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Spotted: Another Prototype High Pivot Bike in North Vancouver [Updated with Responses from Rocky & Commencal]

Jan 10, 2022
by Matt Beer  


Responses from Rocky Mountain & Commencal (Updated January 10, 2022):

bigquotesHoly idler, you’re the star of the masquerade. We’re fortunate to have our R&D Centre in North Vancouver, with the ability to design and build prototypes in-house and then test them on our backyard trails. Many of these prototypes never make it to production, which is all part of the process - and part of the fun.Stephen Matthews, Brand Manager at Rocky Mountain Bicycles

bigquotesEveryone loves sneaky bike shots! The Supreme SX was ahead of its time, 5 yrs ahead really. We have new things coming, but that isn’t one of ours.Derek Tsui, Media and Marketing at Commencal Canada

Vancouver's North Shore is the infamous proving ground for prototype bikes with its relentless rough and steep, technical trails. In the late 90's, The Shore opened the eyes of bike industry brands to how weekend warriors were torturing frames and components in these deep dark woods, so it's no surprise that unmarked bikes still lurk around trailheads.

North Shore local shredder trail.mole posted a 2021 recap video on his Instagram account and in the opening shot you can see a naked aluminum high pivot prototype frame, complete with an idler pulley and low linkage-driven coil shock. The bike surely has two 29" wheels and a burly fork, but it's not a DH bike due to the size of the cassette, at least in this configuration.

From the pixelated mess it's unclear whether the bike is a high single pivot (HSP) or a virtual high pivot, like the Norco Range. However, one might notice a small black dot adjacent to the rear axle, leading us to believe that there is more to this proto than just an HSP design.


Our best guess is that it's a brand with ties to the Pacific Northwest that has the manufacturing resources to tinker with such theories, in particular, Rocky Mountain. The Slayer is on its third year of production - a typical time for frames to see a revision. Trail Mole also tags Rocky Mountain Bicycles in his Instagram posts, which leads us to believe it could be a creation by their R&D team. Plus Transition, Norco, Devinci, and Evil have recently released new long travel bikes, so that would rule out any immediate changes to their line ups.

It could also be the reincarnation of the Commencal Supreme SX, since their Canadian office is located just up the road in Squamish. Commencal's latest prototype Supreme DH uses a virtual high pivot, but doesn't allow for the full insertion of a dropper post due to pivot that passes through the seat tube. Similar to the Norco Range, this could be a way around the seat tube interference while still allowing for tuning the braking forces independently on a high pivot design.

Commencal Supreme SX review

We've reached out to a few of these brands to ask if they can give us any information about a potential new frame design and will update this space with responses.


227 Comments

  • 440 20
 Still waiting for a high-pivot gravel bike - I'm finding the limit of my Topstone Lefty on the gnarlier gravel roads around here. Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 30 2
 well ....its got a water bottle at least
  • 7 0
 @Compositepro: They had thousands of hours of top level brass meetings in designing the frame for that water bottle.... or so I read somewhere anyway.
  • 67 1
 I don't usually read the usernames for the comments, so every time I read yours I get this increasing sense of WTF... until I read "Be safe be well". It's like the Rick Roll of Pinkbike.
  • 13 0
 @Compositepro: it meets two PB requirements: it has a water bottle in the front triangle, and has a coil shock. Oh, and it doesn’t look like a session
  • 8 0
 Could be a high pivot Chamois Hagar? Now with carbon rigid Lefty.
  • 21 4
 @kkmb: I'll have @mikekazimer review the chamois hanger...we need to get him protecting his nether regions!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 2 2
 No. Just no
  • 11 3
 -weebleswobbles
  • 13 1
 Higher the pivot, higher the profits!
  • 1 2
 I’m jealous of that ride: next used gravel bike when they become available
  • 1 1
 @reindeln: what’s Rick roll mean again?
  • 21 2
 @ridelife6: m.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
This video should explain things
  • 2 0
 @notoutsideceo perhaps you can get to the bottom of the Evil-Pinkbike beef. After all, their gravel bike does need to grace the fair pages of this fine publication.
  • 2 0
 Sure looks like he's on a tiny bike....
  • 288 1
 Lemme just put my PBanon hat on.....

Trail Mole > Troll > Troll Toll > Toll Booth > John Wilkes Booth > Lincoln = This is the new Bold Linkin. Solved.
  • 18 3
 Wasn't me. I can't afford to be that close to anyone anymore
  • 15 14
 Forbidden just made a DH team using dreadnaughts with custom links. I'd say this is their DH bike. just look how similar it is to their current bikes
  • 4 0
 My sons name is Lincoln, so I think you are on to something here.
  • 15 0
 That’s the kind of iron-tight logic and reasoning I can get behind.
  • 16 4
 You gotta pay the troll toll to get into the boys hole.
  • 14 0
 @tonkatruck: Single crown fork, water bottle? 100% that this is NOT their DH bike.
  • 4 0
 @erbsforlife1: no no it’s “boys soul” lol
  • 1 0
 @tonkatruck: maybe, I’m not completely sure because of shock positioning and the two piece between the seat and top tube
  • 6 0
 Trail mole > troll > infamous pinkbike troll Waki > this is one of Waki's futuristic concepts as a prototype
  • 2 0
 @Gsprunner: Thats what I said. lol Glad someone around here has some class.
  • 1 0
 @erbsforlife1: Well done, sir. For those downvoting, this is an “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” reference
  • 1 0
 @Shartriloquist: hah Its more funny when other people don't know.
  • 2 2
 You have to pay the troll toll if you want to get in this boy’s hole
  • 208 2
 This is the next evolution of the Intense Tracer, part of their "outside the box" backwards> development cycle. 1) full carbon mold and frame 2) unfinished, hand welded aluminum test mule 3) CAD drawings 4) No bike at all.
  • 18 1
 Explains a lot of their bikes
  • 13 0
 I'm crying
  • 4 2
 but for real, it could be an Intense. follows the evolution of the VPP like SC did. Would make sense if they were behind SC a little bit in integrating the new design...
  • 3 0
 I'm dead.
  • 5 0
 Underrated comment
  • 22 0
 @howsyourdad: my dad is well, thank you for asking. I mean he’s a grumpy bigot who is an alcoholic and hates the world, but all in all great!
  • 10 0
 Can I purchase the CAD drawing as an NFT tho?
  • 2 0
 @fracasnoxteam: dont cry dry your eyes
  • 1 0
 lol
  • 2 0
 @weebleswobbles: thx. It's ok to cry
  • 2 1
 Has intense written all over it, especially the way Jeff Steber describes the same process
  • 2 0
 @exlax: watch the last Aaron Gwin video on YouTube if you want to see them latest frame design. It’s not high pivot lol
  • 1 1
 @generictrailrider: how dare you talk about me that way! I only hate about 80% of the world.
  • 109 2
 If you listen closely you can hear NSMB writing their rant about this on their typewriters
  • 5 1
 ha, hahahaha!
  • 6 1
 Changing their gloves every half hour in their min-maxed modern-retro typewriters
  • 5 1
 I can feel NSMB shaking their fists through the screen.
  • 5 7
 Nah I don't think so. NSMB guys have been around The Shore long enough to know that Rocky has mule/proto bikes out there all the time ridden by team and Product managers. It's been going on for ages. Out in the open, in group rides, sitting in front of the Red Dumpster at the base of Seymour. But Clickbate stories are sure fun.
  • 62 0
 cove comes back to life
  • 18 0
 wouldn't that be a treat. #covecomeback
  • 4 0
 Ooooo... I'd get me one.
  • 37 0
 @connormacleodvideo: More like #covecumback
  • 11 0
 @robomatic: haha.
This must be the new Cove Felch.
  • 6 0
 that would be shocking
  • 8 0
 I was told early 2023 by the man himself. Also was told to expect ‘conservative but mellow’ geometry and classic Cove handling. Can’t wait.
  • 2 0
 @Chrisgus: oh shit that'd be cool.
  • 43 1
 Hyped pivot
  • 26 2
 Martin Maes' burner account?
  • 6 1
 Yeah, i notice that 2 years ago you couldn't ride a DH bike unless it was the NEW 29" SIZE. This year you might as well junk your old frame if it's not a high pivot. Whatever, bike industry. I guess it's probably tough trying to convince the small percentage of the country who rides that they need a new bike every 2 years.
  • 31 1
 Lets see.

North Shore location. Raw AL. Hmmm.

A Banshee? Its been a couple years since the Titan came out, and thats "only" 155mm of rear travel, and designed around a 170mm fox 36's axle to crown length...

Ok... I know thats unlikely, and that a new Slayer is probably a way better bet. But... One can dream of new Banshees right?
  • 11 0
 I doubt they will abandon their ks link
  • 3 1
 I second the Banshee vote. The top seat stay gusset looks very similar to the current banshee Titan.
  • 3 0
 Would love it to get the ball moving on new Legend. Lower shock placement already there. Legend has to be getting jelly of all the other V3s in the line up and wants to catch up.
  • 4 0
 Knolly?
Chromag?
Also AL lovers from Canada.
  • 3 1
 @squarewheel:

Whoa, if this was a Chromag it would be a huge deal.

Not only would it be their first adult sized FS bike... but man, that would be quite the first bike.

Knolly I could see as doing it, but... that bike doesn't look all that much like any Knolly I've ever seen. Plus the Chilcotin is pretty new, and would occupy about the same space wouldn't it?
  • 7 0
 @ocnlogan: Chromag already has been testing an adult size FS for over a year, its not this bike
  • 10 2
 @squarewheel: I can't see knolly admitting there could ever be anything better than their current linkage design. That'll be on the last damn bike they build and its the customers who are wrong.
  • 32 1
 @squarewheel: too visually appealing to be a Knolly.
  • 1 1
 At first I thought about Knolly too as I saw lately that the Delirium is no longer on their site! Only 168mm warden so kind of weird as warden 160, warden 168 and Delirium were all the same bike only with a different shock strock. Then I realised that they have the long travel 29er so if this one is a 29er, it wouldn't make any sense.

It's true for banshee, the titan being only 155mm, maybe this one could be a longer travel bike like 170-180, semi enduro/freeride/dh?! It has the same triangle near the seattube as every other Banshee! Razz I would really like that but I just bought a new large Titan frame, the XL being a bit too big for my liking... new frame is still in the box, ready to be built for next summer. I wanted a Banshee but a high pivot bike also so hesited a bit before buying it sooo I would buy it 100% and would have a second Titan frame to sell!! haha Big Grin
  • 2 0
 As much as we can dream of Banshee, Forbidden also probably needed a few Alu test mules.
  • 2 0
 @Bob-Agg: true, but I remember when Knolly was teasing some years ago about a new DH bike. Perhaps for a dedicated bike that needs not to be pedaled they perhaps change the linkage. Who knows.
  • 1 0
 @rjmogul: I know about the rumors that there is more to come after the kids fs bike. Are there any picture of the adult test bike?
  • 1 0
 @squarewheel: yes. I’ve seen a photo of a painted finished frame.
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: there is a production adult fully in the works available to purchase this season!
  • 2 1
 The guy riding the bike is sponsored by Rocky Mountain so there's your answer
  • 32 0
 Test ride on Vital tomorrow.
  • 12 0
 "Bike of the Day"
  • 29 0
 He is a rocky mountain rider. Why would it be anything else than a Rocky…
  • 2 6
flag deknarp (Jan 7, 2022 at 13:26) (Below Threshold)
 its not a rocky
  • 3 0
 I don't think its trail.mole riding in the video. Unsure who exactly the rider is though
  • 3 0
 @deknarp: How are you so sure it's not a Rocky? Not saying they would produce it, but no reason why they wouldn't try and learn from it...
  • 7 2
 @deknarp: actually it is... a test mule that's not going to get built
  • 4 0
 I used to work and ride with him, and he does have a friend that works in RnD for rocky mountain who would usually be riding some form of prototype bike.
  • 2 0
 And the reply by Rocky doesn’t sound like a dementi to me.
  • 25 2
 High pivot dumpster
  • 18 1
 I wonder if its a new Kona. The G2 process is four years old now. Just a Stab in the dark though, please don't get Stinky at me.
  • 2 0
 I'd be a bit Shonky if they would make the G3 Process 153 more aggressive than the Process X personally.

Also, the G2 Process 153 did have a slight overhaul recently. It started out with 66 degree HTA, and 425mm chainstays. Now its at 64.5 degree HTA, and 435mm chainstays, and a smidge more reach/stack, and bit steeper STA.
  • 4 0
 Nothing about the design strikes me as a Kona. Also, the Process X is fairly new.
  • 5 0
 No way, Dawg
  • 15 1
 If it's a new Supreme SX that would be dope. That thing was so ahead of its time back in 2018.
  • 4 0
 Own one and can concur. I'd be stoked for an updated SX
  • 1 0
 @ATXZJ: The pivot and pulley are in a similar position as the Supreme DH. I think you guys are right.
  • 15 0
 Calling @tonkatruck
  • 7 0
 Useless. He didn't catch this beforehand?
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: lurking in the deep it seems!
  • 12 0
 Spotted.....More like planned leak. Like some rider spotted it and was able to whip out his phone to start filming as he rode by. Lol.
  • 2 2
 totally plausible, in the sea to sky area unsuspected people can fly by while you check a line or feature with your go pro on
  • 1 0
 @iiman: But the image is not from a GoPro. It is a vertical phone picture. Wink
  • 11 1
 Something is fishy here. This dude is wearing short sleeves and shorts in January in Vancouver? This has not been a warm and mild winter in Vancouver. I don't think this photo is recent.
  • 9 1
 Here is it again incase you missed it "North Shore local shredder trail.mole posted a 2021 recap video on his Instagram account".
  • 1 0
 The autumn fall here was also intense rain, it has to be from October, November latest
  • 10 1
 Too much Norco Range design in this thing, just made out of alu. The present 1 is too pricy being a carbon-only thing, so they’ve probably decided to release an alu version to bring the price down. Smile Or it could be a new Sight - to bring the high pivot to shorter travel bikes.
  • 4 1
 same designer but different brand
  • 11 1
 My main takeaway: Trial Mole had a killer 2021, that recap is drool-worthy.
  • 7 0
 Honestly, I think that high pivot frame designs are a fad. I don't see there being such an outstanding difference to justify the worsened looks, longer chain, and slight discrepancies in reliability and maintainability. I don't mean to be a grumpy old man and say that low pivot is best and always will be, but it does pose some large advantages such as looks, reliability, and simplicity. Anyway, I'm gonna get a lot of hate from the high pivot fanboys now, so I bid thee a farewell. Cheers!
  • 10 0
 Thank god it has room for a water bottle otherwise it would be unrideable.
  • 9 1
 I look forward to reading the First Look article tomorrow
  • 7 1
 Full review later this week.
  • 6 2
 My guesses:

1) Santa Cruz. It looks like one of their designs, modified for a high pivot.

2) Giant. They have run into the limitations of their current dual link design. They're due for a true enduro platform and new DH bike.
  • 1 0
 Look closely, this isn't a Horst Link bike, so likely a dual link.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: There is a pivot on the seat stay, so its single pivot I would assume.
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: that works backwards on a high pivot with the linkage on the seat stays. On that variety of high pivot, a seatstay pivot would isolate the braking forces.
  • 1 0
 @enki: yeah, when you have a link down near the bb, a linkage on the seatstays creates a reversed horst-link ala Norco Range.
  • 8 0
 It’s a new Rocky slayer I can promise that.
  • 1 4
 not a rocky
  • 7 0
 The plot thickens with pink bike comments! Glad I got the popcorn and bong ready!
  • 8 0
 Thats not trail.mole, thats another fellow dumpster rider
  • 8 0
 norce sight? maybee....
  • 8 2
 Any chance it could be the alloy version or the Norco Range? or one of the Range test mules from a year ago?
  • 6 0
 From what I've seen the Norco test mules tend to be way more gnarly looking so they can tweak geo/kinematics on trail, mount a bunch of sensors, and store trailside snacks (like spam).
  • 6 2
 NEG PROP IS THE NORCO PRODUCT MANAGER. It's DEFINITELY a Norco Range Alloy.
  • 7 0
 This bike is south of heaven
  • 1 0
 I see what you did there...
  • 7 0
 It might be a few seasons in the abyss before we see the production version
  • 1 0
 underrated comment
  • 2 0
 A little suspicious everybody pointing out the diff. parts of the frame
Piece by Piece ?
  • 6 1
 Canfield already perfected the high pivot and everything else is playing catch up
  • 3 1
 Now if they could perfect making a bike that isn’t soooo sore on the eyes and go back to raw frame then maybe they could catch up in sales too…
  • 5 3
 They sell out their frames every time they make them and they are a smaller company so they can’t really catch up in sales, you see the industry is playing catch up the idler pulley high pivot bike that Canfield brothers have been perfecting twenty years ago and I guarantee my Canfield Jedi is nicer than your downhill bike @MillerReid:
  • 4 0
 @Jahcure420: I don’t have a downhill bike… I’d buy the tilt day one if they’d just get away from the god awful colors and go raw… I agree that the CBF suspension platform is incredible.
  • 1 3
 To the hell with colors I have 5 Canfield’s @MillerReid:
  • 7 2
 Trail looks dry and no snow. Must be at least 3 months old.
  • 3 0
 2021 recap instagram post...
  • 2 0
 Just thinking outside of the box, but could this possibly be a RSD bike? The top tube connection to the seat tube and frame in general appears similar to a Wildcat. RSD is also fans of metal frames.
  • 4 0
 that might be the Forbidden Conor Fearon will win on this season
  • 5 1
 Oh No !!!! Another Variant ....
  • 3 0
 Am i the only one who understood the Dio reference in the rocky mountain response?
  • 1 0
 Wow I think so. Went over my head thanks for point it out.
  • 3 0
 They already have a slayer and had a maiden. Does this mean that they’re going to do another metal themed bike?
  • 1 0
 Rainbow? Sabbath? Mob? Lol.
  • 1 0
 @panthermodern: great point that would be sick! I kinda doubt it tho
  • 4 1
 I can hear Martin Maes rolling his eyes right now.
  • 3 0
 100% bullsh*t round here......Jimmy Dickskin "it's Dixon"
  • 2 0
 Its Dickins
  • 3 0
 @SkyManatee: hmmm, that’s what I said. Dickskin.
  • 4 0
 hope its not a rocky
  • 3 0
 My first guess. Reminds me of the maiden mules.
  • 1 0
 I'm with you on that.
  • 2 0
 Guerilla Gravity, obviously... the small triangle between seat tube and top tube is solid
  • 3 0
 I'll wait for the full review on Monday.
  • 3 0
 New Rocky Mountain. What do you bet?
  • 3 0
 sort of right....
  • 3 0
 Hello forbidden!!!!!!!!!!!
Starting DH team
maybe?
  • 2 1
 So I might be being thick here, but could it not be a prototype of the range before norco released it or is the picture too recent for that? It does look real similar
  • 3 0
 mole, mole, mole, mole, mole....
  • 2 0
 Maybe a high pivot version of the new intense Tracer Because of where the shock goes through the seat stay?
  • 3 0
 Looks like a more modern Norco Sight
  • 3 0
 Rocky's response is very much "We can neither confirm nor deny..."
  • 1 0
 GARBAGE POST - All I see is shit suspension in this post. But you guys did edit the reel to exclude the compressed shots.. too easy to spot.
  • 4 2
 not breaking the moled with this design
  • 2 0
 I think it’s none of the above. Probably a Kona
  • 2 0
 Looks like a...1998 Sunn Radical +
  • 1 0
 With a single crown suspension... I forgot that
  • 2 0
 The rider looks like Thomas Vanderham...
  • 2 0
 Not Vanderham, but looks like someone who works for Rocky.
  • 1 0
 @sylwhistler: glad to see you buddy !:-)
  • 2 0
 tubing reminds me of a banshee
  • 2 0
 the brace inside the frame kinda looks like an evil
  • 2 0
 Waiting for 2x10 high pivot.
  • 3 0
 Specialized Enduro.
  • 3 0
 Look’s intense
  • 2 0
 No, they would put a fat intense logo on it and write a bunch of vital MTB articles on it. And release it years later.
  • 1 1
 I am still desperate to see a new Downcountry high pivot E-bike I think I could handle it with my BMX background to make it special
  • 1 0
 Has manufacturer done the rotating fork brake mount to activate a anti dive circuit, like some early 90’s Hondas ?
  • 2 0
 Looks not like a Session.
  • 1 0
 seriously who cares, every second bike is a high pivot now it's nothing new
  • 1 0
 Looks like an over hyped, over rated and soon to be overpriced troll of a bike....
  • 1 0
 Most likely the new Slayer, heard that the new model will be a mullet as well.
  • 1 0
 Purati Bikes have a new prototype?
  • 1 0
 Rocky mountain probably. Gotta keep up with trends
  • 3 1
 Oh yeah “spotted”
  • 3 2
 Or maybe juste the Norco Range in Aluminium ‍♂️
  • 3 2
 Says right on his Instagram he is a Rocky Mountain Bikes rider, sooooo..
  • 4 0
 Its not him in the photo
  • 1 2
 @Chrisgus: How can you tell? Know him? He has a lot of self shot content on his IG, all his videos are high quality, these images seem intentionally low quality to me. I definitely could be wrong but this seems like an intentional hype leak.
  • 2 2
 My son always makes me park back from the stop line at train crossings. He's afraid of a delirieurement.
  • 2 0
 It's a Rocky Mountain
  • 6 0
 A slayer with a built in speaker in the down tube that only plays slayer at full volume.
  • 2 0
 This should be a new international standard !
you sir are a Genius
Slayer Rules! @BikesNRussets:
  • 2 0
 *runs to see Vital forum
  • 1 0
 “Review coming tomorrow”
  • 1 0
 AAaaand the video is down....
  • 2 0
 Looks like new v10
  • 1 0
 It looks like an alloy Range, cool Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Looks like Bryn Atkinson.. Norco?
  • 1 0
 Is the black dot covering a flip chip?
  • 2 0
 Ebike with no motor yet
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Deviate! ;-)
  • 1 0
 Hopefully it’s a 27.5. There is a huge lack of 27.5 high pivot bikes.
  • 2 0
 Betting Norco
  • 1 0
 New Norco? Shorter travel than the Range
  • 2 2
 The name of that bike with be the Trail Mole
  • 1 2
 Looks pretty Steber to me. The shock tunnel and the gussets have his style.
  • 1 0
 You'd think if it was Steber then it'd be Kovarik riding it
  • 1 0
 They would write intense on it in bright red, it can’t be.
  • 1 0
 Devinci Wilson maybe
  • 1 0
 Not a Giant
  • 1 0
 Definitely a rocky
  • 1 0
 High pivot grim donut!
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the way they did this and the last grim donut release. This has to be a pink bike try at a high pivot donut Since pink is a trend setter of mtb
  • 3 6
 Probably a new Clash.
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