Powered by Outside

Review: 2023 Commencal Tempo LTD

Mar 27, 2023
by Mike Kazimer  
Commencal's best known for their downhill bikes and beefy enduro rigs, so it was a bit of a surprise when images started appearing of a short travel option at the end of last year. There were rumors that it was going to be a dedicated XC machine, an aluminum steed to take on the sea of carbon race bikes, but those speculations ended up being a little off the mark.

Instead, the Tempo is a trail bike through and through, with 29” wheels, 125mm of rear travel, and a 140mm fork. It's the first bike from the Andorran company to feature their new Virtual Contact System suspension design, a dual-link layout that's a departure from the linkage-driven single pivot that had long been used for their trail and enduro bikes.

Tempo Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Aluminum frame
• Travel: 125mm (r) / 140mm fork
• 65.5º head angle
• 76.6º seat tube angle
• 440mm chainstays (size L)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 31.1 lb / 14.1 kg (size L)
• Price: $6,200 USD
commencal.com

I've been testing the top-of-the-line Tempo LTD, which retails for $6,200 USD. It's spec'd with a Fox 34 Factory fork and Float DPS shock, Shimano XT 4-piston brakes, a 12-speed SRAM XO1 cable-actuated drivetrain, and DT Swiss XMC 1501 carbon wheels.




bigquotes'Fun' is obviously one of those characteristics that should be present every time you're out mountain biking, it's just that with the Tempo there seems to be more of it to go around. Mike Kazimer




photo

Frame Details

The Tempo's aluminum frame has a low slung look to it, with a slight bend in the middle of the top tube that doesn't bother me, but might raise the hackles of fans of straight lines. The one-piece swingarm is connected to the front triangle by two co-rotating links, and expanding collets are used at most of the pivot points to help keep everything snug and secure.

There's plenty of room for a water bottle, and two bolts on the underside of the top tube that can be used to secure a tube or tool holder. There's also plenty of room for a long travel dropper post – the larger sizes come with posts with 200 mm of drop, the medium sizes receive a 175 mm post, and the small gets a 150 mm dropper. It also has a universal derailleur hanger, which means it’s compatible with SRAM’s recently released electronic drivetrain.

And then there's the thru-headset cable routing, which I'll get into more in the Technical Report of this review. That part of the routing aside, the housing runs through the downtube, with rubber foam sheaths installed to keep the noise down. A rubber plug that's located in the middle of the downtube protector can be removed to gain access to the inside of the frame in order to make housing swaps easier.


photo

photo
photo

photo

Geometry & Sizing

The Tempo's geometry numbers are fairly typical for a modern, short travel trail bike. If anything, the reach numbers are a tiny bit shorter than what's become the norm, measuring 470mm for a size large.

The head tube angle is 65.5-degrees, and the seat tube angle is 76.6-degrees; again, moderation rather than anything that would raise an eyebrow. The chainstay length varies depending on the size – it's 435mm on the small and medium bikes, and 440mm on the large and XL.

It's interesting to see that Commencal chose to spec forks with 51mm of offset, rather than going down the reduced offset path. Offset was the hot topic a few years ago, but more recently seems to have been relegated to the back burner. It turns out that it's not too hard to adapt to either 'regular' or 'reduced' offset – in my mind, it's not worth losing sleep over how much offset the fork on your current or future bike has.

photo

Suspension Design

The Tempo's leverage ratio is progressive until around the 105mm mark, at which point it becomes regressive for the remaining 20mm of travel. That makes it best suited to an air shock, where the amount of end stroke ramp up can be fined tune via different sized volume spacers.

Anti-squat levels are on the higher side of things, remaining above 100% for the first 80mm of travel when the bike is in its easiest gear. When riding with the chain further down the cassette the amount of anti-squat increases for the first portion of the travel before dropping off deeper in the shock's stroke.

photo

photo


Specifications
Release Date 2023
Price $6200
Travel 125mm
Rear Shock Fox Factory Float DPS, 210 x 50
Fork Fox 34 Factory, 140mm
Headset Acros ZS56 / ZS56
Cassette SRAM XG1299 Eagle
Crankarms SRAM Descendant Carbon, 170mm
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 Eagle, 12 speed
Chain SRAM XX1 Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 Eagle
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar, 31.8
Stem Renthal Apex, 40mm
Grips ODI Elite Motion
Brakes Shimano XT 4 piston
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC1501
Tires Maxxis DHR II 2.4"
Seat Fizik Terra Alpaca X5
Seatpost Fox Transfer Factory


photo










Test Bike Setup

The Tempo's spec sheet shows it with a 2.4" Maxxis Dissector rear tire, but mine came with a DHRII, a swap that I would have likely made anyways due to the wet, slippery conditions that prevailed during testing. The Dissector's a good option for most of the year where I live, but when things get really slimy the more aggressive tread of the DHRII is a better bet.

170 psi in the Fox Float DPS shock put me at 28% sag, which worked well for the duration of the test period.

I did end up switching out the Shimano XT brakes' stock resin pads for a set of metallic ones, another change to help improve stopping power and pad life in the wet.



Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Inseam: 33" / 84cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer


photo

Climbing

No matter which direction the trail points the Tempo is fast, or at least feels fast, my preferred characteristic in a bike like this. It has a satisfying snappiness that rewards hard pedaling efforts, especially on rolling terrain where the bike can be pumped and pushed to maintain that momentum.

It's also a very energetic climber, which will be a welcome trait to anyone coming off of a longer travel machine with more subdued pedaling manners. Compared to longer, slacker bikes where you need to swing wide to navigate awkward switchbacks, the Tempo's happiest taking the inside line, following a tight, precise arc on its way upwards. I'd be tempted to call it a trail bike for riders that place a priority on the climbs...except that it's a blast on the downhills too. More on that in a bit.

The Tempo strikes a good balance between efficiency and traction, although the scales are tipped a little more toward the efficiency side of things. In other words, while it'll take the edge off obstacles while climbing, don't expect it to totally erase every small bump and undulation – it mutes them rather than completely smothers them.

The Tempo's geometry creates a nice and upright pedaling position, which I found to be very comfortable for rides of any duration. Sure, dedicated XC riders and racers may still seek out that hunched over, chest to stem position, but I've found that my back and neck are much happier if I'm sitting fairly upright. The 125mm headtube length on the size large puts the bars in a good position without needing to resort to a bunch of spacers under the stem, and the fact that the bike is spec'd with a 40mm stem and higher rise bars is another bonus, since that's my ideal setup on pretty much all mountain bikes.

What about the weight? The Tempo didn't feel overly heavy to me, and I'd rather have those 4-piston brakes and a 200mm dropper post than a lighter bike, but keep in mind that the 31.1 pound weight is with an X01 drivetrain and relatively light sub-1600 gram carbon wheels. In other words, it wouldn't be an easy (or affordable) task to try to dramatically reduce the number on the scale.


photo

Descending

So. Much. Fun. That pretty much sums up my sentiments about this aluminum machine. 'Fun' is obviously one of those characteristics that should be present every time you're out mountain biking, it's just that with the Tempo there seems to be more of it to go around. That zippy nature it exhibited on the climbs carries over to the descents, especially when it comes to cornering or jumping.

Commencal didn't try to totally change the recipe when it come to modern trail bike geometry, and in this case that tactic paid off. The reach isn't too long, the chainstays aren't too short, and the head angle isn't too slack – instead, everything works together to create the 'just right' ride characteristics that make a trail bike shine on a wide variety of terrain.

It feels very balanced, with an easy-to-find sweet spot that makes it extremely intuitive to ride, especially when it comes to cornering. Put a few sequential turns in front of the Tempo and it'll gobble them up like a desperate mukbang presenter trying to beat the clock for YouTube clicks.

photo

Not surprisingly, edges of the Tempo's abilities do start to show up at high speeds in rough terrain – that 125mm of travel is well managed, it's just there's only so much that it can do when things get really rowdy. It's kind of like driving a street car off-road into areas it wasn't meant to go – it'll work up to a point, at least until the oil pan starts scraping, or the exhaust gets torn off on a rock.

Even on those rougher trails the Fox 34 fork / Float DPS combo did a good job of taking the sting out of square-edged hits. The leverage curve has a regressive tail for the last bit of travel, but I didn't notice that out on the trail – the air spring provided enough ramp up to avoid any harsh bottom outs, and in the instances that I did use all the travel reaching the end of the travel was subtle rather than jarring.

When it comes to getting airborne, be prepared for at least a few overshoots, at least until you get accustomed to the Tempo's ability to absolutely fly. That poppiness is one of the reasons I became so enamored with its ride characteristics – it's the opposite of stuck to the ground, and it was extremely well suited to the berm- and jump-filled trails that are common in my local riding zone.


photo
Commencal Tempo
Santa Cruz Tallboy 5
Santa Cruz Tallboy


How does it compare?

The Santa Cruz Tallboy is probably the closest contemporary to the Tempo when it comes to geometry, and both use a variation of a dual link suspension layout, albeit the Tempo's links co-rotate and the Tallboy's counter rotate.

The Tallboy has 120mm of travel and comes with a 130mm fork, while the Tempo has 125mm of travel and a 140mm fork, but the geometry numbers in those configurations are quite similar. Both share a 65.5-degree head angle, and moderate reach numbers of 473 mm for the Tallboy and 470 mm for the Tempo. The chainstay length for a size large is 438mm on a Tallboy, and 440mm on the Tempo.

What's all that mean on the trail? The Tempo's suspension is a little firmer off the top than the Tallboy, making it feel like it wants to really leap off the starting line. As far as outright handling and performance goes, both hold their own, although I'd put the Tempo ahead when it comes to overall liveliness, especially in the cornering and jumping departments. The Tallboy has a more calm, muted feel, while the Tempo feels like it's straining at the reins.

It's the price that really separates the Tallboy from the Tempo. There aren't any alloy models in the Tallboy lineup, which means the lowest priced option is $4,549, and that's for a the SRAM NX-equipped / RockShox Pike Base model.

YT's Izzo is another bike I'd put into the same category as the Tempo. The Izzo has a steeper head angle and shorter chainstays, which makes it feel even more compact than the Tempo. The Izzo isn't quite as surefooted on steeper descents, and it's not quite as snappy under power, but it does put up a very well-matched fight when it comes to technical climbing performance. It's also available in a much more attainable range of prices compared to the Santa Cruz Tallboy.


photo

Which Model is the Best Value?

If the Tempo is on your short list, the next step for many riders is to determine which model delivers the best price-to-performance ratio. Commencal offers 4 different options, with prices ranging from $6,200 for the LTD model reviewed here, down to $3,200 for the Tempo Ride.

It's the $4,000 Tempo Essential that gets my vote. That price gets you a full Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain, TRP Trail Evo 4-piston brakes, and a Fox Performance 34 fork and DPX shock. They may not be the fanciest components, but they've all been proven to work very well for the price. In fact, I prefer TRP's brakes to almost all of Shimano's current offerings. There isn't anything that would need to be upgraded right out of the box; you're getting a well spec'd machine that should be ready to rip for years to come.


photo

Technical Report

The Tempo's suspension layout gives it a clean look, but tucking those short links behind the swingarm does make it more of a hassle to work on compared to the aforementioned Santa Cruz Tallboy. On the Tallboy, the bearing are contained in the links, and the lower link has a grease gun fitting to make it easier to keep them lubed and running smooth.

With the Tempo, most of the bearings are pressed into the frame, and they're not that well sealed from the elements – I ended up pulling the frame apart to clean and grease the bearings after I noticed how gritty they'd become after just a couple months of riding. Granted, those rides took place during the wettest and muddiest part of the season, but it still seem sooner than I would have anticipated.

Even taking the shock off is a little more involved than I expected. In order to remove the rear shock bolt two additional bolts on the swing arm need to be undone, and in general no matter what bolt I wanted to reach on the linkage it always seemed like I needed to remove another one to move a frame member out of the way.

And of course, there's that thru-headset cable routing. Prototypes of the Tempo had ports in the downtube; it's unfortunate that Commencal decided to eliminate them for the production version. There's no getting around the fact that this style of headset allows more water to get in, especially in this configuration, where the housing enters ports in the top cap. When I pulled the stem to check, the bearing were spinning smoothly and had plenty of grease, but the inside of the top bearing, the steel portion that rests against the steerer tube, had developed a patina of rust due to water ingress. Now, I've had this happen on other bikes with standard headsets, so the water / rust isn't totally unusual, it's just that this design makes it more likely to occur, and requires more preventative maintenance, especially for riders in wet climates.

I wouldn't call it a deal breaker, especially considering how much fun this bike is to ride, but it is a shame that fashion took precedence over function in this instance. That said, the ZS56 headset does make it easy to drop in a reach or angle-adjusting headset. With some stick-on cable guides (and maybe some wireless components) it'd be possible to get rid of the headset woes and open up some experimental geometry potential.

Shimano XT brakes: It makes me happy to see that powerful 4-piston brakes are becoming more common on shorter travel trail bikes. I'd rather have the slight weight penalty and be able to stop rather than suffer with anemic braking power. The XT brakes have plenty of bite, although they did suffer from, you guessed it, a wandering bite point. I've had better luck with the consistency of XTR brakes lately; for some reason the XT models seem to act up more often.

Fox 34: I'm sure there are riders out there planning to run a beefier fork, like a 36, and maybe a piggyback shock in order to maximize the Tempo's downhill abilities. There's nothing wrong with going down that route, assuming you're fine with the weight penalty, but the 34's performance shouldn't be overlooked. I called it the 'short travel standout' when I last reviewed it, and that sentiment still holds true – it's a very good fork, and works well with the overall feel of the Tempo.

photo



Pros

+ Quick & lively
+ Never met a jump or corner it didn't like
+ Balanced geometry should work well on a wide range of terrain


Cons

- Thru-headset cable routing
- Suspension layout makes it harder to get to rear shock bolt
- Riders searching for the lightest trail bike around will want to look elsewhere



Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe Tempo is the type of bike that can breathe new life into mellower trails while also holding its own on the rowdier stuff. Modern mountain bike categories can be nebulous at times, but this is a trail bike in the truest sense of the term, well suited to spinning out the miles while also goofing off and hitting every lip and landing possible.

Do I wish it didn't have thru-headset cable routing, and better sealed frame bearings? You bet, but I wouldn't consider either of those deal breakers. The overall ride characteristics of the Tempo are overwhelmingly positive, enough so that I'd be willing to deal with a little extra shop time in order to obtain them. 
Mike Kazimer






Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,747 articles
Report
Must Read This Week
Sign Up for the Pinkbike Newsletter - All the Biggest, Most Interesting Stories in your Inbox
PB Newsletter Signup

277 Comments
  • 466 7
 Thank you for mentioning the headset routing as a Con!
  • 30 1
 Yeah, curious how long that lasts!
  • 112 2
 This ^^^

Let's stop this crap by calling it out as a Con until bike companies get the message.
  • 87 3
 who is this person that sees a bike without headset routing and says "Nope! I would prefer the headset routing." Clearly the brands think this person exists. I've yet to meet them.
  • 45 4
 This trend must be stopped at all costs!
  • 12 9
 I think that this tth routing think was invented and lobbied by SRAM, they just need to make wireless brake, convince every manufacturer to use tth routing and almost everyone will pay premium for their wireless offerings, just not to deal with this routing Smile Smart move SRAM.
  • 24 2
 Especially, when looking at those pictures from the front, I really wonder who ever thought this solution to be “clean” or aesthetically appealing.

I would never buy it there either, but still kind of get it on road bikes, where all the cables are hidden entirely, but on mountain bikes headset routing really is a (bad) joke.
  • 6 3
 Agreed, someone please solve the wireless brake problem so this headset routing nightmare can end!
  • 72 3
 @lkubica: They already make wireless brakes, they're called hydraulic brakes.
  • 4 37
flag lkubica (Mar 27, 2023 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 @nickfranko: cool story bro, strange that SRAM did not market reverb as a wireless dropper 10 years ago, they completely missed the opportunity. Maybe because every one understand that something with hydraulic hoses is not wireless?
  • 6 2
 @lukeno1: Brace yourselves; more of this nonsense is coming.
  • 15 1
 @sngltrkmnd: bought my newest bike in 2022 (w/o the headset routing); 2023 model has headset routing....I feel like I have a collectors edition, lol
  • 6 1
 @pmhobson: while I get your point, that specific item is worthless. Tried it previously. It didn’t make it out of the car park before they became unstuck. Hopefully someone makes a more robust version.
  • 6 0
 @jason3559: Sounds like a business opportunity!
  • 11 0
 @jason3559: I find few things in this world that zip-ties cannot remedy
  • 6 0
 @lkubica: "something with hydraulic hoses [is] wireless"
Fixed that for you.
  • 4 0
 seems mind-boggling that we got this far - with product guys actually spec'ing this crap on bikes available to sell to the public.
  • 6 1
 Checked the reach 490mm in XL is to short for me, Saw the cables through head set. Mind made up, it's not the bike for me.
  • 4 2
 @tall-martin: how tall are you? You might be surprised! I’m 6’7” and the Tempo absolutely rips. Sure, it’s not a downhill park bike, but for everything up to that, it’s makes the trail come alive in the best way.
  • 1 2
 @jason3559: I wouldn't call them worthless. I put a few of these on my hardtail for the dropper post. They held up excellently for close to two years, including muddy conditions. It might be a tube shape/cleanliness/pain properties thing.
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: My OCD makes sanding down all those sharp zip-tie cuts a very time consuming process though
  • 4 2
 @tall-martin: Same here I even went to the showroom in Golden Co. An took it for a test ride it had a oneup 240mm dopper post that was Sticking out about four inches to get the proper ride height for me at 6,3. That with the Cable routing Short reach. an now I see the bearings have no seals And what a pain in the ass is to work on. It was a good decision to walk away from the Tempo. I ended up getting a YT IZZO for 25% off And very happy with it! It's a XXL The reach is awesome slapped a Lyric on it put some shimano 4 piston brakes on it and it's a beast!
  • 9 1
 @plyawn: For free, you can use sharp nail clippers to cut your zip ties nice and flush. Or for a tenner, you can pick up a flush-cut diagonal cutter from an electrician/electronics tool vendor. Park Tool reinvented this tool as the ZP-5 and doubled the price.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: glad they worked out for you. Wish my experience matched yours.
  • 5 1
 @lkubica: Perhaps. The only reason I can see it as a plus for a bike company is that is simplifies manufacturing and removes some tooling processes. I.e. there's a hole on either side of the downtube that's no longer required, along with the associated port or bung system. I don't like the idea, but I can see why from a manufacturing standpoint it could make sense.
  • 11 0
 It's not a con.. it's a deal breaker
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: Coaster Brakes? You could do bar spins for ages...
  • 2 0
 Bro you need to get done flush cuts. They work. @plyawn:
  • 2 0
 Absolute..... deal breaker. badum tsssss
  • 2 1
 @bashhard It's a step in the right direction that Mike called it out as a con but a shame he stopped short of calling it a deal breaker and suggested getting around it by buying an expensive drivetrain for your new $6.2k bike. Large media outlets have some sway over brands and if they all start calling this crap out with no compromise, maybe we'll see some sense in updated models.
  • 1 0
 was just about to see if I could order one, when I saw that bit.. no thank you....
  • 5 0
 What I don't understand about headset routing is how it's a good idea to have a rotating part (the steerer) rubbing against the cable outers / hoses - especially with those hoses getting pulled tight when you turn the bars? Once you get a bit of sand in there it seems like you'll be either filing away at your brake hose or slowly cutting a groove in your steerer. I get that it's probably fine straight from the factory but what about after your average home mechanic has been at it.

Maybe that's overstating it for a aluminium steerer, but the thought of slicing into a carbon steerer is terrifying - I had a friend sheer his steerer tube on a road bike coming into a corner at 30mph.. The image of his bars turning one way and his front wheel going the other is indelibly etched on my brain!

Is there something in there that ensures the hoses don't end up rubbing against the steerer?
  • 2 0
 @Woody25: my supreme has the hose an cable, (or did have as I'm SS now) going into the front of the head tube. I put a piece of innertube an a load of grease over the steerer an keep an eye on it.
  • 6 0
 @Woody25: the concerns are valid, if you take a look at angrybikemechanic's instagram, you can see some steerers with grooves from brake hoses cutting in from time to time
  • 1 0
 @rabarbanel: I'm 6"4. I'm sure it would be great, I just like enormous reaches! And external cable routing
  • 1 1
 @SATN-XC: Unless people (shops) explicitly refuse to buy bikes with headset routing, the headset routing will remain.
  • 5 3
 @SATN-XC: it’s me.. I much prefer the clean lines it gives. Given that I don’t need to take the brakes or headset apart more than once a year then I don’t care if it takes 10 minutes longer. It’s only a couple more tunes i the garage
  • 3 1
 @bananowy: The PB audience is a minority. Companies will listen to the market majority. Plenty of people (most people) see headset cable routing and think “ooh fancy” and don’t read the comments on PB.
  • 3 0
 @Chondog94: Commenters are definitely a minority, but I'm convinced there is a much larger number of people who read the articles without ever commenting or even having an account here. That's why I'm saying editors should call it out in addition to commenters. Of course there is still a population of riders who don't know what PB is, but that's the role of other outlets. Most mountain bikers surely read a review or article about bikes somewhere at least a couple of times in their lifetime.

Having seen comments from brand reps here, often senior ones, and how many of them have historically genuinely considered opinions about their products, I think it's fair to say this medium isn't insignificant to them. It's condensed customer feedback. As an example, I don't think it's coincidence that the Transition Relay doesn't have headset cable routing and I will bet a 6-pack that the next update of the Repeater won't have it either.
  • 3 0
 one thing to remember is that, these (Asian) bike are desighned YEARS in advance of the public/PB'ers see'ing them, let alone prototypes. So give it a few years an yeah, H'set routing on all but top XC MTB's WILL die out.
  • 2 0
 @naptime: I don't know, headset routing definitely cuts down on the amount of machining/molding that a frame needs for production, which cuts down on time, which cuts down on overhead. Until manufacturers decide that the gripes of their customers outweigh the cost-savings on the production side, they'll keep doing what's in their best interests.
  • 4 1
 @skywalkdontrun: It's not all just done for cost-saving reasons. There are structural considerations. The area just behind the headtube is one of the worst place on the entire frame to cut holes into regarding load-bearing capcity. Adding cable routing entrances can create possible points of stress concentration.

Scott for example was able to make the headtube area of the Spark 20% stronger compared to the last-gen model while saving 60 grams of weight in just the head tube area. Love it or hate it, but switching to headset routing enabled a frame design that is simultaneously stronger and lighter. That might not be relevant to Trail- or DH bikes, but it certainly is a factor for high-end XC bikes.
  • 2 1
 @SATN-XC: Those people do exist - actually I reckon they are the majority. I work part-time in a large bike shop, selling mainly Orbea and Scott. I've sold many Spark and Spark RC and a few of the new Oiz, all with headset cable routing. From experience I'd say that about 99% of normal (non-enthusiast) customers simply don't care how the cables are routed. If they even notice it, they probably like the clean aesthetics.

Personally, I'm not super fond of headset routing either, but I think it's really not a consideration for anyone except us (comparatively few) enthusiasts who work on our bikes ourselves.
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: I agree.

Another factor could be that product dev can take place years before any outlets or commenters have a chance to put in their two cents. It can then take a few years for companies to course correct. There's definitely a point of no return when it comes to production and I'm sure some product managers would have changed their mind if they hadn't have already invested "x" amount of overhead into a certain product.
  • 1 0
 @TurboWolf: "An took it for a test ride it had a oneup 240mm dopper post that was Sticking out about four inches to get the proper ride height for me at 6,3"..... so you want a longer seat post? so no one under 6'3" can use a 240?
  • 2 0
 looks like they got the message with the new Enduro thought so it must be getting through to them.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: Orbea Oiz owner here. Totally agree with you. "They simply don't care." That's entirely my point, they'd still buy the Oiz and Spark without headset routing (if they even notice it), its not the selling feature of the bike, everything else is. Everyone who bought a 2022/23 Spark or 2023 Oiz would still probably have bought the bike had it not had headset routing.
  • 1 0
 @WillW123: With four inches shorter legs you'd still be able to use a 240. So that would be a 5'7" person with the longest dropper on the market and the largest size of this bike. Doesn't sound like a large demographic to me.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: People with 4 inches difference in leg length can still have the same length of the upper body, in rare cases can even be of the same overall height. How many people exist in the world that have the same or a longer torso length than you while having much shorter legs will depend on which end of the spectrum you are on.
  • 1 0
 "Con" in french means affhole (replace the f). They will get your message.
  • 2 0
 @ak-77: so it's just for aesthetics then. I, at 6'1", would like to use the 240 on a sz L.

Just seems weird to complain because there is too much seat post exposed. The key thing is that you can get the longest dropper to use its full range and have it at the correct hight for seated pedalling. If you can then loosen the seat clamp and drop it even further if you ever need to, bonus.
  • 1 2
 @TurboWolf: The bearings have seals
  • 3 3
 @FuTAnT: THIS is the only reason headset routing exists.

cheaper (to make) stronger frame is lighter (less holes less reinforcement), one less frame QC point.

weird headset cost frame cost savings
  • 3 2
 @Muscovir: it's the combination: stronger, lighter, cheaper to make, less QC and failure points.

On aero bikes or high end XC bikes, it makes total sense.

I still hate it on commuters and entry level bikes/midrange bikes, time consuming and ugly imo, but that's where the cost savings are mattering for the manufacturers
  • 1 2
 @Muscovir: agreed, most customers don't care or notice

But the new rise's headset is objectively uglier than the old one.

And explaining cable housing replacement will be even more $$$ unless done as part of an overhaul with fork drop is always fun.
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: I am this person, I think it looks super clean...but that being said I do have a home workshop and the tools to service it myself
  • 5 1
 @WillW123: A long length of exposed post means there is not as good support for the post. That leads to more stress on the bushings and accelerated wear. Sure, there's a minimum insertion length for the post but that doesn't mean that it's not better to have it slammed. You can see in the pic above that @mikekazimer , who is 180cm/5'11, has plenty of space left with the Fox 200 mm dropper on the size L.
@FuzzyL: I'm very aware of the variation in leg length, I'm on the far end of the spectrum. Like @WillW123 I'm also 6'1 (1m86 ) and the seat tube on the XL is plenty short enough for me. In fact, for me they could make it 40 mm longer and I'd be happy. I think something around 450,460 is a good compromise on a 490 reach / 640 stack bike.
There is also a diminishing return for longer drop lengths with short legs. You can see that the rear tire is already around the same height as the top of the seat tube on the picture above. This is on flat ground with no sag, so in the situations where you want the long drop, that becomes a lot worse. At some point the saddle just isn't the limiting factor anymore.
And last but not least, to mount a long dropper you also need enough insertion length. That's the reason I ride a 210 dropper on my current frame, which has a seattube that is 508mm, which for me is short enough for the 240. But I couldn't fit the 337 mm of insert length. I don't see the max insertion listed but it might be a limit here as well.
@mikekazimer: @brianpark we need you to supply us these kind of numbers with reviews. We can all look up the geo charts on manuf websites but they don't all supply all the numbers we need. Actual seat angles, max insertion length are two examples. It would really add to the value of the review.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Agree with all of that except the added wear. I think designers have a problem now with people sizing down rather than up what with longer reaches. My current bike has an interrupted seat post limiting the insertion so maybe that's why I'm not fussed about about having to have it slammed as long as i can get the drop I want.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: use flame
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: I wonder if they will pay attention when they get charged more for the extra time it takes to perform simple services?
  • 3 1
 Dear MTB Product Managers, unless there’s a rider benefit to routing cables through the headset (which I’m guessing there’s not because it would be BS), just stop it. We are not searching for 0.2 watts over 100km aero savings.

I don’t even think this makes a ‘stronger’ or ‘lighter’ head tube. Seems more like cost cutting to me since it looks easier to manufacture- problem is it’s clear the savings aren’t being passed on.
  • 71 6
 I feel like this bike is going to sell stupid well. Its probably the type of bike that most riders should be on. Given decent value and solid spec at most levels, seems like a win for Commencal.
  • 6 4
 Are you being hyperbolic again?
  • 14 2
 @pargolf8: Not this time.
  • 14 1
 Beside the bearings that aren't protected from the weather and the headset cable routing. If I was in the market for a bike of this type right now, looks like a carbon izzo can be had for around the same as the "essential" model.
  • 11 2
 @11six: I figure the majority of buyers won't care about the cable routing. While I think Pinkbike commenters care - because a lot of us work on our own bikes, the majority of consumers bring their bikes to the shop for silly things like new brake pads. So that type of buyer won't know or care.
And yeah the Essential TEMPO is within $500 of the Izzo Core 3 which has a very comparable build but carbon frame. So definitely a direct competitor, just depends on availability and interest in carbon (or not).
  • 5 0
 @11six: I just picked up an Izzo during the sale and I love it.
  • 1 0
 @BillT999: Nice! looks like a great value right now. Enjoy!
  • 61 2
 "Its probably the type of bike that most riders should be on"

Yeah that might be true if you're riding somewhere chill like BC, but let me assure you that you ain't getting round the blue trail at Swinley on anything less than 170mm with at least DD tyres.

Or at least I assume that's the case from the number of bikes I see with that spec.
  • 16 1
 @Woody25: I'm so glad British humour exists
  • 4 1
 The $$ I spent on my Meta AM29 Essentials was the best value Ive spent on a bike in 21 years. Drivetrain and brakes are quite good, Performance Fork and shock are good enough for local mountains, suffers a bit in the park. Love Commencal now and will buy n ride them them for years to come.
  • 7 9
 Typical commencel poorly built heavy af frame with headset routing and bearings without covers. Hm no.
  • 6 2
 Drink a shot every time someone comments "iTs ThE tYpE oF bIkE tHaT mOsT rIdErS sHoUlD bE oN" under a short travel bike review on PB.
  • 2 0
 @11six: If they could at least make the option of routing the cables to the frame.. I understand some people don't care (other than everyone on here)... But I would love the option to slap a normal headset on it, and rout the cables the way I want it - even externally even...
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: hey swinley's the only place in SE where the blue is rougher than the red loop, after a couple loops you want the comfort.
  • 2 0
 @saladdodger: You can always route the cables externally. Should I ever get a bike with internal routing (through the headset or not), I'd route the cables and hoses externally too. On this bike, it seems like you can perfectly well guide them along the top of the downtube, underneath the bottlecage. You may need some stick-on guides on the downtube near the headtube and you'll be fine. You can get both hoses as outercables in all the fancy colors so if you do it properly, it will always look better than internal routing.

And yeah, of course you can slap a regular headset on. I think some brands (including Hope iirc) allow you to only buy the top part of the headset so that you're not wasting too much.
  • 5 1
 "Decent value and solid spec at most levels"? Considering Commencal is a D2C-brand, I think most spec-versions are terrible value for money. The entry level version seems to be the worst. Over 3.200 € for an alloy frame and entry-level components? That's not going to be competitive, especially since everything else is on sale at the moment.

For example, Bike24 currently has that brilliant Norco Fluid FS on sale. The Fluid FS A2 goes for the same price as the base-model Commencal Tempo. Easy choice, really.
  • 1 2
 Totally. Fun, capable trail bike that can be had for $4k without needing any upgrades? Perfect. I just wish it came with a Pike instead of the 34, but that's purely my preference. And that metallic green color? Sick.
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: I agree completely, even in 2019 when I was buying Meta, I bought a'la carte frame+shock+for from Commencal just because all their builds were not a good value. I could buy better components aftermarket for the same price and they were components I liked, not a basic fork/shock or alpha cockpit or basic Sram brakes.
  • 54 5
 This is your existential crisis right now PB. Does the great riding characteristics and reasonable value give the headset routing and kinked top tube a pass? Choose wisely, or the future may become one where we need bar graphs to show price differences.
  • 43 2
 I don’t know. There’s “kink in the tube” and “ugly ass Ibis hardtail kink in the tube.”

Regarding headset routing, seems like the mob has spoken.
  • 60 2
 There's no crisis here: I see headset routing and I pass, it doesn't really matter to me that it's a good bike otherwise. I can vote with my money, and I'm voting no every single time.
  • 3 0
 I laughed quite hard. Thank you.
  • 10 0
 If there's anything more authoritatively bro-science than showing prices as a bar graph I'm yet to see it.
  • 15 1
 @farkinoath: I'm bad at science. Couldn't they just pile up the actual number of dollars and take a picture of that?
  • 6 0
 @barp: @brianpark are you taking notes?
  • 4 6
 honestly, 4k for a great build, not really heavy.. yeh i dont rly care about the headset routing. this is a well priced bike in this market.
  • 1 1
 @p1nkbike: There are plenty of well (maybe even better) priced bikes out there without this stupid cable routing. No dillemma here. Headset routing = no buy.
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: which specific bike are you thinking about? (or just one you'd pick)
  • 1 0
 @p1nkbike: I wasn't thinking about a specific bike, but how about a fluid or optic or rift zone or stumpjumper or izzo... probably many I forget. Especially the fluid seems like great value in comparison and has normal cable routing.
  • 38 2
 All we really want is the new Meta WITHOUT headset cable routing
  • 15 3
 I've had shit experiences with Commencal in the past but if they release it with no press-fit/headset routing nonsense I'll be sorely tempted
  • 3 1
 @blackpudding: I've had shit experiences with Commencal in the past too and never again thx
  • 2 0
 @fracasnoxteam: Why is the experience so different in Europe? Here in the U.S., I'm sure their bikes are just as unreliable (about mid-pack in my experience, still better than YT's were, and fixing them has been easier than Canyons). Most people over here have been satisfied with the fast and available replacement parts alongside great customer service. Still, I see a lot of folks in Europe saying they've had awful experiences with the brand and its service.
  • 1 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: maybe it's better since
  • 25 1
 I've watched the launch video so many times now all I can think when I see this bike is "Titty T-Titty T-Titty Titty, Titty Krunk I don't wanna tell you but I'm feeling your junk"
  • 8 0
 Probably the best marketing campaign of the last 6 months was including that song in the promo for this bike.
  • 7 0
 @no-good-ideas: Would have replied sooner, but just had to quickly watch it another three times
  • 5 0
 Rock the boat, think the captains high....on the coast iam a scary guy. Love this song.
  • 5 0
 i watch it at least once a week! if i hadn't just built up a stumpjumper, this would be high on my list of possible shortish-travel rigs
  • 5 0
 I can't think of a better bike marketing video. Ever. Great production, and some simply outrageous riding by Frixti. If only I had room for a shorter travel trail bike in the shed...
  • 2 0
 @Woody25: You and me both, friend.
  • 26 2
 Headset routing is an absolute deal breaker. Too many great bikes out these days that don't do this idiotic idea to have to compromise so much for so little benefit.
  • 25 3
 All aluminum, dual link, and solid swingarm is never going to be a lightweight but dang this thing is pretty chonky. The meta I'm assuming will be pushing 37-38 lbs with high end parts, almost 40 with the lower tier builds?

I'm not a weight weenie, or at least I try to not be, but bikes are getting pretty heavy these days.
  • 6 0
 slx version of this with m1900 wheels, meaty flat pedals and sturdier tires and its pushing well over 15kg, which is quite hefty for a short travel trail bike
  • 15 1
 When I read that this was 14kg with 1600gr wheels I did that math to. This bike only feels light and snappy because it has light wheels,if it had those 2kg wheels or heavier tires it would feel like a enduro bike,only with less travel and steeper geometry.
  • 6 0
 @nozes: totally, it's a 16kg bike without much travel with a cheaper build kit.

That sounds like fun Big Grin
  • 4 10
flag emptybe-er (Mar 27, 2023 at 15:26) (Below Threshold)
 Thanks to wagon wheels
  • 3 1
 @nozes: I'd argue that its the "less travel and steeper geometry" you mentioned that gives this bike its lively handling qualities. Light wheels certainly help, but it is an essential fact that geometry is far more responsible for how a bike rides.
You could make this bike weigh 45 lbs and it would never feel like an enduro bike.
  • 2 0
 I meant to say, it’s purely coincidence that bikes have become so much heavier when the wheels and tires got so big. Way back in 2018 you could build a solid 160mm bike that weighed 31-33lbs but the geometry was so horrible. We’re taking 65-66 deg head angles, 430mm chainstay, 475-480 reach. Nearly unrideable compared to todays standards.
  • 19 1
 $4000 for a nice build, but ohhh, thru headset routing, ouch!

I'm curious if bike companies are making headset routing because buyers are asking for it; ie roadies.

I would never ask for this ^ PITA!

I re built a Canfield Lithium over the weekend, and as much as I love how a Canfield rides, the rear brake mounting through the frame is just dumb; esp. on an enduro bike.

So yeah, no internal routing of hydraulic line!
  • 3 1
 Someone higher up probably made the call on the routing and now they’re financially committed so for the foreseeable future they’re gonna make it work even if it isn’t popular.
  • 9 2
 I’m a roadie. I hate internal and/or headset routing. It’s usually gapers/posers/Freds who like the sleek look who drive this kind of crap. Remember chainstay mounted u-brakes???

The broped crowd is only going to make this worse.
  • 22 0
 Two thumbs up for the Kaz reviews. If Kaz reviewed it, I read the review.
  • 17 0
 @Pinkbike and @mikekazimer, why not ask directly to Commencal why they chose that stupid headset routing ? Maybe you asked, but didn't read it in that review. I'd be curious hearing their answer, apart from "the clean look", which is not any cleaner than a traditional and good top tube routing.
  • 5 1
 same reason as pressfit bb or fully integrated headsets. Saves manufacturer money. First internal cable routing became popular, probably also to save money by just machining holes in frame instead of welding tabs. Headset cable routing allows you to get rid of holes in frame and put the hole in plastic parts (headset cup) instead. In road bikes the aero argument is used. Also less problems due to cracks in material or just in paint (happened to Santa Cruz I have heard, was covered by warranty). The pain comes later when you work on the bike or pay mechanic to do that. To sum up: Commencal gets more sales and bigger profit margin, you pay for that during ownership. Always the same, not just in bike industry.
  • 18 1
 Those handlebar graphics looks like 20 years old.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, I love everything about my Renthal cockpit apart from the colour scheme...
  • 2 0
 A bit of acetone it’s gone, but I’ve never had the carbon version. Probably would need to check with Renthal first.
  • 16 0
 I guess I'll get one and zip-tie the cables to my downtube.
  • 14 4
 I have the Ohlins edition tempo and while I echo everything Mike says here to a T. I did have an issue with my frame, if interested all details and pictures of that are under the commencal forum page. Customer service did a great job helping me out but R&D has yet to respond which is frustrating.
  • 5 1
 Yikes dude, thanks for posting.
  • 5 1
 Thanks for sharing. Super interested in this bike but build issues like what you've experienced make me nervous.
  • 2 0
 @PeakHopper: Really versatile bike and commencal did replace that upper link and bolt but Im gonna hit them up for a new rear triangle.
  • 1 1
 I see expanding collets, I pass
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: why is this? Just curious.
  • 2 1
 @Ryanwarren47: Unnecessary complication, they wear and won’t hold adjustment (maybe the other way around), more maintenance
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: interesting, have you seen that on other MTBs or mechanic spaces elsewhere? Not trying to say your wrong or anything like that.... just looking for more background.
  • 1 2
 @Ryanwarren47: I’ve been a mechanic for 20+ yrs, owned my own shop, so it’s first hand experience. I’m not familiar with this particular collet system but it doesn’t sound like anything new and improved, and I do like the concept but they’re only on a few bikes for a reason.. and it isn’t because they work well.
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: got it, thanks!
  • 12 0
 Suprised no mention of a comparison with the Norco Fluid, especially given it won budget bike of the year last year.
  • 7 0
 Would another comparison to the Ripley AF havebeen good ? Seen as snappier handling than a Tallboy, and bit more firm suspension than the more planted Tallboy.

I see the TEMPO has a bit longer wheelbase than the AF, but seems similar in ride characteristics that this review provides.
  • 3 0
 I agree the Ripley AF is the first bike I thought of in comparison.
  • 8 0
 Would like to see how this compares to the Transition Smuggler. I'd probably go Transition, but feel that their pricing has gotten a little out of touch.
  • 3 0
 @TTASS: I thought the same thing. I just got my tempo frame yesterday. I rode one in golden and really liked how it felt- in the parking lot... Frame and float x are 1 lb heavier than the smuggler. I’m hoping to be sub 29lb on my build, but that might be a stretch. It’s similar to this, but with Berd wheels and a few other lighter parts. I’m going to run Axs and mill slots for my cables which should work fine. I wanted a short travel trail bike not a long travel xc bike. I’m 5’10” and the med felt great to me. This bike will see lots of jumps and trail riding. Have an enduro for big stuff. If it lets me down, I’ll likely try a smuggler frame. Had a few transitions and like them. Thought about a stumpy as it’s frame is 2.5lbs lighter, but was worried about the flex stays flexing and rubbing during hard turning of landing hard at angles when whips don’t come all the way back. Don’t know if that’s a thing though.
  • 16 7
 Stop this pressfit BB madness. i would've bought one by now if it was threaded
  • 5 0
 I used to hate the pressfit BBs on my Kona. Then I installed a Wheels Manufacturing screw-together BB, and consider the problem solved. No more creaking; cheap and easy bearing changes (getting the outboard cartridge bearings removed/replaced takes about five minutes). Yes, a proper threaded BB is a better design, and I resent having to buy an add-on. But it's not enough of a turn-off for me anymore to go look for another bike instead.
  • 4 4
 Press fit is fine. You just need….a press. One time non-recurring tool cost.

And if your toolkit is old enough-the now useless headset press you might already have works juuust fine for press fit bbs.

Crummy headset and pivot bearings on the other hand……
  • 1 0
 @g-42: great shout - these are decent
  • 1 0
 We´ve encountered creaking on a gravel bike with an aluminium FSA PF BB.

The FSA BB diameter is half a 1/10mm smaller then the Shimano plastic PF BB.
Also the plastic seems to make up for small imperfections in the carbon BB shell of the frame.

So we hope that using that bigger plastic BB will help cure that problem.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: how can a necessary hundred euro upgrade be considered acceptable though? It's so wasteful, all these bikes have the bb thrown in the bin after a single winter. I have two mountain bikes with that style of BB - a regular BB is near the top of my list for my next upgrade
  • 1 0
 @blackpudding: No argument that it's wasteful and stupid. But with the retrofit, it's only wasteful and stupid once, as opposed to being stupid and wasteful at every service interval. Progress, not perfection - for me, that's enough to where I don't categorically rule out a bike just because of PF BBs.

I had a conversation with someone working for a brand that went PF for their bottom brackets; he tried rationalizing it as being in service to the consumer (some spiel about how that way, you don't run the risk of the BB thread on your frame getting messed up and causing a really expensive repair), but in the end admitted that it's mostly about cost (threading is an extra step, plus tolerances need to be tight for that to work whereas there can be a little slop with PF because there's always threadlocker to fill that). I think it's one of those shortsighted, stupid things that we'll keep looking at and eradicating over time - but in terms of low hanging fruit in the bike industry, it's probably outweighed by all the single use petroleum based packaging.
  • 1 0
 @blackpudding: if you look at the manual for that Wheels MFG BB they have instructions for changing the bearings.... by press fitting in new ones lol. I have one and I've done it, it works great, and it's super cheap. So it's buy once cry once. But clearly PF is not an issue if mfrs can actually hit tolerances.

If I just go buy whatever bike I want, I know that if the BB starts creaking (which is not guaranteed) there's a solution out there. In any case, I've owned 2 PF frames and neither of them had any issues (I actually bought the Wheels BB because of a crank compatibility issue, not because I had BB problems). But anyway, I guess I *slightly* prefer threaded, but not enough that I would compromise basically anything else on my bike purchase for it (because I know a thread-together PF conversion is available to fix any issues).
  • 9 1
 to me, it looks like somebody took an entry-level aluminum frame and did a complete custom build on it
  • 8 2
 The tallboy STARTS at 7800? are you serious? I dont usually get worked up about bike prices, because theres usually an option for normal people, but in this case there just isnt? wtf.
  • 2 0
 @Torbo24 $7800 looks like the starting "Transmission" version.
Tallboy R is $4549 USD
  • 1 0
 @Brad1000: oh gotcha, i was just going by what the article said, i didnt look on SC's site
  • 1 1
 @Brad1000: do they still make the R? It's not on their site.
  • 3 0
 @Bikes666: 1st two colours are the Transmission models then after that its the "regular" ones. Pretty confusing really.
  • 1 0
 Thats what it says at the site, crazy.
  • 6 0
 Good review, looks like a fun well designed bike- even though the cable routing and top tube kink are turn offs for me.

I'd love to see a ~$4k trail bike shoot-out:

Smuggler v. Tempo v. Fluid v. Izzo v. Hugene v. Stumpy
  • 2 0
 What about that Canyon Spectal 125?
Not sure on geo but pretty sure the travel matches 140F/125R ?
  • 1 0
 @YukonMog: that one to, maybe to alloy trek ex gen 6 instead of the stumpy to
  • 8 0
 Stopped reading when thru head set cable routing was mentioned. Wanks
  • 16 12
 God this thing is so cooooooool (objective take). Coolest bike to come out this year (subjective take). Similar to Mike’s thoughts, I can almost look past the headset cable routing.
  • 23 4
 look past the headset cable routing?

never ever
  • 6 0
 "I can almost look past the headset cable routing."

Haha, good one!
  • 11 5
 A Kazimer review wouldn't be complete without complaints about Shimano breaks (;
  • 19 0
 Give me a brake.
  • 8 1
 Yet Shimano still hasn't released a fix
  • 7 1
 What broke?
  • 12 2
 Just shows us that he is trust worthy by calling out things that suck.
  • 1 0
 Shimano doesn't break. ...except Ultegra cranks, XTR pedal axles,and few other mentions.
  • 2 1
 @SonofBovril: the fix is either XTR levers or Deore levers. It’s the bite point adjustment crap that seems to be the issue.

No magazine talks about how after 2 years all Shimano brakes have significant vapor loss of mineral oil and Shimano doesn’t offer seal kits.

Codes are good enough, and serviceable enough I may switch…….and I’ve been a SRAM/Avid hater (and Shimano brake user) for a LOT of years.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: interesting. Every pair of Shimano brakes I’ve used from Deore to XT have been flawless.
  • 3 0
 @generictrailrider: regular top off bleeds keep the wandering bite point in check, but a day at a terrain park or a long descent or 2 (and the big altitude changes involves) and a brake that hasn’t been bled in a few weeks is likely to have the variable bite point problem.
  • 7 0
 Keen to know how it compares to the Transition Spur @mikekazimer
  • 7 0
 And Norco optic
  • 3 0
 You'd need to remove that noodly Sid fork to be comparable. You'd also need to add at least 10mm more travel up front. I don't know how the Fox DPS behaves but the Sid shock tuning in the Spur is really soft and lacks compression damping. So overall, out of the box, I don't think they are really comparable.
  • 1 2
 Uh he did in the article.
  • 3 0
 or the Fluid, or Optic, both are similar bikes, with similar geo, and intentions.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: no mention of the spur.

I am also interested @mikekazimer whats the comparison?
  • 3 0
 Yep, my bad. I read Izzo, I understood Spur. Duh.
  • 11 0
 The Spur's a lot lighter, and I'd consider it more of a downcountry rig than a trail bike. The Spur feels best with a 120 fork to match its 120mm of rear travel; it's not something I'd recommend trying to turn into a beefed up trail smasher.

With the Tempo, you've got more travel to get you out of a jam, and running a 36 or piggyback shock wouldn't be unreasonable.

It really depends on what type of riding you'll be doing the most - the Spur's an excellent aggressive XC rig, but its limits will show up before the Tempo's do. There's also no alloy Spur, or carbon Tempo for that matter if frame material matters at all to you.
  • 2 0
 This bike creeps more in the Smuggler territory, which there is an Alloy version of, and that comparison sounds more interesting. Sure, the Smuggler Alloy is spec'd with NX, a Z2 up front, a Float X, and some crappier parts, reaching 34.5 lbs according to Transition's site. But it's the frame and suspension we're interested in Smile
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: Fluid, Optic comparison?
  • 1 0
 Honestly I think it more compares to the SJ non-evo. I had an optic and had a real hard time getting it to a place where it didn't bottom out super harshly when really pushing it. That is never the case on my Ohlins TEMPO. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D6hA_4mEAc
  • 6 0
 Nice to see that the chainstay has a decent lenght (not too short as some Commencal bikes).
  • 4 0
 How does this compare to the other 140/125 bikes like the Optic and the Spectral 125. These all seem like very similar bikes and there are also are bunch 140/130 bikes that are similar as well.
  • 18 0
 The Tempo and the Spectral 125 are quite different. The 125 is a lot longer and slacker, and can feel sort of dull on mellow trails. The Tempo is much livelier, and has better (or at least quicker) handling in the tight stuff and at slower speeds.

The Tempo's geometry is closer to the Optic. I prefer the pedaling position of the Tempo - the steeper seat tube and shorter front center made it a little more comfortable for me. Both bikes have a very similar wheelbase, although I'd say the Tempo has a little bit more snappiness to its handling. They're both great examples of how versatile bikes in this travel bracket can be.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: How does the Optic feel on flatter terrain? thinking about getting one.
  • 3 0
 @Leviathandive: it’s a fantastic bike. I had the 2020 and regret selling it. Pedals fine on flat.
  • 1 0
 @MillerReid: Nice. Why did you sell it though?
  • 3 0
 @Leviathandive: also had an Optic that I regret selling. Overall its a very fun, fast bike that can take just about anything. I sold it because i didnt want a comprimise bike so I got an enduro bike and a hardtail when everything was on sale this winter.
  • 1 0
 @bones89: Nice, thats the way to go. But I need an all in one bike. More on the playful side though, so many options.
  • 2 0
 @Leviathandive: sold it because my dream bike was always an Evil and bought an Evil offering. Absolutely love it but the optic was just like a perfect bike for me and how I ride.
  • 1 0
 @MillerReid: The Offering is about as awesome as a mountain bike can get. Saw one at the shop a few months ago and my jaw hit the floor lol. It was a medium gx build for $5700.
  • 3 0
 I was about to ask how this bike compares to Izzo but it was already included I also find those very similar (when looking numbers) and they have similar price point. Would have been a hard pick if I would not already have an Izzo
  • 17 2
 Tempo:
- More surefooted
- Better power transfer
- Overall probably a better bike for most

Izzo:
- No headset cable routing

Izzo it is.
  • 3 0
 Sounds like a typical bike that's good on paper. Good looks, good price, rides well. You get used to all of that, but if it's a pain in the ass to maintain, this becomes a deal breaker later on. Funny it's being compared to a Santa Cruz that is has the most reliable bearing design on the market and that is also the nicest bikes to deal with when your're a home mechanic. Definitely not a SC fan boy though this sounds like it. I like bike that don't make me swear on trail or when I'm working on them.
  • 13 2
 You can buy a lot of bearings for $2000, just saying
  • 11 0
 @sanchofula: It's not about the money really. I have ridden a lot of crap over the years and I have become annoyed about crappy designs. At the same time I have come to appreciate nice designs and manufacturing quality. and I'm not talking about looks, but how stuff is like when you take it apart after a season of heavy use and assemble everything again. It's a nice feeling when everything fits perfectly, no creaking, no bending, no hammeringthings into place. And SC gives me that. I have actually had 2 commecals, a meta and a Supreme dh.
  • 2 1
 @sanchofula: the time commitment to wrenching sucks. Also, time you pull and press bearings in an aluminum frame (even with the correct pullers and drifts) you risk deforming the bearing seats.

I’ll pay a little more (or not any more for my Ripmo AF) and just do an annual tear down.
  • 3 0
 I live in the wet part of the US PNW and even with bikes that don't have the thru the headset routing I replace the lower headset bearing every year on any bike that is ridden in wet weather. I won't be buying anything that compromises the headset's weather resistance. It is far too easy for water to pool in the headtube as it is without big holes in the upper headset.
  • 3 0
 I talked with a guy who owned one of these and the headset routing proved to be less of an actual issue in daily life. Still stupid, but maybe not a clearcut deal breaker for me. Though with the pressfit BB and the cable routing, it seems a little anti-commencal. I wouldn't have expected them to go that route. Based on the backlash I've seen on this bike, I'm guessing next year's version will have normal cable routing.
  • 7 2
 Gahdamn that tempo essential is good value. SLX drivetrain but DH-ready brakes and fox performance suspension.
  • 3 1
 Reminds me a lot of my Knolly Fugitive v1 in ST mode, which is 140/125 travel with very similar geometry - by far the most fun configuration of that bike!

I attribute it to the conservative reach and head angle creating a more reasonable / manageable (~1,200mm in large) wheelbase than most of the sleds coming out today.

More bikes like this please! Focus on fun instead of fast…creates a playful bike even with 29” wheels
  • 3 1
 Headset cable routing on a bike like this is a no brainer for Commencal. The only reason it's done by any manufacturer is to knock a few bucks off the frame cost (it's not for aesthetics, less holes in the frame = lower cost, period). This bike is meant to compete price wise with the likes of YT and Canyon, saving a few bucks on the frame is a must. That said, NO THANK YOU. Give me external routing with stick on guides if you want to save the money, please.
  • 5 0
 REMINDER: It’s been more than 24 hours since you’ve watched the Hugo Frixtalon TEMPO edit.
  • 6 1
 Commencal! Number one babee!
  • 1 0
 I have to say, the reach numbers and description matches very closely to my RM Element. 130/120, 470mm reach in L, and feels very fast/fun. Also lighter. Also no headset routing. Downsides being PF bottom bracket. But otherwise my fave bike, and a good option for those that like these types of bikes IMO
  • 1 0
 If Kazimer says it feels fast up and down then I believe it. But some of that uphill liveliness might be from the carbon wheels. It sounds like it flies in the air; That all equates to a fun bike. Maybe this bike isn't the best choice for really steep and rough lines but that's the compromise. If I didn't already have a Kona Process 134, I would consider this bike.
  • 7 4
 Man it's a shame to see a new bike come out with such an outdated SRAM groupset
  • 2 0
 There seems to be a little mistake in the first paragraph, you mention "a 12-speed SRAM GX cable-actuated drivetrain" but in the pics and in the spec list it's XO1
  • 4 0
 Im surprised you didnt compare it to the Ripley AF.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer great review - do you prefer this or your fuel ex to ride? New fuel ex seems pretty efficient but seems a bit ungainly in tight terrain. Guessing cornering the tempo within it's limits is a bit more fun?
  • 6 0
 It really depends on the trail / terrain. I've got the Fuel EX setup with mixed wheels and a 160mm fork, so it's the bike I'd want to be on for steeper, rougher terrain. On more XC(ish) rides, ones with lots of up and down and tight techy bits I really enjoy the Tempo's handling.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: So on the other side of that question, how does it compare to the top fuel? Particularly if you're running the 130 fork like they are speccing now.
  • 5 1
 I can’t believe Max let the headset routing happen
  • 1 1
 The frame bearing issue the kaz experienced is normal on commencals, my meta required new frame bearings every 6 months. Also the hole under the shock sent water straight to the headset bearings, such a poor design. I'd never buy a commencal again after the issues I've had on three I've owned
  • 3 1
 Another Piggy bike. 32 pounds for a 120 travel bike is just ridiculous! And I love that now weight is not something you measure but you "feel"!
  • 2 0
 Hmm this makes me feel better about my 32lbs aluminum Rocky Mountain element, even if it’s a little more down country and a little less trail.
  • 1 0
 Great looking bike, I wonder if they tweaked that top tube a touch if they could fit two water bottles pole style. Then it'd be great all rounder bike for quick after work shreds or long days in the saddle.
  • 4 0
 Commencal was supposed to destroy the sith not join them smh
  • 1 0
 My 2021 has the same geometry and is 1.5 kg’s lighter. It’s super fast and nimble.
I don’t see the use of these bikes when they weigh the same as an enduro bike with 170mm….
  • 1 0
 *My 2021 Stumpjumper that is…
  • 1 0
 hey,did you use a short 30mm stem?the rhental has increased by how much 30?
I am 1m81 tall with the essential tempo L and I have pain in my neck and hands, I am looking for solutions. Thks.
  • 1 0
 hey,did you use a short 30mm stem?the rhental has increased by how much 30?
I am 1m81 tall with the essential tempo L and I have pain in my neck and hands, I am looking for solutions. Thks.
  • 1 0
 hey,did you use a short 30mm stem?the rhental has increased by how much 30?
I am 1m81 tall with the essential tempo L and I have pain in my neck and hands, I am looking for solutions. Thks.
  • 4 4
 Weird how they managed to make the new Meta (not released yet, look for the spy shots) have a straight top tube, but this one has that odd little kink in it. Shame because otherwise its an attractive bike.
  • 1 0
 id be interested to hear levy’s comparison to the sst. both super similar geo but i think i’d prefer the longer chainstays and shorter reach of this bike.
  • 4 2
 Maybe my next bike. The frame and builds tick almost every box. Alas, not a fan of the headset routing.
  • 3 1
 Kink in the top tube, headset cable routing (while removing the downtube ports), pressfit BB. You were SO CLOSE Commencal!
  • 3 0
 I can't be the only one who thinks it looks like a kids xc bike...
  • 2 0
 Thanks, headset routing for completely quashing any thoughts of an impulse buy.
  • 2 1
 I find it odd that the stack only increases by 2 % between the largest and smallest sizes, while the reach increases by 14%. Why?
  • 3 0
 This vs Ripley AF? Tough call. Battle of the bendy top tubes.
  • 2 0
 Recommending stick-on cable guides on a US$ 6,200 bike. What a time to be alive.
  • 2 0
 Stumpjumper? Lighter, slacker, as short or long depending on how you like it. No theough headset routing and threaded bb.
  • 1 0
 Short travel full sussers will always be more fun to ride, that the bigger bikes. I was hoping they'd make comparison to Norco Optic, which has same exact travel as Tempo.
  • 2 0
 make it for 27.5" wheels, get rid of the stupid headset routing and call it 5010 v3 alu
  • 1 0
 I really think it compares more to a bike like the Stumpjumper but I guess that's the thing about opinions:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D6hA_4mEAc
  • 1 0
 Maybe what I love most about these comment sections is that if I scrolled them without first reading the article above, I’d think the review were for a single component
  • 3 1
 Kinda looks like a kids bike..
  • 4 2
 Is the frame UDH compatible or is it already obsolete?
  • 6 0
 It has a UDH. Definitely not obsolete.
  • 35 0
 Since March 21st, the glorious day SRAM blessed us with Transmission™, all non-UDH bikes became un-rideable. Decades of racing performance and drivetrain history was erased and you can now only be satisfied with a bike that allows you to purchase a $2000 drivetrain so you can buzz through gears on the local greens
  • 1 0
 Surely a good comparison to this bike is the Canyon Spectral 125? Same amount of travel
  • 1 1
 I’m sure there is some kind of geometric positivity, but whoever(s) came up with that hideous asf bend in the toptube is my hero(s)
  • 2 1
 One thing that's funny is if you want a bike that "breathes some life into mellow trails" then why not get a 26'er used?
  • 1 0
 Personally I don't think it does breathe life into mellow trails. I found the bike kind of boring in that terrain. It's more a bike to take where you ride your bigger bike to ride the terrain a bit differently. www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D6hA_4mEAc
  • 1 0
 @JohnnyGonePlaid: to be fair you had a dhr2 on the rear and maxxgrip dhf on the front...
  • 1 0
 I’m glad it’s got bolts on the bottom of the ton tube to facilitate external routing….
  • 1 0
 *top tube
  • 5 7
 Oh, the headset routing. I don't think it's such a big deal compared to frame internal routing. I do think routing hydraulic brake hoses through the frame is stupid, unless the ports are large enough for bleedless connectors and you spec brakes with that feature (e.g. Formula).
Surely the engineers at Cane Creek, Hope, etc are already done designing properly sealed headsets for all these new bikes that need replacements soon?
I bleed brakes every few months. I replace headsets every few years. I don't see the problem really.
  • 2 1
 whats stupid is my carbon 5010 weighs literally .1 of a pound less than this aluminum version. carbon is a scam
  • 4 0
 Carbon’s not a scam, it’s just not built for super lightweight anymore. That’s a “lifetime” warranty problem. My mojo 4 is 2lbs lighter than t your 5010 and this bike, it’s not the carbon…

With modern geometry, the trail bike segment is the most under rated segment in the market today. This Commencal will be a great everyday bike for people that have regular trails to ride on.
  • 1 1
 The best thing about the current crop of trail bikes is that reading reviews on those make me feel good about my five year old over-forked Fuel EX.
  • 2 1
 i think i just found me new precious. So much for a new Trance.... lol enter the big C
  • 1 0
 I'd be very interested to see how this compares to the Norco Fluid FS 1 given it's recent praise.
  • 1 1
 Integrated bar stem combos are more and more acepted, give it a year and the integrated cablerouting isnt even mentioned in the tests anymore.
  • 1 0
 THIS style of headset routing is preventing me from buying bikes - thank you bike industry for that.
  • 2 1
 This is a really up beat review.
  • 1 0
 Let it flow - let yourself go Slow and low - that is the bike in this review
  • 2 0
 Great review !
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: what's the actual seat tube angle?
  • 1 0
 What size did he ride in the test ride?
  • 1 0
 Size large.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Cool! I ordered a large thats going to be here tomorrow! I’m 6’1” and was debating the XL, but do like a slightly smaller, than larger bike. I guess I’ll find out if it’s right or not soon enough.
  • 1 0
 @straight-shooter: I'm 6'3 an the Xl felt Small
  • 1 0
 @TurboWolf: The reach of my WEO arrival is 475mm so it shouldn’t be too much smaller than my norm. What are you usually riding?
  • 1 0
 Schwinn is the only Tempo I'll ride: bikehistory.org/bikes/tempo
  • 1 0
 (this actually does look sweet if my Optic ever breaks)
  • 1 0
 A souped up Fisher Sugar, it’s probably really wicked.
  • 1 0
 Way. Better without the orange fork!!
  • 1 0
 Watch out Ripley and smuggler!
  • 2 1
 Commencal has been killing it lately!
  • 1 0
 What is the actual Bottom Bracket Height? Thanks.
  • 1 3
 It's too heavy for a trail bike with 34s and a dps. Commencial really needs to start building with carbon.
  • 3 5
 Hard Pass! What a POS
  • 1 1
 Agreed: press-fit BB, internally routed stem, excessively long seat tube (on a medium frame), heavy for a short travel trail bike.
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.065107
Mobile Version of Website