As a member of SRAM’s Blackbox programme, Myriam "Pompon" Nicole has some interesting features on her Commencal Supreme. Her mechanic Maxime Auguin gave us the inside line on the fast Frenchwoman’s bike of choice for this weekend's Lourdes World Cup.
Riding on air
Following back-to-back testing in the off-season comparing coil and air shocks, Pompon has opted for the RockShox Super Deluxe air shock for the opening World Cup round in Lourdes, France. According to Auguin, Pompon is keen to get the bike as light as possible so that she, being a light rider, can more easily manoeuvre the bike on technical courses.
Interestingly, Auguin says the air shock’s thicker damper shaft, combined with the long bushing overlap used on the Super Deluxe shock, actually adds stiffness to the frame. Apparently, this extra rigidity is something the Commencal team can notice when riding.
The shock receives a custom damping tune for Pompon, as does the fork. Her RockShox Boxxer World Cup uses a lighter than stock compression shim stack to improve sensitivity and reduce fatigue. She runs just one volume spacer in the air spring, which is set to 65Psi for Lourdes.
As well as the custom suspension valving, Pompon has a pair of Hutchinson tyres made just for her.
They are a little thinner in the sidewall, and a touch narrower in cross-section too.
Auguin says this is to save more weight. While her teammates Rémi Thirion and George Brannigan will be using a new, tougher, DH version of the Huck Norris tyre insert in their rear tires, Myriam’s apparently have nothing inside. Again, this is to save weight.
Auguin claims the DH Huck Norris has had a marked effect on the frequency with which the riders dent rims, but he says Pompon doesn’t really need it. She’s running 1.4 Bar (20psi) in the front, and 1.5 bar (22psi) in the rear — much softer than what many are using in this rocky terrain.
More weight savings come in the form of SRAM’s Guide Ultimate brakes, which apparently offer her plenty of power, and are a bit lighter than SRAM’s Code stoppers. We also spotted a tiny spot of moto foam inside the front shock mount to reduce mud build-up. It’s all in the details.
And the result of all of this savings? We weighed Pompon’s bike at 16.1kg / 35.5lb – pretty light for an alloy DH bike.