Video: Cotic EMTB Prototype First Ride Impressions!

As you should all know by now, Cotic announced that they are developing their own eMTB, this is great news for fans of Longshot bikes who want a motor to help them out on their rides, but the bad news is that Cotic won’t be launching their eMTB until around 2023, and I’ll get into that in a moment.

Cotic EMTB Prototype – First Ride Video

I was lucky enough to swing a leg over the Cotic EMTB prototype a few weeks ago. I’d spotted the EMTB while chatting to Cy and the prototype EEB was actually sat next to us when I recorded a short interview at Cotic HQ, but it wasn’t until a few days later that I would finally ride it.

For Cotic fans, the elephant in the room is that this EMTB is made of aluminium rather than steel, although steel is still used for the seat stays. Aluminium isn’t unheard of from Cotic and in the past, the brand did offer a full suspension alloy frame named the Hemlock, so this isn’t really a change in material but rather going back to something Cotic has already used in the past.

Aluminium actually makes much more sense than steel for an eMTB. There is no reason why Cotic couldn’t have built a svelte steel EMTB, but to get that signature steel zing you need to use skinny tubes and thin tube walls however slender steel tubes and chunky motor and batteries simply don’t mix.

This alloy frameset sports a large downtube that contains Shimano’s BT8036 630Wh battery. This large battery can be removed for storage and charging and it gives the 85nm Shimano STEPs EP8 motor plenty of juice for big Peak District rides.

Cy, the founder of Cotic, based the EMTB on the current Cotic Jeht so you get a similar Longshot geometry and the same amount of travel, 140mm on the rear and 150mm on the front. As this is a prototype and production is still a while off, we might see some changes to the geo before launch, but from my brief ride on the bike, it all felt spot on.

The bike I tested was also built up as a mullet, but I did see other bikes sporting 29in wheels front and rear. It’s great to see Cotic testing both, and I would assume customers could switch between the 2 rear wheel sizes using a similar method of conversion as the non-motorised Droplink bikes.

Cotic EMTB Prototype – First Ride Impressions

As soon as you jump on the Cotic EMTB it all feels very familiar and very COTIC. The geometry is nice and roomy, but not as extreme as some other bikes I’ve tested, and at 178cm I felt really comfortable on the size large bike.

I didn’t get too deep into the geometry of the bike, but Cy did mention that the current prototype had a slight slacker seat tube angle than the current generation Rocket Max, a detail that is likely to change. That said, the seated position didn’t feel slack probably thanks to the forward position of the saddle and lower saddle nose angle.

cotic emtb prototype

If you have ridden a few electric mountain bikes with various different motor systems and battery positions you might already have an idea of the differences between Shimano and Bosch systems. I’m in the school of thought that rates the Bosch system slightly ahead of the Shimano EP8 particularly on steep, technical and loose climbs. That said the Droplink suspension and slightly chunkier rear tyre did help to get the power down efficiently on the greasy rock climbs around Cotic HQ.

Like most full power E-bikes, you can easily leave the Cotic EMTB prototype in Eco mode and have plenty of power and torque for all but the most gnarly of climbs. This helps to prevent wheel spin as well as ensure you get the most from the onboard 630Wh battery too.

cotic emtb prototype

I’m not too familiar with the trails around Cotic’s base, but the team did give me a map where I could explore a couple of local routes. I opted for the longer of the 2 descents and rather than ride it in a loop like I would a non-motorised bike I decided to climb and descend the long rock covered downhill stretch. The Droplink suspension offers a stable climbing platform and you’ll be covering ground at a rapid rate while conquering roots, steps and rocks. The speed at which the Cotic EMTB climbs is impressive and at times you do have the urge to jump into trail or Boost just to see how quickly the bike can clear the uphill section of a ride. In trail mode the Cotic crushes climbs, Boost is a little too much for slick Peak District rock and is best used for downhill sections.

At the top of the climb, I was pretty excited to find a small local jump spot with a few little tables, a lilypad and some berms. It’s telling just how good Cy’s LongShot geometry is when you feel confident enough to hit jumps and turns on a greasy track with tyres and suspension that aren’t quite optimised to your riding style. This EMTB prototype rides just like a Cotic, only one with Boost!

cotic emtb prototype

Being based around a progressive 140mm rear end, the Ebike is eager to get off the ground and will leap around easily despite its overall weight.

After riding the small jump area for a while I took to the downhill section and was immediately struck by the bike’s stable handling. I didn’t ride anything steep on my first ride, but on fast rocky downhills, this bike absolutely rips. Again, the quality suspension and geometry gives tons of confidence.

Cotic EMTB Prototype – Overall

I was pretty damn impressed with the bike. Considering this is Cotic’s first EMTB it does appear to be a good one though I would need to spend much more time on it to be fully sure of what it could handle.

cotic emtb prototype

It’s a good EMTB and it comes from one of the UK’s most celebrated bike brands, so why do we have to wait until 2023 before we will finally see the final bikes and get to purchase them? Well, it all comes down to the current supply chain issues. Component manufacturers have many many bike brands around the world to supply, and anyone placing orders now for parts is going to be at the end of a very long list of companies.

But the long wait isn’t all bad. I’m sure Shimano is keeping Cotic up to date with any future technology changes that they might have in store and I believe the Cotic EBIKE will be future proof to accept any updates we might see. Also, the delay in the supply chain gives Cy and the Cotic crew more time to dial the bike in and make it just right for launch.

This really could be well worth the wait!