Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Cotic RoadRat - Drop Alfine build



As I am now slowly falling down the slippery transition that is growing up I have come to the point where I need a more sensible everyday bike to do the commuting and keep the fitness up whilst work slyly takes up more of my time. My commute is not massively long but does feature a couple of serious hills, as you may have seen in the Tour of Britain Swansea has a few of those! I wanted something skinny tyred, geared and drop bar but also low maintainance and durable to cope with the stunning welsh weather. The obvious choice for this brief was the RoadRat.


Cy doesnt do the dropbar with a standard geared option. A trawl of the web found the beautifully made barcon shifter by JTEK designed for use with the Alfine hub. The final build is the standard singlespeed dropbar RoadRat with the Jtek shifter and the rear wheel swapped for its Alfine equivalent. The range of gears provided by the Alfine is sufficient for the steep climbs but I will admit the pace is high and there is not an easy cruise gear that you would find on a traditional setup. I dont mind this but I am used to fairly compromised gear setups having only ever run a single front ring on my bikes. The hub itself performs far better than I was expecting. The internet seems full of mixed reviews but I have to say there is no noticable drag and shifts are sharp however they do require easing off the pedals to change. The lever has a really solid action and is very comfortable to use. I love the subtlety and clean look that you get with this setup.



As a commuter this bike fly's. Getting to work is a shed load more exciting and is absolutely flat out down the hill in the morning, it is now a rapid and somewhat brutal way of waking up! The RoadRat handles nicely, the v brakes are so much more effective than standard road brakes which helps raise the confidence when fighting with the traffic. The bike looks really clean and understated which works well to avoid too much attention in the bike sheds. I personally really like the drops as it gives a range of positions for different scenarios whether thats head up amongst other road users or getting the head down for slogging up a hill.


Gandberg said...

Looks great, the type of machine I would like as my own. What were the build costs?

Robbie Rickman said...

It is Cotics standard dropbar build bar the rearwheel which has been replaced by an Alfine one. The only other thing I had to buy was the shifter.

Probably the best thing if you are interested in something similar is to talk to Cy at Cotic for pricing and advice.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nice bike.

Considered a roadrat myself but got a Genesis Alfine day one in the end. What sprockets do you have. Changed mine to 40t front 18t rear, nearly there might go up on the front again as the climbs are still ok in 1st gear.

Cotic BFE in gritstone for off road duty :-)