Crazy in love.
The new Commençal Supreme SX is a 180mm travel high-pivot idler-equipped beast in the vein of the Andorran brand’s previous ‘mini DH’ bikes.
There’s not much in the way of information about the new Commençal Supreme SX. There’s some stuff about the HPP idler-based suspension system and there’s a geometry chart. And that’s about it.
It’s almost like there’s there’s no excusing or explaining to be had with the Supreme SX. You either ‘get it’ or you don’t. But if you do get it then chances are you want it. Chances are you wanted it even before reading this far.
Who would want a bike like this when there’s 160mm enduro bikes available? Or full-on triple clamp downhill bikes out there for that matter? An aluminium 180mm travel full susser is almost something of a throwback to the bad old days of the mid noughties where the bike industry tried to tell/sell us the idea that soggy and bobby 36 lb bouncing bikes were The Future.
Commençal have a strong history in making crazy OTT bikes like this. Perhaps the best previous incarnation of this was the Supreme Mini DH era of the late noughties. Who cared how heavy and inefficient it was? It looked absolutely mint – quite literally in the peppermint colourway…
Using an idler (that small jockey wheel type thing sitting on the seat stay above the chainset that the chain passes over) reduces the interaction between chain forces and suspension forces. It’s a design that you can only do with single-ring drivetrains really.
Why idler? “There are numerous advantages to such a system – optimised wheel path, reduced kickback and anti-squat for better pedalling. This rearward axle path extends the chainstay length, bringing more stability and grip.”
Commençal Supreme SX
So what feasible excuse can you come up with for getting the new Supreme SX? In a word: bike parks (okay, that’s two words).
It may currently be listed in the All mountain/Enduro section of Commençal’s website but that’s more a website layout issue than a statement of intent for the bike itself. This is not an enduro bike.
The new generation of push-up, ride-up or shuttle-up trail centres are where the Commençal Supreme will (finally) make sense and find a thriving home.
The high pivot with idler design will eat up braking bumps and take any casing or over-jumped flat lamping you can slam it into. The geometry is not warp speed DH sled numbers that would be overkill and arguably not as fun. 65° head angle, 75° seat angle, 467mm reach on a Large, -10mm BB drop. Fun, fun, fun.
Price- and spec-wise the bikes look to be continuing Commençal’s impressive work. No duff stuff. No pointless bling. A smattering of in-house Ride Alpha kit. Good value good stuff. Good stuff.
Commençal SX, £3,272.88
FRAME: 2018 SUPREME SX 650b 180 mm travel
SHOCK: ROCKSHOX SUPER DELUXE RC3, 230 x 65 mm, 3 positions
FORK: ROCKSHOX LYRIK RCT3 180 mm, solo air, boost
HEADSET: RIDE ALPHA, semi integrated, COMMENCAL standard
STEM: NEW RIDE ALPHA, aluminium 6061, 40 mm, 31.8 mm, 0° angle
BAR: RIDE ALPHA, Alloy 7075, double butted, 30 mm rise, 780mm, Ø31.8 mm
GRIPS: RIDE ALPHA, ergonomic grips, plastic one lock, super soft compound
BRAKES: SRAM GUIDE RE, 200 mm / 200 mm
SHIFTERS: SRAM GX 1 x 11 speed
REAR MECH: SRAM GX 11 speed
BOTTOM BRACKET: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
CRANKSET: SRAM DESCENDANT, 32T, direct mount, boost, 170 mm on S/M, 175 mm on L/XL
CHAIN: KMC X11EL-1
CASSETTE: SRAM XG 1150, 10-42, 11 speed
RIMS: MAVIC 427, 32 holes, hookless, tubeless ready, 27 mm inner
HUBS: FORMULA, 32 holes, sealed bearings
SPOKES / NIPPLES: PILLAR Spokes, Stainless steel, 2 mm black, Nylock
TYRES: MAXXIS HRII 650 x 2.4 EXO TR front and MAXXIS DHRII 650 x 2.3 EXO TR rear
SEATPOST: ROCKSHOX REVERB STEALTH, 31.6 mm, 125 mm on S/M and 150 mm on L/XL
SADDLE: RIDE ALPHA Super Light foam, CrMo rails
WEIGHT: 15 kg
ACCESSORIES: Down tube protector, seatstay protector, roller cover.
COLOURS: Orange or Black