Commencal Super 4 VIP frame £1077

Short-travel singletrack menace

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

This short-travel Super 4 frame from the Andorran alpine brand is new for 2009. It features a triple-butted mainframe with extensive machining plus seatstays that feed directly into the rocker link (rather than through a connecting link) for lighter weight and added stiffness.

It’s still heavy for a 100mm travel bike but if you can cope with the weight it’s a singletrack ripper. With a low-slung ride and aggressive ‘weight forward’ stance on a steady head angle, you can’t help but force the front end deep and hard into every corner and drift out the far side.

Tighter suspension feel doesn’t sacrifice traction control but the low pivot still takes a square-edged hit pretty well, even if getting full travel requires a real wallop.

Just watch your toes and crank ends pedalling through rutted and rocky terrain or you’ll smash them to pieces. The frame kit also includes a Thomson seatpost and Commencal headset, which is a big value boost.

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