails, so I put a 17deg rise stem on the bike. I had a 20mm layback seatpost for some stretch, but the short forks meant it still climbed well. When I needed to test the new Soul prototypes early last year , I stuck some Thors on, and I had all those wandery wheel problems. I'll have to credit Ian from AQR Holidays for pushing me in the right direction here, as he just put the stem as low as it'd go as soon as he saw my bike on a photoshoot last March. Literally 5mm drop in bar height made a noticeable difference. So I measured up my bike, and then put my old 7deg rise stem back on to bring the bars back down to around where they are with 100mm forks. Rolled my bars forward to where they are comfortable (the slacker front end had effectively rolled them back a touch), and the biggest difference - popped my saddle forward 10mm. I'd not touched my saddle position for probably 5 years. It's just not something you adjust once you think it's comfortable. It's worth playing with though. Cyclists have an aversion to it because of talk of proper fit, and that goes with it. That's true for a road bike where you're sat down for hours on end, but offroad it's really dynamic, you're always moving around and up and down out of the saddle, it makes much less difference to your comfort. However, it has a huge influence on the dynamics of the bike because it's managing the biggest mass (aka you) to best effect for handling.These were all relatively subtle changes, but they transformed the bike. Sure, it felt a little odd for the first couple of miles, but you soon get used to it, and because all these things are small changes they don't take you out of a comfortable fit window on your frame. The converse is true, going the other way, and my 'long travel' set up feels worryingly 'over the front' if I just chuck 100mm forks on the bike again.
Play around with your setup; see what you can learn....I still occasionally fall foul of this stuff. Just two weeks ago I tried out an experimental set up on the Hemlock with the stem right down on the headset, and this time the bars were too low (due to the integrated headset) and that just felt odd too. 10mm spacer in there and it was sweet. It's only really tall guys like me who can fall foul of bars being too low though, so for most of you I'd highly recommend you experiment for a couple of rides with dropping your stem right down to the headset if it isn't already. If the bike feels a little vague on climbs, slide that saddle forward 5mm or 10mm. Give it a couple of rides again. If it's no good, change it back, but you'll notice the big difference so you'll have learnt something. Let's face it, it's my job to know about this and I'm still learning, still making the odd mistake, so I really think you could get more out of your bike by playing around with this a little. I'm always happy to help if you want advice. Just drop me a line.
Thanks for riding a Cotic. Hopefully if any of this has helped you'll be having more fun pretty soon! Cheers, Cy
From: Hirons, Roger
Subject: FW: The Bike
Finally got my frame built up this weekend now the snow is going. I noticed the request for pictures on your website, so thought you might like to see the velo nicely offset against some peaky gritstone.
Thanks for supplying a top frame, im very pleased with the finish and the lacquered over decal was an unexpected treat. Just need to get it dirty now