This is a fast city bike. The frame is compact and agile and when getting the power down it feels alive. This build comes with powerful Magura disc brakes and an eight-speed Alfine hub. This was my first experience with the Alfine and after getting over the confusing back-to-front shifting, I was soon enjoying its seamless and effortless changes, while the clear display lets know what gear you’re in.
There is a good balance to the gear ratios and the spread from top to bottom was more than enough for any up or down I faced on my London commute. To get down to the nitty-gritty, the gear ratios are: 0.527, 0.644, 0.748, 0.851, 1, 1.223, 1.419 and 1.615 – or 307 per cent from bottom to top.
This frame encourages a little bit of hooliganism, however, and I was caught out a little when bunny hopping – the Alfine hub is weighty and, as a result, makes the bike a little back-heavy and keen to stick to the ground. Something I could get used to but, with the hub alone weighing a claimed 1590g, it can counter the spring of the frame.
All in all, though, a cracking urban machine and a very useful one set-up the way it is – silent and solid. Commuting time was pretty identical to my Boardman Team Carbon, so, with handling suited to beating the traffic, it’s no slow coach either.
Better still, the versatility of the frame – outlined, along with the technical spec, in our First Ride report – makes it perfect for no-fuss commuting, single-speed riding or cyclo-cross, and Cotic offer a range of builds to match. With that in mind, I would favour a rear derailleur to keep the balance centralised and more in keeping with the zing of the frame.