Review: 2021 Commencal Supreme DH 29/27 - DH Bike Week

Feb 19, 2021
by Dan Roberts  








Next up in our DH bike group test is the Commencal Supreme DH 29/27.

Watching practice at a DH World Cup in the past couple of years and it’s clear to see there’s a favourite bike out there for the privateer and supported racers. Following the success of the Commencal team and Amaury Pierron the Supreme DH’s popularity blossomed.

Up until 2021 they offered a full 29” version and a full 27” version, and with the onset of mullets they arrived with a bike dedicated to just that.
Supreme DH 29/27 Details

Rear wheel travel: 215mm
Fork travel: 200mm
Wheel size: 29" / 27.5"
Material: Aluminum
Sizes: S, M, L (tested) & XL
Weight: 17.1kg / 37.7lbs (L, w/o pedals)
Price: €5,399 / $4,999 USD
More info: commencal-store.com


A bike previously loved at Pinkbike, with it even grabbing the Mountain Bike of the Year award back in 2018, it was time to see if the latest version carries over that same adoration.







bigquotesFollowing some of the region's fastest down the Morgins tracks there is such a back-having feeling to the Commencal that honestly caught me by surprise mid-air, as I’d just pulled up off some crazy gap without really giving it a second thought. Dan Roberts





Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
The Supreme's aluminum construction centers around its high single pivot design and the necessary use of an idler.


Construction and Features

The Supreme DH's frame is an all-aluminum affair, something that even extended to the spec of our Team model with not a hint of the c-word material in sight.

The low-slung frame paints a nice silhouette from the side, albeit it with a pretty pregnant belly, with all the weight both visually and actually being quite low. It’s a stout construction too, with lots of the forged or machined parts of the frame having a fair bit of meat on them. From the top though it’s a little slimmer, something that is a bit surprising once you take the whopping downtube fender off. That fender is the full width of the links to protect them from the onslaught of rocks and debris.

Commencal stated that they sought to improve the rear triangle stiffness of the previous generation of Supreme DH, and now the bike has a stouter dropout to help that.

Cable routing is all internal, with a short section on show between the top tube and seat stays. The cable entry on the mainframe also doubles up as the bottom out bumpers. They do a good job of protecting the frame from fork stanchion impacts, but when using the RockShox Boxxer, do reduce the turning circle a bit.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
Fork bumpers double up as the cable entry points and there are small notches in the standard 56mm diameter head tube for helping line up angle or reach adjusting headsets.
Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
The dropouts have been re-worked to help up the rear triangle stiffness. They also use a 200mm post mount, although our bike was specced with huge 220mm rotors.

There are notches in the head tube to help with alignment of angled headsets if you fancy playing with the head angle of your Supreme DH.

Most of the rest of the construction of the Supreme is a result of its suspension layout. The high pivot design somewhat forces a certain design and is a reason why a lot of the true high single pivot bikes out there follow a similar DNA. The linkage system is nestled down by the bottom bracket and rotates around a forged part welded to the down tube.

Down in those links, there is a lot of bearing on show for the world, and mud, to see along with an alarming lack of lip to restrain the bearings in their linkages. While it’s not provided a source of any problems, it’s a bit of a small detail that as an engineer had me wincing a little.

The Supreme DH’s idler is a necessity for the design, something that we’ll go into a bit more in the suspension section. But it’s a large and robust design with some good shielding around it to hold it in place, keep it out of harm's way and out the way of your pants.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
A wide protector not only shields the down tube but also the links nestled behind it.
Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
There are absolutely buckets of tire clearance on the mullet Supreme. So no worries when the conditions get a bit sticky.

Commencal also does a good job of silencing the chain slap, with ample coverage from the ribbed chain stay and seat stay protectors. Even after a lot of riding, it was commented that the bike still looked in great condition, something also testament to the paint quality. There’s a press-fit bottom bracket and a 200mm post mount brake standard along with 2 out of the three mounts for a chain guide. The high pivot design doesn’t need the top guide and so only needs the bottom two mounts to have a bash guard and lower roller.

Tire clearance is plentiful on the mullet version of the Supreme DH, likely accountable to the long chain stay length, meaning that it should gain less pounds when you're riding in the peanut butter.

Other than that, it’s a pretty simple bike. And that’s not a bad thing. The suspension design drives a lot of the choices and Commencal chose to go with a robust aluminum construction that favoured durability rather than all out gram counting. There’s little left to do when the bike arrives other than set it up and go ride it.





Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Geometry


Geometry & Sizing

What once upon a time used to be one of the shorter reach measurement bike brands out there is now one of the longest, with the lengths of their DH bikes being up there with that of the brand’s trail and enduro bikes that have had maybe more limelight in the longer, lower, slacker treatment of late.

There's a static chainstay length of 457mm, and I say static as at sag our bike grew to 475mm and then at bottom out to 525mm, highlighting one of the quirks of the high pivot design in that quite drastically changing geometry, and tire loading, through travel.

The Supreme's on paper geometry actually turned out to be quite different to what we measured when we 3D scanned it. Head tube length is bang on and chainstay length measured only 1mm longer, but our bike's head angle was much slacker, at 61.2°, and there was a much shorter reach, at 470mm, along with a higher stack height, at 626mm.

BB drop, measured 22mm from a horizontal line back from the 29" front axle, or 10mm from a line directly between the axles. Either way, this gave our bike a 351mm BB height.

Riders of all sizes should be able to enjoy the Supreme DH with its on-paper span in reach measurements being wide. But at 188cm tall the L size felt a comfortable fit.





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Suspension Design

As we touched on already, the Supreme DH carries on with the high single pivot design that Commencal is known for and has had success with. That necessity for an idler pivot coming from the drastic growth in chainstay and the detrimental amount of chain stretch that it would create with a more traditional chain path. Routing the chain up close to the main pivot reduces that chain stretch to a minimum while still having considerable amounts of anti-squat.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
Drive side shows the idler and chain line positions.

The Supreme DH is actually the least progressive bike that we tested, with a leverage ratio progression amount of 19%. It does however keep the curve up in the high ratios throughout travel resulting in an average ratio of 2.87. There's also a lot more travel in there than Commencal claims, up at 215mm.

Commencal recommend a range of recommended sag measurements for the shock, both in % and mm, ranging from a firm 17% setup, through a neutral 20% to a soft 23% setup, all as a sticker on the frame right next to the shock. While it might scare a lot of people off who securely fixate on sag as the be all and end all for suspension, it’s definitely the right way to go with the Supreme DH and is an appreciated starting point for initial setup.

With a 34-tooth chainring and 18-tooth rear cog, there's 142% anti-squat in the middle of Commencal's recommended sag range. It stays high throughout travel too, dropping to 127% at full travel. That's accompanied by a high anti-rise figure too, 126% at sag and only dropping to 95% at bottom out.

Unlike the Specialized Demo and Canyon Sender, the Supreme DH 29/27 is fixed in travel, and geometry for that matter, meaning it carries on that set up and go theme. Although we have seen many of the team bikes sporting adjustable shock and idler mounts to adjust the anti-squat and leverage ratio.





Specifications
Release Date 2021
Price $4999
Travel 215
Rear Shock RockShox SuperDeluxe Ultimate DH
Fork RockShox Boxxer Ultimate
Headset Across
Cassette SRAM GX DH, 7s
Crankarms Travativ Descendant DH 165mm
Chainguide e*thirteen LG1+
Bottom Bracket SRAM Pressfit Dub
Chain KMC X11EL
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX DH
Shifter Pods SRAM GX DH
Handlebar Truvativ Descendant DH 800mm / 25mm rise
Stem Truvativ Descendant 50mm length 35mm clamp
Grips Ride Alpha DH
Brakes SRAM Code RSC, 220mm rotors
Hubs DT Swiss 350
Spokes DT Swiss Competition
Rim DT Swiss FR560
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Super DH Ultra Soft
Seat Fizik Alpaca Gravita X5
Seatpost Truvativ Descendant DH


Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot

The Supreme DH 29/27 we tested was the Team model and came specced with a RockShox Boxxer Ultimate fork, SuperDeluxe shock, SRAM GX DH drivetrain with Descendant cranks and Code RSC brakes, with a 220mm rotors front and rear. There’s an e*thirteen chain guide on there too.

DT Swiss provided the wheelset with the FR560 with both 27.5mm internal width rims being set up tubeless with Schwalbe Magic Mary tyres in Super DH casing and Ultra Soft compound. Touchpoints are the Descendant models from Truvativ for the stem, bar and seat post with the saddle being a Fizik offering.

Our size L bike weighed in at 17.1kg or 37.7lbs.

The Supreme DH 29 – 27 Team retails for 5,399 EUR or $4,999 USD, which makes it the least expensive bike out of the four we tested. Granted the drivetrain isn’t full X01 like the others, but that’s about it and the bike was ready to go out of the box just fine with all the spec components.





Bike Setup

The Supreme DH wasn’t the first DH bike to arrive for testing, so the process of figuring out the Boxxer settings was already done. Commencal provided a really good starting point for the air pressures, damper settings and even tire pressure. They even provided a range of settings for some of the variables along with the reminder to measure clicks from fully closed.

The Boxxer was suggested to be between 145 and 155psi with the rebound at 10 clicks, HSC at 3 clicks and LSC at 12 clicks.

The SuperDeluxe was suggested to be between 215 and 225psi with 6 clicks of rebound and 4 to 8 clicks of compression.

Tire pressure was suggested to be 1.65bar front (24.3psi) and 1.75bar (25.7psi) rear.


Dan Roberts // Technical Editor
Age: 34
Location: Champéry, Switzerland
Height: 188cm (6'2”)
Weight: 75kg (165 lbs)
Industry affiliations / sponsors: Garage Bike Project, former engineer at Scott Sports
Instagram: @le_crusher
Test Locations: Champéry, Morgins, Bex, Dorenaz, Chatel, Morzine & Bernex



Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot

Performance

Set up to the recommended settings, starting at the lower end of the pressure spectrum given, it was a tricky first ride. While I do favour a stiff setup, the recommendations were a touch stiffer than I felt comfortable with and in combination with the fast rebound settings it made it difficult to time the bike when you pushed into it.

Loading the bike on a jump take off, compression, or just before getting the bike off the ground resulted in it springing back before you thought and causing some weird moments from the mismatch in timing between rider and bike.

I tried to continue with this setup, despite knowing that I prefer something a little slower, with the thought that it might need time to acclimatise to this feeling and timing. But it simply didn’t work out and I found myself slowing the rebound down both front and rear to try and bring some chassis composure and timing back.

The shock tune on the SuperDeluxe is, however, a light one and even at fully closed it was still too fast for my liking. Swapping the shock out enabled me to get the rebound in a better window and unleashed a whole new chapter of speed on the Supreme DH.

As it turns out, the settings for the Supreme are informed quite heavily by the elite level race teams, and while I can appreciate that those racers are making it work, I’m not at that skill level or preference. So, it might be worth doing a bit of experimentation with your Supreme DH if you too find the recommended settings a little firm and springy. Still though, hats off to Commencal for actually providing an informed and detailed starting point for the bike.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot

With a slightly softer and slower setup front and rear the Commencal started to show its hand, and talk about a single-track mind. Following some of the region;s fastest down the Morgins tracks there is such a back-having feeling to the Commencal that honestly caught me by surprise mid-air as I’d just pulled up off some crazy gap without really giving it a second thought. The ensuing flat landings were met with a memory foam like cushioned landing. The Supreme DH is an absolute butter machine for those kinds of big single impact scenarios.

The combination of the aggressive geometry, progressive suspension and a touch more heft do beckon you to ride it with a bit of aggression in your piloting to extract the best. Honestly, just go and watch some Amaury Pierron videos and channel your inner flying baguette and my God this bike rewards you. While it isn’t a complete runaway freight train if you don’t give it that strength and directness of inputs, it certainly functions at its absolute best if you do. And the bike’s addiction to speed is something that contagiously passes onto the rider. It’s got a touch more brutish character to it, not like a bruiser tank at all, there’s just more positive anger in there that wants to throw caution to the wind.

As with the Demo, the mullet setup does have its advantages in trouser clearance and increased bike maneuverability. If you come into a turn far too hot, it reacts really well to throwing your head at the ground and really flicking the bike round a corner, as opposed to the slightly more high in and lean feel of some of the full 29” bikes on test. If you’re a fan of the full 29” setup then Commencal does have an option to cover that, but it certainly doesn’t make the mullet version unrideable. While the character difference front to back isn’t night and day, it is something worth noting. But did make for some last minute inside shenanigans.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot

The Supreme DH isn’t much of a bike for slowing down to take in the little side hits on the trail. It’ll quietly remind, in a French accent with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of its mouth, to arrête with this nonsense! It can take in the more sculpted trails just fine, but it would much rather hit them at full chat and hunt for the triples and quads rather than pull any freeride flicks.

The more active suspension feeling of the rear actually plays to the character of the Boxxer and the two end up feeling pretty balanced. We even threw on an Öhlins coil shock for a portion of the test to play around and ended up running a 525lbs spring to keep it all in check on the really bike loading g-force turns that tried to chopper it out. Some of the other models in the Supreme DH range now offer Öhlins as spec, alongside the Fox and RockShox offerings.





Maintenance

The Supreme DH is a pretty easy bike to live with. There are buckets of tire clearance and it generally sheds mud pretty well when conditions are into peanut butter territory.

There are however a few areas to keep an eye on, those aforementioned bearings on show being one and the pivot between the rear triangle and links also being in the firing line and a bit open to the elements.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
There's quite a bit of bearing on show in the linkages, so its good to keep an eye on keeping the area, and them, clean.
Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
The inevitable tool marks from tucking the shock bolt behind the outer links. Compressing the suspension a bit when you tighten the bolt helps.

But chief of all is the positioning of the links in the way of the shock bolt. While a ball ended hex tool helps, it’s a shock bolt and so needs a fair bit of torque which doesn’t lend itself well to the ball end style. This is a common problem on the Supremes with the tell-tale mark on the linkages. I am nitpicking, but it is a pain to have to either compress or remove one end of the shock to tighten the bolts.

While weight is an important factor in making a great bike, so too is durability, and the Supreme DH definitely had more of a ride hard and put away dirty feel to it, and I wasn't forever checking bolts or maintaining it after riding. Yes, it’s carrying a bit more timber than the other bikes but it does make up for it with a steadfast reliable feel to it.





Technical Report

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
A fierce combination.The DT Swiss FR560 wheelset just keep on working no matter how much abuse you give them. The Ultra Soft, DH casing Magic Mary's just need air and you're good to go as fast as you can without a care in the world.

DT Swiss FR560 Wheelset: Another fit and forget product from DT Swiss. That might sound blunt and not very inspirational but the wheelset held its tension throughout the test, ran smoothly and quietly and maintained the tubeless setup despite some fairly hefty dents. It’s a wheelset that just works and matches the steadfast durable feel of the Supreme to a T.

Schwalbe DH Tires: As is a common theme with the Supreme DH, a lot of it is informed from the pointy end of racing. And it’s a good spec choice to see full on DH casing tires and Ultra Soft compounds for the Magic Mary tires. Yes, the compound does wear out a hell of a lot faster, but a bike with this much speed contained in it relishes the delight of a softer rubber and also enables you to take full advantage of the mightily powerful 220mm rotors front and rear.

Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
We had no problems in reliability nor too many of our precious chicken leg watts sapped by the idler pulley on the Supreme.
Commencal Supreme DH 29 - 27 Photo Kifcat Shaperideshoot
A small detail, but a noteworthy one. The well covered and padded saddle on the Supreme was a wise spec choice, given that it will no doubt make contact with you when riding.

Idler Pulley Woes: While the public consensus is that idlers are terrible for efficiency, the reality was that on the Supreme DH the added drag is hardly noticeable. I know it’s a DH bike and isn’t pedalled anywhere as much as a trail and enduro bike, there are a lot of riding spots that need some pedalling to move around the mountain or to get to the trailhead, and on the Commencal it was no more effort than the other bikes on test.

Fizik Saddle: A small point I know, but it’s nice to see Commencal spec a saddle that is particularly well padded around all the edges. With the recent trend of sculpted plastic saddle bases protruding out and almost acting as guillotines, the padded Fizik was much comfier when you inevitably bashed into it while in the wild riding positions you get in on a DH bike.





Pros

+ Ferocious speed
+ Flat landing butter machine
+ Least expensive bike on test
Cons

- Needs a touch more aggression in the piloting
- Heaviest bike on test
- A couple of design details to keep an eye on





Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Commencal Supreme DH 29/27 is an astoundingly fast bike and channelling your inner Amaury Pierron extracts the absolute best from it. While it needs more aggression in the piloting it’s neither a runaway train if you don’t, nor a diminishing return. There’s a bit of uniqueness to its character but grab it by the horns and the rewards are addictive.

In many of the details of the bike and its character you can see a clear link back to its development at the highest level of racing, with the results over the recent seasons proving that it is a winning package.

It is a bit heavier than the other bikes on test, but there’s an air of ride hard and put away dirty to it, and it does all this for a chuck of cash cheaper than the other DH bikes on test.
Dan Roberts







231 Comments

  • 160 18
 Funny, just goes to show you don't need to make a bike from plastic to be asweome. Good on Commencal for sticking to their guns on avoiding the black stuff but stuff producing some of the best bikes on the market. Keep at it!
  • 66 15
 Fun fact, this frame is almost 2kg (thats more than 4 liberty weight units) heavier compared to Gambler...
  • 87 16
 @winko: weight makes you go down the hill quicker
  • 23 2
 @zyoungson: also more weight makes the bike heavier to control/turn/stop. But too much lightness isn’t also good!
  • 31 6
 @hitarpotar: Light bikes skip & ping off rocks and dont feel as good in the air. Prefer a bike on the heavier side but there is a limit.
  • 11 0
 @zyoungson: of course, in my experience the limit is 17-17.5kg. Any more and it starts becoming too heavy. On the light side, 15.5-16 is ok, any less and it is too light. A light wheelset can do wonders even on a heavier bike. Smile
  • 30 0
 Having a heavier main triangle and lighter unsprung weight isn't actually a terrible idea. The higher momentum of the heavy parts causes the energy of impacts to go into the suspension instead of rotating the bike forward. I don't care what my bike is made out of honestly, as long as I can afford it and it rolls lol
  • 14 1
 @DAN-ROCKS: I agree. I don't hate carbon but it's not really necessary. The cost benefit analysis points to alloy being the smart choice.
  • 8 4
 @winko: Give me that weight penalty over a plastic one any day. You know dam well this will take years of batterings!
  • 7 3
 @winko: less fun fact: you will gain 20kg waiting for delivery of this machine, or pretty much any bike this year. If you're thinking of buying something and find stock, do it immediately!
  • 3 0
 @zyoungson: In the air for sure! After jumping my 53lb eeb and feeling the arc it gets in the air I think that my 37lb enduro bike even feels too light in the air. Weight is a plus on this bike IMO!
  • 8 6
 @jaame: Totally agree!!! The fact is a DH bike typically goes through a lot of unintended "get offs" with the bike flipping around hitting stuff and this is not good for carbon. Aluminum is better on impact resistance and being aware of dented areas and how damaged the material is. Carbon fiber is difficult to know and spot damaged areas... I love carbon fiber on XC-AM-Enduro bikes, but not DH bikes...
  • 8 3
 @will-burr: too right. On a carbon bike you lose £500, 500g and 500 pieces of mind
  • 1 0
 @zyoungson: why am I so damn slow then?
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: That's an extremely good point.
  • 6 1
 @winko: Sounds like you're too young to remember or know of the times where 6-8 ply tyres and Dh tubes, a lack of carbon and Heavy gauge Aluminum had most light DH sleds around 22.7kg
Honestly anything under 18 is nice. And too lite ends up being less stable and more prone to being blown off line in the air. Mass is sometimes your friend
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: tons of bikes in stock in here in alberta. take your pick.
  • 1 0
 @hitarpotar: get stronger?
  • 5 3
 For the average rider a bike a little heavier isn't going to make a difference. But at the highest levels of racing, I think a lighter bike is faster. Otherwise, why would the top pros wouldn't be running ti bolts and carbon rims? Probably makes the most difference at the start gate and pedaling sections for them, which isn't a big concern for most riders. This is obviously a fast bike.
  • 7 1
 But whatever you like, but I don’t understand the “carbon-is-evil” mentality.
  • 4 1
 @TheR: Agree...I was skeptical on the use of carbon for a DH bike, but now I'm really happy with my light carbon frame, the Supreme is a nice bike though.
  • 2 11
flag andrewbikeguide (Feb 19, 2021 at 10:18) (Below Threshold)
 @winko: Remind me when a Gambler last finished in the top five on a WC? And the last privateer to ride a Gambler to a top 20 finish?
  • 6 5
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Ti bolts are not about weight, they are about never rusting, not binding (if prep paste is used) and colour matching. Carbon hoops are also not about weight. Look at We Are One: their DH hoop is no lighter than the 'equivalent' aluminium hoop but it will out live the aluminium hoop by a huge factor and also require far less (almost no) time on the truing stand keeping it running straight.
  • 21 0
 @andrewbikeguide: Marine Cabirou WC overall champion 2020. 2 Gold, 2 Silver medals.
  • 6 0
 @andrewbikeguide: I mean, in the men’s field the gambler did have a top-6 finish in Les Gets under Brendan Fairclough. I think Dean Lucas has ridden it into the top 10 a few times as well. In the women’s field, Marine Cabirou has won a couple WCs on it.
  • 2 2
 @winko: previous generation bike has a number of WC wins and shows you don't need a Tupperware bike to win.
  • 4 1
 @andrewbikeguide: Ti bolts are horrible sh*t that gall up, cost a lot and are weaker than steel. They are 100% about weight for the pros.
  • 6 0
 @Malky79: mate that was such a beautiful response. Absolutely f*cking shafted him ????
  • 3 0
 @andrewbikeguide: is this right? I havent ventured back to carbon and couldn't figure out why some teams like syndicate run 600g carbon rims. If they're bombproof that would make more sense. I thought it was sponsored stuff...
  • 2 0
 @Grosey: The strength to weight of the carbon rims is much better than the equivalent aluminum rim.
  • 2 7
flag MattP76 (Feb 19, 2021 at 23:40) (Below Threshold)
 @leon-forfar: That is just not true. We need to dispel this utter myth that carbon is stronger than metal because it just isn't. In the real world carbon has always been weaker especially for rims, cranks, bars etc. For example Enve wheels. Nearly every review of Enve wheels the reviewer has snapped them. Carbon is not stronger at all.
  • 1 1
 @MattP76: Mine broke after 6 months, so heavy and aluminum doesn’t mean it’s gonna be durable, but never the less best bike i rode so far.
  • 6 0
 @MattP76: There seems to be real bias there against anything carbon - whats up?
  • 8 1
 Carbon is definitely stronger if done right. The questions have to be is it done right, is it durable in certain applications where stresses are likely to be concentrated in small areas, and are the weight, stiffness and alignment benefits worth the extra costs in terms of financial outlay and potential durability issues.
  • 4 1
 @tavaenga: Haha! You know what’s up. Carbon haters can’t afford carbon. And instead of saying, “You know what? I’m just not in a spot where I can buy carbon everything right now, I’ll make acceptable tradeoffs,” they feel the need to rationalize — carbon’s not strong enough, or it’s bad for the environment, etc.

Or maybe the fact that “plastic” (it’s not plastic, by the way) is every bit as viable a manufacturing material as brittle aluminum causes cognitive dissonance, so they have to double down on their original misconception. Doesn’t matter how many times Danny Macaskill can ride down a staircase on a bare carbon rim, or how many times Santa Cruz can drop weights on their frame or whack it against a curb. Cant be as strong as aluminum.
  • 2 0
 @MattP76: “Nearly every review of Enve wheels?” I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I think it’s happened on Pinkbike maybe once? Even if you’re right about Enve, they are not the only manufacturers. Haven’t heard much about We Are One cracking, or I9, or Santa Cruz. Hell Santa Cruz did a video with Danny Macaskil riding on a bare rim, and he could barely crack it.

I’m not saying carbon stuff doesn’t break. I’m just saying the preconceptions of it being weak, brittle plastic is way off. It’s every bit as viable a material as aluminum with some real advantages.
  • 4 0
 @TheR: I can afford any carbon bike you pick, just ordered a mega 290 2021 frame because I prefer alloy
  • 4 0
 @TheR: did you see Minnars frame snap clean in half?
  • 3 0
 @jimmythehat: That’s cool. I think there’s a difference between just preferring alloy and quietly going about your business and buying it, and trying to convince the world (yourself, really) that carbon is an unviable, inferior manufacturing material.
  • 2 0
 @jimmythehat: Did I say carbon stuff doesn’t break? Are you going to tell me aluminum doesn’t break? No one at say, Rampage, has broken an aluminum bike? Nowhere in the history of the DH World Cup an aluminum bike has broken? Bull.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: I am I don’t have a problem with carbon just don’t want it
  • 1 1
 @jimmythehat: Well, there you go. I’ve got no problem with that.
  • 7 2
 Yeah it's definitely better. For me the question is more about value than strength. No way in hell I am ever going to spend 2000 pounds on a set of wheels that are literally going to get smashed into rocks on the regular. It doesn't matter to me what they're made of. My carbon road bike is spot on and I can see the benefits of the material in that application. I can see the benefits on a mountain bike frame too. It's just that it's not really worth the extra in my experience. I've seen these swimming goggles that cost a hundred squids and they guarantee to save you 0.2% over a 100m swim... but I can get some normal goggles for 30 that are just as good from my perspective. So while carbon is great and everything, it's not the be all and end all.

Carbon frames are decent value for money. It's a difficult thing to make in many parts, a lot of bearings have to be in alignment. It has to hold the bottom bracket and wheel. It has to have the correct tolerance to hold the headset cups and seat post. A lot of work goes into frames. Rims on the other hand are an absolute rip-off in my opinion. A hoop of carbon. It must be the easiest thing to lay up and form. I would love to know the markup on a set of carbon rims and wheels. People can talk about R&D cost but I'm not buying it. On a frame fair enough, there are a lot of variables, but a rim is a hoop of material in which 50% of the dimensions are set before any of the designing even happens. Its a single shape of set diameter It has holes drilled into it the same as an alloy rim (they don't even bother to form the spoke holes anymore). Spokes are exactly the same as they have been for at least 30 years and they still cost about the same. A hub is two metal tubes with two bearings and maybe a freewheel. No one's reinventing the wheel. Total rip-off. It's no wonder everyone is selling carbon wheels. It's a licence to print money.

They are not, and will never be worth 2k a set.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I’d agree with everything you wrote, 100.
  • 2 0
 @TheR: Don’t be quick to judge next time
  • 4 0
 @MattP76: Depends upon how you use carbon. The original carbon V 10 proved to be the strongest bike Santa Cruz ever built. They couldn't break it on the testing machines until after they started smashing dents in it with baseball bats. If manufactures made carbon frames the same weight as metal frames and had good construction they would undoubtedly be stronger. But the focus on using carbon is nearly always to make things lighter. So that's where your myth comes from.
  • 3 0
 @TheR: I know plenty of people who've broken reserve 30 rims. All it takes is an asymmetrical rock strike on one sidewall and not the other. Skeptical cause Macaskill hit everything squared up as he had to w/ no tire.

No cognitive dissonance I know of (see what I did there). Have 2 bikes w/ AXS, and carbon everything on the XC bike, even raced carbon BMX bikes in vet, but the trail/enduro rig is running 471's not cause money, but cause risking a broken rim from an experimental line in the middle of nowhere means a 2-3hour hike back to the car (or a DNF in a race I dropped $500+ to attend for the weekend).

Strength all depends on the mfg process, design, and environment.

Its definitely more likely to be ocean garbage than alloy, which can be recycled (not that it always is).

Then your paying 2-5x the price of an alloy equivalent, but whats the ROI?
  • 1 0
 @jimmythehat: thought that was a deepfake from an american news outlet?
  • 2 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Sorry I disagree with that. If you take a steel Cotic frame for example. If you made a carbon frame with exactly the same size tubes as the steel bike it would snap in no time. Thats why they make carbon bikes thicker otherwise they just wouldn't have the strength.
The other absolute pearler is that if you over tighten bolts on a carbon bar it snaps!! If carbon was stronger it should not matter if you over tighten bolts! It's ridiculous
  • 1 0
 @Grosey: My buddy was running 471’s and tacoed them in the middle of nowhere having to hike out. He’s been on the same carbon hoops for 2 years now with zero issues, so for him it’s carbon from now on. Another buddy cracked a carbon rim (was WAO with lifetime warranty) and he had no issues riding it out of the trail since sealant mostly filled the crack. Then he got a new rim for free where he would have had to buy another alu. For some carbon is totally worth it. Even in this review the DT rim suffered some big dents so prob has to be replaced soon. Would have been interesting to see if a carbon rim would have come out unscathed.
  • 1 1
 @MattP76: watch this vid and see if your opinion holds up: www.pinkbike.com/news/santa-cruz-bicycles-test-lab.html
  • 1 1
 @AustinsHardtail: I don't need to watch that utter marketing bollox. I could not believe back then how many people fell for that stunt. Still now people still believe it! Fair play to Santa Cruz though as it worked a treat.
  • 1 1
 @MattP76: my Nomad 3 was jettisoned off the back of my car at 110 kph a couple of years ago and it was totally unscathed. I had it checked out by a local dealer and a carbon expert who works in the bike industry and both gave it the all clear*. I continued to use it for 18 months and then eventually sold it to another bloke.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: Then you bought a metal one lol
  • 1 1
 @MattP76: Santa Cruz carbon frames are really well made, beautifully finished and strong as an ox. I will probably never get another because I'm just not that crazy about VPP or paying top dollar for bikes. I will always speak the truth about the quality of Santa Cruz though. They are really good.
  • 2 0
 @MattP76: Im not saying alloy is bad, my bike is alloy. Just saying that the "cArbOn Is pLaStiC" thing is dumb
  • 2 3
 @jaame: But the fact is thier Aluminum frames are just as good, strong and durable.. Probably more durable than the carbon versions! And cheaper!! Win win!
  • 1 0
 @MattP76: Idk if the aluminum frames are stronger but, to your point, they are way cheaper. My next bike will (most likely) be aluminum, not because I don't want carbon, just I don't want the price tag that comes with it.
  • 1 1
 @BikeRipperVT: say that to my 29.75lbs single speed pivot Phoenix
  • 82 0
 I had a dream last night that I'd bought one of these, but spent all the money for the mortgage/bills on it so was really scared about telling the mrs what I'd done and was sure she'd leave me.
Woke up feeling really sad that it wasn't true Frown
  • 24 0
 Must be a sign
  • 8 0
 so basically youre sad she didnt leave you and you had the rig, your subconsious has spoken!
  • 14 0
 it's always easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, I did it with a Triumph Scrambler Beer
  • 36 0
 @corriebikes: I've had a wife for ages now, but I've never had a DH bike......
  • 30 25
 Drop the bitch and make the switch!
  • 4 0
 @ybsurf: Nice
  • 8 0
 get your wife to ride mountain bikes and maybe then she'll buy one for herself. She might let you borrow it occasionally! Plus, you get a riding buddy.
  • 6 1
 @dualcrownscottspark: she comes out occasionally when it's sunny (so not often over here) which is nice. I definitely wouldn't swap her for a DH bike.

I could be tempted to for a top spec Transition Spur though.
  • 4 1
 Know why divorce costs so much?

You get what you pay for.
  • 3 3
 @dualcrownscottspark: This is such a terrible idea that I don't even know how to start with it..
  • 4 0
 @muggomagic: DH bikes dont bitch. Usually age better too.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: What? How? You just ask her to come on a ride every once in a while and help her learn how to mountain bike if she is a beginner. Then if she gets hooked she gets better and better until she rides harder than you!
  • 2 2
 @dualcrownscottspark: If I would tell fortune based on your answer, I would tell that you're not married and have no kids ????
  • 3 0
 @muggomagic: wife, 2 young kids, trail dog, 3 mountain bikes, one of which is a dh rig. Strava says 123 rides last year.
  • 3 18
flag lkubica (Feb 19, 2021 at 11:15) (Below Threshold)
 @dualcrownscottspark: Problem with women is that they are not gear-centric. They mostly care about colour and looks, that's it. They can ride any bike you get them which looks good to them and rather prefer cheaper ones (because you know, it is better to have some money left for nice clothes and beauty treatment). So it would be hard to borrow bike from your wife even if it would be your size.
And I know because I have a wife who rides with me. It's super cool, but I am sure I would never convince her to buy a bike I want. She finds 90% of good bikes ugly Wink
  • 11 0
 @lkubica: that’s your wife. That may be true for some woman, but most definitely not all. I, a woman, hate “pretty clothes” and “beauty treatments” I think they are kinda dumb. I’d much, much rather spend all of my money on bike. Literally all of it. I know more woman that are into mountain biking that are like me than those that are into mtb and aren’t gear centric. Can you really be into mtb if you aren’t constantly drooling over new bikes and gear?
  • 6 0
 @lkubica: That does not describe my current GF. As an ultra runner, she knows the value of proper gear, even if it doesn't have matching colors.

It partially describes my last GF when we met, but not as of when we broke up. She might like good looking things, but definitely knows the value of a quality bike (or mostly snowboard for her now), she still rides the bike I bought her (I got tired of her borrowing my bike).

Two of my female friends are pro level MTB racers. Yeah, they look good, but the gear is top notch.

I have plenty of other examples.
  • 1 0
 If she really loves you she'd be behind your decision to buy this bike 100%.
  • 1 0
 This dream is common...have had it on more than one occasion.
  • 81 1
 We need more dh bike reviews like this. They are excellent.
It doesn’t matter that most of us won’t buy one. It’s just like watching Top Gear, we don’t watch it for the reviews of cars we will buy we watch it for the reviews of cars we wish we could buy.
  • 15 0
 and some of us WILL buy one
  • 33 3
 Dear Pinkbike Staff,

Last year I made you a wish and, even though you promised me to fulfill it, you still have not, so I come here to beg you again. Could you please include videos in the bike reviews? And I do not mean videos showing shiny parts or the staffs pretty faces. I mean videos showing the action, the bike being ridden through gaps, drops, berms, jumps. And, if possible, not in slo-mo. It does not need to be an overly edited video, but at least show us something. The DH week is almost over and we have not seen an bike being tested going down the hill.

It would be so cool to see people (Mikes, Dan and others) we hear from pretty much everyday showing their skills and riding the bikes I won't be able to buy in a close future (just like Top Gear, my friend).

Sincerely yours,
  • 5 0
 @aug7hallak: I think where Dan is located, he doesn't have the same size crew (if any) that the Mike Squad has so his reviews are well written articles like this. I am with you, I like the videos too.
  • 1 0
 @aug7hallak: agree. I do really like the nice photos of the bikes and action shots also! Kinda reminds me of the old days of drooling at bikes in magazines and having to use my imagination. But I'm old AF and did pick up a new DH sled this year.
  • 11 0
 @aug7hallak: Sorry that we didn't manage to do a video for each individual bike here. We have got an in-depth comparison video coming for the four bikes in a couple of days, though.
  • 8 1
 Speaking of Top Gear... what’s missing in PB bike reviews is “THE STIG”. All this bs about the settings, size and how the bike “feels” is subjective BS. We need actual numbers on the set course!!!
PB, please buy your reviewers stop watches for God‘s (and the love of our sport) sake!
  • 8 0
 @DonLemont: I shit you not, I was so damn close to getting a friend to dress all in white and do the timed testing video shots. But, it's harder to organise than you think.
  • 3 0
 @dan-roberts: Dan, all of your reviews are Exceptionally well written and I enjoyed all of them. And I totally get it how much more time and $ will be involved with time testing. But this is a sport and metrics are paramount in sports. Every rider can say “I feel like I was fastest”, but the reality...
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: An ode to the Top Gear track time would be super fun, along with the celebrity (UCI DH rider or EWS rider?!) on a reasonably priced bike (2-3 year old mid-spec ride). Would be super interesting to see how elite riders compare when equipment is dated, track is consistent conditions-aside, and only skill is left to separate the greats.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: Keep up the great work Dan. Brilliant reviews.
  • 1 0
 All I can advise is, do not demo a Supreme unless you are prepared to buy one because it will spoil you. I wasn't in the market for one, thinking my AM was more than enough for the park and the DH I was riding, then demo'd a Supreme for 2 weekends. Next thing I know I am driving to Golden and picking up my own. Reviews like this are so good, but nothing compares to actually riding this beast.
  • 22 0
 I just wonder how far out a lot of bikes actually are compared to the geo tables. People obsess over getting the bike with the “right” geo but it could be completely different to what you think you’re buying.
  • 1 0
 yeah the discrepancies on this bike surprised me too. i almost don't want to know what my bike's actual geo is lol.
  • 1 1
 Agreed. Evil are the worst culprits for this... not only are their bikes like 20mm longer than the geo but the seat angles are almost pointing in opposite direction! (And yes I know how A-C measurements of different forks change geo)
  • 1 0
 My XL Ripmo AF wasn’t very close to the chart. Head tube length and angle were correct and that’s about it.
  • 27 3
 Makes common sense to buy the commencal.
  • 16 80
flag aljoburr Plus (Feb 19, 2021 at 0:55) (Below Threshold)
 Makes no sense to buy a DH Bike any more?
  • 15 0
 @aljoburr: Depends where you live I guess.
  • 13 1
 @aljoburr: I feel sorry for you mate. Nothing better than descending fast af with little care for line choice or hucks to flat. Incredibly stable off of big jumps for tricks and it’s even worth the hike a bike here and there... I guess none of that makes sense for the common weekend warrior though..
  • 18 0
 @militantmandy: Not sure, nobody "needs" a DH bike, but who cares? I only have 2 bike parks that I can reach in 2hours' drive, still got myself a V10 29, zero regrets. When I don't ride it, I adore it, standing in my living room (yes, my gf did not approve, still let me do it).
  • 2 4
 It certainly makes financial sense to buy one. But if you can't or don't want to work on your own bike, or want to talk to somebody face to face about it, or support your local economy instead of sending your money overseas, it also makes sense to buy a bike from a local bike shop.
  • 2 0
 @aljoburr: Says who? Many live near DH parks/Ski resorts, especially in the US West and Southeast (Windrock) and the Northeast. That is not to mention those in Western Canada as well certain areas in mainland Europe. Not sure how your access in Scotland. Why beat the hell our of your trail/enduro machine if you don't have to? Great to have choices.
  • 3 0
 @aljoburr: I love my DH bike and struggled with a 'do-it-all' "Superenduro" for years. Well, it wasn't a struggle exactly, but having a real DH bike is something I waited too long to do (since a 2002 Turner DHR with twin top tubes - scary steep headtube) again. We have mountains and chairlifts, so why not?
  • 1 0
 seriously. no better bang for your buck bike. they're just badass rigs with great parts. and their dh bikes? sexiest ones on the course.
  • 3 0
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Aren't you supporting American distributor, which employees American workers... plus all the logistic (American workers) to ship the bike to you. I have purchased several bikes from commencal, then have my local bike shop maintain and/or upgrade parts.
  • 2 0
 @dc40: spot on. I used to live in 15 minutes from there Colorado office and they're great bunch of guys. All local
  • 1 0
 @ranke: Yep. Started my Commencal journey with a TR (Still have), then bought an AM (sold), and then added a 2020 Supreme to the stable last summer and it's like showing up to the lift with a Lambo or something. For some reason people are in awe over it and then you point it downhill and can see why.

Also, I always assumed the travel was off because I've rode 200mm plenty of times and it never felt as cush as this and I am riding the 29/29. The HPP is definitely a factor, but still, it feels like so much more.
  • 19 0
 We are in a bizzaro world when a 38 pound DH bike is a con, but yet we have no problem with 35 pound trail bike.
  • 14 0
 @DanRoberts : "The Supreme's on paper geometry actually turned out to be quite different to what we measured when we 3D scanned it. Head tube length is bang on and chainstay length measured only 1mm longer, but our bike's head angle was much slacker, at 61.2°, and there was a much shorter reach, at 470mm, along with a higher stack height, at 626 mm."

Stack off by 6 mm, reach by 10 mm, HA by 1,3 degree. That's quite a bit more than normal production tolerances (assuming the 3D scan is withing say +1 1 mm accuracy). Furthermore, the change in stack and reach cannot be explained by "just setting up the HA jig a bit too slack."

I assume you contacted Commencal about this? What was their reaction?

Cheers, Lars
  • 20 0
 There is a lot of stuff going on here that could be outside manf. issues. Shorter/reach higher stack and slacker HA point to front/rear end height changes. Some quick geo math shows that raising the fork 15mm in the crowns and running a 10mm smaller diameter rear tire than spec (which is not an enormous difference and I would not be surprised if the bike was designed around an Assegai/Minion 2.5 diameter and not Schwalbes) would result in -9mm reach, -.8deg HA, and +6.5mm of stack. Additionally there would only be ~1mm of BB height difference.

That still leaves ~.5deg of head angle slackening unaccounted for. +/-.5deg is a not unheard of for alloy tolerances but also isn't amazing. I am wondering if there is a little bit of number fudging going on in the geo chart with the mullet conversion. In most cases even bikes that have flip chip adjustments for mullet mode would end up with about a half a degree of HA/STA slackening in the mullet config after correcting the BB drop.

As an aside measuring BB drop from horizontal front axle makes no sense. BB drop on a mullet should either be horizontal from rear axle (which is much closer to your feet), or distance from the wheel center line.
  • 1 0
 @RoboDuck: good point! :-)
  • 1 1
 My supreme SX was rated at 65* HTA from commencal and also repeated during the pinkbike test. In reality it was 63* just like the DH model.

Glad it was slacker than rated since I didn't have to buy a custom headset from works.
  • 1 0
 I assume you contacted Creaform about this....
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: who?
  • 1 0
 @ATXZJ: reviewer's three-dimensional scanning partner. Are we supposed to assume that tech is infallible?
  • 1 0
 @ceecee:

Dude, I OWN a supreme sx that's claimed to have a 65* HTA. I put an angle finder on the stanchions and it's 63* with the same 180mm lyrik as the factory model.

I couldn't care less about the scanning company as I have nothing to do with it.
  • 10 1
 Love Commencal and their use of aluminum. Carbon is only good for weight reduction everything else about it is just hype. Bike manufacturers know they can bleed more money out of their customers with carbon. With that said, I'm loving my 2021 Meta AM.
  • 10 0
 It is definitely a beautiful bike and commencal is a rock and roll company there with a large portion of positive energy and great edits as well . Keep it up Commencal.
  • 9 1
 @dan-roberts
Are you absolutely certain that sag recommendation isn't supposed to read 17-23mm. This would work out at bang on 25-30% sag which is a hell of a conicidence, that being the industry standard recommended range. Also means their suggested compression and rebound settings would work a lot better by the sounds of it.
  • 6 1
 Absolutely certain. I was initially surprised on the recommended sag range. We've got a shot of the setting sticker on the frame in the comparison video. Sorry, didn't manage to grab a still of it.

Also, 25 - 30% of a 75mm stroke shock is 18.8 - 22.5mm.
  • 5 0
 @dan-roberts: There's a bike check w/Bruni from last year where he says he runs sag between 18-22% (not mm) depending on track/conditions. That surprised me at first. But with WC speeds + coil suspension, it sounds bout right. I generally run 5% less sag w/coil, but for my skills and speed that's closer to ~25%. Endlessly interesting stuff. Anyway, DH week has been awesome and the level of detail in these reviews has made me excited to dig into each one.
  • 10 0
 @gemma8788: Interesting for sure. I certainly depends on the individual bike, but I generally start off with 25% sag on a bike and go from there. But also not afraid to be going firmer, and so less sag, if the bike or terrain needs it.

Thanks very much! There's a couple more articles coming too.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: I assume since the LR is progressive that you'd need a bit less than your suggested shock shaft numbers, to equal the correct % at the rear axle.
  • 9 1
 Surely the inability to tune the stock shock to the rider's preference is a major negative? Most people don't have the cash or a spare shock lying around to simply swap it out...
  • 1 0
 That is something that also struck me as odd. Perhaps riders who are concerned about tuning should get the frame with Fox or Ohlins rear shocks instead?
  • 3 4
 no good dh bike comes with an air can
  • 6 0
 @DanRoberts - how did it feel to jump, and in the air? And if you had to make a call, would you go for the Canyon Sender or Commencal Supreme if you're after a bike that's just as much fun hitting both the 99 Jump trail and Black Run at Schladming? Asking for a friend.
  • 12 0
 Commencal Furious?
  • 3 0
 High pivots don't jump as well it sounds like from the last podcast
  • 2 0
 I will answer as an owner of a Supreme and having tried a Furious before this. Personally I think it is great in the air and very easy to launch, but it isn't a jibber. Small side hits and little kickers in flow runs it gobbles up and it takes an actual effort to get it in the air. If you don't, then it just soaks them up like they were nothing- that is the HPP. Making it want to be glued and fast. Gaps, tabletops, and size drop are what it wants and honestly it makes you feel more confident than you might normally because it is almost too easy. Basically, it is a big feature bike. The Furious was much easier to pop around and really felt more like a park bike that you could take downhill. But taking the DH course that is rooted out and not groomed showed the differences a lot. For sure the Furious had no issues, but did bounce around and needed more input to keep on track. A lot of people like this feel, including my friend who decided to go the Furious route. The Supreme will literally feel like a it didn't even know the obstacles were there and soak them up. If you are just cruising, you might actually think the Supreme is boring because it is doing all the work. I think this is what they refer to when they say you need to go full throttle and pin it into everything to get the most out of it. I haven't come close to that limit- wherever that may be. Hope that helps.
  • 5 0
 "Head tube length is bang on and chainstay length measured only 1mm longer, but our bike's head angle was much slacker, at 61.2°, and there was a much shorter reach, at 470mm, along with a higher stack height, at 626mm."

Could you also take measurements of actual geometry numbers of other (non-DH) bikes in future?

Or it can be done only at specific locations?
  • 3 0
 We were lucky enough to have 3D scanned all the DH bikes, so it made commenting on actually geo very easy and accurate.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: It would be great to do this with most bikes pinkbike reviews. Fact check the geo sheet!
  • 2 0
 It's disappointing that the bike has an extremely slack 61° h.a. and they didn't really make any specific comments as to how that affecting it's handling. Like that maybe it is a little floppy or not ideal on flatter sections. Or if there were no complaints, then maybe more DH bikes should go even slacker?
  • 1 0
 Manufacturers would then check the geo of their test bike before sending it to Pinkbike.
  • 5 0
 Also for DH bike testing pink bike You should find a retired pro rider with no affiliations to do the tests . Like the MX guys do . Then the privateers can really get some feed back about there next big purchase . This guys good , and his reviews are good for the average bike park consumer .
  • 6 1
 Someone like...Paul Aston, perbaps
  • 8 2
 Apparently Commencal are still using the same out of whack jig that built the Supreme SX with a head angle 3° slacker than stated. Weird.
  • 3 0
 Thanks for a great review Dan! But this is torture. I have my Supreme DH 29 in the garage waiting to be ridden, but all the trails are covered in snow. Reading about it makes me wanna go shred! And then I look outside and it’s all *wompwomp*
  • 4 1
 One of the fastest downhill bikes around right now and it's got numbers that totally contradict conventional "wisdom" about geometry. super long chainstays and relatively quite low leverage ratio progression. so much smoke being blown by the short chainstay high progression hardliners.

"static chainstay length of 457mm, and I say static as at sag our bike grew to 475mm and then at bottom out to 525mm"

"The Supreme DH is actually the least progressive bike that we tested, with a leverage ratio progression amount of 19%"
  • 3 0
 Well, crap. I have a Supreme and been reading these reviews hoping to find out why I'm still slow..
Truly, though, with a well set up coil these bikes are butter over the gnar and landings off everything I'm willing to huck are just too easy to believe. You trade a bit of playfulness for stability and confidence but it eliminates any excuse for "not enough bike"
  • 8 1
 The Mullet Bullet!
  • 2 0
 Did you have the chance to test also the full 29 setup? From the geometry chart it is more compact: shorter chainstay and steeper head angle. I wonder how different this more compact geometry numbers make it feel. @dan-roberts
  • 2 0
 I'm afraid I didn't. For the Supreme DH it would be a test on a different bike. But seeing as Commencal do a bike for each of the three wheel setups, it would be an interesting back to back to back.
  • 3 0
 Can you give a brief summary of how the bike corners; with regards to the high pivot and growth of the chainstays? Is there a noticeable difference compared to others layouts and did it take much to adjust to? Thanks
  • 4 2
 I've ridden both last year's Demo and last year's Supreme. In my amateur estimation they both ride really well, but quite differently.

For a super fast wide open run, I would choose the Demo--it just has a super stable feeling to it, like a monster truck. It feels incredibly planted in a high speed corner, but somewhat sluggish in a slower speed, technical sections. I think the Supreme has a more lively and flickable feeling about it--the bike just feels more active somehow, to me (I suppose that's the high pivot feeling?) Basically, if I had to choose ONE, it would be the Supreme. I had more fun on that bike in my short time on it.
  • 2 0
 Hey @dan-roberts with the above mentioned discrepancies in advertised geometry (slacker head angle, lower bb) and generous rear wheel clearance, do you envision running a 29’’ rear wheel on this particular frame being an issue? I am looking at purchasing an XL and would prefer the longer chain stay of this particular model (456mm compared to 430mm on the 29er) but wouldn’t mind trying it with two 29’’ wheels.
  • 2 0
 Yes, for the simple fact that with a 29" rear wheel in the mullet frame the BB will be sky high. It's already at 351mm!
  • 1 0
 you could just run it with more sag. if im not mistaken 20% of 215mm is suggested, but if you went to 30 it would decrease your dynamic bb height
  • 3 0
 Ive been waiting for this review for so long... So... Demo 29" vs Supreme 29" which one would you take? @dan-roberts
Cheers for the review!
  • 17 0
 just ask yourself: do I feel like Pierron, or Bruni?
  • 23 0
 @f00bar: Or do I feel like spending 2k extra for no reason?
  • 7 0
 @pwadjo: the specialized is so expensive. I would never even consider that bike.
  • 1 0
 I already own a Specialized Demo Smile I was just playing with the thought of selling it and buying a Supreme...
  • 1 0
 @pablo-b: I went demo as well, awesome bike, but also a fan of the supreme. Both are very nice bikes.
  • 4 0
 Depends on what you prefer to do on your DH bike. If you like to slash around, hit some jump trails, ride some steeps stuff, kind of a bit of everything, then the Demo is a good companion. If you just want to go real damn fast all day long, absolutely monster down steep and rough tracks, hunt for tripples and quads on those jump trails. Then maybe the Supreme might be more up your street.
  • 3 0
 @dan-roberts: you gonna test the furious?
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: Thanks for the answer. Now Im more divided... my idea of fun on a bike is going as fast as possible 95% of the time... idk what to do...
  • 1 0
 @pablo-b: You just described the Supreme. I think that is your answer.
  • 4 0
 Where did you get the reccomended suspension settings? I can't find a setup guide or anything on commencals website.
  • 3 4
 @wgh19 don't thank me for this hard work:
"all as a sticker on the frame right next to the shock"
  • 5 0
 @fracasnoxteam: "Commencal provided a really good starting point for the air pressures, damper settings and even tire pressure" the sticker just has sag settings
  • 4 0
 What would you choose for these prices? Big Grin

€5,399 Commencal Supreme
€7,999 Specialized Demo
  • 1 0
 Supreme even if on the same price: just like its idea better. And this is coming from a person that prefers horst-link before single-pivot...
  • 4 0
 I would channel my inner Pierron clear into the first tree...about four branches up.
  • 3 0
 The lower shock mounting bolt can't be accessed because of the linkage? Really that's a complaint? Here is a thought, take the top out out first.
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts - really interested in those Nukeproof riding trousers you've been using in the recent reviews. Are those just the standard/current 'Blackline Trail Pants'? They look a fair bit slimmer/tighter than in the NP marketing material I've seen (in a good way, I hate baggy riding trousers...), and I'd be curious to know if you've altered them at all and what size you're running to get that fit if you'd be happy to say? Also, is there a review incoming, or are these just your personal preference? Thanks!
  • 1 0
 They are the Blackline's. All bog standard too. Really like them, fit and funtion is superb. Currently just riding them as I like them a lot!
  • 1 0
 I have nukeproof blackline shorts and they are the first pair that has room where it uh, counts.
  • 2 1
 Looks like Commencal uses the exact same frame for their mullets as they do their regular 29/29" setup. This would explain the extra slack HA and the mad rear wheel clearance (almost as if it were enough for a bigger wheel! haha) but I could be wrong, they could have 2 frames. Awesome bike
  • 5 0
 The chainstay lengths are pretty different between the two bikes. They might be using some similar frame parts, like tubing and forgings, but I think they're different beasts.
  • 1 0
 the internal rim widths for the commencal and canyon are both 27.5mm and 28mm for the specialized. since DH tires pretty much seem to be 2.4+ and wider, why aren't DH rigs coming with wider rims from the factory? i can't imagine a higher volume tire would be a bad idea for bikes designed to smash the roughest trails at the fastest speeds
  • 1 0
 @Dan Roberts: I would be curious to know how all of these rigs do the one thing that sucks on a DH bike. That thing is trying to sprint fast across a big section of chunky rocks and roots on shallow ground.

Most DH bikes will suck at it and the only ones I've ever truly loved did that surprisingly well. Those 2 bikes were an Iron Horse Sunday and the last gen Turner DHR.
  • 1 0
 I'm super excited for this bike. Commencal (and Forbidden) are the only companies I can think of that don't make their mullet options be ridden in a shorter CS position. With Commencal taking it to whole other level by making it a dedicated platform and still selling a full 29 and 27.5 option as well!

I've been wanting to try a 29/27 DH setup for a while but didn't want to run the bike in a shorter setting to make that happen.
This to me seems the best of both worlds - The smaller rear wheel with cut a tighter line in a corner if you want it too but the long Geo will preserve many of the stability benefits of the full 29 setup.

Plus with the super rearward axle path I'm sure you won't get any of the 'smaller wheel meets square edge bump hang up' that more conventional suspension designs can have in mullet mode.

I can't wait to ride one
  • 1 0
 Id love to see a review of the new Commencal Furious. With the rear suspension pivot point adjustment, im really curious how it handles the rock gardens. As much as I love the Supreme, the price, weight, and simplicity of the Furious is very compelling.
  • 1 0
 I would love to try one of these for longer than I have currently.
Totally underwhelmed by its performance (times showed that too being significantly slower). Might have been setup differences between my bikes and the Commy.
  • 2 0
 its fair to say commencal have probably become the most desirable bikes on the mtb market both for the epic performance, reasonable prices and killer looks. Plus they sponsor a whole lot of people
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts
Big thanks for the very detailed Review. I hope there is more coming soon from you Smile The mechanical point of view is very interesting.

Any chance to give an insight of the commencal furious? Maybe you´ve ridden it? I really would like to read some tests of the more affordable (and not race orientied) bunch of downhillbikes.

I´m keen to know, if the furious suspension-layout is really "poppy" and "bike-park-suited" or if that´s some claim due to a not so well working suspension platform.

...maybe there are some riders out there, that already ridden the commencal furious 2020/2021...
  • 1 0
 @dan-roberts: Can you say something about your feelings regarding the differences in anti-rise values between Demo and Supreme please? I´ve never ridden a downhill bike with such high values as on the Supreme. Is this a noticeable problem or even helpful? Thanks
  • 1 0
 @danroberts. “recommended sag measurements for the shock, both in % and mm, ranging from a firm 17% setup, through a neutral 20% to a soft 23% setup”

Is the recommended sag really 23%

Why not 30-33 like a normal dh bike?
  • 1 0
 Yeah, it really is that. I think Commencal know they need a lot of spring in their setup from the kinematic, axle path and that their recommendations are informed quite heavily from their racers.
  • 1 0
 Hey, to any owners or anyone who has ridden this bike before, I need some advice. I am fairly short (5'6/1.67m) and conflicted over sizing. I'm deciding between two sizes, the small and medium. The small's wheelbase looks pretty good to me but I'm unsure of the reach (although I could extend that with a +10mm headset). The medium's wheelbase looks insane at 1290mm (I'm assuming that's intentional though), but the reach looks nice. So, what should I do? As for my riding style and what I'll be doing, hopefully as many races as I can get to this year and a lot of the time spent in the bike park. @dan-roberts
  • 1 0
 Maybe don’t pick between bikes using wheelbase as the first metric. There’s a lot of things that go into the distance between the two axles. Unless you’re worried about it fitting on the shuttle?!

If the reach of the medium is a bit more to your liking then maybe that’s the one to go for. There’s also the ability to adjust the reach with an offset headset. The 56mm diameter head tube is a pretty standard size with there being a few options of reach adjust headset available.
  • 2 1
 These DH reviews are a million times better than the trail and enduro ones they posted a few weeks back, maybe pinkbike should send @mikelevy and Kazimer to engineering school so they can produce better reviews...
  • 1 0
 Love last week DH reviews. I miss some more variety and, for second consecutive year, is an official PB Pivot Phoenix 29 review.

It’s so hard to find any information and reviews of that bike
  • 2 0
 Not tested in rough and rocky terrain? No mention of the rearward axle path performance, just that it is a design 'quirk'
  • 1 0
 "channel your inner flying baguette" - there must be something to it, thinking about all the french pros winnig races left and right Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Haven't been on a DH bike in a long time. If I waa gonna buy one now it'd be the Supreme. Bad ass bike, bad ass team.
  • 2 0
 37 ish pounds is not that bad My Xl 19 v10 weights 38 with Cush cores and pedals
  • 2 1
 If Commencal would ditch the pressfit BB in general on their bikes, it would be almost unbeatable in value for the money. IMO.
  • 3 0
 Last time I looked at some allmountain/enduro bikes, Commencal was around 20-30% more expensive than YT and Canyon. Pretty much on the same level as Trek, Specialized and similar brands. They were never the best value for money, not even close.

But their bikes are damn sexy, so I would be willing to let that slide.
  • 1 0
 A more simple language would be much appreciated!
"but there’s an air of ride hard and put away dirty to it, and it does all this for a chuck of cash cheaper"
What?
  • 1 0
 Why is it that all the good bikes have to be so expensive? Why can't someone make good-looking, high-quality bikes for less than $3,000?

It can't be that difficult.
  • 1 0
 The reason the geo is different than the spec sheet is because it’s just the regular 29 frame. I have a 29 and friend has a mullet and they’re identical in every aspect.
  • 1 0
 I feel with these DH bike reviews this past week that those of us who didn't win anything on the PB Christmas advent calendar giveaways, that we have won this time around.
  • 1 0
 the bottom link looks like a paper cutter I wonder how many ankles have been shaved... asking for an enemy
  • 1 0
 So @dan-roberts what shock did you fit instead and like more?
  • 3 0
 Didn’t he state it was an Öhlins?
  • 2 0
 An Öhlins TTX22M with a 525lbs spring.
  • 1 0
 Great review and even though I rarely ride true DH I so want this bicycle!
  • 2 1
 Proof that single pivot designs don’t hold you back.
  • 1 0
 So didn't like the boxxer on the demo but like the boxer on this bike?
  • 2 0
 Still the same problems, no matter what bike it was on.
  • 2 0
 @dan-roberts: So you fit comfortably on supreme but with only a few mm longer reach than s4 demo? Could this be the longer chainstay of the supreme or demo's saddle being very forward that made you felt cramped when sitting?
  • 1 0
 Hoping for the furous but still, commencal is probably my favorite brand
  • 1 1
 why the diference of price between usa and europe??
  • 3 0
 Because prices given for US are always without VAT, since VAT varies from state to state. To make this even more annoying, if you go to any shop or restaurant in the US and buy something, the sticker price never has VAT factored in so you get hit with that once you pay for the goods.
  • 1 0
 @rarerider: it varies from county to county
  • 1 0
 Love u Commencal ❤
  • 2 4
 They say the French like butter with everything. Even on the rims of their bikes.
  • 12 0
 Thank god the Andorrans put the butter in the suspension system instead!
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