Traditionally, Commencal steers clear of trendy innovations. Its adherence to welded aluminum construction and simple suspension kinematics bear witness to that fact, so it is of great interest that the Andorra-based marquis arrived at Fort William with enough 29ers to outfit the entire team. The new bikes are still prototypes. built around their existing DH V4 chassis, with a new rear triangle and, presumably, linkage ratios that have been adjusted to slightly reduce rear wheel travel to keep the tire from contacting the rider or the chassis and also, to adjust the bottom bracket height for the larger diameter wheels.
PB photographer Ross Bell snapped a few shots of the big-wheel Commencal on and off the track. Bell said that the DH V4 29er, "looked real smooth on the track". The team must be in agreement because as of this moment, all will be contesting the BDS round at Fort William on 29ers.
Gaetan Ruffin rips one of Fort Bill's infamous boulder sections in practice.
A look at the new aluminum swingarm. Commencal has done their best to keep the chainstay length as short as practical.
Little is known about the new Rockshox fork—even its name is a secret. The dropped crown may indicate that the stanchion tubes are the same length as the 27.5" Boxxer, and that only the lowers are new.
Spank and Hutchinson are both team sponsors, so they must have known well in advance that Commencal was developing a 29er DH V4 in order to get their ducks in a row to develop wheels and tires in time for the 2017 racing season.
All in: Myriam Nicole, Gaetan Ruffin and Remi Thirion are all riding the 29-inch prototypes at Fort William.