Bike Check: Myriam Nicole's Commencal Supreme Mullet

Aug 24, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

The 2019 season may not have started in the best way for Myriam Nicole, but by the end she had recovered enough from her foot injury to secure the rainbow stripes in Mont-Sainte-Anne, and grab a second-place finish at the final World Cup round in Snowshoe. With more time to prepare for the 2020 season, Nicole is raring to go for this year's racing, which was evident by her French National Championships victory.

As a rider that has ridden both 29" and 27.5" bikes over the past few years, and who made the decision to go back to the smaller wheels last year, Nicole and her mechanic worked hard over the winter months to decide on the mullet bike as her perfect race machine for 2020.

During testing, Nicole found that the advantages offered by the mullet setup match her riding better than going with a single wheel size. Currently, she is running a 27.5" front triangle that they have adapted with a Chris King headset. There's also a custom shock mount with two different shock positions, giving Myriam the opportunity to experiment with different setups.
Rider Name: Myriam Nicole
Team: Commencal/Muc Off
Instagram: @myriam_nicole

With the suspension, not much has changed from last year's setup with 135psi and 1 click of high speed and 12 clicks of low-speed compression on a RockShox Boxxer at the front. Controlling rear suspension duties is a RockShox Super Deluxe pressured to 168psi and 6 clicks. One interesting spec choices on Myriam's bike for this weekend was the choice to go for a 200mm rotor on the front and then the larger 220mm option out back, which seems to be the reverse of what we have been seeing on other people's race bikes.

Frame: Commencal Supreme - Mullet
Fork: RockShox Boxxer
Shock: RockShox Superdeluxe
Wheels: ENVE M9
Tires: Schwalbe Prototype (Front 1.6 bar // Rear: 1.7 bar)
Inserts: No Inserts
Drivetrain: SRAM XO
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
Rotors: Front: 200mm // Rear: 220mm

A Chris King Buzzworks headset is being used to adjust the mullet setup to fit the feel that Myriam wants from her race bike



  • 75 2
 Mullet wheels was so yesterday... reverse mullet rotors is where it’s at right now ; )
  • 2 1
 why would you run a bigger in the rear? Common sense always said run the larger in the front.
  • 6 8
 @adrennan: Bigger rotor in back to dissipate heat and allow for better modulation. The front brake isn't used as hard as the rear so there is less heat to dissipate, thus go smaller to save weight. Street bikes can have big front brakes since they have a lot more traction up there when stopping.
  • 7 2
 @skylinecul8r: ..... pretty sure on mountain bikes you still get more braking force from the front.
  • 3 0
 @skylinecul8r: Quit skiddin on berms EXPOSED
  • 2 2
 @adrennan: yeah but you dont use them as often
  • 40 0
 There's no adapter for the rear rotor. Suggests 220 is the smallest that will fit the frame.
  • 5 18
flag skerby (Aug 24, 2020 at 14:31) (Below Threshold)
 I reckon someone could file an inch off of the mounts if they had a mind to.
  • 3 0
 I agree, that swingarm is designed for a 220mm rotor.
  • 41 0
 @skerby: *cough* 10mm *cough*
  • 5 0
 @Velocipedestrian Maybe that standoff is a custom machined piece for sponsored riders? Not like they need an entirely new mold to weld on a different piece back there.
  • 2 0
 It’s a f*cking rocket!!!!!!!!
  • 2 3
 200mm is so 26"
  • 1 10
flag dougiem8 (Aug 25, 2020 at 0:57) (Below Threshold)
 @pnwpedal: An inch isn't 10mm, it's 25.4mm
  • 12 0
 @dougiem8: You missed his point. You would need to take 10mm off to drop down to a 200mm size rotor. See...?
  • 2 0
 All the new supremes run the same look on Commencal's website
  • 2 0
 @russovwick: But these aren't stock bikes. Look at the upper shock mount on Myriam's bike, where do you see that on the Commencal website?
  • 21 1
 I've always been curious - can someone let me know the strategy behind Commencal sticking with aluminum and not perusing carbon? Dont bury me plz.....just curious
  • 137 1
 "after visiting the manufacturer in China, Max decided to put a stop to it all. “I was so disappointed to see the bad, bad conditions for the workers... young people with the carbon dust, with only a poor paper mask. The owner was saying 'No, it is like this'... I wasn't comfortable with that.” That was the end to carbon at Commencal, but it wasn't just the humanitarian side that leaves the company as aluminum advocates. As Max explains, a carbon mold is expensive and leaves little room to tweak and change the design, something which Commencal are constantly playing with, especially with their race team."

"we believe [carbon] is difficult and dangerous to implement and is not currently processed within an acceptable environment for workers in China and elsewhere. In addition, producing non-recyclable and impact-shy frames (in an ever increasing eco world) when we’re trying to makes thing cleaner and greener seems inappropriate."
  • 35 5
 @thartwig: Downvoted for reporting a person's statements. 2020...
  • 11 0
 @thartwig: awesome, thank very much!!
  • 10 9
 Hard to hold that steady as most things made in china, all under same environment. That is, under power of terrible people.
  • 6 0
 @thartwig: f*cking awesome stand by Max.
  • 1 0
 * link already posted *
  • 4 0
 @thartwig: i met max while i was staying in andorra for a couple months - he striked me as a super nice guy, the way he addressed me being a complete stranger to him, and the way he treats people around him

i think there's many ways you can go about when choosing your next frame - and the company values are important to me - and given yt hasn't been so kind to me lately, i have known for a while which way i want to go the next time i can afford a new rig.. ..
  • 3 1
 @thartwig: I like the fact that Commencal don't follow the trend and keeps making their frames in aluminium. However the arguments about how the workers' environment in the carbon frames factories is questionable. I read an article about frames factories in Taiwan, the aluminum frames factories are huge and pretty noisy compared to the carbon factories. Max C. made this comment in 2012 and I'm sure the carbon factories are quite different today.
For the non-recycling aspect I guess it hasn't changed though.
  • 10 1
 @jrocksdh: as is your country!
  • 2 0
 Similar feeling and attitude against carbon has also Spank industries. There is an interview of the Spank founder somewhere inside Pinkbike if you would like to search it.
  • 1 0
 @thartwig: Respect!
  • 14 1
 Let the rotor size debate commence!
  • 23 5
 Why ? She can run any size she wants. It's her bike
  • 28 1
 @QuebecPoulin: Pick a side and be a dick about it!!
  • 2 0
 @QuebecPoulin: but, aren’t we here to debate said choices?
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: Nuh, I'm pretty sure we're just supposed to marvel at her awesome rig! Plus, you're way faster down the mountain without brakes anyway. That's why they invented death grips. Much cheaper, too.
  • 3 0
 If you were starting from a clean slate, would you mount the rear brake further forward, closer to the frame? Seems like that would reduce the amount of material needed (and make it look less home-brewed). Or is there a good reason to do it this way?
  • 8 0
 It’s to do with kinematics. (I just made that up)
  • 5 4
 My thoughts on rotor sizing

Obviously larger rotor equals more power, and the front brake provides more stopping power than the rear.
So by putting a larger rotor on the rear, would this balance out the braking power?

Please argue
  • 16 4
 You can clearly see the rear caliper has no adapters which means the minimum size is 220mm whilst the front, also with no adapters is 200mm which means she is simply going for the simplest setup possible. No physics involved here, just a mechanic that’s tired of taking spacers on and off.
  • 5 6
 Guessing she uses her the rear brakes more than the fronts. Multilink rear suspension can better handle a combination of braking and impact forces compared to a telescopic fork.

*puts on flame suit*
  • 10 3
 you'll break the wheel traction before you use the stopping power in the rear - at least that's what I've read (180mm seems to be sufficient for most without dying of arm pump)
  • 8 0
 it might be more for cooling than power.. I run hope v2 on rear as has more surface to cool rather than the v4. not that shes overheating them anyway..
  • 9 10
 TECHNICALLY, it doesn't increase stopping power.

It does increase modulation and cooling, however. Keeps it easier to ride the edge of wheel lockup, and reduces fade/arm pump.
  • 13 0
 interesting reading experimenting with rotors sizes
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: found less discoloration when upped the rear rotor size - certainly supports claims that it helps it run cooler. Modulation noticeable improved too.
  • 11 0
 @hamncheez: I always understood this as the opposite. A smaller rotor should increase modulation but reduce overall power. Think about grabbing a wheel in motion, easier to lockup the further out you hold it, which decreases the input clamping force bandwidth before locking up. A smaller rotor would need more clamping force, meaning more clamping force bandwidth = more modulation. But what do I know...
  • 4 4
 Bigger rotors allow for better heat management, modulation, and ultimately more stopping power. But what about bike geometry? When the front brake is applied it tends to cause the front fork to compress, steepening the head angle. That creates a different handling bike. Applying the rear brake can change things in the rear, but not as pronounced as the front. I think a larger rotor on the rear is a great solution. There is only so much front brake you can apply before the fork compresses, or the front wheel locks up. Both of those situations can cause a bad day. If you go heavy on the rear brake, I think the rear tends to squat, depending on the suspension design, and/or the rear wheel can lock up. When the rear wheel locks up that's called drifting. Drifting is cool.
  • 2 4
 @artistformlyknowasdan: But'cept'you'wan'know'what? They are wrong. Smaller at the front is stupid on the trail, I tried it. Just run 200s F&R.
  • 6 0
 I think there should be a system that uses a surface on the rim, and some type of caliper to squeeze against the rim. Viola! 29 inch disc brake!
  • 8 0
 @hamncheez: doesn't a larger rotor increase stopping power since it's a larger lever arm and increases torque ? May be semantics here, as I'm not exactly sure how "stopping power" is defined.
  • 1 0
 A must-read on this subject (although I'm still debating about the soundness of it)... Maybe this explains that:
  • 3 0
 @NotSorry: their matching now. Went from 180 to 200 out back. Seemed like over kill on my trail bike but the improvement was undeniable.
  • 2 0
 @monkeybizz: the higher stopping power helps a ton with deceleration though
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: it increases the leverage the caliper has over the hub, it's definitely nice for deceleration
  • 1 0
 @Maestroman87: i could be wrong but i think it has more modulation BECAUSE it has more power, with more power there's more to work with, again i could be wrong
  • 1 0
 @Brauck: if you have a big enough adapter...
  • 1 0
And the problem is some people will actually believe you.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: For me the larger rotors allow me to use less grip pressure allowing more finesse with the braking and less arm fatigue/pump. sure I can run 180s down a dh track but they are much less precise. I have to brake sooner to slow down the same amount.

I just got a new trail bike that was 180 F&R. Had the parts to go 200 on the front which was needed immediately. Still need to go 200 in the back. 160 PM on the back of anything more than an XC race bike is silly IMO. Just make them 180 already...
  • 2 0
 @Bikerdude137: I agree that it would stronger (larger moment arm), but modulation is the ability to use the brakes strength before locking up. I see what you're saying though. Under the assumption that there is enough traction to not lockup, having more power should provide more modulation, but this is a rear brake we are talking about, a 140mm mechanical disk from 2005 would be enough to lock up the rear at full chat down a double black.
  • 1 0
 Of course I can't find it now, but there was a study showing that caliper force needed to stop a given rotation wasn't correlated with rotor diameter (for normal mountain bike rotors).

Anyways, on the modulation side, the larger the rotor the faster the rotor is passing through the caliper for a given RPM, so irregularities in the rotor surface affect braking with less variation, and a percent change in RPM causes a lower percent change in rotor speed passing through the caliper. All creating better modulation.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Perhaps not a big enough difference within the study, but the physics of it can't be denied. The relative rotor speed is interesting though and would surely have an effect. The math on the clamping force required assuming a reasonable coefficient of friction should be easy to do though....maybe I'll get bored after my ride today and give it a whirl.
  • 1 0

Not exactly the metrics discussed, but a good review and the argument for a larger rotor on the rear makes sense. In my experience though, I replace rear pads less frequently, and never have an issue with overheating my rear 180mm despite being on the heavier side of a MTB'er.
  • 4 0
 The irony is the 29/27 has a longer wb than the 29. So really you're just getting some butt clearance.
  • 7 0
 I'm pretty sure that's why they do it, especially if you're a little shorter or squash jumps and drops a lot
  • 2 0
 There are other differences in the feel though. It isn't just WB that makes them handle differently.
  • 4 0
 when will mullets trickle down to Enduro bikes? just purchased a Meta AM29, and i feel shortly will be outdated
  • 4 0
 New Specialized Status come stock as a mullet. New Kona Process has a flip chip so you can run a mullet or straight 27.5. Seems to be coming.
  • 2 0
 One of the many reasons I bought my GG was that I could get a mullet build. Love it, definitely wouldn't run any other set up on an enduro now. I am 5'7 though can still see 29 being best for taller folks depending on what kind of trails you ride.
  • 1 0
 A couple little things, why is there a different front rotor in the last picture then the others, and i wonder why she's running 220 mm rear but not in the front? Is it because a larger rotor gives a little more modulation or is there something else going on?
  • 6 0
 larger rotor = more surface area and material to dissipate heat and sink heat respectively so the rear doesn't fade. Frenchies do it on steep tracks with a lot of rear brake dragging.
  • 5 0
 Enduro mtb has an article on why the largest rotor on rear makes sense.
  • 1 0
 Can they please start selling 29/27.5 mullets already?!? Especially a forward thinking manufacturer like Commencal should get on that. I mean for downhill, not those uphill mountain bikes that can endure all mountain pain across the country. Putting a Fox 49 and 29er front wheel on my bike will cost me almost as much as a new complete bike. They should at least have the option available, no?
  • 1 0
 Is there any difference between the Supreme 29 and mullet versions? Is Commencal getting mullet by changing shock mounts or linkage? Would be ideal to have one frame and a few different wheel sizes.
  • 2 0
 She needs to run a 220 out back because the frame will not accept anything smaller, there are no spacers under the caliper in the picture of the rear triangle.
  • 6 8
 While not the best looking bike (still pretty hot tho, IMHO), not the most progressive in its technology, nor the most bling, lets be honest its probably the fastest bike out there.

I haven't ridden one, so this is speculation, but has anyone here who has ridden one disagree?
  • 13 1
 Mine is so insane. I always feel like I'm going slow because it's so capable, but in reality I'm crushing the speeds I can do on my enduro bike. It's also insane compared to my 26" Session I just sold. But it's not terribly hard to beat an 8-year-old bike that's a size too small for you with tiny wheels. Though man was that thing fun. #26isdeadbutmorefun?
  • 6 0
 I haven't rode a mullet version of this bike but I have done a run on one and it was the second bike I've rode on that had that no-chaingrowth pully thingamajiggy (first was a canfield jedi) and.. yeah these bikes are quick. You're always moving forward quick through your pedal stroke without the chain growth and this bike just sucked up everything beneath it. Compared to my Supreme V3 I was riding at the time it was like an entirely different class of fast and the bike seemed to just absorb obstacles with way less of a hit on speed then other bikes.

You get a guy as skilled as Amaury Pierron with one of these and you can see how he has the luxury to just pick f*cking narrow crazy ass line choices because this bike isn't going to buck out from underneath you when it sucks up a rut or rock. Wish I could afford/justify one, but yeah, this bike is actually one of the few bikes I've sat on and was like "lol the bike doesnt make you faster... just kidding it does holy shit"
  • 10 1
 @anchoricex: luckily, it happens to be one of the cheapest WC ready bikes out there
  • 2 0
 Having only read reviews of various dh bikes, it would seem like the best dh bike available. Obviously this is just conjecture.
  • 3 0
 I rode a Supreme SX for a while so not even the DH bike and it was pretty ridiculous. Had a brand new Lyrik on the front which I’d previously thought of as the plushest thing I’d ever used. Until I experienced the rear suspension on that Commencal. Always thought it would be difficult to match the front/ rear feel because it was that good it made the fork feel like crap. Never got to try a dual crown but I think it’d still be playing catch up with the rear. And failing.
Kinda like a racing thoroughbred though. I wouldn’t recommend to a park rat or hucker (besides a demo day to see just how nice that rear suspension is).
  • 1 0
 What front rotor is she running? Kind of looks like an old avid rotor haha.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Big Betty....?
  • 2 0
 You can buy a Big Betty right now in North America. A prototype could use the Big Betty tread pattern but have totally different casing or rubber.
  • 2 0
 @nzandyb: I was thinking that, but considering they have just done an update on their casings I think we can rule that out. Could be rubber?

But most likely old "first ride" stock that is potentially what everyone else can buy now?
  • 1 0
 That is not a offset headset?
  • 1 0
 looks like there will be no shimano equipped commencals then
  • 1 0
 Dorval is on Shimano, check out the Benoit Coulanges bike check lower on the homepage
  • 1 0
 @p2rida: he has a different rear triangle which has likely been made specifically for the 203 rotor they are being forced to run and judging by the color of that rotor 220 sized ones better be in the works
  • 1 0
 I prefer SRAM in performance as well as maintenance. The Code R are awesome. What would the advantage of the XTR be, or is it just preference?
  • 1 0
 I recon Myriam could rock a Toby Price mullet.
  • 1 0
 it could just be the camera angle, but those look like some short cranks.
  • 4 0
 Could be, Tracey has custom 150mm cranks on the Polygon.
  • 1 0
 @AntN: very cool, I didn't know that.
  • 1 0
 She s running 135psi in her fork???
  • 1 0
 Two beauty's

Pompom and commencal Smile
  • 1 0
 is that a traction coating on the crank arms?
  • 2 0
 i want see her thighs
  • 1 0
 Weapon of choice ! Its a beast. :-0

She deserves it !
  • 1 0
 Why the bigger rotor in the rear?
  • 1 0
 27.5 rear and 29 front, i thought only Loic used to run like this setup
  • 1 0
  • 3 6
 Im here just because shes a hotty
  • 1 0
 I was well pleased that she won the world champs last year, on her return. She seems like a really cool individual.
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