Reformed and fitting, the 27.5 Cotic Soul
Photos: Ben Winder
Continuing with our Hard Tales series that started off with the Stanton 4X and then onto the Nukeproof Solum we are taking things in a trail direction with number 3 and that means to Cotic and their latest 27.5 Soul.
The Soul has been in the Cotic range for a while now but always in the 26″ guise, still available with those wheels we opted to give the new 27.5 version a go. So what’s it for? Well, put simply, belting through the woods on single track trails. It’s been brought up to date with some small tweaks and we are going to be taking it out on our local trails to see what’s what.
The Soul comes in three sizes, we’ve got a Medium which comes up small for a 6’1″ rider but is still great fun.
Small – 5’5″ – 5’8″ | Medium – 5’9″ – 6’0″ | Large – 6’0″ – 6’3″
Important on any bike and a trail focussed hardtail is no different, the numbers count and the Soul’s geometry is designed to work between 100mm and 140mm travel forks.
We were running 140mm forks which give a 68º head angle (same as the Stanton 4X) with a 25mm BB Drop (5mm lower than the Solum) and a longer chainstay than both bikes at 428mm.
Open Gallery5 Images
A quick gallery with some of the frame’s features
Head angle: 68º
Effective top tube: 614mm
Recommended fork: 100-140mm travel.
Designed by: Cy Turner
The Soul has come on from it’s first 26″ incarnation and there are little features that make it all just slot together into a bike ready to rip. The geometry makes sense and there are up to date additions that make sense when it comes to hardtail riding.
The frame is well finished in Matte Orange, it’s in proportion to the new wheels and a minimal design makes sure everything is there for a reason. The Soul is honest, Cy has made an effort to get the geometry right for inline dropper posts like the Reverb and make sure that it all makes sense for the intended use.
Reynolds tubing is used in the top tube, down tube and a bespoke 34.9 seat tube, the intention being to create the perfect feel for a steel frame. Coupled with the 4130 Cromo rear end designed for plenty of mud clearance it’s obvious the Soul is to be taken far off the beaten track.
Reliable XT, a respected choice here at the Dirt office.
Cy built this 4.5lb frame up with kit he thinks works well on it and it’s a decent one. Hope hubs on Stans rims are a dependable choice. The X-Fusion fork is good to see, a great fork when bigger manufacturers have been getting things wrong. XT drivetrain and brakes are again very dependable and fit the build well, the controls for which are hung from RaceFace bars and a Cotic own brand stem. The Reverb is a good call for this bike and has been used on all the rides so far. Tyres from Bontrager are really good and stand up well in the mud once the pressures are dropped. All in all a clean setup primed for single track action.
Reynolds 853 gives the Cotic enough ‘pop’ but stiffness where needed
With so many carbon full suspension bikes bouncing into this office the Soul is the bike I have been most looking forward to riding. Having had a few rides it feels great, I would get a large if I were to buy one but the agility of a medium frame is definitely not without it’s advantages. The best thing I have noticed is it’s perfect wheelie balance point! Manualing is good to but the ability to pop a wheelie and hold it is a nice treat. A simple grin inducer that will be thrased through the local woods in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for the full shake down soon.
You can find all the details of the Cotic Soul here and if you are in the market for a new hard tail frame then you pick one up for £499 including a Hope Seat QR and neoprene chain guard. Full bikes as tested are available for £2100