27.5/29/29/27 - The SUPREME DH V4 Story

We have long been involved in the world of racing. DH is an exciting sport because it's very complex technically and tactically, both from the riding and mechanical sides. As competitors, we work to win! Prototype bikes, numerous development sessions, a technical team at races... The World Cup circuit is an ideal lab for developing bikes, plus with 3 official teams and many independent riders, we make the most of it. Everything is changing very quickly in this sport; trends, riding styles, tracks and trails and of course, the bikes. So we stay close to the action and the riders who are building the future! 

Let's start at the beginning. In April 2015, we presented our brand new SUPREME DH V4 for the first time at the first World Cup of the season in Lourdes, France. With its HPP (high pivot point) system the bike stands out from the crowd and so do the riders' results after 2 full seasons riding it. The SUPREME DH V4 platform hasn't stopped evolving since!

In 2017 and after two seasons at the highest level, the SUPREME DH V4.2 made its appearance. A logical step forward which included new geometry (longer reach), a new one-piece rocker as well as a new contact system design. 

Shortly after that the goal with the SUPREME DH was to design a 29er version. The bikes are still designed around the DH V4 frame, but the rear triangle and kinematics are widely revised. We've been working on the 29-inch SUPREME DH since September 2016. After testing dozens of configurations on all types of tracks, the bike started its first World Cup in May 2017.

A period that also became the rise of Amaury Pierron. A first World Cup podium aboard the SUPREME DH 29. The following season Amaury joined the COMMENCAL Vallnord DH Team in 2018. For him, it was a matter of joining the COMMENCAL factory team, where there is a dedicated team of almost twenty people to manage the structure and contribute to providing optimal conditions for the riders. He went on to win three World Cup rounds in a row in 2018. A real performance from the outsider!

Amaury is not a dreamer, he is a hard worker. Already mid-season, when the fourth victory slipped through his hands, he was thinking about the following season and how to improve the SUPREME DH 29.

After a 2018 season which saw Amaury win the World Cup overall title on the SUPREME DH 29, the bike established itself as the benchmark for 29-inch DH racing and notably for its efficiency and speed. The team was already thinking about the following season. “No Limits!” Max Commencal said. The goal is to win and you have to give yourself the means to. Throughout the season, engineers dive into the calculations, with each race analyzed in great detail.

It was now a question of how to improve the behaviour of the bike, to determine the best solution to make the frame harmonious with the suspension, the wheels etc. How could we make pedalling and braking more efficient? So many questions that give rise to hours of work and calculations between November 2018 and January 2019 for a prototype to finally emerge.

It was in February 2019 that a factory frame appeared. It’s the T001 project - the geometry is revised in depth with a shorter back end, higher bottom bracket, a straighter head angle and rider centre of gravity is repositioned further forward to gain liveliness and improve manoeuvrability. In March 2019, 11 prototypes were designed to be run and tested in depth by the entire COMMENCAL Vallnord DH Team.

After various adjustment tests for Amaury and the other riders, the bike demonstrated all its qualities during the Fort William World Cup round on 2nd June, where the bike shuck up the times. One thing was for sure then, this bike is made to generate speed! Fast forward to July during the Les Gets round, where an explosive combo of Amaury and his perfect settings allowed him to win his second World Cup of the year by a large margin!

A few hours after the race, Max Commencal said, “This bike has got to be produced for sale, everyone wants to win races! It must be available for the start of the 2020 season, everyone must be able to take advantage of it!"

During the following August, the T001 project plans are completely reviewed by our engineers. The geometry is adjusted, the flex and stiffness of the suspension are revised to suit all types of rider and all terrain, with the objective of releasing a production model at the end of 2019. All the parameters are considered globally to improve performance significantly.

This SUPREME DH is sharper and more muscular than ever!

Alongside all this work to make our SUPREME DH 27 and SUPREME DH 29 the best platforms on the market, we continue to follow a path that has intrigued us for some time - 29-inch wheel on the front and a 27.5 on the back. To be exact, it all started in 2018 when we heard the first rumours of a UCI rule change. We immediately begin to study the matter.

After a lot of work on the geometry and suspension in particular, we offered our riders a first prototype in November 2018. The first results were official; the bike does not compete with either the 27.5 or the 29-inch versions. Therefore, we decided to forget this option for the 2019 season and to make the two existing platforms as efficient as possible. Of course, at the same time we continued our research because scientifically, our engineers were convinced that this format had many advantages.

Thanks to a great deal of knowledge acquired during the 2019 season and also to a full year of additional work, in November 2019 we offered a new version of SUPREME DH 29/27 to the COMMENCAL Muc-Off Team riders. This time, the first feedback was encouraging... The bike was more stable and faster than a 27-inch and more agile and dynamic than a 29-inch. Several months of lap times and data acquisition on a multitude of different tracks later, we came to the conclusion that this platform (even if it is perhaps not suitable for all sizes of rider) seems to be the ideal bike for many of our pro racers. Amaury Pierron tops the list!