Cotic >X< First Look - Road Cycling UK

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Cotic >X< First Look

Looks good from every angle

First revealed at the Cycle Show in 2009, Cotic’s new >X< cyclo-cross frame is the latest addition to the company’s range, and one of its most intriguing offerings to date.

Cotic were founded in 2002, within riding distance of the Peak District and their history lies in mountain biking. That changed when Cotic unveiled the Roadrat in 2006 – and now they’ve made their first foray into cyclo-cross.

The ‘cross season may be drawing to a close, but the >X< has appeal which is far more widespread than solely being a competitive pursuit. And it’s this appeal that Cotic is hoping its new cyclo-cross frame will tap into. While it’ll please the dedicated ‘cross racers, the >X<, with Cotic’s mountain bike roots, is ideally suited to that second, or third, bike in the shed for the person who’s looking for something a little different. A little unique.

We’ve been bashing around all winter on several cyclo-cross bikes – including the KHS CX200 – and have found them to be ideal for mixed terrain cycling, less technical trail rides that might feature canal towpaths, parks and bridleways, with a little bit of road thrown in between. For cycling to the office too, a light, fast yet rugged ‘cross bike has often been the bike of choice on London’s potholed roads, particular when there’s been snow and ice about.

Most cyclo-cross bikes come from brands rooted into road cycling, but there’s a growing number of mountain bike company’s getting into cyclo-cross. And the >X< is one of the more exciting prospects. For the >X<, Cotic uses its own FX custom butted heat-treated chromoly tubeset.

It’s also disc brake ready – this season saw disc brakes allowed for use in cyclo-cross competition for the first time, and removable V-brake mounts give a clean look if you use the disc mounts. There’s a skinny wishbone rear end with loads of tyre and mud clearance, with sharp and simple graphics. Versatility is ensured with mounts for mudguards and a rack, and there’s reinforcing gussets in key areas, the downtube and headtube junctions.

Available as a frame for £450 (price includes carbon forks, seat clamp, chainstay protector and UK delivery) or built up with the Weekday spec you see for £1000. That gets you a Shimano Tiagra groupset with Cotic finishing parts and Tektro cantilever brakes. A disc brake upgrade is available, which we went for, for an extra £75. The >X< is also available with a steel fork, saving you £100.

So this bike that you see in the photos to the left of these words has just turned up in the office, and on initial inspection it’s a real looker. There’s lovely little details like the minimal cowled dropouts and the lush paintjob, and well executed cable routing.

The Roadrat went down a storm, so it’s easy to see the >X< having the same impact. We’ll let you know how it rides.

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