Cotic’s new Tonic titanium gravel bike is oh-so-shiny

by James Huang

photography by Richard Baybutt/Cotic


UK-based mountain bike specialist Cotic is adding a companion to its Escapade steel gravel bike: a gleaming titanium gravel machine called the Tonic. 

Weight savings is the most obvious benefit of the TIG-welded 3Al/2.5V double-butted titanium construction, with Cotic saying the Tonic’s 1,647 g frame weight saves more than 600 g relative to the Escapade. Cotic’s “Ultra Compact Geometry” concept is carried over entirely, with intentionally low top tubes that provide more clearance for riders to maneuver over the bike and extra seatpost extension for a more comfortable ride. 

Cotic’s new Tonic titanium gravel bike is starkly beautiful with its shiny polished finish.

Reach dimensions and bottom bracket drops are fairly average for the segment, however, which is a bit surprising given Cotic is somewhat known for its progressive mountain bike geometry. There are also just four sizes available, with suggested rider heights ranging from 1.55-1.91 m (5’ 1″-6’ 3″). 

The RB5 full-carbon fork is also shared with the Escapade, and features a 1 1/8-to-1 1/2″ tapered steerer tube.

Tire clearance is on the more generous side with room for 700c tires up to 44 mm or 650b ones up to 50 mm. Cotic has also graced the Tonic with a healthy assortment of mounts, with conventional fittings for front and rear fenders, a rear rack, two standard bottle mounts inside the main triangle (with three extra holes on the down tube for flexible positioning to accommodate frame bags), and “anything” mounts on each fork leg. 

Additional carrying capacity is provided by an optional UK-made frame bag that is custom-fitted to the Tonic, but still requires hook-and-loop straps instead of dedicated bolt-on attachments like what Niner has been using.

The machined dropouts have an industrial aesthetic to them, but are still quite elegant.

Cable routing is internal for the front brake and optional dropper seatpost, but is otherwise external for easier maintenance with a trio of clamps situated on the underside of the down tube — at least when using a mechanical drivetrain. Shimano Di2 wires are routed internally. Down below is a conventional threaded bottom bracket shell.

In terms of drivetrain compatibility, the Tonic can accommodate both 1x and 2x setups, although Cotic is among a growing number of brands that are making their gravel bikes compatible only with disc-specific cranksets that are designed with additional offset. According to Cotic, standard 2x road cranksets with full-sized chainrings won’t clear the chainstays, although a variety of compact and sub-compact setups will squeeze by.

Cotic will offer the made-in-Taiwan Tonic as a bare frameset and in a small selection of complete builds, all with a gleaming polished finish that adds more than a little bit of flair while still being easy to care for. Retail price for the frameset is £2,199; complete bikes start at £3,449 with SRAM Apex 1 and top out at £5,099 with SRAM Force eTap AXS. Hope bits are featured throughout, including for the headset, seatpost collar, and wheels. 

Interested? Better act fast. As if the global shortage of bikes and bits wasn’t bad enough, Cotic is only planning to build 32 of these things in 2021.

More information can be found at www.cotic.co.uk

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