Bike Check: Jack Reading's Carbon-Free Commencal Supreme World Cup DH Bike

May 21, 2021
by Nick Bentley  


With the return of downhill racing in the UK at Gravity Events downhill series round 1, I managed to catch up with Jack Reading and his mechanic Elliot Bond about his 2021 race bike. This year the SR Suntour One Vision team will be racing on the Commencal Supreme. This bike already has plenty of race winning pedigree with the Supreme picking up 34 World Cup wins since 2003.

Jack's build is an interesting one as not only is this bike a totally custom build, built from the ground up for the SR Suntour One Vision team, but it also uses no carbon parts in an era when you find carbon wheels, bars and frames just about everywhere you look. It's refreshing to see a build like this.

On top of that, Jack's Supreme is running a mullet wheel set up from Halo. When I spoke to Jack about why he went in this direction he said the following: "Mullet turns better than 29/29. [You] get the stability of the front wheel being 29 and the agility of the smaller rear wheel. Even though I’m 6’1” I always used to notice the big 29 wheel - either hitting my arse when I moved about on the bike, or stalling me in a corner."
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Jack Reading, // SR Suntour One Vision MTB
Age: 32
Hometown: Saddleworth UK
Height: 6ft1inch
Weight: 75kg
Instagram: jackreading_mtb

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It was the perfect start for the season for Jack on the new bike as he took the win in a decent UK Elite field at round one of the Gravity Events series at Danny Hart's Descent bike park.

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The 2021 Supreme DH can be bought in 29"/27.5" straight from Commencal. It's an alloy 6066 frame with triple-butted tubes, running Enduro bearings straight out of the box ready to race.
Commencal Supreme DH 2021
Frame: Commencal Supreme DH 2021 Mullet
Shock: SR Suntour Tri-Air
Fork: SR Suntour RVX 38
Wheels: Halo Gravitas 29 Front 27.5 Rear
Tires: Schwalbe Magic Mary Soft/Ultra Soft 2.35
Hubs: Halo
Chain Ring: Works Components Custom Team Details
Cranks: Shimano Saint
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 10 Speed 12-30
Derailleur: Shimano Saint
Shifter: Shimano Saint
Brakes: Magura MT7
Brakepad: MT7 Organic
Rotors: 203mm Magura
Seatpost: Gusset
Saddle: Gusset

bigquotesEven though I’m 6’1” I always used to notice the big 29 wheel - either hitting my arse when I moved about on the bike or stalling me in a corner.Jack Reading

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Commencal Supreme is now synonymous with its high single pivot design along with its idler gear. To read more about this and a full review of the 27/29 Commencal Supreme by Dan Roberts can be found here.

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Jack's Commencal Supreme runs a full Saint drive train with a Shimano Ultegra 10 Speed 12-30 cassette. Along with the classic Crankbrothers Mallet pedals.


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The team's title sponsor is SR Suntour and they obviously take care of the suspension on Jack's bike with their SR Suntour RVX 38 fork up front running 200mm of travel via its 38mm stanchions and out back is the SR Suntour Tri-Air 3CR shock facilitating the Supreme's 200mm of rear travel.

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You are not seeing things, that is indeed a climb switch on the top of Jack's shock. The SR Suntour Tri-Air 3CR shock is designed for both downhill and trail use. The TriAir is an air shock that features a positive and negative air chamber along with an IFP. I was keen to speak to Elliot about running what many people would say is a trail/enduro bike shock on a downhill bike, piloted by a rider as fast as Jack and he said he had been blown away by the Tri-Air 3CR and its ability to take the punishment that the team was giving it, without any issues at all.

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The SR Suntour One Vision team are running Halo Gravitas wheels. They are 27.5mm internal width and utilize tried and tested asymmetric design. Wrapped around these are Schwalbe's ever-popular Magic Mary tires in Soft and Ultra Soft compounds and in 2.35inch width. At the core of the Gravitas wheels are Halo's 120 point pick-up MT Supadrive and MT Front hub.
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There are plenty of personal touches on Jack's bike. Starting at the back, Jack's Mechanic Elliot Bond has used velcro loop tape to both protect the swing arm from the chain on its way up to the idler, but also to reduce any noise to keep the bike nice and quiet through the roughest of rock gardens.

The personal touches do not stop there. You can find "Reading" printed on the Works Components chainring, as well as on top of the Works Components top cap. To top all of that off, the team also have personalized and branded mudguards and number plate boards as well.
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Braking is taken care of by the Magura MT7s. The MT7 Pro’s one-piece 4-piston caliper is made of forged aluminium with the ergonomically-optimized 1-finger HC lever blade fitted to the Gusset handlebar. Jack is running organic pads in his MT7's and 203mm Magura rotas fastened to his Halo wheels.

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Lastly, but by no means least, Gusset provide Jack with their handlebar, stem, seat post and saddle.


MENTIONS: @SRSuntour / @COMMENCALbicycles


Author Info:
Mandownmedia avatar

Member since Nov 28, 2019
268 articles

106 Comments
  • 123 2
 Is that a carbon fibre downtube protector?
  • 59 3
 and a carbon fibre race plate holder
  • 18 11
 Sadly, it looks like it is. I honestly don't think that counts as a CF part since it is not integral in any way, but if the goal is to go carbonless it should probably be removed.
  • 33 1
 And dont forget that MT7 master is in part made of carbon!
  • 6 3
 Maybe flax fibre. Even mixed with glass fibre. So potentially no carbon fibre.
  • 4 5
 It might be faux carbon fibre. I had one about 15 years ago. It was sh1t. And heavy
  • 6 1
 @Warburrito: isn’t that worse? CF for the sake of it, not because of its superiority as a material in certain situations?
  • 8 3
 nah, they are rubber protectors on Comm Supremes, I know this because I own one. Got trolling though
  • 33 0
 Looks like it's got a carbon kickstand (technically wood is carbon)
  • 3 1
 @usmbc-co-uk: look at the picture of the shock, the stock rubber downtube protector has a carbon one added over the top for extra protection.
  • 16 0
 And Jack Reading is a carbon based life form, should replace him with one of us Americans as we're primarily aluminum based from all the cans of Coors Light and PBR
  • 1 1
 @AyJayDoubleyou @maglor: Came here to say the same thing as you two lol
  • 5 0
 It’s harder than you think.

I was about to post that I built my DH bike carbon fibre free by accident, until I realised…the bloody thing has CF headset spacers…
  • 4 0
 @squidvicious: comment of the day nomination
  • 3 0
 @Warburrito @squidvicious: I second that nomination *takes swig from a Rainier can*
  • 2 0
 @squidvicious: @Warburrito: @loudnfrdr24: I third the nomination. Now we can introduce legislation to prevent the extinction of carbonated-based life.
  • 35 6
 The no-carbon flex is interesting to me in a sport which is inherent with international travel at the WC level and a push for consumerism (new parts, frames, clothing, etc all the time). I mean the purpose of advertising is consumerism at the end of the day, people buying the latest and greatest to generally replace something that was working perfectly fine before with something that is moderately better.
  • 18 1
 In all fairness...faulty teammates aren't just dumped into the ocean. ...in some cultures they may be placed in a boat, set adrift, then set on fire with an arrow from a distance. I think most would argue that's epic enough that they should get a pass though.
  • 4 1
 @Warburrito: The carbon thing seems to me to be something that manufacturers, teams, etc can work together to be accountable for. It just seems like a point of contention in an industry that is built on consumerism, I mean sure that doesn't mean things end up in the ocean, but is the landfill that much better? Out with the old in with the new
  • 22 2
 I don't think environmental impact is the motivation for using all aluminum parts on this bike. But I notice this type of hypocrisy frequently.
  • 7 0
 Genuine question. Why is it hypocritical to not want to add to the pollution problem associated with carbon fibre manufacturing and end of use disposal. And use a material which is infinitely recyclable as aluminium is.

Is it not hypocritical of everyone reading Pinkbike who has every brought carbon fiber part or Disposed of a used tyre or tube. When you could get exercise and entertainment in a more environmentaly friendly way. Ie running barefoot wearing clothes weaved from hemp that grew in your garden to avoid the pollution of manufacturing and transporting clothing to you. And it end of use disposal @WalrusRider:
  • 3 0
 @VPS13: i must have commented on the wrong thing. I thought I was commenting on someone complaining about race teams traveling and therefore destroying the environment whether they use carbon or not.
  • 9 2
 Nobody is flexing, this is just the author who pointed the fact that there is no carbon on this bike. Jack and his mechanic have nothing to do with this article.
  • 2 0
 It'd be one thing if everyone were saying they won't use carbon fiber parts. I know plenty of people who are proud to only use metals, maybe this is advertising for them specifically haha.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: I built an all metal patrol from the ground up last year, It is definitely cool to see a pro rider do the same Smile
  • 29 1
 I think that the point of this bike is not to say that carbon is bad for the environnement, but is about the fact that you don't need the last carbon wheels or frame to go fast. Saving a bunch of money in the process. Also, Jack never said he is proud of his carbon-free bike, this is just the author of this article who pointed it out as a particularity of this build.
  • 4 32
flag parkisatool (May 21, 2021 at 6:29) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah, problem is he is nowhere near fast... so it proves jack shit
  • 1 1
 That's what I got from this too. I knew the process to make cf could be dirty but I never thought of it as any worse of a material for the environment. Just more expensive, and that's relatable to a bunch of riders who can't afford the latest greatest cf parts, like myself haha.
  • 4 0
 I didn't see any indication that the team was trying to make any point with the bike, it's just something the article noted.
  • 16 0
 This is why I don't understand people who hate on SR Suntour. There's this crazy stigma that even mediocre riders love to talk shit on SR parts. Bro, you can't even nut up to a medium drop squirrel catcher, you don't need a Fox Factory with Grip 2.
  • 7 0
 I googled "medium drop squirrel catcher" and all I got was actual squirrel catchers
  • 4 0
 @timeOday: lol. you know, a drop that's maybe 12 to 24 inches. Nothing big but scary enough to turn away filthy casuals Smile
  • 5 0
 @timeOday: Americans will use anything but the metric system
  • 19 2
 I’m assuming the main reason it’s a carbon free bike is that none of the parts sponsors actually make any carbon parts?
  • 5 0
 Indeed. I had to check Halo and Gusset and you're right. Halo only sell some road carbon wheels but not mtb. No carbon bars from Gusset. Shimano obviously don't make carbon cranks, so here we are.
  • 14 0
 This is the man that used to strap lead to his downtube
  • 28 0
 And no longer has to with his commencal
  • 8 1
 Enduro bearings is a brand not a product. They make cheap bearings too. Are they max, abec 3, abec 5, black oxide, or what. Knowing what level of product would be more useful than the brand.
  • 2 0
 @BunnyR10: those are good bearings for frames, or things that require lateral stiffness but dont rotate completely or fast rpm...they should have said that...they're good utility bearings. Not the smoothest, but durable.
  • 1 0
 Which bearings are the best based on the abec rating? And is it different for things making full rotations like wheel hubs vs parts going back and forth at high speed like pivot points? Genuinely curious here.
  • 4 0
 @DylanH93: If I remember correctly, abec is a measure of roundness and tolerances of the balls and races. The higher the better. 5 is really the high standard for bikes. Most bearings have plastic spacers that keep the balls spaced evenly. Max bearings do not have the spacer, and have more balls which increases the strength, but they run with more drag, so they are great for slow rotation parts or pivots that dont ever completely rotate but need lateral stiffness. That being said they do run just fine and get smoother after they break in...guys hard on hubs might use them for that. Ceramic bearings are the most expensive and efficient for bikes, within reason, but wear out much faster also, so they are not worth it unless you're a doc or racer willing to replace a $10 bearing with a $50-$80 bearing and have it last 1/4 of the time. Angular contact abec 5 are also popular for pivots and have greater lateral strength, but need an appropriate bike design to preload them properly. Really, standard abec 5 for wheels, bb, headset is good. Max bearings for pivots. Maybe choose stainless varieties if you wash your bike or live in a wetter climate.
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: good to know! Thanks for the explanation. Enduro Bearings are the standard brand to go with? Haven't had to replace any bearings yet luckily.
  • 4 0
 @DylanH93: enduro is really the only large bearing manufacturer that makes a bike specific catalog and works with a lot of manufacturers in the industry. They make good bearings. There are other good brands like sks. I think a bearing is a bearing if you know how to pick the right constuction and quality level. Stick to abec 5 from non Chinese bearings and your fine. Japanese bearings are good...
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: Enduro has several grades of bearings up to ceramic full-race. A good thing about the Enduro bearing company (which has another name on the package when it arrives that I forget) is that you can tell them the year and model of your bike and they will have a kit with every p/n of every bearing on the bike. Just buy what you need or the whole kit n caboodle.
  • 8 0
 I have a carbon neutral bike. The weight of the non-carbon parts far outweigh the weight saved on the carbon parts.
  • 6 0
 Carbon-free makes it sound like some sort of consumable. 100% carbon-free Supreme with no artificial additives or flavourings!
  • 5 0
 I run a Triair and an EXT storia on my trailbike. Quite amazed at how good the Triair is. 80% of the performance for 30%of the price.
  • 1 0
 No doing I have a tri air and Auron fork. I love the both
  • 5 0
 Cool bike. On a downhill bike I don't see the need to save a little weight with carbon components.
  • 3 2
 Agreed except on the wheels, that is unsprung weight and all else being equal a lighter wheelset should follow the ground more closely through bumps
  • 2 0
 @timeOday: That's a good point. But how much of a difference does it make? It would be interesting to see a comparison between a light wheelset and a heavy one with data logging.
  • 3 0
 @timeOday: I have carbon wheels on my Enduro. Alum on my supreme. Both 27.5. my supreme definitely accelerates faster so I don't think material makes a difference for rotating weight.
  • 3 0
 @timeOday: the issue is that carbon wheels used in dh or enduro are no longer any lighter than aluminium equivalents.
  • 2 0
 I own a 2021 supreme in the team build. I also own a full carbon Enduro S works. Everything that can possibly be carbon on my Enduro, is carbon. I have zero carbon on my supreme. The supreme is an absolute weapon and proves that carbon isn't needed to make a fast bike. Immediately on my first lap I was faster than I've ever been. I hit a decently large step down and gap jump that I've been terrified to hit for years. Commencal knows their shit when it comes to building aluminum bikes. I'm so impressed with how well it rides I am considering selling my Enduro and going with a meta for my pedal bike.
  • 2 1
 I can’t believe nobody has asked the most important question? What does it weigh? Just curious. My Rocky Mountain “Carbon Maiden” \m/ is under 35 lbs. My son’s Norco Range with his Reynolds Carbon wheels weighed in at 35 lbs, then he changed to Spank alloy rims and I9 Hydra hubs and went to 37 lbs in full Enduro trim.
  • 5 1
 Aren't MT7 levers composite?
  • 5 0
 “Composite” doesn’t automatically mean carbon
  • 4 0
 @DizzyNinja: Maybe not but Magura's are carbon composite.
  • 1 0
 haha good catch
  • 1 2
 @raytheotter: then say carbon instead of composite?
  • 5 1
 They’ll be making frames from plywood soon and charging $10k+
  • 1 0
 Dirk makes beautiful bamboo bars which are amazingly comfortable
Not DH rated though

www.passchier.co.nz/?utm_source=googlemybusiness&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=gmb

He also make paddles and boats which are works of art.

Its very labour intensive so cost is higher than your average bar.
  • 2 0
 With the price of lumber recently that price tag isn't unreasonable.
  • 3 0
 Music to my ears and vision. I hope he beats every bike out there that has any carbon on it. Long live metal bikes!!
  • 3 0
 What size is he on?

I'd assume L, but plenty of 6'1 guys go up to XL and a few oddballs at that height (like me) ride a M.
  • 3 0
 The forks is not a RVX, it's RUX. And it's actually a 27.5 version.
  • 1 0
 I was wondering if they launched a new fork, that makes since it was just a typo
  • 1 0
 Are you saying it is a 29" wheel on a 27.5" fork? Doesn't seem like you would have much mud clearance.
  • 1 0
 Are you sure? The user manual says there is a ' RUX38 29" BT' version for 29 wheels.
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: Mick Hannah also seems to be running this configuration on his RUX. It's... tight.

@Aptlynamed: Could be, but Suntour's website doesn't currently list one!
  • 4 0
 You can just make out the 27.5 sticker on the fork. I thought Micks tyre was a tight fit but they’ve gone and stuck a mud guard in there as well making it even tighter.
  • 2 0
 @DH1977: Enhance... enhance... enhance... 27.5
  • 1 0
 about to say that
  • 3 0
 That's not what we mean by reduction in carbon footprint...
  • 1 0
 We rei-eign, supreme, ooooh god!! Burrito supreme, and a chicken supreme And a cutlass supreme Supreeeeeme yeaaaaaah go now Kyle! 1-2-3 Supreme!!!
  • 2 4
 I’m assuming the non carbon line is because either the teams sponsors don’t make any carbon kit or they are trying to green wash themselves. Green washing is a bit pointless for a sport based on travelling round the world spending the sponsors marketing budget to help sell more stuff
  • 3 1
 From an environmental standpoint I wouldn't see the issue with convincing the fans that if a pro downhiller doesn't need carbon fibre, neither do you. Of course made in Europe carbon fibre has very different implications to made in China carbon fibre, in terms of environmental regulation.

I'm not even sure what you would even want on a dh bike in carbon, aside from the frame and maybe stem spacers?
  • 2 1
 I disagree, if a pro sells thousands of people on something the impact is multiplied by thousands of times. That said we gotta figure out a better way to do air travel, which isn't easy to do, or to recapture the carbon.
  • 2 0
 My high school chemistry teacher would call this bike inorganic.
  • 4 2
 The bronze age has called, they want their carbon free bike back.
  • 4 3
 Hands up who has ever recycled their handlebar, cranks or wheels?
  • 4 0
 Sure. They get put on newer builds or old frames getting a new life.
  • 3 0
 Why would you put them in your landfill waste bin? Most bike shops have metal scrap bins for aluminium and "other" if your council don't do collected recycling
  • 5 0
 Me. Metal recyclers will pay you a few bucks for your aluminum parts. Or you could sell second hand or donate to the local collective to use the parts.
  • 4 0
 @parkisatool: I made a pull up bar in my back yard out of my old handlebars, it hasn't even snapped yet
  • 1 0
 You forgot to add "analog" in the title also.
  • 1 0
 It's not the Suntour RVX its the RUX
  • 1 0
 where to i get my own magura rotas
  • 1 1
 Would be interested to hear how they get black tyres without using carbon black.
  • 8 9
 How many tons of CO2 were spent to produce this "carbon-free" bike :-) ?
  • 2 8
flag Warburrito (May 21, 2021 at 4:28) (Below Threshold)
 Its called a Wyn, win, win/Wyn. Bikes are produced generating CO2 (Wyn). The ocean and plants use this as fuel and release Oxygen (win). Humans and animals can then breathe the oxygen they give off (win) or produce more bikes (Wyn) and turn it back into CO2 for the plants and oceans.
  • 1 3
 No carbon but plastic brake leavers lol
  • 3 5
 what a joke
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