Cotic Jeht 2 review – outstanding steel trail bike gets even better

Cotic’s Jeht 2 is a superbly sorted, primarily UK-built, steel-framed trail charger that can tackle the toughest trails flat out in a distinctively charismatic, eco-friendly way

Cotic Jeht 2
(Image: © Cotic)

BikePerfect Verdict

Latest Jeht isn’t light but it delivers serious muscularly damped trail control and extra strength while still retaining agile pop and play with the uniquely alive vibe of steel. Great pricing, practicality, and consumer/community support too.

Pros

  • +

    Seriously muscularly yet lively ride vibe

  • +

    Excellent aggressive riding geometry

  • +

    Really well-sorted suspension with multiple shock and fork choices

  • +

    Great value considering the quality and primarily UK build

  • +

    More consistent sizing gradients

  • +

    Easy servicing and extended durability details

  • +

    Good range of built bikes plus partial build options

  • +

    Outstanding eco and customer care credentials

Cons

  • -

    Relatively heavy

  • -

    No UDH hanger option for latest T-Type SRAM

  • -

    Awkward bottle positions

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Cotic’s latest Jeht trail bike gets new tubes, new geometry, and tweaked suspension to deliver a superb blend of seriously muscular trail bike strength with the subtle, supple vibe of a custom steel frame. There’s a wealth of practical and premium quality detailing, plus some excellent eco wins from the primarily UK build.

Cotic Jeht 2 portrait shot

Signature slim steel tubes pick up some pleasingly parallel reinforcing tubes on the tougher second-generation Jeht frame (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Design and geometry

The Jeht retains the classic Cotic ‘Droplink’ frame layout and custom Reynolds 853 ‘Ovalform’ tube set that’s become a signature of the Yorkshire brand. A new straight gauge (rather than butted) down tube with a bracing pipe onto the seat tube adds extra strength for repeated jump and drop survival. Cables/hoses are still mostly external for easy servicing and you get excellent Enduro Max pivot bearings as standard. There’s plenty of clearance for 29 x 2.5in tires and optional geometry adjusting linkages for a mullet/MX setup on the rear. There’s a Datatag security tracker embedded in the frame as standard. The central shock mount means bottles have to hang under the top tube and down tube though and there’s no UDH dropout option for the latest SRAM T-Type Transmission gearing. At around 4.5kg it’s a heavy frame too, though not as far off a lot of actual rather than claimed carbon frame weights as you might think.

The Reynolds 853 steel tubing is 100 percent recycled and made in Birmingham UK and the front ends are built at Five Land in southern Scotland. Alloy hardware is CNC machined in the UK by Rideworks leaving only the alloy chainstays to be shipped in from the Far East. Five Land also does the painting up in Scotland with gloss crimson red (tested) or matt sage green choices.

The slack 64.5-degree head tube is unchanged from Jeht 1, but the new ‘C’ styled sizing gives more evenly spaced reach dimensions (483mm on the C3 I rode) up to a super long 520mm on the C5. Seat angles are also steeper (around 76 degrees depending on size) and bottom brackets are dropped 5mm lower. 

Cotic Jeht 2 frame and shock detail

Jeht 2's Scottish-built, UK-made Reynolds 853 tubed mainframe with a tougher, braced downtube and refined alloy fixtures from Rideworks (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Components and build

I’ve already detailed kit options in the Jeht 2 news so I’m going to concentrate mostly on the bike I rode from here on in. This was based on a Shimano XT ‘Gold’ build (£5,575) but beefed up with a RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork and SuperDeluxe piggyback rear damper plus Hope stem and Tech 4 E4 brakes to match the standard issue Hope headset and seat clamp. Together with sturdy Hope Fortus Single Cavity wheels that tips weight just over 16kg. That’s definitely heavy compared to the lightest bikes in the mid-travel category but it’s only 700g heavier than the full-carbon Merida One-Forty 6000 and exactly the same weight as Specialized’s Evo Comp Alloy. Considering the premium quality UK build it’s impressive value too. You can add the kit you already have to a partial build for an even better deal. While Cotic is direct sell not shop-supplied, you can get your bike set up and collect it from their new Chesterfield HQ if you ask for the ‘Factory Pick Up’ option. If you can’t get to one of their frequent demo sessions Cotic will even let you try the bike for 30 days with free return if you aren’t hooked.

Cotic Jeht 2 Shimano XT detail

I tested the 'Gold XT' build beefed up with Hope Fortus SC30 wheels and a RockShox Lyrik fork (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Ride, handling and performance

That’s not as crazy as it might sound though as the latest Jeht is an instantly engaging and distinctive bike that’s different from most mainstream carbon and alloy frames but also previous generation Cotic’s. The standout characteristic is a much more muscular and burly feel than the slim steel tubes have previously provided. Drive through the pipe-braced bottom bracket area and oversized chainstay bridge feels rock solid and it’s amplified by the stiff Hope wheel with its fast-reacting Pro 5 hub. That makes hitting take-off speed surprisingly easy on the Jeht despite its hefty weight and the suspension is efficiently stable when pedaling even with the SuperDeluxe shock in ‘open’ rather than ‘firm’ mode. The slightly steeper seat angle helps traction poise on scrabble climbs without shunting you forward so far your knees feel weird on longer pedals.

The extra stiffness and authority are equally apparent when attacking descents and tech too. There’s no trace of the slight noodle flex of older Cotic’s when you’re pushing the front end hard enough to slide the High Grip WTB front tire. Just plenty of precise information for surfing the drift and then correcting and collecting it back in with the super short stem specced as standard. While it’s definitely more damped in feel than before there’s still enough steel spring to keep it feeling alive rather than muffled or dead like a carbon frame can. It’s definitely more forgiving than most carbon or alloy chassis when it comes to shrugging off serious rock/drop blows. It filters out fatiguing buzz on long hard baked/rocky descents or stutter bump sections too. That means while your legs might burn a little earlier from the extra weight the rest of you will feel fresher as the day goes on. It’s worth noting that I’m saying this despite the test sample having conspicuously firm, well-damped suspension and very stiff wheels so you could easily add some more forgiveness with HUNT wheels and a Pike fork rather than the Lyrik. That fact you get the older Charger 2 damper Pike Ultimate fork on complete builds rather than the latest but sometimes spikey Pike model is a definite bonus in my book too.

Cotic Jeht 2 cornering hard and high

The evolved Jeht loves pushing right to the edge at every opportunity  (Image credit: Cotic)

The more consistent sizing splits also meant the C3 felt perfectly balanced for me straight away. The lower bottom bracket really helps underline its connectivity and stability when the trail starts getting sketchy so you can put plenty of faith in the slack and long front-end geometry without getting caught out. An accidental line choice meant I tested both its ability to hook a twisting snake drop that normally spits me off and survive a brutal drop to flat that badly bent a Cotic Flare I was testing a few years ago. In both instances, there was enough steel suppleness to preserve traction and protect my wrists and ankles when a less organic-feeling bike would probably have punished me.

The fact the suspension lets the rest of the Jeht shine while doing its job perfectly is a tribute to how much evolution has gone into the Droplink dynamics. The latest Jeht progression curve gives a sensitive patter smoothing top end, but enough support to really rail turns or skip across the top of roots and ruts rather than getting bogged down. The SuperDeluxe shock lets you really fine tune that feel via the four position low-speed adjuster too, so you can have it ‘rally’ or ‘Rolls Royce’ without messing with pressures. It’s the same with the Lyrik up front too, once you work out the new RockShox adjuster labelling is both counterintuitive and counter to how everyone else does it too.

Apart from some unsurprising slide issues with the spike front tread on hard-backed park trails, the componentry worked flawlessly. The XT gear shift in particular was fast and slick enough to reduce concerns about the lack of computability with the latest SRAM Transmission. The Hope Tech 4 E4 brakes are excellent too, with a similar initially crisp but progressively modulated feel to the bike as a whole. Again it would be easy to save significant weight from the build and bring the Jeht more in line with carbon competition while still keeping it confidently controlled though. 

Cotic Jeht 2 front end detail

Cotic's Longshot geometry was groundbreaking when it was introduced and still feels spot on today (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

Verdict

The fact I’ve spent a lot of time since the excellent intro day working out exactly how I’d build up a Jeht 2 is a testament to what an outstandingly enjoyable and engaging bike it is. It was certainly a surprise how solid and accurate it felt at first but the deeper I got into the day the more the subtle compliance and spring of the frame became obvious in bonus grip and a fresher body. Its notably quiet and damped vibe really underlines how hard you can push the latest Jeht on the most challenging trails and it’s certainly got the chops to go head-to-head with the most hardcore bikes in any material now. The mainly UK-built frame puts Cotic well ahead of most companies when it comes to treading lighter on the earth. 

They set a fantastic example with their customer service and community involvement while still staying remarkably competitive on price too. In short, it’s the most sorted, widely appealing aggressive trail bike Cotic has ever made but still keeps the deliciously distinctive character and charisma that has made them so many loyal fans in the past twenty years. 

Test conditions

  • Surface: Compacted earth, loose loam, roots, mud, grass, road
  • Trails: Groomed and off-piste woodland DH trails and technical climbs
  • Weather: Sunny, 15 degrees 

Cotic Jeht 2 cornering shot

Jeht 2 charges hard on the trail while treading lighter on the planet (Image credit: Cotic)

Tech spec: Cotic Jeht 2 Gold XT Hope

  • Discipline: Trail / Enduro
  • Price as tested: $6,050 / £6,036 / €6,400
  • Head angle: 64.5 degrees
  • Size: C1, 2, 3 (tested) 4 and 5 
  • Weight: 16.1kg without pedals
  • Wheel size: 29in
  • Frame material: Custom Reynolds 853 mainframe, 6066-T6 alloy chain stays
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 150mm travel
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 140mm travel
  • Chainset: Shimano XT 32t chainset with Hollowtech II bottom bracket. 
  • Rear mech: Shimano XT
  • Shifter: Shimano XT
  • Cassette: Shimano XT 12-speed 10-51T
  • Brakes: Hope Tech4 E4 four piston hydraulic disc brakes with 200mm floating rotors 
  • Tires: WTB Verdict High Grip 29x2.5in front and WTB Trail Boss Fast Rolling 29x2.4in rear tires
  • Wheels: Hope Fortus 30 SC
  • Bars: Cotic Calver alloy 780 x 35mm width
  • Stem: Hope Gravity 35 x 35mm 
  • Grips: Cotic lock on
  • Seat post: Bike Yoke Divine 160mm dropper
  • Saddle: WTB Volt
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg