As a bit of a refresher I decided on a large Cotic BFeMAX frame because I wanted to try out a number of bike geo elements I was interested in: 1) very slack HTA, 2) longer CS, and 3) long Reach. I knew going into this project that I was pushing my comfort zone in these areas, but it made sense to try something new and see what happened…particularly with a reasonably priced production frame vs. going custom for a lot more $$.
I posted the previous part of this bike review back in December 2020. I rode the Cotic BFeMAX as my primary mountain bike for about 14 months. About a week ago I decided to move the parts from the Cotic to a new frame. The purpose of this part of the review will be to sum up my long-term thoughts on the BFeMAX and what I learned from our time together.
On the positive side of things I am pretty impressed how well this bike rode for me. Particularly on less gnarly/steep terrain and in slow speed techy jank. Heck I even threw down 20-40km paved rides to get to the trails and back without hesitation on this machine. That was something I did not expect. I assumed it would be a specialized bike that would be driven to the trails. The fit and finish as well as the clever design elements really stand out to me and indicate that Cotic builds a quality product with a lot of care and attention. I would also note that the ride feel was excellent for a burly bike. Not too stiff nor too flexy. Cotic struck a good balance when selecting the tubing.
So why did I decide to sell it? I was riding the BFeMAX for pretty much all my trail riding for more than a year. In the past I have sold frames after 1 or 2 rides because life was too short to waste on a bike that wasn’t rad. The BFeMAX was a great bike. I really enjoyed riding it. Yet I felt a bit conflicted in that it somehow didn’t rise to the level of my enjoyment for other bikes I own that I hands down love to ride. Now that I have swapped the parts from the Cotic to another frame and I have ridden the new bike what I was missing from the BFeMAX is clear to me. The Cotic was just such a big aggressive bike I felt like I was along for the ride more so than the master of the machine. To quote myself “I want more shred and less sled!”
I can’t fault the BFeMAX for that as I purposely bought the bigger of the two sizes I could ride and stuffed a 160mm fork on it instead of a 140mm fork. I did consider buying another Cotic in a Medium and putting a shorter fork on it. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more, but two issues stood in my way. The first being that I felt that I wanted a shorter CS bike again and the second being that I wanted to run the new bike singlespeed. Cotic does 444mm CS on all sizes of the BFeMAX and having to run a tensioner for SS would be clumsy.
Even with the bare frame sitting in the garage I’m not sure if I will sell the Cotic or hang on to it. I really should sell it, but it’s such a great frame I kind of want to hang it in the garage as bike art and enjoy looking at it remembering our adventures together.
As a last word on the Cotic BFeMAX I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys hardtails with longer CS. It’s a very versatile and very capable quality frame.