Cotic’s splendid Soul 853 frame is about to get yet more splendider with the 2004 editions gaining a sprinkling of refinements over the original. The appearance of an XL size option is the biggest (ahem) news for the very tall, while you’ll notice that the frames pictured are in the new mean and magnificent matt black colour option. Orange and olive have been added to the decal colour options too.
Other changes are more subtle. As if the Bontrager influence wasn’t clear enough, the Soul’s chainstays now have tiny gussets on them, letting designer Cy Turner do away with the chainstay bridge and gain a load of extra mud room. The stays themselves now have an S-bend in them for added heel clearance for the duck-footed, while the head tube now sticks out a bit more below the down tube – a few riders found that certain fork/headset combinations led to problems with fork top caps nudging the frame in crashes. The cable routing’s been tweaked a bit too. The ’04 Soul is available now at £420 including various handy goodies – seat clamp, chainstay protector, that kind of stuff.
The other big news from Cotic is that they’ve hooked up with Pace as an official fork supplier. Cy reckons the new RC40 is “probably the perfect fork to complement the Soul frame”, with lightweight fans possibly opting for the RC36, RC38 or all-new RC39 air fork. Or even an RC31 rigid which’ll work just fine in its new, slightly longer guise.
Combined frame/fork prices are tbc but will save you about 10% on the cost of the frame and fork bought separately. Forks are available from mid-May.
If you want to have a go on a Soul, get along to the Giant Dirt Demo Day (25 June, Eastnor Park) where test bikes will be available. In the meantime, wander over to www.cotic.co.uk for more info.