If you take what bike privateers choose to ride as the measure of a good DH bike, then the Commencal Supreme DH is the best in the paddock right now. Among those bikes there is a heirarchy, and right at the very top of the list are the Commencal Muc-Off team bikes. With Commencal's lead engineer, Arthur Quet, closely involved in their running and setup, you could imagine there are more than a few riders in the paddock who would trade teeth or fingers to swing a leg over one of these.
Although he is coming into his first year as a junior, he already has some solid palmaires, including the 2021 European Champion title in cadets, and wins in the French Cup. We caught up with Hugo Marini before the Lourdes World Cup, which is where this bike would have seen its first laps in anger. Unfortunately, Commencal's launch schedule for this bike meant that we were unable to publish this bike check until after. While it is not usual to do a bike check with an emerging rider, my plan is to repeat a bike check with Hugo in a year or two's time to see how his setup evolves as he learns his craft. How does bike setup evolve through a career?
Height 5'10" / 176cm
Weight 154 lb / 65kg
Hometown Nice, France
Frame Size Medium
Wheel Size 29 front, 27.5 rear
Drivetrain & Brakes TRP
The present and the future of DH race bike tech? There is no denying that Commencal were at the forefront of pushing the use of idler pulleys and rearward axle paths in the DH racing. While the changeable seatstay bridge is not something we have seen before, allowing you to fine tune the stiffness of the frame to the track you are racing or the rider piloting the bike.
LSC 10 clicks
HSC 4 clicks
HSR 5 clicks
LSR 12 clicks
LSC 8 clicks
HSC 2 clicks
HSR 5 clicks
LSC 10 clicks
Talking through Hugo's setup with him, he says he likes a comfortable but dynamic bike that doesn't bog down too much in the holes, but holds speed. He describes the front-rear balance on the bike as neutral, occasionally starting to put more weight on the back, depending on the track.
He was running Schwalbe Magic Marys front and rear, both in 2.4 DH casing with 21psi / 1.5 Bar at the front, 23psi / 1.6 at the rear with no inserts. He says that at his weight he doesn't need inserts, but even Amaury does not run them on every track - just select ones, depending on the impacts. They roll on a set of Chris King hubs laced to unbranded, carbon rims which look to share a similar profile to Crank Brothers' Synthesis wheels. Finishing off the wheels are a set of burly 223mm discs.
The team moved to TRP brakes this year and Hugo says it took them a moment to get the performance they wanted from them, that they had to learn some "tricks," but they are super impressed with them now. For Hugo, the angle of his brake levers is the most important thing on the bike - all his bikes have precisely the same angle. Burgtec provide the 40mm direct mount stem. The bar is carbon and made by Enve, Hugo prefers a 760mm width with a 30mm rise. Lizard Skin Bearclaws are his grip of choice.
He was not giving much away, but the team are using prototype TRP drivetrains this year. HT provide the pedals and a Fizik saddle perches atop an Enve carbon seatpost.