Commencal SX Supreme 2018
The Best Bike you will never want to own
When the 2018 Supreme SX was released it was clear we had to get one to ride. On paper it has 180mm travel rear and front and is still able to climb , could it be the one that can do it all?
The Commencal SX comes in 2 colors - Black and Orange (We ended up with both but more on this later)
Specs are impressive , 180mm Lyric RCT3 Boost up front , Rockshox Super Deluxe RC3 180mm up back , Sram GX1 (11Speed) , Aluminium frame.
When our first one arrived exitement was high , ordered in black it was a great looking bike but on unboxing we found the frame to be secondhand with clear signs of badly repaired damage. As we are not sponsored by any bike company and all our bikes are paid by to keep and ride this one went back to the supplier in Europe.
So we ordered a new frame from the Australian Importer ,this time in orange, which arrived in Melbourne after a 6 week trip. This frame arrived in brand new condition ready to ride.
Out of the box it went onto the first installation ride.The ride in Lysty showed that the bike is well able to climb as promised but exells in the downhill parts. As Lysterfield is more a XC area the SX is probably a bit overkill but it shows it is still able to pedal uphill on the 180mm platform. The High Pivot suspension (HPP) works a treat. (see first ride vid below).
Sram Reverb - worst seatpost money can buy
After one month the included Sram Reverb failed and had to be replaced under warranty, which in Australia takes about 2 weeks. A month later it failed again and had to be replaced once more. These posts better avoided. After all these years Sram is still not able to get it right.We got a cheap mechanical seatpost now to take if we travel to ensure we can ride and not have to wait for Sram again.
the installed BB92 had to be replaced after 3 weeks as well , some might say BB92 are shit , and we might agree. (but these are relative cheap to replace so not a dealbreaker)
over the next 4 month trouble free riding gave us some epic riding. As we rode through the Australian winter into spring this bike impressed with ability to ride all kinds of terrain from Silvan,Harcourt to Derby. The suspension balanced, troublefree and for a moment we really had the bike that can do it all.
Total suspension failure and arrogant incompetent Commencal customer service:
on an easy ride in Lysterfield a bolt in the rearsuspension shears off and punches the rear-shock into the frame resulting in total destruction to all suspension components and frame. Only relative flat terrain and some luck prevents rider injury , god only knows what would happen if such a failure occurs on a double black.
In our long carreer of riding all kinds of mountainbikes we had lots of failures in equipment. With all failures , especially those that could result in severe injury or death to the operator,it is interesting to see the response of the manufacturer.
In this case the Australian importer was about as useless as tits on a bull and put us directly in contact with Commencal in Andorra.
You might have heard the myth that the French are able to be arrogant but Commencal proved this myth 100 percent. The treatment we got from Commencal after reporting the failure of this suspension was nothing but sobering.We rode Commencals for the last 10 years and had our share of problems(cracking frames mainly) which were rectified by the old importer, but since they went direct online in Australia it seems that Commencal could not give a toss about their customers down under.
It took Commencal 3 month to replace this frame after countless emails and phonecalls. For any rider to be without a bike for 3 month after a warranty failure is in our opinion not acceptable.
Keeping in mind that Commencal has extended their warranty to 5 years (from 2) we might be in for some more French customerservice with this bike. (watch this space)
As it stands our frame is currently black again as Commencal was not able to supply an orange replacement .
Chainsuck: - What chainsuck on a 2018 bike??
Chainsuck is an infliction of mountain biking of old (ahh hail the tripplering). Chainsuck caused the chain to be sucked up into the front chainring resulting into a sudden inability to pedal. Chainsuck is thought to be eliminated on modern mountain bikes, so trust Commencal to bring it back, with a slightly different twist.
The High Pivot Point (HPP) suspension brings with it the need of an extra chainring above the standard one on the crank. This high chainring gives the bike its distinctive look and its ability to pedal 180mm platform uphill but also introduces a new kind of chainsuck.
In rough passages we found on multiple occasions that the chain comes off this ring and gets sucked into the gap between the ring and the frame resulting in similar sudden stop of pedals. Chainsuck engineered by Commencal , another thing to look out for with this frame.
Pros and Cons of the SX
Fantastic smooth downhill
Able to climb with 180mm
Very poor reliability
No customer-support from Commencal for the riders down under.
Chainsuck in the HPP suspension
Opinion after 8 Month ownership:
It rides good when its not broken , should you buy it ? probably not.
There are a lot of bikes out there which ride just as well but are backed by the manufacturer should something go wrong. Commencal makes nice bikes but they do not stack up in reliability and if combined with terrible customer support give you a terrible ownership experience.
After riding them for so long it is very sad to say we can no longer recommend Commencal in Australia, but if you still take the risk to get one,ensure you got a spare bike to ride while your Commencal gets fixed.
Team Wombat Australia
Wombat Rating for the 2018 Commencal SX Supreme:
2 out of 5 Stars