• This topic has 27 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by kelvin.
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  • In between sizes: Small FlareMAX or Medium Spur?
  • Premier Icon thebunk
    Full Member

    Am coming from a small Classic Soul, running shortish stem and layback post. Was looking at a small FlareMAX based on Cotic’s recommendations.

    Stock reasons means the costs are increasing on the Cotic so also looking at a Transition Spur, which I can only find in medium. The medium Spur has 11mm more reach over the small Cotic, all of the other numbers related to fit are about the same I think? 11mm seems within a stem change of being manageable, is that right? Looks like the Spur has a 50mm stem, whereas the Cotic is a 35mm one.

    Also, I’ve seen the phrase “long in the body” before – I’ve no idea if this is me, how do you find out?

    Any recommendations? Obviously can’t sit on either before buying 🙄

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    Just to muddy the waters further, if you’re already on a layback post on a small (26?) Soul, I’m surprised you’re a small on a Flaremax.

    I moved from a small Soul to a medium Flare on their recommendation, and have stayed with medium Orbeas from there. I climbed back on the Soul yesterday, and it felt pretty cramped in comparison.

    Obviously, the caveat is that the geometry has changed further since I bought the Flare.

    Sitting on them is the only solution I can see. Are Cotic not doing demos any more?

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    How tall are you?
    What inside leg trouser do you wear?

    Premier Icon thebunk
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    Interesting @martinhutch! I should have said – I’m 166cm, just under 5’6″ and a short leg (30″?)

    On the Cotic site that’s at the bottom end of their recommendation for the small FlareMAX.

    They aren’t doing demos atm I don’t think.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
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    I’m 5’6″ – 5’7″ so maybe I scraped better into medium, and obviously riding position is pretty personal. It’s quite a step change from 26 soul to modern long/slack 29er though.

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    I’d put you comfortably on the medium Spur.

    Premier Icon thebunk
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    I’d put you comfortably on the medium Spur.

    Yes, thanks everyone – sounds like that’s the general agreement. Now I have a very difficult (but nice) decision to make!

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    Now I have a very difficult (but nice) decision to make!

    My take is that they are on opposing ends of the trail bike spectrum, Spur is one of the lightest options and could race XC if needed – while the Cotic is burly and can stray into enduro territory (and I’ve got some PRs on one of them on some gnarly trails).

    Shouldn’t be too hard a decision, unless you unsure where you want to sit on that spectrum?

    Premier Icon thebunk
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    Tbh the Spur would be fine for the type of riding I do – it sounds really capable at everything apart from high speed enduro/DH. Most (ok all) of my riding is tamer than that and as I’m quite small the ability to upgrade and lose some lbs is quite appealing.

    At the builds I’m comparing (Deore Spur vs XT FlareMAX) the weights aren’t that different. 10mm extra travel on the Flaremax too.

    Slightly complicated because I love my Soul & love the steel feel – suspect the FlareMAX is an entirely different beast though.

    Premier Icon thebunk
    Full Member

    Bump for the afternoon crowd. Now Cotic have said they have availability of the spec I want!

    Spur: 120mm travel front and back SIDS, deore groupset, stans rims.

    FlareMAX: 130mm revs & a 120mm select plus, SLX groupset, Hunt trailwide wheels. About the same weight on my spreadsheet somehow, but would expect the Cotic to be a bit heavier when delivered. It’s also a bit less eyewateringly expensive (though it only equates to £25 per month for 12 months on C2W finance).

    Is @chapaking correct to say they are at opposite ends of the trail bike spectrum? Geo is about the same, cost about the same, aim to do the same things. Spur might have better resale if I decide it’s not for me?

    Am thinking a clean break from Cotic might be better as I think I will expect the moon on a stick from a FlareMAX coming from my Soul, just can’t see it living up to expectations.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    The Spur is one of the best looking bike out there, in my opinion.

    Anyway, I happen to know there’s one of the previous generation FlareMAX in small (in the dark grey) left at Cotic. I mention this because it has a slightly slacker seat angle to the new one, so more like your Soul. Throw a lightweight build like that Spur build at it (120mm SIDs etc) and it would be a right ripper. Have you seen the bike that Guy Kes build up in that fashion…? I’ll dig out video links…

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    Kes’ project from start to finish:




    I’d get those blue SIDs Ultimates rather than the Revs, even if it meant waiting a few more weeks, if you’re splashing the cash around anyway.

    Premier Icon lawman91
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    I doubt the FlareMax would weigh the same as the Spur, but as others have said, very different bikes, but similar at the same time! I’ve had nearly a year on a Spur and love it, it’s fast, agile and properly fun little bike to chuck around. It’s so brilliant I haven’t ridden my once beloved 27.5 MK5 Soul and its been split down for sale…

    I haven’t ridden the FlareMax, but as Kelvin said, I think a lighter build like the GuyKes TV one would bring it closer to the Spur, but while it no doubt rides brilliantly, I’d think a frame like that almost should be built a little heavier components wise, and that’s coming from a proper weight weenie!

    Premier Icon thebunk
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    @lawman91 what build is your Spur? What size were you on the Soul and what have you gone to on the Spur?

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    Slightly complicated because I love my Soul & love the steel feel – suspect the FlareMAX is an entirely different beast though.

    Not ridden a Soul but my Flare Max has that ‘spring’ feel – not quite as springy as my old 456Ti, but certainly feels different to alloy or carbon.

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Full Member

    @thebunk it started as a GX buil but is now an X01/GX AXS mixed with Hunt Wheels. Basically I wanted to build frame only but couldn’t so I’ve just changed bits along the way! All that’s left from original spec is the frame/fork/shock, headset, seatpost and tyres! It’s about 12.3kg with pedals, bottle cage and the aftermarket fender for the Sid, you’d have to spend serious coin to get a Flaremax that light.

    I’m 6ft and ride a large Spur, the Soul was also a large, but the Longshot frames are so long that even with a 31mm stem on the Soul and the saddle shoved all the way forward, compared to the Spur and a 50mm stem with the saddle in the middle-ish bit of the rails, the Soul feels bigger, almost too big.

    Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    Medium at 5’6″? Really? I’ve not ridden any modern Cotics but that doesn’t sound right to me – and Cotic’s geo chart says 5’5″ to 5’8″ for the small, and 5’7″ to 5’11” for the medium.

    Premier Icon thebunk
    Full Member

    @kelvin I of course have watched and read everything on the FlareMAX! The Guy Kes build is basically the most pared down you would build the FlareMax, and from there I would probably beef it up if I found I was doing more burly trails and hitting the limits of the build (or more likely my skills).

    Whereas with the Spur the approach would be more like @lawman91 – start with a base build and upgrade to lighter bling for reasons I haven’t thought through, but that sound appealing.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I think the bikes are a bit different – the Transition should be built up light and be really quick. Feels like the Cotic should be built up more trail bike and a little burlier.

    What kind of riding do you do and where?

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
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    I’d get the Spur because, we’ll just look at it, you wouldn’t ever need to ride it and you’d still be happy you bought it.

    Premier Icon thebunk
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    I’d get the Spur because, we’ll just look at it, you wouldn’t ever need to ride it and you’d still be happy you bought it.

    It does look incredible. Hardcore XC bike. Bit like the Soul no?

    What kind of riding do you do and where?

    Stuff round Bristol. Playing in the woods around Ashton Court and Leigh Woods, FoD, Mendips. Quantocks, Welsh trail centres. Occasionally bike parks, Lakes, Peaks but that’s rare. Maybe once a year scare myself at Fort William or something but mostly it’s pretty flat. Prefer techy rooty stuff to sending it (I can’t send it at all). But I’ve had a 26” Soul for over a decade as my only bike and the fork is pretty effed, so definitely feel like I could do more with something that gives me a bit more confidence.

    Premier Icon phil5556
    Full Member

    I’d get the Spur Cotic because, we’ll just look at it, you wouldn’t ever need to ride it and you’d still be happy you bought it.

    I’d much rather look at the Cotic, I think they look lovely. It’s all subjective isn’t it?

    Premier Icon luket
    Full Member

    I’m also 5’6″ and fairly short (29-30) leg and have moved from and to bikes of similar vintages.

    I demoed a small Rocket (27.5, 2019 vintage) and liked it for size. I had been intending to demo a medium on the same day but on riding the small I felt pretty clearly a medium would be too big. In the end I bought a small Bird Am160, which has fairly similar sizing to a small Rocket (but from memory a somewhat steeper seat tube angle). I also ride a “longish” (their word for small I guess, but they come up fairly long) Pipedream Moxie.

    Previously I had a medium Hemlock (since 2008) and a small soul (last gen 26, 2013). Both in regular use til 2019/20.

    Length, angles etc now are so different from frames of your Soul’s era that it’s hard to compare, both in what it does well and in sizing. You’ll ride it differently, and I think part of that changes the sizing parameters too. Plus there’s the wheel size change.

    For me looking at the geometry numbers, I’d choose a small Flaremax and if going for the Spur it’d probably also be the medium, but I’d want a go on it I think. I could probably go for the 455mm reach (I sometimes think I could’ve sized up on the Bird, but other times it feels plenty big enough) but I think I’d want to try it, or other bikes with similar measurements, before buying.

    I’d be wary of moving to a slacker seat tube for either sizing reasons or because it’s closer to what you’re used to – I really like what my steeper seat tube angles do for me.

    That’s turned into a bit of a ramble, sorry, but I thought there might be something useful in there given our similarities.

    Premier Icon Markie
    Full Member

    Here are photos of my daughter, approx 5 foot 2 at the time, on my wife’s (5’8”) Medium Spur… they both love riding it!

    View post on imgur.com

    View post on imgur.com

    And for reference, daughter on her small orange four…

    View post on imgur.com

    Premier Icon thebunk
    Full Member

    I’d much rather look at the Cotic, I think they look lovely. It’s all subjective isn’t it?

    To be fair @phil5556 they both look great. Purposeful.

    @lucket yep, handy how close the numbers are. Could shorten the stem on the spur by 10mm if it feels a bit long and of course there’s also some adjustment in the seat rails if I need it.


    @Markie
    – great pics, thank you! Excellent to know the M Spur supports a good height range.

    I think I’ve made up my mind on the Spur. Figure if I don’t get on with it, it won’t be hard to resell and I can go back to steel. If I didn’t go for it I’d always be wondering what it was like in the back of my mind.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Seems like the right choice from what you’ve said.

    You’ll probably get many years of service from it.

    Premier Icon lawman91
    Full Member

    You’ll love it! Such an epically good fun bike, never need an excuse to post mine!! The Deore build looks like a good base, swap out the wheels and drivetrain once it wears out and you can shed serious weight for not a lot of cash 🙂

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Deore stuff is good. And it’s such a sorted looking frame.

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