Cotic upgrades its FlareMAX trail bike

Boutique design details and clever geometry are Cotic brand features
Cotic’s linkage driven Slingshot suspension system meets tweaked geometry on the latest FlareMAX (Image credit: Cotic)

Cotic is the modern definition of Sheffield steel, if you are into mountain bikes.

Founded and managed by Sheffield local, Cy Turner, the Cotic bike range is globally celebrated for its considered geometry and adherence to traditional steel design principles.

Turner has always followed a simple formula with Cotic, applying his engineering mind to the question of producing the best steel trail and enduro riding frames.

Blending contemporary geometry with the best grades of steel tubing, Cotic bikes deliver a rewarding ride on technical trails and also the promise robust longevity – due to their steel construction.

The brand has added an updated specification to its FlareMAX full-suspension 29er, for the 2020 model year. FlareMAX is Cotic's shorter-travel 29, for riders who prefer more trail and frame feedback, instead of the pure terrain calming ability of a 150mm enduro bike. 

With the combination of a Reynolds 853 main triangle tube set and aluminium rear end, the FlareMAX has added travel and steepened some of its angles. It now has 125mm of rear suspension and a front suspension fork recommendation of 130mm, positioning FlareMAX on that juncture between a trail and light-enduro bike.  

Keen followers of the brand will notice that it has gained 5mm of rear suspension travel, up from 120mm. Cotic’s front fork recommendation is 130mm, although the FlareMAX’s head tube strength rating still classifies for 140mm, if you wish to ride a taller front end.

Cotic has sobered its 29er trail bike's geometry by steepening the FlareMAX’s angles a touch. Its head angle is half a degree steeper, now sitting at 65.6-degrees. This slightly steeper head angle should quicken steering and with the proven Cotic Longshot geometry, which prioritises the use of extremely compact stems, the updated FlareMAX ought to be hugely responsive on technical singletrack.

Recognising that over-biked riders were not benefitting from the capability inherent to their 29er dual-suspension trail bikes, Cotic desired to dial things back a touch, with the 2020 FlareMAX. Shorter-travel trail bikes require specific geometry to extract the best performance and what works on a 150mm frame cannot be transferred to a 125mm design.

Steel dual-suspension mountain bikes will forever remain a very niche market, but that does not mean they can’t remain on-trend – regarding clever geometry. With the 2020 FlareMAX, Cotic has recognised what 29er trail bike riders require: slightly more intuitive steering and apex-to-apex cornering projection, hence the steepened angles, which complement its longshot geometry's roomy reach numbers. 

Cotic will be producing its updated FlareMAX in four sizes. A frame-only-purchase option starts at £1499, equipped with an X-Fusion O2 RCX shock. Complete builds begin at £2749 and peak at £6349.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for, and Cycling News.