Cecile Ravanel hardly needs an introduction. After sweeping the EWS title three years in a row, her horrific training crash in early 2019 ruled her out for the whole season, leaving a chasm at the head of the women's field. It's a long road back from any spinal injury, with the stakes being even higher when it's up in the cervical vertebrae (the ones in your neck) as hers was. Fortunately she's been making good progress and has been back on the bike this winter. When we caught up with her she was loving being able to ride once more and looked comfortable doing it. This is the bike she was looking forwards to taking back to the volcanic dust of La Parva for the opening rounds.
Height 5'8" / 173cm
Weight 132 lb / 60kg
Hometown Frejus, France
Model Commencal Meta AM
Frame Size Medium
Wheel Size 29"
Suspension Rockshox Lyrik & Super Deluxe
Drivetrain & Brakes SRAM Code
Wheels & Rubber Spank & Hutchinson
When it comes to bike setup she knows what she likes, but her tastes are surprisingly simple for a 3-time world champion - this bike is more or less exactly what you could go online and buy right now. The one thing she is super particular about? Scratches. She hates riding a scratched bike and she jokes that if it gets scratched while racing she's depressed for the rest of the race (although that doesn't seem to slow her down).
Renthal are adamant that there is no stiffness difference between their 31.8 and 35mm bars - for years they resisted producing a 35mm bar as they didn't see an advantage in it, but with the rising popularity of 35mm bars on OE spec they felt they had to follow what their customers were looking for so they weren't forced to replace the whole cockpit if they wanted to run their bars. Cecile runs a 30mm rise bars at 760mm wide. A 31mm stem with no spacers below it and a -1 degree angle adjust headset cup.
Nothing wild in the drivetrain department - it should come as no surprise that one of SRAM's top enduro athletes is using AXS Eagle. Up front she varies between 30 and 34t rings (32t here), depending on the course. An e*thirteen chaingide holds it all together when things get wild; she is one of the few riders theses days who opt to run a lower bash guard.
Tokens 1 Token
Spring 350LB Superalloy Racing
A Fabric saddle perches atop her SRAM Reverb AXS seatpost.
A long-term Hutchinson athlete, she is running a Toro front and a Racing Lab prototype rear tyre - the compound can be best described as fairly soft, but not exceptionally so. In terms of pressure she is at 1.5 bar (21 psi) in the front and 1.6 bar (23 psi) in the rear.
I would't and couldn't do that on my x2 and 36; but I am doing it on the SD and lyrik.
No to metion the fact that it took the best part of 10-12 minutes to arrive at the optimum set-up for me on the RSs, while on the kashimas, it took the best part of 3 days of riding, 2 bike-park days and 1 big ass hiking trail..only to be satisfied 90(fork)-to-95%(shock); ok, the super deluxe does not have the same....depth?!, amplitude?!..as the x2 but, as I said above, it took me 10 minutes to arrive at what I consider optimum set-up for me; the lyrik was a 2 minute job and the feeling of fork is definitely superior to my 36.
I had the exact set-up on my 2017 GT Sanction. Felt perfect; and that was the old lyrik. The new one is much-much better. Sooo smooth and supple, it is unreal.
Overall I’m about 90% healed, some days I feel better too. So not too bad. The worst part is my confidence to hit jumps over 8-10ft or just getting loose and fast on techy trails. I’m learning to have fun on less gnarly stuff now.
I have the green light from them to ride and do everything, so it's not holding me back too much. I'm lucky it wasn't worse and that I healed as much as I have.
this was the result of a motor bike crash in 96, broke 28 bones in one go, yeah it did hurt a bit
I still have mobility issues (always will as C3-4 are fused and a bone graph/wiring around C3) but I’m not worried about re injuring my neck even though I’ve broken the wiring.
Proper mobility exercises and continuously doing them (which I didn’t do for the first 15yrs and paying the price now) will save you
Lots of issues later in life!
I wish they made neck protection that was effective without the need of a full face.
It's nice to see at least one company that will be honest about the BS behind larger diameter bar clamps. Renthal has always been solid.
It is ok to admit a shortfall rather than making pointless arguments about product catalogues, which still doesnt disprove the fact that axs is still quite wild technology.
With less travel and no coil shock... 15,5kg isnt that high considering the performance
"In general she says she likes to run her suspension with very light compression to give it room to breathe, but runs her bikes with a pretty stiff setting as she finds it more precise."
Try running less sag (more Air pressure) but less compression- feels way nicer imho
Light low-speed compression damping, heavy high-speed compression damping.
Light compression damping overall and higher air pressure.
Light compression damping, light rebound damping (stays high in travel but feels harsher on the hands).
Light compression damping, heavy rebound damping (sits deeper in the travel, possibly smoother in the hands but less travel to work with).
Personally, I'm a fan of light compression damping, medium rebound damping, and I would probably describe it similarly to her. Soft over bumps but stiff over chatter.
This is a Lyrik, so if there hasn´t been any massive tuning, "compression full open" means nothing.
Same goes for the Superdeluxe, without knowing which tune it has, the LSC may have quite a lot damping even with LSC open - should be a ML on Commencal I think. My SD is a takeoff from a Meta.
I dont know the Lyrik she has (2021?), but mine and the RC2/Ultimate of my buddies are always really low on compression (and you cant tell if its the LSC or the HSC anyway with those Charger dampers). SO you ride on the spring or else the fork is diving deep, which means quite high pressure in the Debonair (is this 2021 or the 2020?).
With 205lbs I ride 80psi too (at 170mm), so her 80psi might be a bit different.
I'm around 186-187 lbs and ride 82 psi in my 2021 lyrik, with the compresions fully open and 3 volume spacers; and I'm your average mediocre rider, not the enduro agressive one. Probably you're undersprung and you need to speed up that rebound a little. Cheers!
Sorry, I just realized that I dropped 6 Psi when I added the 3rd volume spacer. So now, it is at around 75-76 psi.
I had the 2017 Lyrik as well and the new charger and new air shaft really do make a difference. To upgrade the cartrige is pretty expensive but the air shaft is 36 euros. I strongly recommend it.
End Bike Check.
I had to put a fat sticker on mine too, because that huge plastic thingy is so ugly.
Also, isn't the angleset lower cup higher stack Vs stock? If so, assuming it's a +5mm stack then that's about an extra 0.5° of slackness on top of the -1°
Still, my point is that this geometry adjustment headset thing is not as simple as it appears.
Like some reach adjust headsets, marketed as a +5mm reach, but then a bit stack lower cup eats that up
Great shot btw
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