Our intrepid reporters Shaggy and Dr Jon were at Bristol’s Bespoked hand-made bike show last week – and this is one bike which caught everyone’s attention – meet the longer, slacker Rocket prototype/test rig:
Dubbed the ‘Longshot’ by Dave Anderson (formerly of this parish), it looks like a Cotic Rocket, but its the result of a collaboration between Cotic, Swarf Cycles and Shand Cycles. Adrian from Swarf is a master of carbon – so he made the Boosted back end, and Steven Shand made the front. The machined bits (linkages, shock mount etc) have been made by a mysterious man known by our roving reporters only as ‘lawnmower man’ who normally makes parts for – um – lawnmowers.
The basic idea is to use the Longshot as a testbed for different tech, for different processing and manufacturing techniques and for generally experimenting with.
Cy from Cotic explains: “Longshot is a concept for trying out a bunch of things. It’s basically a rolling research rig which now looks very nice because the Shand boys are awesome at painting. Up to three weeks ago it was rusty rattle can white!”
The Longshot is, as the name suggests, long. Longer than a normal Rocket, with different (no-one would be drawn on precisely *how* different) geometry, it’s got a boost back end as mentioned Cy and the others have been using it as a testbed.
“… we’ve been mucking about with anglesets, stem lengths, shock rates, suspension kinematics, chainstay lengths, all sorts. The carbon rear end is again just pure research. Adrian from Swarf made it for me as it meant we could work together on the problems of doing our back end in carbon, get a rough idea of complexity and lay up ideas. None of it is destined for production. It’s just important to have an understanding of these things when so many other brands are doing carbon bikes.”
Cy hopes that this sort of collaboration will continue. “We’re continuing to work with Shand to get prototype front ends made in short order, which is going great”.
But don’t hold your breath for a carbon Rocket or Soul just yet: “There are no plans to do anything with carbon … It worked well with Adrian because it helped him with learning some new techniques and testing on my build, and it was quicker and cheaper … than it was to tool up a jig and get one made overseas.” So while Cotic may not have any plans for using the carbon, perhaps Swarf has something in the pipeline? Colour us intrigued… especially as Swarf’s last carbon enhanced machine was flat-out gorgeous:
But back to the Rocket, and Cy again: “The main thing we have actually come back to is that the angles of the current Rocket were everyone’s preferred setting, but the longer front end was interesting for some riders. We have an XL Rocket coming in the next batch in June, so we’re already going to be offering something along these lines anyway. It’s been fun to be able to try things so quickly though.”