DH BIKE TEST - COMMENCAL SUPREME DH
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
The Commencal Supreme 29 has been a bike that I have liked for some time. With the high idler to the slim aluminium chassis, it’s all there.
This past year has really been something to smile about for Commencal. With the all new Meta 29 coming in and really hitting the mark at the EWS with Cecile Ravanel destroying the competition. Then look to the world of Downhill and Amaury Pierron smashing the overall world cup downhill on board this very bike. He was running different dampers, but it has to account for something.
Commencal are also a direct sale company similar to the two 27.5 bikes here, the Canyon and the Propain. This new 29” Supreme really is a cracking looking bike too, with clean lines and great detailing.
Available in a frame, fork and wheel only or complete build. There is also the option to custom build a bike on Commencal’s website. Options have been covered. There is only one build for the time being but it’s nothing to grumble about.
With this being the only build kit that Commencal offer, it had to be good. The main focus being the Fox 49 Factory fork and coil X2 damper, it has some serious cannons to deal with the terrain. Stoppers from SRAM with the Code R brakes and GX 7 speed gearing. Wheels wise you will find a E-13 LG-1 29” setup. All in all this is what you will get...
Frame: 29 NEC+Ultra XTRM Alloy 6066 hydroformed, triple butted, 205mm travel, ISCG05, 150x12mm rear dropouts Fork: Fox Factory 49 Float, Adjustments: High/Low Speed Compression, Rebound Rear Shock: Fox Factory DHX2, 250 x 75, (450lbs on M, 500lbs on L, 525lbs on XL) Headset: Ride Alpha, DH V4 cups + IS41 Stem: Ride Alpha DH Direct Mount, 40mm length, 31.8mm clamp Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 7075, double butted, 20mm rise, 780mm wide Grips: Ride Alpha, ergonomic grips, alloy one lock, super soft compound Brakes: SRAM CODE R, 200mm/200mm rotors Shift Levers: SRAM GX DH, 1x7-Speed Rear Mech: SRAM GX DH, 7-Speed Chainset: E Thirteen LG1, 34T, 165mm, 24mm axle Chain Guide: E Thirteen LG1+ WideGuide Cassette: E Thirteen, 7-Speed, 9-21T Wheelset: E Thirteen LG1, 32 holes, 30mm inner width, with integrated cassette Front Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHF 29x2.5" WT, 3C/TR DD Rear Tyre: Maxxis Minion DHRII 29x2.4" WT 3C/TR DH casing Seatpost: Ride Alpha DH, 31.6mm diameter, no offset, ultra-light, 300mm length Saddle: WTB High Tail Pro
OPINION - IEUAN WILLIAMS
The new Commencal Supreme 29. This big wheeled beast really had us talking in the run up to this test. With the recent success in the World Cup you cannot doubt the performance here. Both Miriam Nicole and Amaury Pierron have been on a mission with some amazing rides this season.
So what about the bike? It came in with the heaviest weight on the weigh-in, 17.36KG (38.05lbs), so not a light bike. The complex linkage driven shock is where the bulk of the weight is, so its all weight that is low down in the bike. With the low centre of gravity the Supreme 29 really does corner well. This, matched up with some high level grip from the big wheels is a winning combo. The bottom bracket does measure a little high at 350mm but this does not translate to a bad ride. The bike sat at a good stance when loaded into the sag position.
The rear suspension on the Commencal really was fantastic. After the first day getting everything bedded in, there was a great sensitive feel to the bike,taking most of the terrain in its stride. This was helped by the Fox damper and long stroke Length on the 250mm metric unit fitted.
The 29” platform worked well. When comparing the bikes back to back, the Sender was the only bike that I would be able to choose over the Commencal, to take out for a lap. The chassis is so good on the Canyon, it makes up for the difference in wheel size. Whereas the Commencal has a brilliant chassis to match up with the big wheels. Not a bad combination.
A full aluminium chassis and no carbon in sight on any of the components, meant the Commencal was easy and forgiving. A very low fatigue from the adequate flex/stiffness, matched up with the higher weight and good suspension feel. This all comes together to make for a fun, yet none abusive ride.
Onto the specification. The bike we had may not have had the best parts on in the world, with only a Code R brake and the GX gearing, when the Propain had top level parts. But when you look at the price coming in at around the £4,500 mark, it’s a steal of a bike. The wheelset was not what I would have specified, having given it a few good dings after a few days!
This bike really is a flying machine. The size large that we had was more than enough, with enough room whilst keeping a fun, playful yet planted ride feel. It is going to be a hard bike to beat but with a similar overall score to the Sender, it is very close. That year from Mr Pierron has to resonate when thinking of a rig for 2019.
OPINION - TOM COOPER
This bike really has been one I have been anticipating. From the clean looks, aluminium build and 29” wheels, it ticks all the boxes that I could want from a downhill bike. When you look at the recent results that the Supreme has racked up, you can not really argue with its success. The build kit on the bike that was supplied may not have had all the bells and whistles. With only a Code R fitted it is just one of the parts that would be changed if this was my own bike.
The Commencal may have been the heaviest bike in the lineup, but is this really a bad thing? As Ieuan said before, the weight is all low down so this helps with the balance as it has a low centre of gravity.
After doing a few laps on each bike it was soon easy to see that the Commencal was the easiest bike to ride over most parts of the track. With the smooth suspension, to the grip while cornering. It says something when you like a bike so much, you name it Collin....
Words-Ieuan William, Tom Cooper
Photos-Ieuan Williams, Tom Cooper, Scott Windsor