After 3 years in R&D, Commencal has finally released its World Cup Winning Supreme DH V5 to the masses. The new 6-bar linkage that Commencal has named the High Virtual Contact System has repeatedly proven itself as incredibly capable, most notably underneath 2022 World Cup Winners Amaury Pierron and Camille Balanche. The bike scored no fewer than 28 podiums throughout the 2022 season.
The Commencal Supreme DH V5 is designed to run a mixed-wheel set up with a 29″ front wheel and a 27.5″ rear wheel. A standout feature of the frame is its adjustability; progression, bottom bracket height and chainstay length are all adjustable with the use of flip-chips, while there are two possible states for the rear-end stiffness, made possible by an interchangeable seat stay brace.
We covered Camille Balanche’s ride in great detail at the World Cup in Fort William including details of the set up she preferred for the infamous rock gardens of Aonach Mòr. Here’s a brief introduction to the production bikes that us mere mortals can now pre-order.
Commencal Supreme DH V5
- Bike: Commencal Supreme DH V5
- Intention: Downhill Racing
- Fork Travel: 203mm
- Rear Wheel Travel: 200mm
- Adjustability: BB Height, Progression, Chainstay Length and Flex
- Frame Material: 6066 T6 Aluminum
- Wheel Size: 29″ Front, 27.5″ Rear
- Starting Price: $5,700 USD
The Commencal Supreme DH V5 is available in XS, S, M, L and XL, boasting reach figures of 400mm, 430mm, 454mm, 482mm and 502mm, respectively. Those numbers pertain to the low bottom bracket position.
Indeed, by virtue of a four position flip-chip at the lower shock mount, one can choose from 2 possible bottom bracket positions and two possible leverage curves. Switching to the High position increases those reach figures by 5mm, and also changes the head tube angle from 63.2° to 63.7°. Commencal say the High position may be preferred for slower and flatter tracks, while the Low position would be ideal for faster, steeper tracks.
Altering the fore-aft position of the lower shock mount via the same flip-chip alters progression; the Forward position (that Camille Balanche opted for at Fort William) gives a more linear progression to the High Virtual Contact System, dynamic while offering good comfort throughout the travel. The Rearward position offers more progression for increased grip and better handling of impacts.
Commencal has gone to the trouble of creating an animation to show us exactly how that 6-bar linkage moves as the rear wheel is pushed through 200mm; rather helpful, since it’s a bit of a mind-bender to imagine it from a picture alone.
More scope for adjustment can be found at the dropouts, wherein a two position flip-chip allows for two possible rear-center lengths; 440mm and 442.5mm. The animation below shows how two more flip-chips on the rear brake mount hardware allow the mount to be moved rearward for that longer chainstay position without the need for obligatory up- or down-sizing of the rotor. The maximum rear rotor size in either position is 223mm.
Finally, the rear-end stiffness is adjustable too, by virtue of an interchangeable seat stay brace. This feature wasn’t present on the prototype Supreme DH V5 raced by Camille Balanche at Fort William, but it has been added to the production bikes to allow customers to tune the ride feel to their preference.
Commencal says the thin bridge option “improves filtration of impacts on the angle, [making for] easy turn initiation”. Meanwhile, the thick bridge option is said to “improve precision and dynamism”.
The result of all that adjustability across the five frame sizes is the following geometry chart for the Commencal Supreme DH V5.
Pricing & Availability
The Commencal Supreme DH V5 is available to pre-order now. The earliest you can get your hands on one is February 2023; that is when the Signature model in Size Small will be available. For the Medium, you have to wait until March 2023. All other Sizes and Models are due in April or May of 2023.
|2023 Commencal||€ EURO||$ USD||$ CAD|
|Supreme DH V5 Ride||5,700||5,700||7,400|
|Supreme DH V5 Essential||6,600||6,600||8,500|
|Supreme DH V5 Signature||7,400||7,400||9,600|
|Supreme DH V5 Ohlins||6,900||6,900||8,900|
|Supreme DH V5 XS||6,600||6,600||8,500|
A frame only option will also be offered at 3,200 USD.