Day One: The Bike Show - Roc D'Azur 2013

Oct 10, 2013 at 10:53
by Matt Wragg  

For the last 30 years the European mountain bike season has finished on the banks of the Mediterranean, just a few miles West from the glitter of Cannes. For cross country racers, it's the last big race of the year, for the industry it is the last trade show before things calm down for the winter. Over the next few days we'll be taking a look around the trade show and bringing you the action from the downhill and cross-country races. Today, we start with the best that the trade show has to offer.

Strictly this isn t a new bike from Commencal their 27.5 -wheeled Meta AM has been around for a little bit now. But this black anodised version is definitely the most beautiful we have seen so far. It s not just a cosmetic change though the neon paint they have been using in recent years takes several coats to get a good finish so by switching to anodising saves 250g from the frame weight. The fact this bike is finished off with Bos suspesion Mavic wheels and SRAMs XX1 drivetrain only serve to make this bike even higher up our wishlists.

Strictly this isn't a new bike from Commencal, their 27.5"-wheeled Meta AM has been around for a little bit now. But this black anodised version is definitely the most beautiful we have seen so far. It's not just a cosmetic change though, the neon paint they have been using in recent years takes several coats to get a good finish, so by switching to anodising saves 250g from the frame weight. The fact that this bike is finished off with BOS suspesion, Mavic wheels and SRAM's XX1 drivetrain only serves to make this bike even higher up our wish lists.


Pyga is a new name to us here at Pinkbike. It is the new venture for Patrick Morewood Morewoods founder and Mark Hopkins the man who designed the Leatt neck brace and founded CSixx components. This is their debut trail bike called the Onetwenty. As the name suggests it has 120mm of travel a 68.5 degree headangle and 428mm chainstays. The suspension is laid out with a single pivot and a linkage actuating the shock although. Unlike most bikes with this setup the rear brake is mounted to the seatstay rather than the chainstay in theory this should help reduce the brake jack that is common in most bikes with this layout.

Pyga is a new name to us here at Pinkbike. It is the new venture for Patrick Morewood, Morewood's founder, and Mark Hopkins, the man who designed the Leatt neck brace and founded CSixx components. This is their debut trail bike, called the Onetwenty. As the name suggests, it has 120mm of travel, a 68.5 degree head angle and 428mm chainstays. The suspension is laid out with a single pivot and a linkage actuating the shock. Unlike most bikes with this setup, the rear brake is mounted to the seatstay, rather than the chainstay, in theory this should help reduce the brake jack that is common in most bikes with this layout.


Not seen before this show is Pygas longer-travel Pasco frame. Like it s smaller sibling it runs on 27.5 but sports a healthy 150mm of travel and a slightly slacker 67 degree head angle.

Not seen before this show is Pyga's longer-travel Pasco frame. Like its smaller sibling, it runs on 27.5", but sports a healthy 150mm of travel and a slightly slacker 67 degree head angle.


Yasujiro aren t the kind of thing we normally write about here at Pinkbike. For a start they don t make a single mountain bike. Yet last year here at Roc D Azur their speedbike was hands down the stand-out bike of the show. This year the speedbike has been lent to another booth instead they brought their take on a commuter bike. This is going to be the personal bike of the Frances Yasujiro importer JC once the show is over and you can see him beaming with pride at his carbon and steel commuting monster. That gold finish on the brazing isn t a special coating they have simply polished it down to a fine finish. We particularly love the burn marks around each join from the brazing. Coming from a mountain bike background JC has decked the bike out SRAMS X0 gripshift and Avid X9 Trail disc brakes.

Yasujiro aren't the kind of thing we normally write about here at Pinkbike. For a start, they don't make a single mountain bike. Yet last year here at Roc D'Azur their speedbike was hands down the stand-out bike of the show for us. This year the speedbike has been lent to another booth here at the show, so instead they brought their take on a commuter bike. This is going to be the personal bike of the the French Yasujiro importer, JC, once the show is over and you can visibly see him beaming with pride at his carbon and steel commuting monster. Made entirely from Tange steel, that gold finish on the brazing isn't a special coating, they have simply polished it down to a fine finish. Just look at the attention to detail all the way through the bike. We particularly love the burn marks around each join from the brazing. Coming from a mountain bike background, JC has decked the bike out SRAM's X0 gripshift and Avid X9 Trail disc brakes, although at the back of the bike is a SRAM Red derailleur from their road line and a wide-range (for a road bike) cassette.


Yasujiro also had this stunning track bike on the stand finished in this gorgeous clean white and polished components. We don t care that it s got nothing to do with mountain biking we just want one...

Yasujiro also had this stunning track bike on the stand, finished in this gorgeous, clean white and polished components. We don't care that it's got nothing to do with mountain biking, we just want one...


Bluegrass had their all-new Goldeneyes helmet on show. It fits firmly into the new generation of trail lids with good coverage at the back and side of the head. Airflow is clearly a priority with this helmet if you look closely there are substantial vents above the brow and huge exhaust vents at the back. There is even a retaining clip to hold your goggles strap in place.

Bluegrass had their all-new Goldeneyes helmet on show. It fits firmly into the new generation of trail lids, with good coverage at the back and side of the head. Airflow is clearly a priority with this helmet, if you look closely there are substantial vents above the brow and huge exhaust vents at the back. There is even a retaining clip to hold your goggle's strap in place.


Another bike that got a lot of attention last year was the Calvarie Falcon with its Effigear internal gearbox. This year Calvarie have bought a prototype long-travel trail bike to the show sporting 160mm travel front and rear. At the moment they are just going through testing with the geometry but expect the final bike to have super-short chainstays and a more elegant tube profile. In fact this bike is so fresh it doesn t even have a name yet.

Another bike that got a lot of attention last year was the CavaleireFalcon, with its Effigear internal gearbox. This year Cavaleire have brought a prototype long-travel trail bike to the show, sporting 160mm travel front and rear. At the moment they are just going through testing with the geometry, but expect the final bike to have super-short chainstays and a more elegant tube profile. In fact, this bike is so fresh it doesn't even have a name yet.


Back again is the Falcon that we looked at last year. Since then the chain tensioner has been improved and this show bike uses the optional carbon belt drive.

Back again is the Cavaleire Falcon that we looked at last year. Since then the chain tensioner has been improved and this show bike uses the optional carbon belt drive.


Nicolai has this update of their Ion 20 downhill bike on show with the Effigear gearbox and a carbon belt drive at its heart. This bike has come straight from the world cup it has been put through its paces at both Hafjell and Leogang. The one change for the show is that they have swapped out the regular 26 wheels for 27.5 wheels to show potential customers what they can do with this bike.

Nicolai has this update of their Ion 20 downhill bike on show, with the Effigear gearbox and a carbon belt drive at its heart. This bike has come straight from the world cup, it has been put through its paces at both Hafjell and Leogang. The one change for the show is that they have swapped out the regular, 26" wheels for 27.5" wheels to show potential customers what they can do with this bike.


Production Privee are launching their long-awaited stem. Styled to recall a classic Corvette it has been shaped and refined to just 158g. Only available in 50mm long it has zero rise will fit 1 1 8 steerers and clamps 31.8mm bars. MSRP will be 109 Euros and it should be available very soon.

Production Privee are launching their long-awaited stem. Styled to recall a classic Corvette, it has been shaped and refined to just 158g. Only available in 50mm long, it has zero rise, will fit 1 1/8" steerers and clamps 31.8mm bars. MSRP will be 109 Euros and it should be available very soon.


Also from the guys at Production Privee are their CG-edition cockpits. They are the same as the regular bar and stem but are two-colour anodised to prefectly match the green of the DVO suspension Cedric uses.

Also from the guys at Production Privee are their CG-edition cockpits. They are the same as the regular bar and stem, but are two-colour anodised to prefectly match the green of the DVO suspension Cedric uses.


Stay tuned for more from Roc D'Azur all weekend.

Must Read This Week






102 Comments

  • + 68
 Dat Commencal tho.
  • + 27
 and for the low price of $10000 you can own one!
  • + 1
 Sick bike, must restrain myself though...
  • + 15
 I'd be willing to start prostitution to get one of them
  • - 1
 fuck yeah redj
  • + 32
 i would really like to see pinkbike to do a gear box bike review
  • - 7
flag Dhminipinner (Oct 10, 2013 at 15:15) (Below Threshold)
 ..
  • + 2
 That Commencal is the grand master sexy bike right now. I calling bs on the claimed 250g weight saving over a powder coat vs ano. I did this exact experiment with countless frames by weighing them with the powder coat on ,then stripping to raw and weigh it. Basically loose an ounce if your lucky unless they are using lead paint on their old bikes.
  • + 0
 I concur
  • - 3
 "Dat Commencal" would be would lovely for about 2 rides, then it would crack and you would be without a bike for about 6 months whilst their waste of space and time after sales team sits around for 6 months not dealing with your warranty claim and not replying to emails.
  • + 4
 Send me an email on warranty@commencal.com and we will check.
  • + 3
 Bike cracked and was returned and sent back to commencal July 2011, despite many emails I finally got a response and replacement frame Feb 2012. After such an appalling experience the bike was sold and replaced with a specialized. When the hub failed on my specialized It was replaced and I was back out within the week. When you have spent a couple of grand on a bike you expect the frame to A last more than a year and B reasonable of after sales support.
  • + 36
 hey PB, are there any future plans to review a bike with a gearbox, like the ones above. maybe there already is, but to my best knowledge i havent seen any. if not i think id would be great to get your thoughts on them.
  • + 2
 there is this review of the pinion gearbox mounted to a Alutech Fanes
www.pinkbike.com/news/Pinion-Gearbox-First-Ride.html
  • + 2
 I think they have done a couple... one i found: www.pinkbike.com/news/Pinion-Gearbox-First-Ride.html
  • + 25
 Good god man. That nicolai looks class
  • - 4
flag PHeller (Oct 10, 2013 at 11:37) (Below Threshold)
 Wouldn't buy but I'd certainly ride it.
  • + 0
 I do like it, but the suntour fork?
  • + 3
 DVO is made at Suntour.
  • + 1
 They need to stop pissing about with prototypes, I wanna buy one!
I think I'd rather have 26" wheels though. But whatever, hurry up and make the damn thing!
  • + 2
 The Cavalerie models should be available now in Europe. Soon for North America. The Cavalerie Falcon and Squirrel are 26. New Enduro model is 650b. I cannot speak for Nicolai availability.... Either way, Effigear is the way to go.
  • + 19
 I think I saw more new bikes in this article than I did in all of the Interbike coverage from every biking site.
  • + 3
 Roc d'azur always brings out the more inventive stuff, I saw one of the cavalerie bikes at chatel this year, I went and spoke to the guys in the tent at the portes du soleil and he was so happy I'd head of cavalerie he offered me a demo ride on their show rig!
  • + 19
 So stoked for the future of internal gearbox bikes!
  • + 14
 Just look at all the brands we can't buy!
  • + 0
 That fixie.... DAYUM! Hipster's dream! OOh and the first one the black commencal, I might have to stop DH and get me one of those!
  • + 2
 Cavalerie is coming stateside. I am personally making sure of this.
  • + 7
 I wonder if they were to make say a 6 or 7 speed internal gearbox, would it save some weight. I was reading on their site that it's equivalent to an 24/36 in the front and 11/34 at the rear. Why not just make it equivalent to a single chainring set up. Just my thoughts on gearboxes.
  • + 11
 It probably helps to let them stay relatively small in size. I honestly wouldn't mind riding one of those carbon belt drive dh rigs though. The silence...
  • + 3
 1 less speed is -90g
you're right it's to be easyer to understand 9 speeds gearbox will be equivalent to 10/44.4 cassette
  • + 3
 Making a gearbox with a good range for downhill might be just too niche a product.
I'd love it to be the future of DH bikes though, gearbox and belt drive, as sweet-bike says^^^ "the silence...".
  • + 4
 All models are available with 6,7,8, or 9 speeds. You can have it your way. Do you need the full range to climb or do you only go down? If your going down lose the gears and extra cost. 6 speed Falcon, sure. 8 speed Squirrel, you bet.
  • + 3
 @ cavaleriebikesusa Thats awesome. Thanks for the info.
  • + 6
 i really like the nicolai ion downhiller, looks awesome, has a nostalgia feel about it brought back down to modern times with the gearbox, i like it alot! (jim carey)
  • + 8
 oh man, the Nicolai is sweet(but i don´t even want to know the price)!
  • + 2
 Something like 4000€ for frame and some little parts
  • + 8
 i said i didnt want to know! lol
  • + 3
 Pinkbike: the mountain bike website that makes fun of lycra in one article then features fixies in the next.

I guess I'm just out of touch...you know, wanting to see mountain bikes and all.
  • + 6
 Cavalerie bikes rock!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Internal gearboxes look so good!
But what would look just as good would be BB centric pivots with horizontal dropouts to run single speeds.

WHY has the mountain bike world (besides DJ and the odd XC hardtail) forgotten single speeds?

I run an Alfine chain tensioner and single speed on my 2005 Big Hit with a 25 tooth BMX sprocket and BMX cranks and it is amazing!
No chain slap is incredible.
  • + 6
 Because you need a certain gear range to let you pedal in different terrain sections?
  • + 1
 The swingarm pivot has to be higher than the BB if you want to pedal a little. If the swingarm pivot is too low, pushing on your pedal will cause your rear suspension to sag a lot.
  • + 1
 Using an Alfine hub at the back of the bike creates more unsprung weight, more rotating mass, and a heavier rear end to lift. By going with a transmission at the lowest point the bikes are more responsive over small bumps, easier to throw around, and generally better balanced.
  • + 1
 the first commencal's rear shock is going to need some extra protection though BOS is awesome but only if it isnt destroyed by dirt and rocks getting thrown straight off the rear wheel onto the stantion? (do rear shocks have a stantion? you know what i mean)
  • + 2
 That poor old rear shock on the Commencal, worst placement ever, it will be ruined after a few months of real world riding...
  • + 4
 That Commencal is soooooo Nice!
  • - 1
 "Unlike most bikes with this setup, the rear brake is mounted to the seatstay, rather than the chainstay, in theory this should help reduce the brake jack that is common in most bikes with this layout"

99.9% of bikes have the rear brake mounted to the seatstay, not sure how this is any different...
  • + 5
 Take a closer look.

The whole point of the FSR/horst link design is that its easy to mount the brake on the seatstay; the radius from the rear axle to the brake doesn't change as the suspension compresses. Look at Kona or Commencal-- their brakes are mounted on the chainstay. This is the first 4 bar, non-horst-link bike with seatstay mounted brakes that I've ever seen. The issue is that when the suspension compresses, the brakes will move slightly relative to the rear axle. I guess they made it work, though
  • + 4
 No, this is actually a correct and meaningful statement. It is different to most in that the wheel is on the chainstay and the brake is on the seatstay. Normally they are on the same one.
  • + 2
 As related to the pivot/axle placement, it is actually pretty rare to have the brake mounted that way. Think about it: your brakes will prevent your suspension from moving through its travel is you lock them up.
  • + 0
 So the difference between this a session(sorry for the example just comparing it to my bike) is just the location of the rear pivot at the axle? obviously different pivot placement. What im asking is, is this not a 4 bar with the brake mounted on the seatstay? like my session or is it technically a single pivot?
  • + 1
 Ahh...I see. At first glance it looked like konas and commencals had the brakes mounted on the seatstay. In fact, they are mounted on the chainstay.
  • - 1
 The locking up the rear sus argument doesn't hold, since the brake is fixed to a stay and a wheel, rather than 2 stays.

The theory goes that brake jack is caused by a rotation of the member the brake is attached to being in the same direction as the wheel. Thus in this case, since the seat stay doesn't rotate (by construction of the virtual pivot made by the chain and rocker), it won't jack.
  • + 3
 But I imagine you will get some uneven pad wear and noise because the pad will be migrating on the rotor as the bike goes through its travel. The caliper position will shift ever so slightly, maybe its not enough to affect function? Seems like a risky choice IMO.
  • + 3
 as the bike goes through its travel there will be less and less or more pad on the disk. This will mean decreased or increased stopping power. There's a reason nobody has used this design previously as it is extremely difficult to make it work even partially. THe way they have lined up the rear axle and the seat stay pivot along the seastay could mean it would actually work. @mxlemming the brake is never attached to two stays on a four bar or fsr design. To eliminate brake jack, the caliper must track the position of the disk(remain relatively in the same position on it). This design cannot neccesarily do that effectively as the caliper and disk are not connected concentrically. @SV6123 your session is a hybrid between a single pivot/ four bar (they are the same thing) and a multi pivot. This bike is a four bar/single pivot with the brake mounted on the seatstay.
  • + 0
 Not sure brakejack is real. Wrong rear end design, too much spring and tire pressure hurting damper function more likely.
  • + 2
 After a bit of reading to try and understand it better i was still unsure about what design the session was. Thanks for the clarification you led me to an article on multi pivots which helped me understand it better. For some reason i always thought of single pivot as the design of a 08 kona stinky, which ive also read people call a "faux bar". Up until i just read that i hadnt even heard of multi-pivot. Suspension terminology gets really damn confusing
  • + 3
 Brake jack is VERY real. I can definitely feel the rear wheel skipping over bumps, searching for grip while you're trying to slow down. Switch to an FSR/Horst, something with a floater, a split pivot, anything that attempts to separate the braking from the rear axle and I can immediately tell the diff. You can brake later and the bike stays more stable under hard braking in rough terrain. Its not necessary, and in some cases I was faster on a bike that didn't brake as well because I'd learn to use less rear brake in general. But it sure is nice when I'm just out riding for fun.
  • + 2
 Agreed on brake influence. My buddy had a 07 stinky and i had an 09 with DOPE(pretty terrible imo) and the difference in hard braking in rough was pretty noticeable. This year i switched from kona to a rampant (Virtual4bar design, surprisingly just as active as a stinky i'd say) and finally to my session and there is virtually no squat or jack over the rough.
  • + 2
 brake jack is real to an extent though as the rear wheel will often lose traction allowing the suspension to move with the brake locked on. This is not ideal but it is the reason why not all four bar bikes suffer badly from brake jack. High pivots also react differently but having talked to the guy from zerode about it i see that dont really know enough to explain.
  • - 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGznEH-Atb0

FSR brake jack. Easely overwhelms a damping circuit, leading to the use of a
strong spring and high damper pressure and harsh riding rear end or under damped if some smoothness is required. So brake jack is a consequence rather than its source. The vid shows why FSR with an airdamper might be just about the worst and most incomplete rear end on this planet.
  • + 1
 @wakaba not all FSR created equal
  • - 1
 @ham: FSR are all the same. Jackkniffing rear - not good. Will upset the front big time. I`d rather ride fast and relaxed than having to counter suspension deficiencies.
  • + 1
 Speaking from experience, they've taken care of alot of the squat by changing pivot placement and the rocker link. I've ridden my friends bighit II 2011 and it doesnt squat even close to as bad as a stinky for example. Pivot placement is major in how suspension works rather than just the design. Can't speak for the demo or status but im sure they dont jack or squat too bad
  • + 4
 They key to countering brake squat is to minimize the rotation that the "floating" link goes through as the suspension is compressed. The chainstay lever and the rocker link lever need to be somewhat parallel; this will make the link between them where the brake is located rotate less. The link you posted is a bad design where the rocker link isn't parallel with the lower chainstay link.
  • - 1
 The link I posted proves how problematic FSR is. It shows that the rear jackknives readily and thus will be impossible to make work with the frontsuspension. Heavy springs and high pressure dampers and small ineffective rearbrake might be a fix - but you will be in for a harsh ride and little ground contact and you will have to match the frontend with similiar give. FSR seems to work when you want a "hardtail" with a little bit of give like Spec AM to Enduro bikes. Hardly a capable suspension.
  • + 1
 What you showed is niether brake jack nor brake squat. It was simply the foward momentum of the wheel being transferred to the suspension. Google conservation of momentum and you might understand the concept a little better. The video actually proves that fsr bikes don't brake jack as the suspension clearly moves while the brake is locked on. on the trail the video shows the bike would suffer from foward weight transfer due to decceleration. this is actually a product of the low anti rise properties the suspension holds. This is because the virtual pivot of the suspension is not positioned high enough to counteract the forward weight transfer during deceleration. Fsr can be designed to have more anti rise but specialized don't design their bikes like that.
  • + 2
 Finally had a play with one of these Pygas the other day. The rear brake setup is a joke. Pull the brake then compress the sus and the disc bends. Pointed this out to the rep and he looked like he was about to cry. Shit design plain and simple. Cant believe they get away with selling this crap.
  • + 3
 This Commencal is closed to perfection.
  • - 1
 I want a gearbox bike, but I am not nuts about the styling. Where are the flowing curves? It may seem shallow, but I have always loved walking up to my bike. Just looking at it makes me stoked. If I got a clunky looking beast I'd be a little sad, until I was screaming down the trails of course.
Aesthetics count, and while form follows function, when you need to convince the world your design functions well you better have a sexy form.
  • + 10
 the nicolai is gorgeous to me, the other one looks very close to my makulu. I always liked the strait tubes in a classic triangle instead of swoopy hydro formed fanciness.
  • + 2
 Love those pinions
  • + 2
 www.facebook.com/cavaleriebikesusa for updates, news, and North American importation status. Please Add Us!
  • + 2
 Correction, the Pascoe is a 140-mm travel frame that can take 150- to 160-mm travel forks.
  • + 1
 Great looking bikes.... Out of my price range! I will stick with a used Reign x!
  • + 1
 Anyone know the manufacturer of the drop post on that Pyga? I need a setback like that.
  • + 1
 Nearly as cool as the belt drive on my fully rigid vintage bamboo carbon 29er Wink
  • + 3
 Love the Stem!
  • + 1
 That stem. Looks like an Easton
  • + 2
 Oh ho! Yasujiro!
  • + 1
 Pyga's would be cool if they were cheap. They won't be. Sad face.
  • + 2
 They aren't. But there prices are inline with niche brands. Their prices are roughly inline with that of Santa Cruz iirc. Everyone I know who has ridden one though, raves about it. I have seen videos of people doing road gaps on the onetwentyseven that isn't shown here. And they look amazing in person.
  • + 2
 The Pyga OneTwenty650 (the orange one) retails for close to what the Morewood Sukuma does (frame and shock) - cheaper than most Santa Cruz frames. And it's a monster (I've ridden it) - I rode one built up with XX1 and a 140mm Revelation up front, and it felt amazing. It's a 120mm frame that feels more like a 140mm frame, very plushy, very quick through corners.

So, needless to say, I'm all giddy looking at the Pascoe Big Grin Pyga's frames can usually run longer on the front than the back - so the Pascoe you could probably run 160-170mm travel on the fork. It's going to be a beast.
  • + 1
 My dad is bringing one home today to test ride, I am definitely going to take it for a spin too
  • + 2
 唉,都没得去看
  • + 1
 How can a stem look like a corvette?
  • + 1
 it has stripes?
  • + 0
 bluegrass helmet looks exactly like a bell super helmet
  • - 1
 Hey Cavalerie! 2001 called they want there geometry back
  • + 3
 He is confusing frame tube forming with geometry. I doubt he would get it if you tried explaining it so just ignore him
  • + 0
 ^^ Nailed it.
  • - 2
 all garbage
  • - 3
 Awful lot of pig thread bikes here
  • + 1
 pig thread?
  • + 1
 It's a thread in the forum, but don't go if easily offended Smile
  • - 3
 The Ion bike looks as though its been made from lego technik
  • - 1
 That trek
  • + 1
 If the rear pivot point on the PYGA was a split pivot design (ABP) and the rocker link was a one piece, it would be so close to a Trek.
  • + 1
 So if every major frame design were different it would be just like a Trek? Ah i see how this works.

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