Escapade Gravel Bike
One of the fastest-growing sectors of cycling is gravel biking. With this in mind, why not look at a steel machine tuned for just this sort of riding, Escapade from Cotic Bikes.

Cotic's Steel Gravel-Eating Beast Can Suit Nearly Any Pocket and Rider Ability

Escapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel BikeEscapade Gravel Bike
Folks, you may have picked up on the fact that the bike we'll be looking at today is nothing more than a gravel-crushing bicycle built out of steel. But, before you start thinking about leaving this page, don't; steel has come a long way since we were kids.

While most of us remember these bikes as heavy hunks of metal that you could barely get off the ground, in today's industry, technology, and its applications have advanced so much that materials like steel can once again be a considerable foe for aluminum and carbon fiber.

One team that seems to be exploring steel and its wonderous properties is Cotic Bikes, a crew from the U.K. that saw its beginnings around 2002. Since then, through relentless R&D, this manufacturer has grown to sell bikes on just about any habitable continent. To see just what this team can achieve, we can take a look at the Escapade gravel muncher.

Escapade Gravel Bike
Right from the start, you can see the benefits of steel for a bike like this. The frame, for example, features long slim tubes and a solid headtube, welded in place and featuring a geometry ready for roads of any kind. To help you get an idea of how this bike may feel, for a medium-size trinket, you'll find a head tube angle of 72 degrees, a seat tube angle of 73 degrees, a reach of 382.9 mm (15.1 in), and a wheelbase of 1011 mm (39.8 in) are some of the dimensions you can expect.

Now, like most other gravel bikes out there, Escapade does not feature any sort of suspension system. All you'll rely on for vibration attenuation are the tires and the elastic properties of steel. However, to ensure you get the sort of ride you like, you can use 700x47c tires or 650bx50 tires. The choice is yours.

Here's where things start to get a little more interesting. Because Cotic is the sort of manufacturer that's looking to get their bikes into as many hands as possible, what they've done for Escapade and nearly every other bike they create, is offer build sets based on your budget and the sort of riding you enjoy.

Escapade Gravel Bike
The least expensive setup revolves around a Sram Apex groupset with 1x11 speeds, a Rival 1 crankset with 40T, and an 11-42T cassette. Complete this with hydraulic disc brakes, and you're being asked to dish out 1,800 GBP (2,355 USD at current exchange rates) for this piece.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, another build features a Campagnolo Ekar groupset tuned to 1x13 speeds, a carbon crank, a 9-42T cassette, and hydraulic disc brakes once again. 3,900 GBP (5,103 USD) is the asking price for this setup. If, however, you decide that this is already out of your budget, or you just have some spare parts lying around the garage, you can drop 939 GBP (1,228 USD) and grab a rolling chassis to equip as you wish.

The final aspect I'd like to point out is that Cotic is a manufacturer that seems to explore the bikepacking capabilities of their machines. You may even be able to say that this is why they do it, as most of their bikes feature mounts for everything from fenders to water bottles and racks; Escapade seems to be no exception to this idea.

At the end of the day, you can own a solid gravel bike for less than the other guys. That alone is something to consider if you're looking to get into this sort of riding culture, and the Escapade could be the bike to do it on.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories