Mary Moncorge is a great friend of ours here in Fairfax, CA. Besides being the reigning Strava Queen of the Mountain on pretty much any patch of dirt you’re going to end up rolling over (50 pages!), She’s super nice and takes care of her folks. Jake Harrell, Bryan Harrell’s son, needed a squishy bike and Mary was just the person to help out. You see, Mary is now the Marketing Director at Commencal Bicycles in Andorra Europe. After a little talking to, she made sure the sizzle was on it’s way.
2013 Commencal Supreme 24″ in stock form:
Parts swaps we did:
* The shifting was replace with Shimano Saint 810 9spd parts.
* Cassette changed to 11-36 rather than 11-28
* Handlebars swapped out from 680mm rise bars to 580mm FSA XC flat bars
* Upper headset (Cane Creek 10, tall) swapped for a Cane Creek 40/ZS44 (ZS-3), short unit.
* Tall headset spacers removed.
* Front and rear suspension reworked and tuned. (Rear internals later)
** Hopefully, the stem will be swapped for a more fitting 30mm unit. Something like the Syntace Megaforce 2 30mm.
This image shows the bars as low as wee could get them without the levers or bars smashing the top tube. Honestly, this is the biggest issue with the bike. We would have been happy to get another 25-35mm lower at the least.
Suspension issues are the first to be cleared up. 140mm F/R travel.
* Shock is 200mmx51mm
* Stock Roco 350# (400# actual) spring replace with Fox 250#x 2.5″ spring. We have a 300# spring for stash.
* Bottom out bumper cut down by 1/2. (not shown in pic below)
The spring in this fork is just plain wrong for an 80 lb rider. It’s got to be lightened up considerably. The damping needs to be lightened up as well. PVD time.
* 3.42kg w/175mm steerer no axle.
* 148mm exposed stanchion.
* Bottoms at 5mm exposed station.
* 320mm spring pocket length.
* 1/2″ center block at bottom.
* 32mm max spring diameter (yes, a Fox 36 spring will fit fine with a small spacer).
* Stock spring –
Rate: 40 lb/in
Wire diameter: 4.1mm
* ‘Rock Shox’ Spring –
Rate: 18 lb/in
Wire diameter: 3.00 mm
Shamefully, I forgot to heat shrink the new spring. Next time the fork is opened, I’ll do that.
I lubricated the fork with Dow Corning MOLYKOTE® 33 EXTREME LOW TEMP. BEARING GREASE, LIGHT. I use this for fork seals to keep them slick but I used it for the bearing as well.
If I have to work with this fork much more in the future, I have a conversion planned for getting it from grease to oil lubrication.
I didn’t open the damper. It looked factory sealed. I’ll have to do more research before trying to open it. Don’t want to destroy it.
The improvements made by this is amazing, especially with a lightly sprung shock like this. Also, the high surface area makes everything very happy.
What’s good and what’s bad about this bike:
* Commencal quality. The frame is superb, literally. What a great frame.
* Quality part spec: This is an inexpensive bike, not a shitty bike. No throw away parts here.
* Direct mount FD boss. Awesome. More big bikes need this option. Even better on a kids bike.
* The rear shock shroud is killer. More bikes need this kind of assurance.
* This bike is small and legit. Any kid riding this bike is instantly the coolest kid on the mountain.
* Absurdly large rear rotor. On a bike this small, only a 140mm or 160mm rotor is acceptable in the rear. 160mm or 180mm in the front. It’s a shame that 180mm is the smallest possible on either end.
* 165mm cranks are a bit on the long side. The bike should have 155mm cranks at most. This is hard for most folks to source but Commencal should have had no problem there.
* The top tube is impossibly too high. It severely limits the ability to achieve a proper handlebar position for small riders without risking serious frame damage. This definitely need evaluation.
* The fork is just wrong. It weighs a metric ton and wouldn’t be bad for a 200lb sloppy rider but for a tiny light rider, it’s beyond overkill. A fork similar to a RS Revelation QR15 would be a far more appropriate fork. It’s hard enough for a kid to lift a big bike, don’t make it harder.
* Why is the rear sprung for a 200 lb rider? We had to cut the rate nearly in half just to get it close to the right range. This is too easy of a problem not to have. Literally, a $0 fix on the manufacturing side.
* Why are there rise bars on this bike? Why are they so crazy wide? How strapped are kids in Andorra?
* Obviously, a low headset cap is more appropriate than a tall in this application.
* I’d be happier seeing cheap Shimano Deore brakes on this bike and much better suspension. I think that the money was put in the wrong place this way.