Cotic’s 5th generation of their shortest travel DropLink full-suspension bike is now being built entirely in Great Britain – the first 100% UK-made Cotic FlareMAX. Once again refined in each subsequent evolution, this new Reynolds 853 steel FlareMAX has tweaked geometry and frame details said to offer the best ride yet, with 125mm of rear wheel travel this 29er can be built up as a lighter XC or Downcountry bike with a 120-130mm fork, or can go full Trail mode with 140mm travel up front…
all c. Cotic, photos by Richard Baybutt
The new FlareMAX is a subtly refined trail bike. Set side by side with the outgoing Gen 4, only a few of the new Gen 5 bike’s features might jump out at you. But being built in the UK for effectively the same price as before, Cotic will be able to build you up your own perfect trail bike quicker than ever. Developed in South Yorkshire and then fabricated just a half-a-workday’s drive up the road in Edinburgh, Scotland, this steel & alloy FlareMAX marks the first production full-suspension bike to be made entirely in the UK by Cotic’s partners at Five Land Bikes.
Obviously, 100% UK manufacturing is big news – previously Five Land Bikes built several of Cotic’s premium steel front triangles and small batch bikes, while rear ends and most production frames were fabricated in Taiwan – but now Cotic are going all-in for local manufacturing for this new FlareMAX. That means the steel front triangle & seatstays, plus the short alloy DropLink & alloy chainstay swingarm yoke are all made close to home, then painted, then brought back down to Sheffield to be built up into your dream trail bike.
There are even some actual tweaks to the ovalized and butted Reynolds 853 front end. The new Cotic FlareMAX gets a new, stronger downtube and a tiny new brace between the down & seat tubes above the bottom bracket for added strength, stiffness, and ultimately more durability. Oh, and under the toptube, there’s a new pair of braze-on mounts for a low-profile cage or direct mount tool carrier above the shock, in addition to the 2 bottle cage mounts inside on top of and underneath the downtube.
Any gear you can get off your back or out of your hip pack is a win for long days on the bike.
New Fit & Geometry, too!
Cotic’s long, low & slack Longshot geometry has been pretty progressive since 2018 (designed for 35mm stems), so it doesn’t get a major overhaul, just some subtle tweaks. Think, a 4mm lower BB height for an “even more planted feel through the corners”, but the same 65.6° head angle, ~75.5° seat angle & 448mm chainstays. But the fit has evolved quite a bit.
The new Cotic FlareMAX now comes in five stock sizes, in renamed ‘C-Sizing’ that’s less about getting you on the only small, medium, or large that could fit. And instead, it’s about giving you more choice to pick the feel you want. C-Sizing means more closely spread frame Reach steps, with less Stack variation as well. Plus, shorter seattubes mean smaller riders can fit on more of the frames, and bigger riders can opt for longer travel droppers. It also allows Cotic to steepen the seat angles on the bigger bikes to improve both fit and climbing ability on those big bikes.
Win, win, win.
The new 4-bar Cotic FlareMAX frames are welded from Reynolds 853 Ovalform and DZB front triangles and seatstays, paired to 6066-T6 aluminum chainstays with drop-forged pivots and machined DropLink, plus 15mm main pivots.
The 1x-specific frame features a straight 44mm headtube for an integrated tapered steerer headset, modular external cable routing on top of the downtube with the rear mech internal through the seatstay, 31.6mm stealth dropper post compatibility, a 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket, ISCG05 tabs, Boost rear spacing with a Syntace X-12 thru-axle, and a 3D-printed upper chain guide.
The gen 5 Cotic FlareMAX frame has 29 x 2.5″ tire clearance, and is available on it’s own with a shock from just £2099.
Cotic FlareMAX – Pricing, Options & Availability
2023 Cotic FlareMAX frameset, in Limestone
The new UK-made 2023 Cotic FlareMAX gen5 is available now in Limestone tan or Teal green.
2023 Cotic FlareMAX Gold XT build, in Teal
Pricing starts at just £2099 / $2300 / 2000€ for a frame with a RockShox Deluxe Select Plus shock. And you can really build it up however you want from there.
Cotic starts off-the-shelf Downcountry & Trail builds from £3600 / $3875 / 3360€. And they currently offer a free upgrade to AXS wireless for anyone who picks their SRAM GX Eagle build kit. Complete Gold XT Downcountry builds are said to weigh around 12.9kg/28.4lb without pedals.
But really the sky is the limit, and Cotic is happy to custom-build pretty much any spec you can imagine.