Commencal Furious Essential review

Playful shredder with a freeride feel

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,916.00 RRP | AUD $4,699.00 | USD $3,299.00

Our review

An astonishing value, eager and rewarding ride with a slightly more ‘freeride’ feel
Buy if, You're after an option for versatile bike-park antics
Pros: Generous sizing makes for a comfy cockpit, supportive suspension, air shock offers easily tuneable support and bottom-out resistance
Cons: Not the plushest or most stable when the going gets rough
Skip to view product specifications

Commencal’s new Furious is a more versatile and cheaper alternative to its thoroughbred race bike, the Supreme DH. The Andorran brand’s direct-sales approach and a simpler suspension design also means it can offer impressive parts for the money.

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Commencal Furious Essential frame and kit

The Furious delivers 200mm of fairly progressive travel via a single-pivot rear end and linkage-driven shock. 

Its RockShox Super Deluxe R damper is air-sprung, which makes set-up and adjustment much easier. The test bike arrived with slightly loose pivot bolts, which caused the frame to creak slightly. Tightening them fixed this and they’ve not come loose since, but it’s something to watch out for if you do take delivery of a Furious.

An air shock makes suspension set-up easier and allows bottom-out force to be tuned to your riding
An air shock makes suspension set-up easier and allows bottom-out force to be tuned to your riding
Steve Behr

Commencal’s spec is seriously impressive for the cash. The e*thirteen wheels and cranks are an unconventional choice but performed faultlessly throughout testing. 

High-quality Maxxis tyres offer a great balance of grip and rolling speed, while SRAM’s Guide RE brakes provide ample stopping power, even in the gritty conditions where the Guide Rs struggle. The fat grips won’t be for everyone, but at this price it’s hard to fault the parts.

Commencal Furious Essential ride

Immediately, the Furious feels roomy. It has a longer reach, which makes it a good fit, especially for taller riders. 

The air-sprung suspension makes setting up a breeze. Just set the sag to around 30 percent, get the rebound right (nearly fully open, in my case) and you’re good to go. 

Initially, I found I wasn’t achieving full travel even when tagging the landings of sizable step-downs. Removing one of the two volume spacers fitted in the shock rectified this. 

The suspension is particularly efficient when pedalling, and there’s plenty of mid-stroke support when pushing into corners or jump faces. It feels poppy and balanced, never wallowing too much at the rear.

On tracks with minimal gradient, the Commencal is a rewarding bike, being light and responsive when pumping or pedalling. 

The supportive suspension holds it up nicely in berms, so it feels balanced and carries great speed through bike-park terrain. 

Its naturally progressive feel — which can be tweaked via the air shock — will suit aggressive riders and freeride fans. You can set the level of support and bottom-out force to suit your needs, whether you’re a gentle jumper or a Rampage renegade. 

At the other end of the stroke, it’s impressively supple off the top and offers a stuck-down feel you might not expect of an air shock.

Where it does fall down slightly is in high-speed, chunky chatter. Even with 35 percent sag, the rear end doesn’t react quite as fast or with quite the same suppleness as expected. This could be due to chain interference and feedback, or a relatively firm compression tune on the shock. Either way, there’s noticeably more feedback through the pedals on the roughest trails. 

Heat build-up also means that the air shock becomes slightly firmer and livelier towards the end of long, rough tracks, which can increase fatigue.

The head angle is on the steeper side, at 64 degrees. This is great for smoother tracks, jumps and berms but makes things slightly more twitchy when tackling rock gardens at speed or navigating sketchy steep chutes. 

Commencal Furious Essential verdict

Despite having a longer reach, the Furious’s front centre is on the short side — it doesn’t feel as confident on really steep stuff. However, these things are subtle, but taken together they make the Commencal noticeably less forgiving and stable than it could be. 

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Still, it’s lively and quick on pedally trails, jumps and berms. So if you’re more into bike-park laughs than shaving tenths off your time on World Cup tracks, this is likely the bike for you.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Furious Essential
Brand Commencal

Available Sizes S M L XL
Rear Tyre Maxxis Minion DHR II DH 27.5x2.4in
Wheelbase (in) 49.61
Top Tube (in) 29.13
Seat Tube (in) 15.75
Chainstays (in) 17.32
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.82
Spoke Type 32x Pillar, straight-gauge
Weight (kg) 16.9
Stem Truvativ Descendant direct-mount, 50mm
Shifters SRAM GX DH (1x7)
Seatpost Ride Alpha
Seat Angle 74
Saddle Ride Alpha DH rigid
Rims E*thirteen LG1, 30mm inner width
Rear Wheel Weight 3100
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe R air
Bottom Bracket e*thirteen press-fit BB92
Front Hub Formula DH, 110x20mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RE, 200mm rotors
Cassette SRAM GX DH
Chain KMC X11-EL BPBP
Cranks e*thirteen LG1, 36t
Fork RockShox BoXXer Team coil, 200mm (7.9in) travel, firm spring
Frame Material 6061 aluminium, 200mm (7.9in) travel
Front Tyre Maxxis Minion DHF WT 3C TR DD 27.5x2.5in
Rear Hub Formula DH, 157x12mm
Front Wheel Weight 2470
Grips/Tape Ride Alpha lock-on
Handlebar Truvativ Descendant, 808mm
Head Angle 64
Headset Type Ride Alpha ZS44/ZS56
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX DH
Frame size tested XL