The 2020 Cotic Solaris Max- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The 2020 Cotic Solaris Max

    I didn't see any threads about this bike, so I decided to start one. I've recently been able to spend some time on this bike. Here's a first look:


  2. #2
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    Nice review! I'm looking forward to seeing the ride reports and more on how you think the BFe and Solaris compare.

    Here is mine:

    The 2020 Cotic Solaris Max-20200425_091710-copy.jpg

    It's from the last batch - originally I built it up with spare parts but because I've been enjoying the bike so much I've been replacing them with nicer ones as the old ones wear out. Seems to be a great all-round bike so far.

  3. #3
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    Any Cotic solaris max in the wild? New frames have been shipping for a while now and I can't find some pictures besides Steve's review... Would like to see an orange complete build
    2015 Salsa Blackborow 1
    2017 Devinci Hatchet Carbon
    2009 Spec Tricross Sport
    2019 Ibis Ripmo

  4. #4
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    Really interested in hearing more thoughts about this frame.

    I want to have a steel 29er frame be the chassis for two bikes in one with just tire/wheel swap and maybe a fork swap: a rigid, light duty mtb/heavy duty gravel bike and a "downcountry" hardtail with a 120-130 fork.

    I have a Banshee Spitfire V3 that covers everything more burly than what I'd do on this setup.

    I'm 5'10" with a short for my height inseam of 30" ó thinking the medium Solaris looks perfect geo, especially that short seat tube paired with 460 reach. That relationship is super important for my neanderthal-like build!

    HTP ó do you still have the Solaris in for review? Any chance you'll take it bikepacking?

  5. #5
    hardtail partier
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    I no longer have the Solaris, sorry. I sent it back. This bike is s lot more aggressive than its geo chart suggests. Also keep in mind that they measure geo sagged.

    I think it'd be a nice bikepacking bike, but it's going to be slacker than what most bikepackers will want.

    I don't think it'd make a great gravel bike, but I could be totally wrong.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardtail party View Post
    I no longer have the Solaris, sorry. I sent it back. This bike is s lot more aggressive than its geo chart suggests. Also keep in mind that they measure geo sagged.

    I think it'd be a nice bikepacking bike, but it's going to be slacker than what most bikepackers will want.

    I don't think it'd make a great gravel bike, but I could be totally wrong.

    So kind of hard to pull a manual on this bike I guess? Been reading some rider review on this bike around the web and it is pretty darn well-liked. Thanks for your review I like that mentioned how nice the steel was on this and the Bfe Max.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpartyinWI View Post
    So kind of hard to pull a manual on this bike I guess? Been reading some rider review on this bike around the web and it is pretty darn well-liked. Thanks for your review I like that mentioned how nice the steel was on this and the Bfe Max.
    Yes, lifting the front on the SolarisMax takes some extra effort. The trade off is an extremely stable bike when things get steep and rough, up or down. It holds a line well but isnít a tank or too cumbersome when changing directions. Whips and general flick ability in the air are possible but not itís forte. Perfect for bombing downhill and dropping off ledges and boulders, etc... it really wants to be pushed. Oh yeah, it absolutely rails long sweeping, loose corners too.

    This is my first premium steel frame (have owned a few overbuilt frames) and the ride quality is tops.

  8. #8
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    Thanks mnigro. Decisions decisions.

  9. #9
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    Sparty, Steve (aka HT Party) seemed to really like the new Honzo. Check out his review if you havenít seen it.

    ...the Cotics are awesome though.

  10. #10
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    @hardtailparty How would you say this compares to the Nimble 9 & SIR 9? I take this wouldn't be as good for bikepacking as the other two?

  11. #11
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    If it helps anyone asking about using this bike for bike packing and less high speed or technical riding... I just rode a trail that I havenít been on in years. Itís a slow, kind of boring, uber tight trail that has sharp corner after corner - never really lets you open it up. Lots of pedaling so I brought the Solaris. It kinda sucked. Lots of work to get the bike around the tight slow corners and just a blah riding experience. Sure, it worked but if this is your normal type of ride the Solaris May not be the best bike for those types of trails. The Cotic really comes alive when you can open up the throttle and rip. Iím running a 530mm A2C fork which is their minimum reco.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funoutside View Post
    @hardtailparty How would you say this compares to the Nimble 9 & SIR 9? I take this wouldn't be as good for bikepacking as the other two?
    If you're looking for something to bikepack on and have it narrowed down this far, the SIR9 is going to be the pretty clear winner imo. The new Nimble 9 has a really big fork and the Cotic is going to be pretty aggressive for bikepacking.

  13. #13
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    I can't comment on the Solaris as a bikepacking ride yet ó mine is on the way ó but I think it's important to keep in mind that's a broad term and can mean very different things to different people. If you're mostly hammering out long miles that aren't very technical and the camping aspect is more the priority than (or evenly prioritized with) the riding, that's going to lead you towards one type of bike. If you're essentially wanting to go on multiple day, all-day trail rides and just happen to be carrying camping gear to do so, that's a different kinda bike.

    I'd bet the large majority of bikepackers are in reality doing weekend/long weekend trips and only dreaming about the months long epics we see on bikepacking.com. I know I am! I'd also say pretty much any bike will do for shorter trips.

    I plan on bikepacking on both my full suss and soon to be built Solaris. Different expectations and different destinations. Either way, it'll be good times.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeynets View Post
    I can't comment on the Solaris as a bikepacking ride yet ó mine is on the way ó but I think it's important to keep in mind that's a broad term and can mean very different things to different people. If you're mostly hammering out long miles that aren't very technical and the camping aspect is more the priority than (or evenly prioritized with) the riding, that's going to lead you towards one type of bike. If you're essentially wanting to go on multiple day, all-day trail rides and just happen to be carrying camping gear to do so, that's a different kinda bike.

    I'd bet the large majority of bikepackers are in reality doing weekend/long weekend trips and only dreaming about the months long epics we see on bikepacking.com. I know I am! I'd also say pretty much any bike will do for shorter trips.

    I plan on bikepacking on both my full suss and soon to be built Solaris. Different expectations and different destinations. Either way, it'll be good times.
    True. It really depends on what your main activity with the bike is. I assumed it was *mostly* bikepacking since that was pretty much the only thing mentioned in the above question. If you just want a really fun bike that you can take on an overnighter every now and again, I would definitely consider the N9 or Cotic. If you're going super remote and doing longer trips, I would want the SIR9.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    True. It really depends on what your main activity with the bike is. I assumed it was *mostly* bikepacking since that was pretty much the only thing mentioned in the above question. If you just want a really fun bike that you can take on an overnighter every now and again, I would definitely consider the N9 or Cotic. If you're going super remote and doing longer trips, I would want the SIR9.
    You motivated me to take a look at the new SIR9 ó very nicely appointed for bikepacking and I agree with you that would be the frame to build up if bikepacking is the focus and longer trips are the plan.

    For me, I'll only do one or two short trips a year on either the Solaris or my Spitfire and daily riding is way more the focus.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    If you're looking for something to bikepack on and have it narrowed down this far, the SIR9 is going to be the pretty clear winner imo. The new Nimble 9 has a really big fork and the Cotic is going to be pretty aggressive for bikepacking.
    Well bikepacking would be more of a side/2 day thing, but good to know. I want a fun ht I can bikepack with & could fit at least 29x2.5 &/or 27.5+. My current bike(Beyond+) is bikepacking specific mtb(with a rigid fork, but sus corrected), but it's a tad heavy(31-32lbs). Wish could be a bit more nimbler & modern(69* hta but reach is modern adjacent). Steve's review of the Solaris caught my eye a while back & this thread had me wondering about some of the competition.

  17. #17
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    What is the typical weight of a Solaris Max build? Would 30bls or less without really going weight weenie bits be possible or too optimistic?

  18. #18
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    The weights on Cotics website are a little understated, I believe HTP weighs his frame in one of the videos. that said, You could easily get it under 30lb. wheels, tires, and your fork would be the major factors. 1000g tires will hurt your goal.

  19. #19
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    Check out this article: https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-gea...ld-gone-light/

    I think sub 30# is totally doable without going crazy with the carbon.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funoutside View Post
    What is the typical weight of a Solaris Max build? Would 30bls or less without really going weight weenie bits be possible or too optimistic?
    I havenít weighed mine but itís noticeable lighter than my Knolly Endorphin which sits just a smidge over 30lb. Iíd estimate Iím around 28lb but can get an actual weight if you want me to.

    My build is full XT, split stem and oozy vibro bars, xr2 2.6 r/f trail king protection 2.4 and a PNW dropper. FlowEX on Hopes and Fox 32 fork.

    Fork, dropper and wheels are all recycled from an old bike I sold. Covid shortage meant I couldnít get all the parts I wanted so decided to wait. My incoming Pike will add 1/2 pound while new wheels will shave at least that much off so, net-net, no change.

    Hope this helps.

    The 2020 Cotic Solaris Max-44ec5abf-c432-4ee8-ac1e-531a9328b52c.jpeg

  21. #21
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    Looking into it the Solaris Max meets what I am looking for. It can do 29x2.6 & 27.5+, has a threaded BB & a roomy enough triangle.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funoutside View Post
    Looking into it the Solaris Max meets what I am looking for. It can do 29x2.6 & 27.5+, has a threaded BB & a roomy enough triangle.
    I hope I didnít give you the impression that Iím not completely excited about my Solaris Max... and I wasnít trying to steer anyone away from this bike. Itís got a phenomenal ride quality and is visibly a top quality frame. And this thing rips.

  23. #23
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    Your review has been helpful in knowing the weight. I think i am going to older a frame if there is any left during the summer(to give me ample time to save up) if they are still available. Thanks

  24. #24
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    I've had mine since the middle of summer and it weighs 30.2 lbs with no weight saving parts (Pike, alloy wheels, dropper, etc), so you could mos def get sub 30 lbs with minimal effort.

    I think Hardtail party and other contributors nailed the review and impressions of this bike: it's a stable platform that feels great at speed, on fast sweeper and charging moderate chunk and drops. It's a very competent bike on steep downs yet tight switchbacks, feeling "playful", and slow pick-and-choose-your-line trails are not it's forte. It also climbs really well and has a relatively wide forgiving sweet spot that allows you to move your body fore and aft without suddenly losing traction.

    I think the Solaris max has one of the most supple (without being flexy or flimsy) hardtail frames I've ridden, just beautiful ride quality! I also briefly has a Cotic Bfe max and much preferred the Solaris for my needs.

    That being said I've ordered a new 2020 Nimble 9 for next spring to try out I think it might be a little better suited to my northeastern trails

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