On a now dry World Cup Downhill Track in Leogang, Thibaut Daprela of the Commencal Muc Off team will be looking to better the 15th place finish he secured in Lenzerheide last weekend.
As a junior in 2019, Daprela took the win here in Leogang, but his more recent results in the Elite Men’s field have been a mixed bag. In 2020 we saw him place 11th at his first World Championship, and in 2021 he bettered that by a significant margin, missing out on the top step by just over a second to winner, Troy Brosnan. Last year, a crash in finals put Thibaut back in 59th. Fingers crossed this year he will stay on his bike; clearly the young french man has unfinished business here in the Austrian Alps.
After deep dusty conditions for practice, high winds and heavy rain put a halt on proceedings right in the middle of the Junior Men’s Finals. By the time the Elite Men’s qualies rolled around, the moisture had taken its toll on some sections of the track leaving riders with some unpredictable surface conditions to manage. Despite such adversity, Thibaut produced a strong run, qualifying 19th for today’s semi-finals, in which he placed 8th – see full results here.
Ahead of the big day, we grabbed Thibaut’s bike to learn more about his preferred settings from Commencal Muc Off head mechanic, Maxime Auguin.
Thibaut Daprela’s Commencal Supreme DH V5
At 177 cm (5ft 8.5″) tall, Thibaut Daprela is riding the large Commencal Supreme DH V5 in the shortest possible reach position of 484mm, with the 200mm Fox 40 Factory fork at a head angle of 63.5°. The air spring is pressurized to 85-90 PSI with 2 or 3 tokens dependent on the track.
The bike is a dedicated mullet with rear-center length adjustable through 12mm via a three-position flip-chip at the dropout. In Leogang this weekend, Thibaut is running the bike in the middle setting.
There are more adjustments available elsewhere, making the Supreme DH V5 versatile enough for the full spectrum of World Cup Downhill Tracks. A four-position flip-chip at the lower shock mount allows for two possible progression settings, and two possible bottom bracket heights. In Lenzerheide last weekend, Thibaut ran the higher of the two BB positions, but has switched to the lower setting here in Leogang.
With an air shock in the form of the Fox Float X2, Thibaut prefers the bike configured in the more linear of the two possible settings. Its air can is home to 255-260 PSI and 3 volume spacers. Like the rest of the Commencal Muc Off team, Thibaut likes to run rebound fully open for a super fast return.
This weekend, the team is running the 6-bar linkage seen on the production Supreme DH V5, but mechanic Maxime Auguin tells us they do have some not-so-stock links waiting in the wings, ready to be switched onto the bike if the track and conditions demand it. Not shown (apologies) is a seat stay brace, of which there are three options. Thibaut runs the “medium” brace that delivers… medium rear-end stiffness.
This being a high pivot design, an idler pulley routes the chain close to the main pivot position to manage the effects of chain growth on the behavior of the suspension. There are three possible mounting positions for the idler; Thibaut prefers the setting that reduces pedal kickback but doesn’t eliminate it entirely.
Thibaut’s bike is rolling on 30mm internal width carbon rims from Enve that are still under development. We are told they strike a good balance between stiffness and compliance. These are laced to Chris King hubs via 28 spokes – front and rear. The rim of the front wheel has a weight secured to it, a hack that is said to improve the bike’s handling in the air.
Seated onto those carbon rims is a “First Ride” tire from Schwalbe with an all-new tread pattern. Thibaut runs the Super Downhill casing front and rear, with a Tubolight EVO DH insert in the rear for even more protection. Populating the rear tire is around 1.7- 1.8 bar (24-26 PSI), with 1.5 bar (~22 PSI in the front).
In the cockpit, Thibaut runs a 780mm wide Enve M9 carbon bar (with ODI grips). It has a 30mm rise. The Commencal Muc Off team bikes are equipped with a prototype saddle from Fizik, with a short rear end and a ribbed design topped with a tacky rubber to reduce slippage between rider and saddle. Mechanic, Maxime, tells us this saddle really helps the riders have a good awareness of their positioning on the bike.
TRP DH-R EVO Brakes take care of speed management, with prototype 220mm rotors front and rear.
Good luck to Thibaut in today’s finals run. Unfortunately, Thibaut is the only rider from Commencal Muc Off on track today with Myriam Nicole still sidelined with concussion symptoms, and the 2022 World Cup DH Overall Winner, Amaury Pierron, out with a fractured C5 sustained in Lenzerheide last weekend – as revealed by team manager Thibaut Ruffin in an interview with FullAttack.
We wish both Myriam and Amaury full and speedy recoveries.