Commencal have enjoyed huge success in recent years on both the World Cup series, as well as the world championships. In fact, between their Commencal-Mucoff team, and the sister Dorval AM Commencal team, having their bikes on the podium has been something like par for the course.
Since helping usher in a new age of high-pivot frames with the Supreme V4, Commencal has seemingly gone from strength to strength. While they of course did have success on the world stage before, most notably with Remy Thirion in 2013 or, previous to that, when the Atherton's were riding their bikes, there wasn't much to suggest the dominance of both male and female elite categories that the brand would embark on.
Surpeme V5 Details
• 27/29" platform
• Aluminum frame
• 63.2/63.7° head angle
• Chainstay length: 440/442mm (+ / - 6mm)
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
• Price: $5,700 - $7,400 USD
Even though the DH29 was an enormously successful and popular bike, the development continues, and they now finally release the V5. And finally might be the appropriate word - this is a bike that has already enjoyed a large amount of success including 9 World Cup wins and 28 World Cup podiums. While the team riders were using frames that were production-ready, details were often hard to come by. However, there were some clear and defined features, which we can report on with more certainty now.Suspension Layout
The V4/DH29 used a linkage-driven single pivot, with the stays of its swingarm almost echoing the position and orientation of the shock that bolted into the downtube. That bike had a higher pivot and a chain that ran along the top side of the upper stay. As the axle was driven into the bike's stroke, a link connected to the swingarm would pull the linkage to drive the shock.
The V5 is a very different story. It uses a six-bar linkage and a slightly lower main pivot than its predecessor. Starting with the stout lower link, you can see a rod connecting to the link that drives the upper link. Without this yoke - rear of the bike would move, but would not drive the shock.
On closer inspection, you can see that the upper assembly isn't as simple as it could at first appear and is far more refined than an earlier version of the prototype
. Now, its made up of three distinct pieces - two outer plates that connect the upper stay to the frame, and are connected together by a large diameter two-piece axle. This axle is also what the inner link, which sits between the separated seat tube and is driven by the connecting yoke, rotates around to drive the shock.
It seems that six-bar layouts are becoming more common, or at least the labelling of bikes as six-bar. However, there is a small distinction to be made. A true six-bar, such as the Commencal, is defined by six links and seven pivots. Whereas something like the Knolly system or Specialized Enduro could perhaps be better described as a four-bar that drives a shock.Frame Features
We're also seeing more confirmation of the frame features and there's innovation here, too.
There are two fore-aft positions for the shock, as well as flip chips to also chose between high and low, giving four different positions. Commencal says that the flip chip orientation is there to tune geometry and adjust the head angle, BB height, whereas the fore-aft adjustment is there to adjust the shock feel, with the front position giving a more linear spring curve compared to the more progressive rearward position.
You may have also seen that there is also a bridge across the upper stays of the linkage that can adjust the stiffness of the frame. Commencal provides two bridges - thick and thin. The thin will provide an easy turn-in by letting the bike flex more, whereas the stiffer, thicker plate will give a more precise feeling for riders who put a lot of energy through the bike. It could also be used to tune the bike feel depending on the track.
Finally, the chainstay adjustment not only gives three positions to choose from (+ / - 6 mm) but also features flip-chips to let the brake mount slide along also. This means fewer spare parts to carry, and an end to having to swap out your brake mount, which should also make it quicker as you shouldn't need to realign the brake.
The linkage bolts also use expanders to ensure that things are less likely to wobble loose. This colletted system means that you set the torque of the bolt, before fitting a second smaller bolt and wedge system into the axle.Geometry
The geometry is largely what you'd expect for a modern downhill bike in 2022. The reaches grow by around 15 or 20 mm for the medium and large sizes, while the small and extra-large stay in the same ballpark. There is, however, the introduction of the extra small, with its reach figure as low as 400mm.
The stack height on the bike is also relatively high, even for a downhill bike. A large, when compared to the outgoing model, sees the stack increase by as much as 25mm - this is a sizeable change. A higher stack height will center the rider's weight more when riding steeper tracks. However, it can come at the cost of the ability to weight the front wheel in flatter turns. This consequence to the weight distribution can be finessed with longer stays for yet more stability. It's also worth noting that at just over 63 degrees, this bike isn't outrageously slack, which could play into that compromise further.Models & Pricing
The carbon will generally deflect and return. Again, I did say there is room for improvement. I didn't say without fault.
My personal opinion.
The carbon wheels also can take a beating but might be far too stiff for people who don’t like the stiff race at feel
Their chain guides though, those work great
So if a brand has a bad product, you'll never give them a chance again no matter if they learned from it.
You just stick to your once made opinion?
Nearly everything they make (barring their chain guides) interfaces with the bike is some weird and different way that gives no performance benefit. Sure there are some things they make that don’t but e thirteen in general is a very frustrating brand.
Some brands even make cheaper OEM only versions of rims using softer alloys **cough cough RaceFace AR cough**. But I actually don't think that's what E13 is doing with their OEM rims. It seems like most of them are just normal LG1 EN's and the like.
I saw a video a few months ago where they toured their offices, they had one office are for their Architects, and the interviewer is like "You mean engineers?" and Max answers "No, we have staff architects to plan all our new buildings".
Nothing against Nicolai - they're nice bikes. But cutting edge race bikes they are not.
3.500€ gets you bespoke Nicolai frame with fully custom geometry and way better build quality. I don't see any reason why I would buy a stock Commencal frame if it costs 3.200€...
Speci 5600$ - Commencal 5700$
Spec is very similar, same fork, same drivetrain, same shock level, commencal has the air version.
The commencal also has trp dhr evos vs code rs and maxxis vs speci tires, which is worth the extra 100 bucks imo.
Sure, framesets are overpriced, but that seems to be a trend with commencal bikes.
As others mentioned, there are other, more affordable commencal dh bikes as well. The new tempo also is priced quite fair.
Imo the price is high but not outrageous considering it is arguably the best dh bike on the market and quite complex. Additionally its nice that the brand supports more wc dh racers than any other brand and compared to the specialized it makes the supreme the better deal imo.
Whilst all bike prices have gone crazy, Commencal's really been taking the piss lately; they are 20-30% more expensive than the equivalent speced alloy Specialized/Giant/Trek.
They want a $1453 payment to upgrade from a v4.x to a v5 via warranty if there is no v4 stock
Specialized frame with shock: $3000
The idea that this bike has something special that is going to make you a better rider that other race specific DH frames dont have is ignorant to the very real thing called "rider skill"
Unlike Trek or Spec, Commy also sells a non-WC-oriented DH bike, which can be had "frame+shock" for $2000. That bike, the FRS, is plenty fast for the everyday rider/ occasional racer.
The idea that becoming the winningest brand around won't result in a price hike is very ignorant of a real thing called "R&D" and another very real thing called "funding/providing for several race teams".
I don't work for them, can't give you a price breakdown. But, making the "rider skill" argument under the pretense that this bike isn't better than the rest is statistically false for the fastest riders. For riders to which your argument might apply, a bike far more reliable and affordable than the Supreme, Session, or Demo is available from Commencal as well.
The up front cost for a carbon frame is high but you save through that largely being "it" as far as production goes. With alloy frames you have a lot to do besides the basic welding of tubes. A high end alloy frame won't be too dissimilar to a carbon frame in terms of production costs.
One thing that's probably an advantage for carbon frames is that I imagine the price of the materials is probably fairly consistent whereas the cost of aluminium has been pretty variable (and high) over the past few years.
There are a lot of factors that have genuinely driven the price of production of bikes up over the past few years so it doesn't really surprise me that this frame is a chunk more expensive than the previous one. I don't have an opinion on whether the price is right, but for a more complex frame being produced at a time when production simply costs more than it used to, it makes sense that it isn't the same price as the V4.
A chain have 30+ pivots that all see the same force.
It's not the number of bearings that matter, it's the geometry around them.
If you take a single pivot bike, but with wide beating, and a bike with compact linkage like a turner DHR, you can have less stress on the bearing of the single pivot bike than on the DHR
if you make a bike like a giant glory or a iron horse Sunday you can have much less stress.
On a 6 bar bike you have to look at where the pivots are, what is the torque each part is seing, and so on. there is no absolute reason it would see much less stress than on a 4 bar bike.
Oh the V10 is a Carbon frame, with a lifetime warranty, a shop takes about 30% of commission on the price and it can be negociated on a shop.
I wish you could see the difference between a 2 years old v10 and a supreme DH v4
Based on the geometry chart, it looks like you only have two length options 440 or 442.5? Or is that from the adjustable shock position and then you have additional adjustment of Chainstay/wheel base? So 6 possible combinations?
The chainstay adjustment is independent of the high/low settings I think?
Surely a winning bike helps sell said bike, ain't it? is the very reason of racing after all
This works great for World Cup riders flying at 35+mph down steep terrain, but is not going to be the best fit for your average DH racer.
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