When you are sent a bike that is heralded as the 'ultimate do everything bike' you can't help but be intrigued and a little bit excited.
What makes this bike so versatile is how many identities it can adopt. It has clearance for up to 700 x 42c tires or you can fit a set of more robust 26 inch wheels shod with 1.8" knobblies, disc brakes or canti's, slotted drop out with gear hanger to go single or with gears, the combinations are almost endless. Factor in drop bars and in theory you add in a whole new layer of versatility in terms of hand holds and riding position.
We are lucky enough to be the first to get hold of the new drop bar option of the short frame our bike also came with a few component upgrades; a set of Tektro cable disc brakes and the bling carbon Bontrager handlebar and seatpost package.
Cotic make mountain bikes, first and foremost, and this is reflected in the Roadrat. It has the same super compact geometry as the 'Soul' which is very nimble. Cotic use top quality Reynolds chromoly steel tubes which accounts for its light weight (we haven't put it on the scales yet but it feels like it is in the low 20's in old money) and should robust and give a lively and forgiving ride.
With the specification of our test bike having cable disc brakes and drop handle bars yet running 25c tires and only one gear it would favor the utilitarian urban rider who wanted an aggressive, fast bike with reduced maintenance fuss.
Cotic designed Dogsbody dropouts allow a derailleur to be used in the horizontal drop out and also works as a chain tensioner. Slotted disc mounts (which actually work with all axle positions) mean you can run trouble free as singlespeed or hub geared with discs. Plus, the spacing of the rear drop out is 132.5mm which is in between road and MTB but due to the springy nature of the steel you can run either a 135mm hub or a 130mm hub without any problem .
First opinion: After a few spins into town, I must say that this bike definitely turns heads and generates a lot of interest. It is nice when people talk to you at the lights or when you are grabbing a coffee. Also, it is noticeably comfortable even on short journeys that I was almost not bothering to look out for pot holes! I've booked it in for a dirty weekend in Brighton this weekend, let's see how she treats me on a metric century.