A decade ago UK bike maker Cotic decided to take their do-it-all steel trail riding hardtail – the Soul – up a notch to handle the gnarliest off-road abuse that they could sling at it. That bike was the first Burly Iron (BFe) and of course in its time rolled on 26″ wheels. In the years since we’ve seen a lot of takeover of 29″ and 27.5″ wheels – the BFe even got its own 27.5 option last summer – but Cotic has a soft spot in their hearts for riding those smaller wheels and shorter stays down sketchy trails and railing ’em through turns. The original 26″ BFe had a bit of a refresh three years ago, but now deserved another update, and got it by way of modern refinements and a contemporary trail geometry upgrade…

Like those that came before it, the new BFe26 is an aggressive trail bike ready to ride anything from dirt jumps to the Megaavalanche. That means that it will get built up in all sorts of ways. Shorter travel 100mm forks will suit the pump track or dirt jumps, while up to a 160mm fork will have you dropping off cliffs. For best trail-riding potential, Cotic would have the bike rolling with a 140mm fork like a Lyrik or the X-Fusion Slant that they spec on complete builds.

all photos courtesy of Cotic

The new 2016 bike’s biggest update is its move to modern long and slack trail-riding geometry. That means longer frame reach on each size, and a slackened head angle as well. In its typical trail build that takes the bike to 67° with 140mm forks.

At the same time the frame has been tuned for longer travel forks overall, so gets a lower bottom bracket. That basically means that if you kept the same travel fork, the new bike would have a 10mm lower BB, but if you step up to the next longer fork say to 140 from last year’s 130mm, then it stays the same.

The BFe also gets tidied up cable routing and Cotic adds a hole down in the seattube so a stealth dropper post can get some semi-internal routing.

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This updated version should be faster and more confidence inspiring, with tire clearance up to 2.5″. It still gets built with a mix of heat-treated chromoly steel, a Reynolds 853 downtube, and a healthy dose of gussets to keep to a reasonable 2.5kg/5.4lb for its indestructible ride.

Cotic-BFe26_Burly-Iron_26in-steel-trail-hardtail-mountainbike_detail3-dropout Cotic-BFe26_Burly-Iron_26in-steel-trail-hardtail-mountainbike_detail4-motto Cotic-BFe26_Burly-Iron_26in-steel-trail-hardtail-mountainbike_detail5-b-stay

Cotic-BFe26_Burly-Iron_26in-steel-trail-hardtail-mountainbike_frame1 Cotic-BFe26_Burly-Iron_26in-steel-trail-hardtail-mountainbike_frame2

The frame uses a 44mm headtube for fork compatibility, gets an ISCG05 mount, and sticks with a 135mm QR rear end and a 160mm rear rotor. While most of Cotic’s builds are 1x setups, the frame can fit a Side Swing front derailleur for a double.  It is available in S, M & L frame sizes and either Cotic’s signature orange or a dark ‘fast’ red.


The BFe26 is a burly bike that Cotic wants to get thrashed. And maybe 26″ wheels can still stick around to handle everything you can throw at them, from trail and enduro riding, to riding stupid drops, and any manner of  jumping in between.

The new frame will be available to riders worldwide from the first week of June for £350. In the UK it will also be available in two complete builds – either a Zee and Deore 1×10 for £1820 or an XT 1×11 for £2120. We are waiting to hear back on $ and € pricing, and will update as soon as we have it. The BFe26 will sell for ~$490/475€ in the US/EU respectively, including delivery.


  1. Cotic, you guys should be that one company that supports 26″ across all riding styles. I would love to see a 160mm bike that isn’t built for Enduro racing. Start your own tire line and really capitalize on the 26″ market. It may be small, but you could have a very large slice of that British pie.

    • Honest question– what exactly do those differences look like? From my limited understanding, it seems like once you’re talking about that much travel, you’re gonna be focused on heading downhill at speed… and being willing to give up some climbing ability to do that. Isn’ that more or less ‘Enduro?’

      Again… honest question… looking to learn what I’m missing!

      • Shorter reach, as short of a seat tube as possible, HA no slacker than 66, short stays. Nothing earth shaking compared to your average enduro race bike, but those little things coupled with 26″ wheels would be a good option for the AM market IMO.

  2. Thanks Cotic for keeping the spirit alive!
    I like on their geometry table that you can plug-in the different 100-140mm fork lengths and see the effect on the BB drop etc

  3. People keep talking about 26″ mountain bikes being great
    But no one is buying them anymore!
    After two years we sold the last two 26″ full suspension bikes for only 35% of full price.
    I’ll stick to my 29er thanks.

  4. I might have to upgrade my current BFe (scratch that… keep it and build another) purely for the “26 aint dead” sticker on the chainstay. Still unquestionably the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden.

  5. You can tell anything about 27.5 and 29 that they are better, faster, but the 26’s are more fun to ride and they are so much more brisk!

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