Taking longshot geometry lessons from its burlier brother, the RocketMax, the big-wheeled steel frame Cotic FlareMAX has finally landed in its 2020 iteration. With an extra 5mm out back, the FlareMax gets a longer stroke length shock with Cotic’s droplink suspension platform servicing 125mm of rear wheel travel. While the 2018 FlareMAX was based around a 140mm travel fork, the longshot geometry of the 2020 version is based around a 130mm fork and 30-40mm stems, for what Cotic say is the perfect all-rounder. That said, there’s nothing to stop you adding the extra 10mm for a slacker ride.
Cotic FlareMAX 2020 29er Trail Bike
Despite many brands opting for slacker head angles for 2020, with 130mm up front, the front end of the 2020 Cotic FlareMAX actually steepens up half a degree to 65.6°. The -32mm bottom bracket drop and 447mm chainstay length carry over for 2020 but the seat tube angle steepens up considerably from a pretty slack 73.1° to a middle-of-the range 75.3°.
Cotic say the 5mm of additional rear wheel travel with a longer stroke length shock should give riders a wider tuning window for suspension fettling. Reach figures on the FlareMAX are also longer with the medium frame now sitting at 465.5mm, 13mm longer than the 2018 version.
The rear axle spacing remains the same at boost 148x12mm. The swingarm is still 1x specific, with a low drop and forged-construction swingarm heads, and it features a OneUp components-specific integrated chain guide mounted at the main pivot.
The Cotic FlareMax front triangle is still in steel, fabricated from a combination of DZB tubing and a Reynold’s 853 ovalform top tube for vertical compliance. The swingarm is made from 6066-T6 aluminium. The 35mm heat-treated chromoly seat tube is a Cotic custom design, engineered to add stiffness at the main suspension pivot. Cy, founder of Cotic bikes, builds most of his mountain bikes in steel for pure and simple performance reasons.
Pricing, Sizing & Availability
The 2020 Cotic FlareMAX is built for rider heights of 165-195 cm, with sizes Small to XL stretching reach values of 444 mm to 515 mm. The ‘Gold’ spec FlareMAX weighs in at 30.3 lbs without pedals; pay £3,999 ($5,170) and you’ll get Eagle GX groupset, Deore XT M8000 Brakes, Cane Creek DB Air IL Shock, Cane Creek HELM Air 130mm fork, Hope Fortus or Hunt Trail/Enduro Wide wheelset, and an X-Fusion Manic dropper.
The Cotic FlareMax is also offered at 5 other price points, ranging from £2,749 to £6,349, or you can spec up your own build. You can also pick up just the frame and shock for £1,499 with an X-Fusion O2 RCX shock or £1,749 with a Cane Creek DB Air IL shock. For full build and spec options, head to Cotic. The FlareMax is available in Supernova Orange, Red Dwarf and Dark Grey colorways.