Furious DH bike with new Progressive Contact System.

The new Commençal Furious offers frame-size-specific suspension design; smaller frames being more linear in and larger frames being more progressive.

>>> How to setup mountain bike suspension

Normally we don’t feature too much about full-on downhill bikes and gravity sleds like the Furious. We’re more of a trail and enduro focussed outfit.

2017 Commençal Furious

But this new DH bike from Commençal has got us wondering if it’s the beginning of something different in the bike industry. Specifically we’re intrigued by the Furious’ ‘Progressive Contact System’ suspension design. Or should we say suspension “designs”?

Progressive Contact System

The Progressive Contact System is basically frame-size-specific suspension design. With smaller frames being more linear in nature and larger frames being more progressive.

commencal furious

Commençal explain it well: “An S size is more linear than an XL.

“If we assume that someone who rides a size small is lighter than a rider who chooses an XL, a bike that is too progressive will prevent them from being able to use the entirety of the travel.

“In contrast, a heavier rider will need more a progressive feel to get more support and to avoid bottoming out.

“With the Progressive Contact System, we don’t make any compromises, but instead we ensure the dynamics are relevant for each size of bike and rider.”

It’s not unusual for smaller frame sizes to come with rear shocks that have weight-specific tunes to them but this is arguably the first time that rider weight has been factored into the design of a (commercially available) frame itself.

We’re mainly interested in seeing if the Progressive Contact System design is going to find its way on to Commençal’s more trail and enduro focussed models, such as the Commençal Meta AM.

Is such suspension tweakery better done by the frame itself or by tuning of the rear shock instead (with volume spacers etc)? It’s hard to say. There are no doubt pros and cons to each method. The proof will be in the pudding. Or rather, the riding.

What about this Furious bike then?

Oh yeah, nearly forgot about that. Here’s the need-to-know info about the new Commençal Furious for all you gravity-heads out there.

  • Aluminium only.
  • 200mm travel.
  • 27.5″ wheels.
  • High single pivot with rocker design (plus pivot on the seat stay).
  • Oversized bearings.
  • Rocker link designed to limit shock stresses.
  • “Long and stable” geometry.
  • Available May 2017.

About that high pivot position… “This position avoids generating too much kickback negatively affecting the suspension performance. We use chain tension to get that lively frame we wanted. This is pretty helpful to gain speed in compressions and corners. It also gives more support on take-offs providing great jumping characteristics.”

So the designers are claiming that the absence of an idler (like those found on other Commençal models) is not purely for cost-saving and simplicity’s sake.

Commençal Furious geometry

commencal furious

Commençal Furious Race: €3,999

commencal furious

  • Fox Factory Float 40 fork.
  • Fox Factory Float X2 shock.
  • SRAM GX DH 7 speed drivetrain.
  • Formula hubs on Spank Spike Race 33 rims.
  • 2.4″ Super Tacky Maxxis High Roller II front and DHR II rear tyres.
  • Racing Red colour only.

Commençal Furious Origin: €2,499

commencal furious

  • RockShox Boxxer RC fork.
  • Kage R shock.
  • SRAM X5/X7 9 speed drivetrain.
  • Formula hubs on Alex FR32 rims.
  • 2.4″ Maxxis High Roller II front and DHR II rear tyres.
  • Yellow, black or green.