Cotic Solaris 29er Hardtail

4.67/5 (3 Reviews)

Product Description

The Solaris is our all new 29er hardtail. Designed to bring all of the amazing qualities of the Soul to 29" wheels with grace, durability, clean lines, fun, interactive feel and attention to detail. The Solaris has amazing adaptability, from sus forked, big-barred trail warrier to rigid forks map crossing smoothie. Could this be the fastest hardtail we've ever made?

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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by graham allan

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2014

Strengths:    Pretty light for a steel frame.
Geometry is really well realised - long top tube means you can run a short stem (currently a 60mm) which makes steering sharp as a tack.

Weaknesses:    Nil by my count.
It is a real pity they stopped making XL size - I only got mine when talking to the factory about sizing they let me know they had a demo frame available after the XL run had finished & all others were sold.

Bottom Line:   
I bought & built this as an all rounder - for commuting, thrashing around my local sand dune forest singletrack, and some upcoming cycle touring. So far it has fulfilled the first two really well. I swopped many parts off my Tallboy (wheels, drivetrain, brakes) and have not felt any urgency to re-build the fully. I'm still faffing with cockpit set up but the Solaris is really comfy in that doesn't-beat-you-up way that steel cushions the ride. With a 100m fork it is really fun around the twisty singletrack and I'm still searching for the limits of front wheel traction. Certainly it is more fun than the Tallboy was (albeit with 130mm fork) and I don't miss rear squish at all.

Last word; I took ages to decide which way to go on a hardtail (carbon, titanium, steel), but am super happy with this frame, a real gem of purposeful British design. It's a keeper.

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Duration Product Used:   4 months

Purchased At:   direct from makers

Similar Products Used:   Niner (carbon), Cannondale (alu)

Bike Setup:   100mm Fox F29 fork (OEM model, bought second hand)
XT 2x10 drivetrain
XT icetech brakes
Thompson Elite layback seatpost
My partners 30 year old Brooks saddle (loving it)
various bars (wide) & stems (short) - seeking comfort

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Wood

Date Reviewed: December 16, 2012

Strengths:    Super comfortable (once I found the right set up), rolls like a dream, superfast downhill and also a great climber. Still has the steel flex going for it.

Weaknesses:    Generally needs a bit more anticipation when on fast twisting single track than a good 26in hardtail

Bottom Line:   
I'm a big fan of steel frames, and Cotic make the best I've ridden on, they've done a great job on the Solaris getting the rolling power of the 29er whilst maintaining the climbing power and flickability. Easily copes with the technical climbs, ideal for marathons, and pure fun down the single tracks.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Metalheart a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2012

Strengths:    First up this is my first 29er, not got much to compare against so bear with me...
Compared to the equivalent 26er the Solaris is a great climber. It kinda feels a bit like on a road bike (in a good way). Descending and over technical ground its pretty stable and confidence inspiring.
The bike feels pretty sorted. The geo is relaxed (~70 deg HA at 100mm), the chain stays are short (more on that later...), The top tube is fairly long (which I like, I get away with a 65mm stem), 35mm OD seat tube and large dia top tube keeps it pretty stiff where you want it to be. 31.6mm seat pin and dropper cable routing is something I'm keen to try out in due course. Head tube is 44mm which allows low stack height/bars.
Geo is optimised for 100mm but designed to allow 80-120mm. not tried at this but at 100 the front end stays down better than the 26er's do. I like the way the 29er rides (I have a Soul and I had a Soda) in comparison. The position seems that bit more comfortable to me. Could be that I'm at the extremes of a medium in 26 and the extra 10mm on the TT helps.
Its pretty handy in the twisty stuff but does require more 'body english' but then you'd expect that for a 29er.
Weight is under 5lbs for a steel frame, which isn't too shabby :)
Cotic are a small English based company that are very helpful either by e-mail or telephone. I've had nothing but good advice from them (and I've been in touch over the years, a lot!).

Weaknesses:    Weaknesses, well the main one is the short chain stays means that running an Ardent 2.25 the clearance to a 2010 XT 3 speed front mech (high clamp top pull) is tight. The recommendation is either run a SRAM 2012 number or take a hacksaw to the bottom cable arm. Not tried this myself yet but I'm reliably informed this solves this problem! Alternatively running, say an IKON 2.2 also would improve this. Website says its good for a 2.4 Ardent, can't see that myself though...
I found slow speed flat wasn't as responsive as a 26er. Could just go with the territory though.
Another major gripe is that the frame isn't avaiable in Bright Green as of yet (due in July though I'm told). Only orange and blue at the moment...
Also Cotic do not make a small so if you are 5'8" and below this is not going to work for you. The website says they tried a small demo but they didn't like it so they wont be going into production on that size.

Bottom Line:   
A pretty sorted first 29er from a small UK based steel frame company.
Some really nice touches (44mm head tube, dropper post cable routing, 31.6mm seat pin).
Pushes the right buttons. Climbing, descending and over tech for me it matches the 29er hype. Makes me want to ride my bike... :)
If it wasn't for the front mech clearance issues (2x10 are supposed to be okay) I'd give it a five (but then I do like Cotic...)
Cost in UK was £499

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Favorite Trail:   Firmounth/Fungle at Glen Tanar

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Reba maxle forks (set at 100mm)
Sunline 65mm stem with 762 bars.
Hope Evo ProII hubs with Stans ArchEx rim running Ardent 2.25's tubeless
Hope Tech M4 brakes
XT 3x9 transmission
Hope 2H headset (for tapered steerers)

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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