The Cotic Jeht is a 140mm travel trail bike, designed in the rugged terrain of the UK’s Peak District, where technical climbs are interspersed with rocky, janky descents. Cotic is perhaps best known for building its bikes out of steel – a material found more regularly on skinny-tubed hardtails or luxurious looking road bikes. However, the brand believes the material’s properties allow for a beautiful ride feel, precise handling, durability and strength. As such, the front triangle of the Jeht is built from a mix of Reynolds 853 steel and Cotic’s own down tube, while there’s a mixed-material rear triangle, blending steel and alloy. Cotic’s ‘Longshot’ geometry pushes the Jeht firmly into long, low and slack territory, and is based around a stumpy 35mm-long stem for agile handling, despite the bike’s length. My review bike came as a mullet, with a 29in front wheel and a 27.5in rear wheel – an option Cotic offers alongside full 29in builds. Cotic says the mullet build gives more backside clearance at the rear on steeper terrain, as well as a livelier feel on the trail. Dropping a smaller wheel into the rear end of a regular Jeht would lower the bottom bracket and slacken both head and seat angles. Cotic therefore uses a Works Components 1-degree angleset to steepen the angles back towards where the regular Jeht would be, as well as raising the BB a touch.
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet frame and suspension
Exterior cable routing will please many. The mixed alloy and steel rear end uses a Syntace X-12 bolt-thru rear axle, which has a conical washer at the end, rather than the standard flat axle washer. The seatstays are steel, through which the rear derailleur’s cable is routed, while the chainstays are alloy. The suspension has a large-diameter main bearing to keep the relationship between front and rear triangles nice and stiff. Cotic combines Reynolds’ 853 steel tubes, along with its own ovalised down tube in the front triangle. This is done to give the bike the desired ride characteristics, with frame stiffness, durability and overall ride quality having been considered. The seat tube is built around a broad 853 tube, designed to give the suspension pivots a stiff anchor. There’s external cable routing on the frame, save for internal routing along the chainstays to keep cables safe from knocks. There’s room for a bottle and, at the back, plenty of space for 29×2.5in rubber.
Cotic’s droplink suspension is as smooth as any when you’re off the brakes. The Jeht features 140mm of travel at the rear, via Cotic’s ‘droplink’ suspension system. This is a linkage-driven single-pivot design, whereby the rear axle is joined to the front triangle via an uninterrupted swingarm, while there’s a pivot in the seatstay near the rear axle, and a linkage that drives the shock. The droplink suspension has been built, Cotic says, to give plenty of traction, along with ‘fun and interaction’ via a progressive spring rate.
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet geometry
The bike is built around Cotic’s Longshot geometry. Cotic’s Longshot geometry is the British brand’s take on the long reach, slack head angle and short stem approach that’s now prevalent in mountain bikes. It’s a geometry centred on short 35mm stems, with the rest of the handling coming from that basis. Cotic has been on this geometric journey since its founder, Cy Turner, first rode a GeoMetron bike in 2015, and was inspired to develop his take on the geometry theory. As such, the Jeht is long and low, and comes with that stubby 35mm stem. It’s there to keep handling sharp, while the length of the frame offers a stable ride at speed. On my size-large test bike, there’s a 483mm reach – though not the longest in my 2023 Trail Bike of the Year test, still one of the longer options out there.
Cotic crafts with steel to get its desired ride quality. This is paired with a relatively slack 64.20-degree head angle (measured) and a 75.9-degree seat angle (750mm BB to seat height – my pedalling height). This effective seat angle isn’t the steepest around. Compared to the full 29in bike, the mullet version is 0.5 degrees slacker in the seat angle. Dropping a smaller wheel into the rear end of a regular Jeht would lower the BB and slacken both head and seat angles. Cotic therefore uses a Works Components 1-degree angleset to steepen the angles back towards where the regular Jeht would be, as well as raising the BB a touch.
|Seat angle (720mm seat height to BB) (degrees)||75.3||75.3||75.3||75.3|
|Seat angle (815mm seat height to BB) (degrees)||75||75||75||75|
|Head angle (degrees)||64.6||64.6||64.6||64.6|
|Seat tube (mm)||390||425||460||495|
|Top tube (mm)||599||625||651||678|
|Head tube (mm)||100||110||120||130|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||31||31||31||31|
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet specifications
Shimano’s Deore brakes are dependable budget stoppers. At 15.7kg, my Large Jeht isn’t a flyweight, however that’s in part thanks to the spec I requested from Cotic. Cotic is one of a growing number of brands that offers the consumer the ability to tweak the spec of its models in order to suit riding preference and budget. My bike was based upon a Silver SLX build, but with a few select upgrades. First up, as a mullet bike, the Hope Fortus 30 wheelset was required. I also requested the Maxxis tyres, in place of the standard WTB or Wolfpack rubber (at the time of writing, there’s also a Michelin option). Mine came with a Minion DHF at the front in the mid-weight EXO+ casing, while at the back I requested the High Roller II came in the stout DoubleDown casing for maximum damping and puncture protection.
Cotic is able to upgrade the damper in the Revelation – a worthy add-on. The Silver build comes with RockShox 150mm Revelation forks, however Cotic is able to drop in a Charger 2.1 damper at the factory, upgrading the fork significantly – this was performed on my bike. Further back, there’s a Cane Creek DB Inline Air shock, which has plenty of adjustments, as well as a climb switch. This slows compression and rebound circuits, as opposed to locking them out – it works well on technical climbs. Other specs included a Shimano SLX drivetrain and Cotic-branded finishing kit. Shimano SLX 4-piston brakes bring everything to a halt.
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet ride impressions
To get the best out of the Jeht uphill, you’re better off spinning, but the Climb Switch on the shock is good.
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet climbing performance
While it may not wow, the Jeht didn’t disappoint when pointed uphill. I probably judged the Jeht’s climbing ability before I jumped on it unfairly. When my initial setup lap took me up a blue-graded trail centre trail, I was immediately surprised that this mulleted bike, with DoubleDown rubber at the back felt anything but anchor-like. That’s testament to Cotic getting the pedalling performance just right, and Maxxis making its MaxxTerra rubber and High Roller tread not too draggy. The suspension, while not as static as that I found on the Merida One-Forty, remains steady when you’re spinning the cranks. It’s also grippy, with the rear wheel free to bump up and over obstacles on the way up. On really smooth climbs and techy ones too, I used the Cane Creek DB Inline’s Climb Switch a fair bit – handily, it’s easily in reach. This function slows compression and rebound, rather than closing it off. It damps pedal bob effectively, but still gives the wheel freedom to move and generate grip over roots and rocks.
One-Up’s dropper is smooth and reliable. If you stand up on the pedals and mash, the suspension gets out of shape – a touch more than bikes such as the Merida or Trek’s Fuel EX. I also found that on the steepest climbs, the bike sank into its stroke, slackening the seat angle and leaving me feeling a little more rearward perched than I’d have liked. This is perhaps exacerbated, in feel, by the bike’s relatively high stack height, raising the bars higher than I would usually run and further pushing my weight back. The rear axle, sitting below the front, might also enhance this feel a touch. In essence, the Jeht is a great ‘sit up and spin’ bike on climbs – comfortable, roomy and efficient if you ride it ‘normally’. But, as with many bigger-hitting trail bikes, it’s probably not going to win you many KOMs. Shimano’s SLX drivetrain is fully represented, from shifter to sprockets. It does a great job of marrying performance, weight and price. It shifts into easier gears well when you’re putting down some watts.
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet descending performance
The Jeht feels stable and safe when hooning around the trails. The Jeht feels like a ‘big’ bike – I think that’s down to the tall front end (642mm stack) and relatively small BB drop (31mm). Compared to the Merida and Trek, the Cotic’s stack is 26mm and 21mm higher respectively, and the BB drop is 35mm and 38mm respectively on those two bikes (though the Cotic’s smaller rear wheel should also be taken into account here – BB drop has been measured from the front axle). The skinny steel tubes magnify this, aesthetically at least. The higher front end is anything but a disadvantage on steep tracks, and this is where I felt the Jeht really excelled. The higher bar helps keep your weight in the right place between the axles when pointing down a steep chute. You don’t feel as though you’re going to go over the bars, but you’re also not having to get your weight right over the rear axle to feel you’re safe. When you do get your weight back and low, and are hitting compressions, the smaller rear wheel further boosts the bike’s confidence on the steeps.
A stubby 35mm-long stem is the backbone of Cotic’s Longshot geometry. On steep tracks with catch berms and chutes, composure and control are offered in spades. I like how the Cane Creek shock feels – it has a slightly rubbery damped feel, which seems to help the rear wheel mould to the ground, aiding the tyre to eke out grip. The progression feels good too, so when the rear wheel hits the catch, the bike doesn’t disappear deep into its travel. The length is also spot-on, offering tons of stability. At the same time, I came away happy with my decision to ask for the Jeht in its mullet setup. Leaning the bike into a corner felt natural, and if I wanted to flick the rear round on a tight, rooty corner, I was easily able to manipulate the smaller rear wheel to fall right where I wanted it.
The Cane Creek DB Inline has a lovely feel. On less-steep tight tracks, dropping the bar and stem as low as it could go was the order of the day, to ensure I could weight the front wheel well, and ease the initiation of the turn a little. Overall, the mullet setup helped make what felt initially like a ‘big’ bike much more manoeuvrable.
Hope’s Pro 4 hub might be on its way out, but it looks great on this build. On faster, flowing tracks, the Jeht still impressed. It picks up speed well (though sprinting on it does induce pedal-bob soggyness), and is more than adept at holding a solid line through chunder. Here, that slight twang that a decent steel frame can give brings a touch of forgiveness, smoothing the ride and calming its reactions of being knocked off line. Push it into a long corner, and you can almost feel the bike gently flexing and moulding to the corner in delicious traction. Likewise, off-camber roots are dispatched with ease. The bike feels super-stable in the air, and when it comes to the landing, the ramp-up and control offered by the shock, make landing a smooth affair. With the wheel a few inches further away from your backside, everything feels a little ‘safer’.
The Shimano SLX lever offers crisp shifting. Up-front, the addition of the Charger 2.1 damper to the Revelation fork certainly helped the Jeht in this test. I’ve found the stock Motion Control damped forks suffered on fast, rocky trails in the past. The Charger 2.1 damper is smoother and better controlled, and the Revelation chassis is within a gnat’s whisker of the Pike. There are elements of the Jeht that hold it back a touch, though. Despite a comfortable front triangle and upgraded damper, I found the grips thin and uncomfortable, with a little harshness creeping through, perhaps via the stout Hope Fortus wheels. You can also, occasionally, get that flex to work against you – noticeably on slow-speed tight corners, where occasionally I felt the bike coiled up like a spring before springing out of it. It’s marginal, though.
There’s neat cable routing into the seatstay. Most of all, the rear suspension does clam up a bit under braking. As such, on fast, rough rocky tracks, the rear wheel doesn’t quite track the ground as well as some, and comfort is a little compromised here. This would probably be improved a touch by a smoother-rolling 29in hoop out back. The easily accessible nature of the pivots, external cable routing and Cotic’s strong customer service reputation should make life easy. It’s worth noting that during the test period, my heels rubbed the paint off the seastays, suggesting they have quite a wide stance.
How does the Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet compare to the Marin Rift Zone XR 27.5?
Marin’s Rift Zone XR 27.5 has a superb rear-suspension system. Both bikes benefit from the handling afforded by the small 27.5in rear wheel. While I expected the Marin to twist and turn like a minnow swimming away from a fishing net, I didn’t expect the Jeht to be quite so quick to turn. Both enjoy a really beautifully smooth rear-suspension system, and both benefit from high-quality shocks. The Cotic’s rear suspension stiffens more under braking, but this is tempered on fast rocky tracks by the stability provided by the larger front wheel.
Cotic Jeht Silver Mullet bottom line
Though tall, the Jeht corners well, with plenty of grip. The Jeht really impressed me, almost squeezing into the top three bikes in our Trail Bike of the Year test. Let the bike run, and the rear suspension works well with the upgraded forks on my model. The geometry is on point, and the ability to alter the spec to match your pocket is a real bonus. Running the bike mullet-style added to my experience, with surprisingly agile handling aided by the small rear wheel. It’s a big, fairly tall bike, though, and under braking the rear suspension is edged out by some of the four-bar designs out there. One thing is for sure, though, Cotic’s steely aesthetic turns heads on the trail.