It’s always exciting to hear that a company has gone ‘carte blanche’ and completely re-designed a well known bike. You can only assume they have something interesting coming, and it looks like Commencal will spark up a few conversations with their new 2015 Supreme DH V4.
The big news is that the Supreme DH V4’s suspension has changed drastically since the last version and is now a high pivot point, single-pivot design instead of the outgoing ‘four bar’ linkage driven single-pivot setup. The company says going with a high pivot point offers some advantages, but also acknowledged that it’s hard to make it aesthetically pleasing. That said, they have done a great job of hiding the idler behind the seat stay and maintaining the frame’s clean lines, which you can see more of below…
Commencal’s new high pivot point concept was first tested on a prototype 160mm all-mountain frame called the Meta HPP. After experimenting with the idler and refining the ride, it was approved by team riders and adapted into the new V4. Commencal’s positioning of the idler aims to counteract the dreaded single-pivot ‘kickback’ effect that limits the free motion of the suspension, particularly during pedalling and over rough stuff. Its position on the swingarm also creates enough anti-squat to provide a lively feel for some nice pop out of corners.
The company says the V4’s new linkage system allows for better leverage ratio control and optimized frame stiffness, with some degree of compliance. It also changes the wheel path for more rearward travel, to help maintain speed through rough terrain. Commencal went to considerable effort to keep the center of gravity as low as possible.
The shock’s progressiveness was designed to be supple for excellent grip in the initial stroke but feel more supportive at mid-travel versus the Supreme V3. Travel has increased to 220mm from 190 or 200mm on the 650B and 26” V3’s – Commencal views this as additional bottom-out protection for huge impacts, and say the first 200mm of the V4’s travel has a similar character to the outgoing Supreme.
The Supreme DH V4’s headset cups and rear dropouts can be swapped out to adjust chainstay length, BB height and reach with no impact on the frame angles. The head tube angle is fixed at 62.5°, but the reach can be adjusted with the different cups by -10/-8/-5/0/+5/+8/+10 mm. Commencal has shortened the chainstay on the V4, but they say the difference isn’t as extreme as it sounds on paper due to the more rearward wheel path.
You may have noticed the Commencal hasn’t gone carbon. The V4’s frame is made from 6066 aluminum, which the brand apparently prefers for reliability reasons. It uses 7075 T6 aluminum axles and oversized bearings in the pivots, and includes some nice details like fork bumpers with integrated cable path, a rear fender, roller cover for the idler, internal derailleur cable routing and a dual density seat stay protector.
Tall riders will be glad to hear the Supreme DH V4 will be available in four sizes, from small to XL. There’s no word yet on build specs, pricing or availability dates, but keep an eye on Commencal’s website for information.