Myriam Nicole had an outstanding 2016 season, which (among other things) included a second place finish at the World Championships in Val di Sole and a first place finish at the French National Championships. Myriam's ride received a bit of a tweak for 2017, which may surprise some readers since her previous rig—the Supreme DH V4—originally debuted at Lourdes in April of 2015. This new "4.2" version, however, includes slightly tweaked suspension kinematics, longer reach and a new, stiffer one-piece rocker. Ross Bell caught up with Myriam Nicole a few days ago, just before the 2017 season got its proper start.
Myriam Nicole's Commencal Supreme DH V4.2 Details
• Commencal Supreme DH V4.2, 27.5" wheels
• Frame Size – Custom ("close to a Medium")
• RockShox Boxxer World Cup fork – 200mm travel
• RockShox Super Deluxe shock – 220mm travel
• Spank Spike 800 Vibrocore aluminum handlebars (cut down to 745mm) and 50mm Director stem
• SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes
• E13 LG1+ WideGuide
• SRAM X01 DH Carbon Cranks
• SRAM GX DH cassette
• SRAM X01 derailleur
• Lizard Skins Lock On grips
• Hutchinson 3rd-generation Toro tires 27.5x2.35
Height – 5'4" / 1.64m
Weight – 128lbs / 58kg
Photo courtesy of Commencal Bicycles
I know you play with stack height a bit. How do you set up your cockpit?
The saddle is in the middle position—quite neutral. I like that these Spank bars have a bit of how you say, “kick back”, or sweep. They're so comfortable to ride. I really didn’t think I’d like it, but it’s really fun to ride that way. I don’t ride my levers too low.Suspension
• Travel: Front 200mm / Rear 220mm
• Pressures: Front: 160psi / Rear: 110psi
I see you have the new RockShox Super Deluxe shock this season...
Yes, I’m running air shocks, front and rear, for the first time. This frame is metric, so the shock fits it and I’m really liking it because it’s lighter and it’s working so good. For me, for racing, I prefer the lighter weight…and it’s working like a coil. It has a really good feel to it—I was surprised.
So the bike's weight is important to you?
Yes. I’m not as muscle-y as the men, or even the other girls, so for me it is important to keep it light, although I don’t like it when the bike is too light… it just feels strange then. But how I have it now, it’s just right.
In terms of suspension setup, how do you have it set up?
For the pressures, it varies, but I’m running 160 psi in the front and in the back, 110 psi. Most of the time I have one token in the fork. In the rear, it depends on the linkage we're using, but from one to three volume spacers.
Do you like the bike to sit quite neutral or do you like more sag in the rear?
It depends on the track. For example, when it’s pretty steep and rough I like a little more sag. On a track like Lourdes, there are some steep sections, but it also goes really fast, so I prefer to have a good balance between front and back.
Do you know your compression and rebound settings?
You want to know everything! [Laughing] For the compression on the fork, I like having it quite open. For the rebound I am quite average—I like it in the middle of the setting range. For the back of the bike, I like having the compression quite open as well, but not too much, and I like the rebound on the rear shock almost fully open. It makes the bike very dynamic.
I see you have the Guide Ultimates and not the Codes…
Yes. Maybe because I’m just not riding as fast as the men, maybe I don’t need as powerful brakes. But it also might be my kind of riding. I like to brake a little bit everywhere instead of braking hard at the last moment… I didn’t try them [the Codes], because I am happy with the Guides, but if I feel like they are not powerful enough, I will go to the Code.
You’re running the new Crank Brothers’ pedals as well…
Yeah, I just got them. I will be running them for the first time here.
Did you change any of the bike’s set-up particularly for Lourdes?
No. We did a lot of testing before so I think I have quite the good bike now. Tomorrow we might make just two or three click of damping change, just to make the suspension a bit slower, but nothing major. The bike is already perfect, I think.Photos and interview: Ross Bell