- New Bike Day: Cotic FlareMax
Summary: Just built one. Not ridden it yet, but there are pictures below. Now for the full story.
On paper a 29er with a reach of 479mm (large) and a 65.6 degree head angle looks crazy to me. I’m not remotely rad or #enduro. I’ll avoid (or walk) the sort of techy descents that proper mountain bikers actively seek out. To be honest I mostly ride to get out in the country on my own. A bike lets me cover more ground and get further away from it all than walking. Really it’s trail running, with the added advantage of getting to play with machines. But the machines have always been part of the hobby for me. Although I’ve only been riding off-road seriously for a few years, I’ve ridden bikes all my life and have always enjoyed playing at the edges of the envelope. I commuted on a fixie for a while, and spent a few years riding recumbents, including a spell riding a Windcheetah recumbent trike. Look them up, they’re mad. I’ve ridden plus and for the past couple of years I’ve been riding a couple of 5″ fabikes, which has been great fun. So it stands to reason that I’d have a go at LLS at some point.
Also, I still believe in experts. I know it’s unfashionable these days, but while we all have a right to our opinion I think some opinions do count more than others. When it comes to bike design I’ll enjoy a good geek out online as much as anyone and love to debate the merits of this or that change in geometry, But the opinion of those who actually put their money where their mouth is and make their living from this counts more than mine. Although the geometry looks mad to me, the description of the bike from cotic is:
“FlareMAX is a proper sweet-spot chassis; the perfect trail bike. It’s the only bike you’ll need for ripping through the woods and conquering mountains. Light and responsive, yet fiercely capable.”
OK, that’s marketing speak, but if we ignore the geometry chart, that sounds like my sort of bike. Also, I will walk anything that scares me (since I don’t bounce so well these days), but I’d rather not. So anything that expands my comfort zone sounds good.
So, will it suit me? I have no idea. I’m sceptical if I’m honest. But what the heck, you’re a long time dead and it should be fun finding out.
The build has been pretty straightforward and cotic were very helpful. I’m sure they’d have built this spec for me if I wanted, but I enjoy the building part too. After reading Cy’s thoughts and getting some good advice here I decided not to splash out on the CC shock upgrade. It sounds like a great shock for proper mountain bikers but I like a firm platform for climbing so wasn’t convinced enough to pay the extra.
I was able to thread the BB in by hand which always strikes me as a mark of a good quality frame. I’ve had plenty of expensive frames in the past that have needed chasing.
The build is nothing out of the ordinary. Pikes, GX Eagle. Hope BB, headset, stem brakes (tech 3 X2, 180 both ends) and hubs. Arch Mk3 rims with Rock Razor (speedgrip) and Magic Mary (soft), both 2.35″ and tubeless. All pretty standard stuff. I’m still waiting for the 170mm OneUp dropper to arrive, so am using the 150mm Reverb from my fatbike (with a shim) for now.
Weight, according to my “trusty” bathroom scales seems to be 32lb, but I’ve no idea how accurate these are. By comparison my 26″ aluminium Five was 31lb on the same scales. So, five years of developments means that I can now have a much longer steel 29er that’s only a pound heavier, which sounds good to me.
Right, that’s enough preamble. Here are a few pictures and I’ll report back when I’ve got it dirty.
Posted 1 year agodumbbotMember
It is very, very nice…. however I’d feel like I was neglecting my stw duties if I didn’t point out those cables. What cha’ doing there fella? Temporary?
Isn’t it common practice to come round the headtube from the opposite side for brakes/shifters/droppers. Otherwise you’ll just rub the shit out off that nice paintwork,(and possibly rip out the cables if you twist the bar).Posted 1 year agoBreganteSubscriber
As others have said my riding sounds very much like the type of riding you do. I’m also a Cotic fan and my only mountain bike at present is a Solaris.
I would love to get a full suspension bike to run along side it but for me the geometry of the older shape FlareMax made more sense. I’ll be interested how you get on with it. It looks bloody lovely.Posted 1 year ago
Isn’t it common practice to come round the headtube from the opposite side for brakes/shifters/droppers. Otherwise you’ll just rub the shit out off that nice paintwork,(and possibly rip out the cables if you twist the bar).
Yes, I’ve always done that “wrong”. I don’t like the cables crossing over on the down tube. This way they all run nice and straight. I haven’t even run them through the shock mount shuttle like I’m supposed to so they are straighter. Plus this way I don’t cover that lovely head badge. You are right though, it probably is form over function although they are long enough that I can twist the bars right round and I put some protective patches on the sides of the head tube.
The dropper cable is too long, but that’s going back on the fatbike once the one up dropper arrives
As for the shed/garden; a Hungarian friend of mine once told me how funny he found it that the British would spend Saturday manicuring their gardens then head off to the countryside on Sunday to enjoy something natural.Posted 1 year ago
FlareMax made more sense.
Yes I agree. It’s hard to believe that this longer slacker geometry will work as well as the original for a talentless mincer like me. But I’m willing to suspend disbelief for a bit and give it a go. I can always sell the frame to a proper mountain biker and go back to something more sensible if it doesn’t work 🙂
It is a real leap of faith though. Everything I “know” about bike geometry tells me this won’t work, but Cy says it will. Of course the logical answer would have been a demo, but I wanted to give it a proper test and not just dismiss it if it felt weird at first. So I’ll ride it everywhere that I normally ride, at least until the winter comes and see what I think then. It’s just a bit of fun.Posted 1 year agometalheartSubscriber
Nice rp, I’m probably (ie definitely) going to get a LS geo SolarisMAX. I have no quandaries about the geo, it makes perfect sense to me to solve my specific problems. 🤣
as always I’ll be interested in how you get on (but, please, keep it brief 😉 ).
my mate David ordered pretty much the same bike the other week, no doubt I’ll get a shot on his at some point.
but, if you find yourself not liking it, give me a shout I might be interested in checking out FS again…Posted 1 year agojoebristolSubscriber
I haven’t looked at the geometry of the Flaremax, but I’ve got a Bird Aeris 145 which is also long / slack / low (not a 29er or steel though). I’ve found I’ve had to adjust my riding style to very much getting your weight forward onto the front wheel and riding a bit more aggressively. It’s made me massively faster on fast trails and I’ve also found I’ve going up steeper / more echnical climbs quite a lot quicker.
Things like draggy fireroads are more draggy though – but that’s probably mostly because this bike is about 3lbs heavier than my last one and has bigger stickier tyres.Posted 1 year agodazhSubscriber
I’ve had the original geometry Flare Max* for a year now. I can ride pretty much anything on my Solaris but I was pretty shocked at how much more you can do on this. Makes it all a bit too easy to be honest. If the LS geometry is an improvement again then you’ll be amazed at what you can ride and how easy it is. Just be careful when you get back on a ‘normal’ bike. I made that mistake and was launched over the bars in no time at all 🙂
*Bregante if you ever want a go just let me know. Be warned though you’ll want to buy one after.Posted 1 year ago
Thanks. I wimped out on the orange Hope bits though. Partly because the shade of orange is different and I wasn’t sure it would work and partly so I could re-use those bits if the whole bike doesn’t work. Should probably have gone with the orange headset and seat clamp though.Posted 1 year agoscotroutesMember
Nice rp, I’m probably (ie definitely) going to get a LS geo SolarisMAX. I have no quandaries about the geo, it makes perfect sense to me to solve my specific problems.
It has an electric motor?Posted 1 year agokayla1Member
Thanks. The downside of bimbling around on your own, especially when the mags are full of rad dudes riding in groups, is that you can end up thinking you are weird. In fact, it would seem that there are lots of us out there.
Not weird at all. I reckon most people who own ‘mountain’ bikes spend most of the time bimbling about. We took our gnarpoons up NCN 1 today for a cup of tea and a watch of some cricket. #rad? #nope #scone? #yesplease
🙂Posted 1 year ago
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