With the frame back from InvisiFrame it was time to build. Everyone’s build will be different, so I’ll skip the details of mine, but here are some of the issues I had…
- The rear brake mount is a little fussy about what you can fit. I tried fitting a Hope E4 with a 160mm rotor and it fouled the frame, so I dropped Cotic an email. According to Cotic “We’ve seen the problem with the 160mm rotor/Tech E4 before and it’s a peculiarity with the Hope bracket and fitting a Shimano or Magura 160 rear mount sits the caliper at a different angle and it clears the dropout.” Well, I was using a Superstar mount so I tried a Shimano mount and that fouled too. I stepped up to a 180mm rotor with a Shimano mount and that fouled… Turns out Shimano make more than one shape of mount! The cheap 180mm IS-PM one, not the XTR, is the one you want. If you are not using Hope E4 caliper then you may not have this issue, or you may find issues of your own. Cotic don’t publish a compatibility list or tell you about the possible issues beforehand, so good luck.
- The stealth seatpost routing is tight. The frame came with some gear cable already fed through, I pulled it out. It took some pulling! Fitting a new cable was a work out, I’d hate to be pulling a Reverb hydro cable that hard when removing a post (I use a BikeYoke DeHy). When you ask them, Cotic say “The stealth routing can be a bit tight as it has to pass the Droplink axle on the way. Usually if it feels tight it’s the cable catching on the hole in the bottom of the seat tube – it needs to be fed through really.” Well, I was feeding it I assure you, The friction is all where the cable goes round the droplink inside, where you can’t get to. When I take the link apart in the future I’ll see if there is a sharp machine edge inside of something. Oh, good luck getting the grommet on the exit hole back in, I can’t.
- The chainguide, a custom mount kind of like the S3 “standard” but not, didn’t fit by default. The chainring on my Shimano SLX cranks was to far out. I popped some washers between the mount and the frame to make it fit, and replaced the stock cap head bolts with button head to improve clearance (brake rotor bolts fit fine). Apparently Cotic have not had issues with their demo bikes with SRAM cranks.
- The chainstay protector Cotic send you has no hope of fitting. Its too small in the middle. Maybe I have the wrong one? I was sent all the small parts for an original FlareMAX initially so maybe. I can’t be arsed to chase it up with Cotic, I’ll make my own from 3M tape.
- The cable guide in the shock mount is missing on my frame. Life is too short to chase Cotic. Its an M3 thread, I’ll get creative.
Some post build design observations…
- The routing of the gear cable along the shock means it has to bow out when the rear end compresses. Routing more like the rear brake hose is would have been better IMHO.
- The rear brake, speaking of that routing, could do with another guide by the tyre. My hose keeps wanting to push in towards the tyre. A zip-tie solves this, but is ugly.
- The internal rear gear cable routing exit is massive and the cable rattles around in the hole. On the Cotic site you’ll see their gallery builds have a Jagwire cable guard thing to take up the space. Cotic don’t provide that, so electrical/gaffer tape does the job, but why?
- The Droplink rocker clamp bolts can’t be accesses without removing the stock and moving the suspension through its travel. Which is just more awkward than it needs to be.
When all is said and done, nothing is a show stopper. I’d have expected things to be a little neater on a v2 design, but if Cotic have spent the time on the ride then fair enough. Speaking of riding, lets!