Now over 12 years old, the Cotic BFe has sat amongst the UK brand’s steel hardtail range as its toughest and most versatile offering. Taking that versatility to the next level, Cotic has just released the 5th iteration of the BFe hardtail, which now features dual wheelsize capability, and reworked geometry that is a very big jump from the old model.
*SPOILER ALERT: It’s longer and slacker*
To get a closer look at the new BFe, we paid a visit to Cotic HQ in the Peak District to get an exclusive first ride aboard the new hardtail to find out exactly what’s changed, and why this could be the best hardtail Cotic has released to date…
Here’s a rerun of Wil’s live broadcast from Cotic HQ to kick things off.
“Right from its introduction in 2005, the BFe has always been the tearaway of the Cotic family. The Soul’s stockier, rowdier younger brother. You know the one – loads of fun, but a bit on the wild side? That’s the BFe. Re-invented for its 5th generation, the latest BFe takes the biggest step forward in geometry and features since it was first launched. During our focus on the droplink full suspension bikes over the last couple of years, we got to wondering…..what would a hardtail with Rocket style geometry be like? The answer is here in the new BFe: It’s longer, slacker, lower and more capable than ever. And fast. It’s so, sooooooooooo fast!” – From Cotic.
The Cotic BFe Features
- Heat-treated Cromoloy & Reynolds 853 steel tubing
- Designed around 27.5in wheels with clearance for 26+
- Max tyre clearance: 27.5×2.6in or 26×3.0in
- 44mm head tube
- Can accommodate 100-160mm fork travel
- Optimised around 140mm travel forks
- 66° head angle (with 140mm travel fork, sagged at 25%)
- 73° seat angle (with 140mm travel fork, sagged at 25%)
- 428mm chainstay length
- Syntace 142x12mm rear dropouts
- 73mm threaded bottom bracket
- ISCG 05 cahinguide tabs
- 31.6mm seat tube diameter
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
- Claimed weight: 2.54 kg / 5.6 lb (Medium frame)
- RRP: £449
If you’re not familiar with the BFe, it’s kind of like the bigger brother to the Soul – Cotic’s keystone bike. The BFe features a tougher and heavier tube set, along with the capability of taking a longer travel fork too. It’s geometry is longer and slacker, making it a little more suitable for doing stupid things on.
With its chameleon-like nature, the BFe has been a popular model for the Peak District-based brand, and particularly as a frame upgrade for riders with existing full suspension mountain bikes who are looking for something a little more durable to throw all their bits on.
Since the original 26in BFe was launched, it has since spawned a 27.5in version, which was updated early last year with thru-axle dropouts. Cotic is still making a 26in version too, and they informed us that demand is still strong. However, after having spent the last year testing new geometries and wheel standards, Cotic decided it was time to overhaul the 27.5in model.
The biggest change to the new BFe has been in the geometry. Everyone’s doing the long ‘n’ slack thing, and Cotic has joined the fray by increasing the front centre length significantly on the new BFe. As an example, the Medium BFe’s reach has been extended over 30mm, making it longer than the old Large.
To accommodate the new longer top tubes, Cotic has designed each frame size around a 35mm long stem. There will be three sizes; Small, Medium, and Large, and Cotic claims there’ll be a size to suit riders anywhere from 165cm tall to 191cm tall.
The frame features all-new tubing from front to back, including new S-bend seat and chainstays that offer more tyre clearance. The curvy back end will now accept up to a 2.6in tyre in 27.5 mode, though Cotic has also considered the emerging 26+ category, with clearance for up to 3.0in wide tyres for those rocking the two-six setup.
Despite the added tyre/mud clearance, the back end of the BFe has been kept short, with the horizontal chainstay length having been chopped down to 428mm. And all of that without need for Boost spacing. Yep, the BFe sticks with 142x12mm dropouts, primarily for compatibility with existing bikes out there. The idea being that for many customers, the BFe could be the ideal donor frame, so compatibility with existing ‘standards’ is particularly important for Cotic.
The BFe has always been a versatile frameset, and the new model retains that versatility. However, while the BFe will take a fork with travel anywhere between 100-160mm travel, Cotic has honed in the geometry around a 140mm fork. In the case of this model, it’s a Cane Creek Helm fork that kicks the head angle back to 66°. Oh, and that number is measured with a rider on the bike and with the fork sitting at 25% sag – so the static head angle is actually slacker, which is why it looks slacker in the photos.
The new BFe has just arrived at Cotic in extremely limited numbers, so if you’re interested in it, then drop the fellas a line to inquire about availability.