Monday, 20 February 2012

Solaris's have landed

Just received two Cotic Solaris from Cy and Paul - one medium and one large and they look so nice - lighter than expected and with all the mounts for dropper posts - I reckon they are gonna be a fun machine!

We're thinking of Marzocchi 44's, Maxxis Ardent front, ignitor rear a short stem and wide bars, but not sure on whether to go for a double with bash or a triple chainset? Oh and of course hope hoops to roll along nicely;o)

Cannot wait to get em built.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Hi-Posting it on a 29er

Just to show we don't just ride Cotic's here at Bikebrechfa - here's a notes on a couple of rides I had on a Scott Spark 29er Pro over the last couple of weeks.

I was offered the use of the Spark by Nicky a friend who works for Scott Sports now who came to the Brechfa Enduro a few weeks ago to show off their 2012 range - she left me the 'brand new' 29er with the parting words - look after it...

I had only ridden two 29ers previous to this therefore my experience with them is limited.  Until trying the Rumblefish by Trek a few weeks ago I thought they were for people of 5'11' and taller, however I was wrong!  I have ridden a fair variety of bikes in my 23 years of mountain biking but only 3 of those have not been 26" wheeled.  And so this year I thought I would dabble in something different

The Scott is a speed weapon for unashamed xc or marathon riders looking for a bike to dispense with vast distances in the most efficient way possible.  I rode it around the trails at Brechfa mostly including the 2012 Brechfa Enduro route and it beat me.  Lock the front and rear and it turns into a flat barred cross bike speeding along fireroads and up smooth climbs with ease, get into the rough and the big wheels roll so fast - you just need to hang on.

I was embarrassingly surprised at how easy the big wheels rolled over the rock water bars across the trail - giving no halting feedback through the bike unlike a 26er.  Tight and technical roots and twistys are the achilles heel of this spark spitting me off on one of my favourite muddy/rooty chutes.

Big mileage over big terrain this bike is awesome, just delivering you at the end in a mess as you feel you should be pushing your speed barrier the whole ride.  Fast flowing singletrack is taken at speeds higher than should be capable of.  This is a marathon racers dream - not for twisty technical riding this bike is definitely for those of the racing persuasion over long miles.  Having completed in many long distance events I think this bike could have upped my results in all the races I have ever completed.

Personally I feel I need more time on different 29ers to really see if they are the future or if they are just another bike that is suitable for certain types of terrain/rides - a Cotic Solaris is on order for our hire fleet so maybe in a few months we'll see....  As for the Scott, well if I ever decide to take marathon racing seriously in the future this would be the bike I would want to do it on.  If you would like to see a short video on the Scott - see our YouTube Channel.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Two Tails

Two Cotic Souls being ridden with two of our tailed friends - 

YouTube Channel.

Hope you like the video - just out enjoying the low February evening sun on a couple of souls with a couple of canine friends!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Video of first ride of Bfe (med) hire bike.

Cotic Bfe ride down Cwm Rhaeadr -

Snow Ride Jan 2012

Dyfi Winter Warm Up and Bfe Test

The rest of the village still seemed asleep as I walked the dog yesterday morning, then a couple of guys were packing kit into cars with bikes on outside the B&B, ready to hit the Brechfa trails. We were getting ready to drive an hour and a half North West to ride the Dyfi Winter Warm up. We've ridden the Dyfi enduro a few times, on bikes ranging from fully rigid singlespeeds, to six and half inches of full travel and love the event - so it was good to come back up to the forest at a different time of year for the Winter Warm Up
Starting on the edge of Corris, it differs from the Spring Dyfi enduro in a few ways. The entry into the forest by road was much shorter, there were three distances to choose from; 12, 20 and 28 miles and these were in the format of three laps.  Due to the weather conditions, the route kept away from the highest hills but there was still going to be loads of climbing, always a good thing as it also means there will be loads of descents, and in the Dyfi forest that means a lot of fun. 

We arrived in plenty of time, and immediately saw people we knew as we made our way to sign on, got chatting, started making our way to sign on and bumped into more familiar faces.  It was really good to catch up with folks we hadn't seen for a while. Suddenly people were gathering to start and I was still tying the number board on my bike. 
I took my place at the back of the pack on our xs Cotic Bfe Hire bike (its first outing and test)  and continued chatting, great to catch up with guys from the Forestry Commission taking part, and to chat whilst riding out with my publisher, Peter Wood riding out with him up the same long first climb, only this time there was no band thumping out tunes from the top to welcome us. A thick mist hung in the Corris valley, the hills rising proudly above, but despite the ice on the ground, people were soon stopping to remove layers and I felt desperately over dressed as the sun came out in full force.  It was a stunning day in the forest. 

At the top of the climb we hit the first section of singletrack, part of the Climax trail, Pete disappeared ahead and was gone, as I got used to a new bike, and being back on a bike(!) as I realised my lack of preparation (a 9 month old little boy does effect your training time) ... but not for long... Suddenly I was right back there, geling with the bike and carving the swoopy trail as if I had never been away.  What a superb little bike it is, and the kit we are running on it just seemed perfect, super plush 44 bombers, Hope wheelset, SLX drivetrain and brakes, and Shimano pro finishing kit.  The slightly wider bars we are using on the BFe's really came into their own on the descents, that I'd last ridden on six and a half inches of travel, yet they were just as much fun, if not more so, on this great little hard tail. A couple of sections of singletrack later and I was buzzing, the conditions were great.  

The ground was hard underneath from the frost, there was the odd bit of ice to avoid but it added interest to the trail.  I sailed by the water station and onto my second lap, the trails were getting churned up and I was soon plastered with mud, and soon ran out of water.  But continued on to slip and slide through the course and see the conditions changing from the first time around. Two laps was enough for me - it was a great course, but I wasn't going that fast and should have stopped to refuel at the end of the first lap.  By the time I was riding back on the road I was starting to suffer a bit!  

A great afternoons riding in a relaxed atmosphere using some of the best trails the Dyfi has to offer - a highly recommended event...  Editors Note - Next time I will put in the training and enjoy the climbs as well as the descents though!