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Dartmoot Hornet from Cotic Soul


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So I love my Cotic Soul and I'm still super apprehensive about this but my cotic is like an old motherboard. Too many old standards preventing me from upgrading; 27.2 seat post, straight steerer headtube, 26er wheels only. Sadly we've reached the end of the line. So the new squeeze is this Dartmoor hornet I'm building up. I bought this frame or rather paid a deposit before lockdown and then everything went mad but yesterday I got to rolling chassis state. Today will be installing the drivetrain (which being single speed should be simple) if I can get the BB shell clean of the paint currently in there.

 

I remain a little nervous as I've ridden my steel frame exclusively for years now and I'm hoping the supposed harsh ride of al doesn't fill me with regrets but I'm also excited about the new longer slacker geometry more in line with my fork (I was kind of breaking the rules putting a 150mm fork on my Cotic - it was great though). Eventually I'll be moving over to 27.5 wheels and fork but, for now, to avoid spending more money (the frame was a stretch in itself) I'll be sticking with things as they are.

 

A couple other things. Yes I'm riding single speed on a decidedly non gravel bike. I got tired of deraileur issues and the cost involved. I may yet purchase an rd and a cassette again but I'm going to ride single speed as much as possible. Sure you suffer on the way up but the downs are the same and that's the fun part anyway. I'd rather put the money into a dropper right now. My previous dropper snapped clean through on a ride (that's a story for another day).

 

The frame is from trailtech.co.za Craig was great to deal with and I'd wholeheartedly recommend them. I'm also using a rapide sadle and chainring. Rapide.co.za is great too. Something you can't see but was needed is I had to replace the axle in my rear novatech hub with a 142X12 (it was 135 qr) that I got from evobikes.co.za Seat post from linden cycles is somewhat temporary but I feel even a bike that absolutely deserves a dropper needs a fixed post for if the dropper is in the shop.

 

Yes I know my garage is a mess stop judging me.

 

That's it for now. Off to the garage.

 

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I had a Dartmoor Primal. The ride was great. I still mourn that bike.

The paint job on mine was pretty bad, so I'm not surprised to hear about paint in the BB. If you have paint on the face edges you should probably have the BB faced at your lbs.

 

Enjoy the Hornet!

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Firstly congrats!

 

I had a Hornet frame not too long ago, and prior to that I had a On One Summer Season steel framed 140mm HT.

 

The first impression when riding the Hornet was how well the frame was damped, this being only my second aluminium hardtail ever (all the others have been steel), and being a very stoutly built frame, I was expecting to get a hammering out on the trails.

 

Mine I built up after my Spitty frame broke, so I carried over the 160mm DVO and the remainder of the build from the Spitty.

 

That Hornet can claw up a steep bloody climb like no one's business, and really really enjoys it when you point her downhill. I had to unfortunately sell her to buy my YT, but I at least sold it to a good home, and I know where to find her again if I got the itch and cash to do so again.

 

May you have many happy miles and smiles to come on her!

 

 

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Finished. Managed to clean the threads with a stanley knife and a lot of patience. Threaded the bottom bracket by hand to be sure it wasn't cross threading. Everything went together perfect after that. So far I've only ridden it in the drive way but it feels really nice. Can't wait to get it out on some dirt.

 

Are we allowed to ride the spruit at present? I haven't ridden since we went to stage 3 so I don't know what to expect?post-47041-0-42465300-1591383101_thumb.jpeg

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Okay so took the hornet out for a little jaunt on the spruit. It will be taken to more exciting places in due course I promise. Here are my thoughts for anyone considering their own hornet.

 

Compared to my cotic soul. I have literally only one complaint. The seat stays are enormous. You don't see it in all the side profile shots but when riding if you look down and back you can see they protrude wider than the chain stays and as a result I did bash my ankles a few times. I'm also used to tucking my heels back and inward from my previous frame which had very skinny seat stays. As an extension of this I found placing my feet on my pedals required a bit more thought than I'm used to but I suspect this is also just a function of new geometry that I'm getting used to. I ride flats btw so I reposition my feet fairly often unconsciously.

 

The million dollar question compared to steel how does it feel. Is it real? Bare in mind I only have experience of my cotic soul so take this with a pinch of salt. But in my limited experience of steel frames I feel like this frame feels pretty good. I didn't ride any really rough stuff unfortunately but I didn't notice more chatter than I've noted on my cotic riding the same trails. If anything certain sections felt smoother. I think owing to the geometry differences. It does however sound different. Its hard to pin down but there is a difference in the way it transmits sound from the drivetrain. Its minor though and I'm sure I'll get over it.

 

Took it down the delta downhill which has nice sweeping turns and a couple of small doubles and table tops. I took the wrong line which is more flowy than jumpy but I still caught a little bit of air here and there. The big thing I noticed as I've ridden this line a lot on my cotic is how much more confident this bike feels in the air. The cotic was twitchy in the air and generally you felt right on the edge of control the whole time. The hornet seems to love take offs and landings. Now I'm fairly sure this isn't due to my bike skills being any better than they were as I've been off the bike for like two months. I think this all comes down to the lower bb and slacker head angle. A slight negative I noticed is I was missing the apex on berms quite a bit. This might be down to being out of practice but I think its also a function of the wheel base being longer. Found myself having to do a last minute correction coming out of a few berms. But I think a lot of this will get better as I become more comfortable with the changes in geometry. On the whole it feels like this bike is faster and more confident on the downhills which is what I was expecting and I am pleased to say has been delivered.

 

Climbing. Feels very similar to my cotic. No obvious differences here.

 

So the overall experience. Very positive. I had a lot of apprehensions but pleased to find very little to complain about. Will be putting my cotic up for sale in a few days I expect. I'm never going back.

Edited by BenGraham
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RE the heels ... that reminds me ... I put some gorilla tape where my heel would occasionally clip the frame to protect the paintwork.

Good idea. Haven't done much frame protection yet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got to love it and as far as the SS goes ITS THE ONLY WAY!!!!!

Many happy miles of smiles and no worries.

 

Ps if you want to ditch the cotic let's chat

Incase you're interested I just listed the cotic for sale.

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  • 1 month later...

Eeish rigid fork, I tried that recently and I decided the complexity and cost of maintenance for a suspension fork is worth every penny.

Same :D

 

 

Held out for 4 months and couldn't anymore

 

 

The hight I gained on my bunny hops sealed the deal

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Eeish rigid fork, I tried that recently and I decided the complexity and cost of maintenance for a suspension fork is worth every penny.

  

Same :D

Held out for 4 months and couldn't anymore

The hight I gained on my bunny hops sealed the deal

Manning the fark up is not for everybody????????????

 

To me it was the other way around...i eventually decided that the complexities and extortionate prices of owning and servicing suspension forks are totally overrated....and i jumped from 160mm straight to rigid HT haha. Will i own squish again? Probably. A Lauf fork would look leka on my bike I sceme, and brings everything i love about not owning suspension In terms of maintenance to the table, as well as that 60 odd mm of give that will make it all a bit more comfy. Do i need one? Most probably Not.

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