- Longshot SolarisMAX – when?
Give me a reason to buy this over a Chameleon. It’s a touch heavier, and I don’t see frame compliance being anything once fatter tyres are in there… but that black is puuuuurdy…
Which is a better all rounder (as in trail, XC .. have a tripster for camping) would the collective say?Posted 8 months agocokieSubscriber
I considered the P7 too, but it’s more expensive once you pick the colour want, it’s made from Reynolds 525 and the geometry is pretty conservative (also measured unsagged). Plus no frame weight. I’ll be selling my dropper to get the right size too, but it’s a good excuse to get a 150-170mm seatpost and take advantage of that low seat tube/standover height.Posted 7 months ago
For me it came down to the Solaris or the Chameleon…
The Chameleon is a little lighter, and reviewers say it is not harsh riding. It has adjustable dropouts for changing the chainstay length or running singlespeed. It uses a ‘drop in’ type headset, which I’m not a big fan of.
The Solaris comes in three colours, includes a seatpost clamp (and chainstay protector?), and has a slightly slacker head angle.
I prefer the colour options of the Solaris. I’ve always wanted a Cotic, whereas SC have been a bit more hit and miss. The company and the guys behind it sound cool. So in the end I’ve ordered a Solaris.Posted 7 months ago
Heres some thoughts on the Solaris Max and the Chameleon. I’ve had both. I know the new Long Shot version is longer geo and has a tougher down tube but I’m guessing it will feel very similar to the 2017 Solaris Max.
Having ridden both bikes I can say that they are both great and you wouldn’t be disappointed in either. The new Long Shot geo looks very similar to the Chameleons. I rode a large Solaris Max with a 60mm stem and now have a XL Chameleon with a 35mm stem. The Chameleon is still a bit longer but Cy is right about the 35mm stem improving the handling.
Both bikes feel quite similar on the trail, the solaris feels slightly softer but has more zing in its spring. If you drop the hammer on dry trails it just takes off like a rocket. The Chameleon is very forgiving and you could almost forget it is an aluminium frame. However, the lateral stiffness is better than the cotics which feels more stable overall but slightly less alive. On balance I prefered the feel of the cotic with 29er wheels and the SC with 27.5+. I rode both frames with the two different wheel sizes.
Another thing worth thinking about if you are choosing between these two bikes is the type of riding you like to do. If you keep your wheels on the ground and don’t do a lot of drop offs then the Solaris could be a good choice and It also climbs the best.
Where as, the Chameleon is easier to jump off stuff on because it has a shorter rear end. I noticed this a lot when I switched from a Sonder Transmitter with shortish stays to the Solaris with longer ones. The usual jumps and drop offs of my local trails felt different and less controlled with the longer Cotic. Moving to the Chameleon, with short stays again, made negotiating the same trail features feel more controlled.
I remember riding the flat twisty, bermy bit in the middle of Swinley on the Solaris and it felt vague. I did the same section 4 weeks latter on the Chameleon with the same exact parts except for a 35mm stem not a 60mm. I was amazed at how the Chameleon railed through the corners and how much control I had.
I don’t think I could recommend one frame over the other, they are both excellent. For my style of riding and my body shape the Chameleon is better for me but its not a better bike. Hope that makes some sort of sense.Posted 7 months agokelvinSubscriber
great insight into both bikes, nice to hear real life experience over a one sided opinion
But, of course, neither of those bikes are the NEW SolarisMAX in question… the changes aren’t just new pretty paint jobs! I’ve not ridden the new one yet… dying to have a go… change in handling on the new BFe, Rocket and FlareMAX is pretty major… looking forward to seeing what this new beasty is like.Posted 7 months ago
@nearabighill: Bit of a snafu with mine so its not shipping until today. I was gutted when I found out.
presume the others went ok though.
@theghost: The new SolarisMAX better be different! There are a couple of things that I expect to be improved: Handling and climbing. The proof of the pudding however…. next week, next week….Posted 7 months ago
@TheGhost, helpful – I thin the new Max is going beyond the Chameleon geo though, which is where my debate is – 90% I’m a chlk downs and singletrack type rider and I’m not sure which sits better – it is looking like the new Solaris may have reversed your overall conclusion though with the changes, so the Cham may be more XC than the cotic now.
Don’t think I’d be wrong with either, and had the lower weight shading it for the Chameleon – now I’m seeing several posts about cracks around the swapouts on Facebook, same issue with one for sale on EBay etc.Posted 7 months agomccraqueSubscriber
I’m a chalk downs and singletrack kind of guy too. I own a Solaris in chubby mode. It’s an amazing bike.
i also test rode a new flaremax. The new geo is amazing. To the point where I think I may just swap out the the components on my existing Solaris to the new Solaris Max. Possibly the perfect hardtail. I want a flaremax too but annoyingly bought a new fs bike last year for the first time in a decade. May have to squeeze more than 12 months out of it before upgrading.
i wouldn’t be concerned about the slightly heavier weight of the Solaris over the SC. Some of my fastest climb times are on the Solaris which is 3lbs heavier than my race HT.Posted 7 months ago
Geo is size dependant. The xl Chameleon reach is still longer than the large Solaris. These two are closer than comparing xl to xl due to the SC being crazy low. As these are the size frames that fit me I’ve only really looked at their numbers other sizes might differ. The new Solaris has a 1.5 degree slacker head angle. As I am running 140mm forks, the Chameleon feels slack enough but I’d love to see what it would be like 1.5 degrees slacker. My Sonder transmitter had a 65 degree head angle and it felt a bit floppy at low speeds. It was good downhill at speed.
SC have a lifetime warranty on the frames so if the dropouts crack hopefully they will honour it. I saw one on the web that had cracked because the bolts hadn’t been tightened correctly. Hope it’s not a thing.
I’m loving the sparkly black Solaris frame, if only they had made the stays shorter then I’d be keen. As I understand it, you have to add even considerable weight to a steel frame if you bend the seat tube to make room for shorter stays. So its a trade off, handling vs weight.
I’ll probably still buy one but it will be the next version with the super boost back end. 🙂Posted 7 months ago
I’m bang average, so would be medium on either – already have some Boost Fox 34s for the front @ 130mm so just worried the Solaris might be too slack – theres maybe 1 or 2 routes around here I’d call steep. I’m edging in Solaris direction though, as I’ve loved every Soul / Solaris I’ve seen or begged a test on. Do like that Cosmic Black too.
Mccraque, yeah fair point on weight, but its one of those things its easy to get hung up about when pondering rather than riding.Posted 7 months agomick_rSubscriber
Who told you bent seat tubes add lots of weight? Mandrel bending an externally butted tube is perfectly feasible, and most of the tube makers offer a few pre-bent butted tubes.
I’m happy with a 27.2 post, so bend plain gauge 28.6 tubes which work out pretty much the same weight as oversize butted anyway.
Actually bending some tubes tomorrow – had a slightly surreal shop today buying bentonite clay kitty litter and a £10 food blender – making home brew foundry sand to pack tube with when bending 🙂Posted 7 months ago
I think it’s the chainstay yoke required for tyre clearance that would usually add weight on a steel frame with short stays. There isn’t space for tubes, and plate is heavy.
In my head I like short stays, but my Scandal has 440mm stays and that’s lovely, so I really am very keen to get my leg over a Solaris.Posted 7 months ago
It was Cy himself who mentioned the extra weight on the PinkBike comments section after someone else asked why the long stays.
I’ve had 4 Cotics over the years and they have all been brilliant. I loved the last Solaris Max and the new one looks even better. I wouldn’t mind trading extra weight for easier cornering.Posted 7 months agoAlexSubscriber
I’ve had a Mk1 (the ex-demo one Cy convinced me to try when I was demoing a 26in Rocket), the last gen I bought for my daughter but I’ve ridden it loads more, and I’m having one of the new ones.
My last one was a ‘M’ which was a bit small for me at 5ft11 but that didn’t stop me having loads of fun, mostly in the local woods on two hour summer evening rides. I’m very excited about the longshot- a L one of those with my Fox 34s 130 and borrowing the 42mm rimmed chubby tyres is going to be fab. Then I’ll run it 29 with some chunky rubber for winter.Posted 7 months agochiefgrooveguruMember
Once again, Cotic quoting sagged geometry whilst almost everyone else quotes static geometry, is causing confusion.
The reach on the SolarisMAX is about the same, size for size, as the Chameleon. The head angle is getting on for three degrees slacker – a HUGE difference. And the chainstays are about 15mm longer.Posted 7 months agocokieSubscriber
Yes Metalheart! Looks awesome.
Love the colour even more. Glad I went for it. Cotic need to get some natural shots.
Orange bits and other upgrades have started arriving. It’s going to be a long wait.
Whats your build?
Something i’m not clear on is whether they have ISCG tabs. All three colours on the site show them, but no mention of it in the description and can’t see it in MH’s photos.Posted 7 months ago
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