From Dirt Issue 109 – March 2011
Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Victor Lucas.
With both World Championship and World Cup series titles to its name there is little doubting the ability of the Commencal Supreme DH in the right hands. However standing still means going backwards, so it was little surprise when the Andorran based company hinted at something different in the pipeline at the beginning of last year.
By August, and with Gee Atherton stacking up series points, Nico Menard and his team of engineers were carving up prototypes ready for what could be a title defending season ahead. Gee duly went on to win and by November me and my bog–trotting photographer mate were on a flight south to join the champion to weigh up how the second and final prototype was adding up, the bike that should ultimately see him open his title defence in South Africa very shortly.
Central to the design of the bike is the Contact System, which has always offered very good progression and control particularly for race situations. The Commencal has been a fast bike offering good grip, but always just slightly awkward at times. Significant changes however for the year ahead with the new EVO version of the system, enabling a much lower centre of gravity and also less stress on the frame. The rocker link activates the floating rear shock and chainstays and they have also moved the pivot point slightly more forward and higher, which they say this will provide “more favourable shock absorption and a better balanced bike”>>