The V4.2 is longer and has a redesigned linkage
Commençal’s downhill bike gets longer reach as a result of World Cup courses getting faster and more open.
The longer reach of the new models claims to offer more stability and grip. The Small and the Medium sizes don’t lengthen that much (3mm and 13mm respectively) but the Large and XL sizes offer up a significant lengthening (23mm and 30mm respectively).
New Contact System
As well as these geometry changes, there’s a new ‘anchorage’ of the Contact System ie. the main linkage area. The new Contact System is simpler, lighter and less of a mud trap.
Since its introduction at the 2015 World Cup at Lourdes, the Supreme DH V4 with its radical high pivot system and idler-reliant suspension system has always been an eye-catching and typically flamboyant bike from the French company.
High pivot point
Let’s talk about that idler and high pivot design a bit more. The design is called HPP (high pivot point).
The basic idea of using an idler – that little jockey wheel that the chain passes over way up on the swing arm – is to reduce/remove the drivetrain’s effect on the suspension. Commençal claim vastly reduced pedal kickback and high anti-squat (chain induced suspension compression).
Perhaps though the most significant reason to use an idler is to enable that high pivot location. Despite the looks of all the Contact System linkage stuff around the BB and down tube, the main pivot is actually that pivot halfway up the seat tube.
Without going via an idler, this pivot location would lead to a bike with awful pedal kickback and suspension stiffening. With the idler guiding the chain around the location of the high pivot, this interference is removed from the system.
Rearward axle path
The axle path of the rear wheel is also allowed to be significantly and consistently rearward. The chainstays actually effectively grow in length throughout the suspension travel. It’s this chainstay lengthening characteristic that may take some getting used to upon the first few rides.
Rearward axle paths though are typically thought of as being good for bump absorption because they move backwards-and-upwards away-and-over bumps rather than being hooked-up on them.
The HPP system has been well received by racers and reviewers alike. As were the slack angles and low centre of mass. In fact, it was only really the relative short reach of the Supreme DH V4 that critics commented negatively on.
With the L and XL models offering longer reaches – whilst still offering plenty of standover – things bode well for the Supreme DH V4.2.
The Supreme DH V4.2 will be available for pre-order soon with an expected final ETA of February 2017.