Cotic's Escapade Is an All-Road Bicycle Made of Timeless Steel With an Attractive Price

Escapade 14 photos
Photo: Cotic
With technology moving forward as fast as it does, we’re starting to see new-found interest in crafting bicycles out of nothing more than good old and timeless steel. This is precisely the case with Cotic’s newest generation Escapade, a road and gravel wonder designed to be your well, escape from the norm.
Ladies and gents and lovers of anything with two wheels, before us lies the one and only Escapade, a road, gravel, adventure, commute, you name it, bicycle into which Cotic, the minds and hands behind the magic, poured all their heart and soul. As a result, we’re looking at an all-around wonder that is worthy of your attention, so grab a helmet and let’s ride.

Now, the name Cotic has been spotted on our pages before. What’s important to note about this crew is the fact that they’re designing and crafting bikes out of the UK and Taiwan and have been doing so since 2003. The fact that they were able to stay alive in an industry already dominated by countless other manufacturers is a clear testament that this team is doing something right.

All that brings us to the steel Escapade and what it has to offer to interested riders around the world, and it all begins with nothing more than versatility. As I explored the manufacturer’s website, it soon became apparent that Cotic crafted a machine that can meet your needs, my needs, my mom’s needs, and any other rider out there, including an XL frame for taller riders.

Photo: Cotic
Part of the magic lies in the way the Escapade’s frame is designed, with the ability to accommodate an array of drivetrain configurations and manufacturers and its capacity to let you tune your tire size based on your preferences. You can go for a Shimano GRX setup, SRAM, and even Hope. As standard, you can rock up to 650x50c rubbers, but you can go as bold as 700x44c tires.

On the frame, we can see that Cotic has favored external cable routing, but the real takeaway from the frame design is the ability to mount countless cargo bags to its tubes. This means that you can throw on gear of all kinds, including panniers for food and drinks, tools, and even sleeping bags, so that you can ride to the edge of town and not look back until it’s time to start the weekly grind again.

Come to think of it, the Escapade can be used as nothing more than a commuter bicycle, and so all you really have to do once you’ve returned from your trip is unload the bags and gear, take a shower, sleep, and then go to work on Monday. Simple enough if you ask me, and it’s this level of versatility that has pushed Cotic toward redesigning and revamping an already-loved machine.

Photo: Cotic
More on the frame design, tube shape is essential in providing the proper stiffness and compliance that Cotic searched for, and to give rise to their idea of the perfect balance, an Ovalform top tube is used, and a tapered headtube means that, if you really wanted to, a suspension fork could be added to this machine, not to mention the added strength.

I mentioned that all the tubes on the Escapade are completed from nothing other than steel – chromoly, to be precise – but somehow, some way, Cotic still managed to throw on some good old carbon fiber on this mobility device. At the front of the bike, a stiff yet compliant carbon fiber fork is in place, and before you start thinking that a suspension fork should have been used, don’t; you’d end up losing energy to pedal bob, assuming there’s no lockout on your fork.

Another way that Cotic tapers to a wide range of riders is by offering several build sets from which to choose. Or, you can just go for a bare frameset and build it up yourself, only adding the gear you love and trust. But, that doesn’t mean that the complete builds Cotic has aren’t worthy of our attention; they are.

The cheapest complete build you can get your hands on is selling for £1,700, which is roughly $2,150 (at current exchange rates). This version comes equipped with a Cane Creek headset, Continental tires with 700x37c dimensions, SRAM Apex 1x11 drivetrain with 11-42T, and hydraulic brakes, also from SRAM.

Photo: Cotic
The most expensive build is currently selling for £3,850, which is roughly $4,900, so a price tag that is not as high as other gravel-crunching monsters on the market, and that Chromoly frame helps in managing this bike’s price, even though this build is decked out with an SRAM AXS wireless group set with 10-50T cassette, Hope Fortus wheelset, and a few proprietary pieces like the handlebar and stem.

There is, however, another Escapade in Cotic’s lineup that has seen a bit more attention than the ones we talked about here, their UK853 variation, completed locally by hand, using Reynolds steel as the base material, and decking it out with the best components the industry has to offer. The most expensive build here is selling for £4,850, so around $6,150.

Where to from here? Well, you can try to find an Escapade in some local shop, but the chances of that are rather slim as not a whole lot of people know about Cotic. Luckily for riders, they ship to Europe, the US, and even Canada, so give them a call and go from there. Ride safe out there, and always wear a helmet.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery also showcase the EscapadeUK853.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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