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Thread: My Super 4 VIP

  1. #1
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    My Super 4 VIP

    Okay, so I thought this could deserve a new thread.

    I've just recently finished building up a Commencal Super 4 VIP frame as my new XC/trail bike to replace a BMC Trailfox that I owned for 2 years, and basically did a parts swap over with a couple of new additions and necessary replacements.

    Background:

    The store I work at has just begun stocking Commencal as a new MTB brand to complement our current range of Treks, Fishers, Felts and Charge bikes.
    We're in Melbourne where the all-mountain market doesn't really exist and most people on duallies get around on either 7-inch freeride bikes or on 4-inch racing bikes.
    At this point, our Treks and Fishers, although awesome bikes, start at a higher pricepoint, and so the Commies have filled a gap in our range for a good value but still solid trail bike that isn't a full-blown racing bike.

    So in the good name of the store, I decided to get a Super 4 and give it a crack to see if it would work for me.

    Frame:

    The Super 4 is a beefy little bike and quite slack too for a 100mm travel bike, 69.5 degree head angle and a reasonably low BB. I didnt get a chance to weigh it but I would estimate it to be around the 6-7lb mark.
    The frame-only was literally frame only, so I had to get an RP23 rear shock and an FSA IS headset - not sure about this integrated headset thing but will see how it goes, does keep the headtube nice and low however.
    The tubing is beefy alloy and so are the linkages, everything is stout and low-down on the frame - it really does look like a mini-dh bike!
    It's a single pivot frame with a rocker link driving the shock, kinda looks like the old Giant VT frame. The rear shock sits in front of the seat tube, out of the way from the rear wheel and leaves all the adjusters in easy reach.
    The derailleur hanger looks very well made and stands it apart from more mass-produced bikes.

    A really nice touch is the info-card that comes supplied with the frame that details all of the frames dimensions and fitting sizes. It even recommends different sag levels for different riding styles and the shock spacing dimensions.

    None of the fittings are out of the ordinary (front derailleur clamp, BB width etc) however, one thing I did discover when I got the RP23 I discovered that Fox don't actually make shock spacers (or reducers, whatever you call them) in a 22.2mm size, so I had to get the mounting hardware from RockShox.
    The weird thing is, all of the stock Super 4 frames come with Fox rear shocks and reducers that measure at 21.84mm (which is Fox's closest spacers to 22.2mm).
    It looks like when Commencal have specced the Fox shocks for their complete bikes, they have got Fox to supply the closest mounting hardware.
    I dont think the 0.36mm could make a big difference, but its worth noting.

    The Build:

    I lowered down my F120 to 100mm travel, and transferred my X9 drivetrain, RaceFace Deus cranks, thomson post, XT brakes, Syncros rims/dt 340 hub wheelset over to the new frame.
    From the factory, the BB didnt need much attention at all, particularly the threads. Nice.
    The headtube had a fair bit of residue paint so that came up good after we reamed and faced it (although this is my first integrated headset frame, so I'm not entirely sure how much difference this will make in the long term). Also faced the disc tabs.

    Everything went on the bike without fuss. Did have to get a bottom pull front derailleur and a new chain but all sweet.
    Decided to go a dual chainring setup, with a 24t and a 36t and a bashguard. The blackspire rings are really nice and look superb. Seem to be a good option over standard chainrings without getting too costly.
    Also fitted a new Enduro BB, which is a similar setup to the Chris King BB with the larger bearing and no plastic dust seal. It is super smooth but I will reserve my judgement till later.

    First impressions:

    It's pretty obvious that Commencal started out as a DH brand, as the dna runs through all of their bikes, even the carbon hardtail feels a little bit rock n roll.
    I had the pleasure of demoing the Meta 5, the Super DH, the Super 4 and the Skin, and really enjoyed each one. I like the simple setup of the Commencal frames with kicked back frame angles.

    From my initial test ride around the street the bike feels sprightly but still plush.
    The RP23 is the 2010 model with the Boost Valve, which according to my fox suspension buddy (he runs an aftermarket tuning company like Push) is the shiznit.
    Im going to get some saddle time on the current setup, then get him to do a tune on my fork and shock to see what else we can get out of them.

    Aside from that I don't have much more to say until I can get some decent trail riding done on it, but my initial impressions are good and I can see this bike getting me into some trouble...

    Will post pics later today

  2. #2
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    Nice write up. Let us know how the ride goes.

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    Well here are a couple of the complete bike pics, don't really think I will change anything - perhaps drop the stem down one spacer, but the fit feels pretty good otherwise.

    Even just cruising around it feels like a lot of fun, easy to lift the front wheel and it just pops off lips and gutters. One thing that I really didnt like about the BMC was it never felt stable in the air, probably due to the steep head angle - quite different to the Commie.

    Once the trails dry out a bit I will get some off road riding in, till then, fire away any questions and i'll do my best to answer them
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Singapore
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    Nice Bike! :d :d

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    Nice . Quick question. how is the suspension under power? sitting vs standing etc

  6. #6
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    Oh one more question ...what kind of tire clearance do you have in the back? is there room for say a nevgal 2.35?

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    I have noticed marginally more 'bob' than the virtual link BMC I came off, which I was kinda expecting, though that was a very good pedalling frame to compare it too.

    There is more movement out of the saddle, but then I tend to run the spring and compression on my forks and shocks fairly low so that they absorb as much as possible on the trail. I don't usually have my duallies set up 'firm' but with the RP23 shock, I'm sure you could tune most of the bob out of the suspension.

    Will check the tyre clearance for you, but the 2.1 monorail (large for a 2.1) fits with plenty of clearance though I think a 2.35 nevegal would be pushing it.

    Again I must stress that these are my initial ride impressions and haven't even had the chance to take it off road yet, that should be happening later this week if the weather doesn't turn foul again.
    The trails are super muddy lately, and I, err, would rather not, err, get this one muddy just yet...

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    Ok so I measured the available clearance in the rear of the frame with the current 2.1" monorail.

    - 7mm of clearance between the middle of the tread and the seatstay bridge
    - 12mm of clearance on each side of the tyre and the stays

    from looking at the tyre, I don't think you'd get much more than a 2.2" tyre in, a 2.3 would definitely pushing it, and as far as im aware, the 2.35 nevegal is quite large anyway - don't think it would clear unfortunately.

    There is a possibility that the Meta 4X could fit a wider tyre, but im only speculating, I havent checked out the dimensions on that frame.
    The Meta 5.5 definitely would take a larger tyre, I think a 2.5" would fit - if thats the sort of thing you're after

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the measurements. I'm used to running a hardtail where big rubber is a requirement around here. old habits die hard i guess. I'm looking forward to the ride report.

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    So believe it or not, today was my first off road ride on the new beast.
    It's been a wet end to winter/start of spring, and aside from not wanting the new bike to get filthy (blasphemy!) I hate shredding the trails when they're muddy as it takes them so much longer to recover.

    Anywho, went out for a 17km loop at a local trail that is mostly windy XC riding, with lots of roots, sandy corners, log crossings and hardpack.
    Keep in mind these are only first impressions, but wow! what a bike!
    I absolutely love the geometry, it feels spot on for me. Not too aggro and balanced through the ups and downs.
    The suspension was quite incredible, so much traction. It felt like the rear tyre was glued to the ground and I've not felt that sensation before.
    The way the bike sits into its travel just makes it want to jump off everything, and the bike really feels like it wants to go faster and faster.

    I'm really impressed at this point, but will post further experiences as I get some more saddle time.
    At this point, I would say that this bike uses 4" of travel, with the geometry of a 5" trail bike - to give a sprightly and energetic feel that actually gains confidence when you point it downhill.

  11. #11
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    Hey Little Willy, what bike shop do you work at? I'm in Melbourne and i'm considering one of these beasts for when i move to Scotland next year and would like to check one out. Do you know anywhere that does test rides?

    Cheers,

    Wal.

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    Gday Wal,

    I work at a shop called My Mountain in Brunswick. We keep a couple of the Commencals as floor stock, and can arrange test rides. Availability of the demo bikes fluctuates however, and the importer doesn't have all sizes available.
    The importer is Charles Purton Imports: www.charlespurtonimports.com.au if you want to check out any other retailers near you.

    On a different note, we headed out to Forrest in the Otways on tuesday to hit up some of the trails. Had a great day of riding, though the weather turned on us about half way in and we ended up getting very wet and muddy.
    The bike performed really well out on the trails, I've been experimenting with the ProPedal lever a bit more, utilising the light setting for the majority of the trail and then flicking it to full open for the downhills and really rough stuff. The light propedal is quite amazing, keeps the shock riding higher in its travel, but doesn't lose much of the small bump compliance at all.

    Have found that the bike gets better the harder you push it, and you really need to take a few risks to get the best out of it. You really have to lean the bike through the corners, but it rewards you with pinpoint accuracy. The single pivot design appears to build momentum quite well, and really slings you out of the corners. The low BB means the bike rails, but I haven't clipped my pedals as much as I thought it would.

    My XT brakes weren't great in the wet due to the stock organic pads, but I might wait for them to wear down before I change to the metallics. The 2x9 setup is going well but still tuning the front derailleur to access the gears I want without chain rub, been mildly considering the SLX front derailleur thats specific for double chainsets.

    I really love this bike, it makes me ride like a hooligan and is a lot of fun to ride!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Super 4 VIP-forrest.jpg  

    My Super 4 VIP-forrest2.jpg  


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Willy
    Gday Wal,

    I work at a shop called My Mountain in Brunswick. We keep a couple of the Commencals as floor stock, and can arrange test rides. Availability of the demo bikes fluctuates however, and the importer doesn't have all sizes available.
    The importer is Charles Purton Imports: www.charlespurtonimports.com.au if you want to check out any other retailers near you.

    On a different note, we headed out to Forrest in the Otways on tuesday to hit up some of the trails. Had a great day of riding, though the weather turned on us about half way in and we ended up getting very wet and muddy.
    The bike performed really well out on the trails, I've been experimenting with the ProPedal lever a bit more, utilising the light setting for the majority of the trail and then flicking it to full open for the downhills and really rough stuff. The light propedal is quite amazing, keeps the shock riding higher in its travel, but doesn't lose much of the small bump compliance at all.

    Have found that the bike gets better the harder you push it, and you really need to take a few risks to get the best out of it. You really have to lean the bike through the corners, but it rewards you with pinpoint accuracy. The single pivot design appears to build momentum quite well, and really slings you out of the corners. The low BB means the bike rails, but I haven't clipped my pedals as much as I thought it would.

    My XT brakes weren't great in the wet due to the stock organic pads, but I might wait for them to wear down before I change to the metallics. The 2x9 setup is going well but still tuning the front derailleur to access the gears I want without chain rub, been mildly considering the SLX front derailleur thats specific for double chainsets.

    I really love this bike, it makes me ride like a hooligan and is a lot of fun to ride!
    Thanks for replying mate!!!

    I had a feeling it would be My Mountain, i hear a lot of good things about you guys!! I'll will definitely be popping in to have a look and hopefully organise a ride.

    Thanks again for giving me some more info and another ride report. Those Forrest trails are something special!!

    Wal.

  14. #14
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    Aha! Wallace!
    How bizarre to hear from you on these forums! How are ya?
    If you have a chance to come into the store, swing in to say hello - I'm there most days except for tuesdays. Otherwise we're starting up Wednesday night rides again, we'll be out from 6pm this Wednesday if you're free.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Willy
    Aha! Wallace!
    How bizarre to hear from you on these forums! How are ya?
    If you have a chance to come into the store, swing in to say hello - I'm there most days except for tuesdays. Otherwise we're starting up Wednesday night rides again, we'll be out from 6pm this Wednesday if you're free.
    Gidday buddy, pretty random way to meet up ey? Been good just working, saving cash to get overseas, as i was talking about earlier.

    Will try to get to the ride tomorrow night but will struggle to get there since i don't finish work till 5.30ish.

    I might try to get into the shop on thursday, i really want to check out one of these weapons!!

    Catch ya soon!!

  16. #16
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    Bike looks great :-) What size is it and how tall are you?

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    The bike is a medium and I'm around 5'9" tall, fits like a glove.

    On the topic of fit, one of my colleagues has been riding an XL demo bike, the top of the range Super 4.
    In regards to geometry, the headtube isn't that much taller on the XL than the medium, and as a result, the handlebars sit a lot lower in relation to his saddle. It changes the feel of the bike quite considerably.
    For 2010, Commencal have added an extra 20-30mm to the headtubes to rectify this problem.

    But back on topic, yes, my bike is awesome!

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    Hows does the syncros wheels feels...I am a 200 pounder.....so I am not sure it can take the weight.....I had DT Swiss EX5.1D before....stayed true eventhough the pounding it got from me

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    The Syncros wheels have been fine for me, I'm around 70kg loaded up with gear though, and I wouldnt call myself a gear trasher.

    Between those rims and the 5.1's, I think you would have to weigh up how important the extra width is for you. If you're running tyres bigger than 2.1", I would definitely go for the 5.1's.
    Also, I have converted the Syncros to tubeless; first with the Stans kit and then with the Bontrager tubeless strips. It worked fine, but was a little "wobbly" around the valve due to the lack of room. I'm back to tubes now and quite happy to be honest.

    If you really wanted to go tubeless, I would choose the 5.1s from these options, since DT make the tubeless kit for their rims. If you were going to expand your options, the Mavic XM819 would be high on the list.

    In terms of weight and strength, I would put the Syncros between the 4.2s and the 5.1s.
    Though the strength and quality of your wheel is very dependent on the wheelbuilder, so make sure you're using ProLock nipples (very important to stop your spokes losing tension over time) and either good DT or Sapim spokes.

    If I were to build up another set of wheels, I would probably go Mavic or DT, purely because the rims come straight to start off with - other brands like Stans and Sun tend to come a bit wobbly, and take a fair bit of negotiation to get them true. Having said that, the Syncros were pretty good.
    Not a massive issue, just a lot easier to build.

  20. #20
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    nice bike! - setup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Willy
    The bike is a medium and I'm around 5'9" tall, fits like a glove.
    Hey Little WIlly, just out of interest - I've one of these frames on the way so I can build it up (YES!)...

    I'm coming from a pretty big all-mountain bike with a really short (65mm) stem, and I'm guessing that will be too short for this bike. I'm about the same height as you, just wondering what length stem you have on yours?

    Also - your bars look like a 1 inch rise, do you have any spacers under the stem?

    Cheers.

  21. #21
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    I have a 90mm on there, which is a good balance for trail riding.
    I'd like to try an 80 or 70 just to see how it goes, but as far as reach goes, it's pretty sorted at the moment.

    The bars are a 1" rise and there is probably 20mm under the stem worth of spacers (don't have bike in front of me atm).

    What kind of kit are you putting on your build?

  22. #22
    The kid weekend warrior
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    Out of curiosity how much does the commencal weigh? Thanks

  23. #23
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    How are you liking the Super 4 after a bit more time?

    I've been looking into my options for a cross country bike and this thing has me intrigued.

  24. #24
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    Hey Little willy I know you had mentioned that you were kind of the test guy for your shop have you got a chance to ride the new Meta Am or SX? I'm really interested in the SX and would like to know how it rides, pedals, handles, and any other detail you can give me... the only thing I can find is the spec list and the HA which is 66, i like!, but I would like to know BB height, chain stay length, stand over, wheel base. ect, the normal run down or if anyone else knows where you can find a write up or geo chart! thanks

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