The Downhill Bike Test 2018 - Conclusion
Round 1 is a wrap
So there it is. Round one is over and done, with four bikes from our large list taken care of and put through their paces on the braking bumps of Morzine. With plenty to talk about, from flex stiffness to wheel size, this was an interesting one. But how are things cutting it so far? Did the big wheels rule victorious or has one of the carbon 650 bikes stolen the top spot for now?
The decision so far really has been hard, with such small differences in performance between all of the bikes that we had. Everything from materials used, componentry and the feeling when ridden have been measured and taken into consideration for this and not everything was so easily agreed on. From the ease of speed on the Commencal, the suspension with the coil on the Propain, that sizing and MX link on the Canyon and the weight and ride of the Orange, it was never going to be a simple answer.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
This was really not an easy decision, in fact, I am going to be getting one to two bikes from each round to take to Fort William in a few months time and pitch them head to head to find out which is the fastest and best bike down the only World Cup track in the UK
The bikes that I have shortlisted to go through to the next round are the Commencal and the Canyon. I have chosen two bikes as there were major plus points for both and it was too close to make a quick decision.
Commencal Supreme detail gallery:
The Commencal and the big wheels. That 29” platform handled everything we threw at it with ease and made the rough track feel far more bearable. This, matched with the low centre of gravity, the higher weight and the great chassis, meant you could hold the hard to reach lines with the bike tracking well. This provided that easy yet fast ride that both Tom and I like from the get-go.
With the Canyon, it was the build quality of the carbon chassis together with the overall geometry and fit that made it progress. This and the brilliant suspension design with the coil damper made for serious precision where it was needed. The other thing with the Sender is that it has the ability to be a serious race machine when needed, but maintains a fun and playful ride characteristic.
Canyon Sender detail gallery:
I don’t make decisions like this lightly so these two bikes will now progress to the head to head in Fort William. The dates of this will go live before long and anyone that wants to come along for a ride and put their oar in is more than welcome.
For now, it’s onto the next lineup and there are plenty more bikes to be added to the final roundup.
The bike that I felt stood out over this week in Morzine is the Commencal. I really like the feel of the chassis and the supple suspension. The size Large was perfect for me and the weight ended up being a positive, helping with grip and the way the bike handled over the rough terrain. While the build kit was not perfect, it was more than enough to make the bike perform well enough to make it into the next round.
The other bikes were all close and the Propain was a definite possibility to progress, but this bike just pipped them to the mark.
Keep up to date with the progression of the downhill bike test with regular Instagram posts to announce the next lineup and the dates with location. Keep your eyes peeled it will be soon.
Check out MTB Beds for the best accommodation in Morzine