by Marc Basiliere
June 9, 2014
World’s first 20in downhill bike?
Once the tykes have outgrown their titanium balance bikes, what comes next? How about a 20in downhill sled? Inspired by the Absolut SX, Commencal’s Supreme 20 is a full-blown (mostly-blown?) suspension bike for your family’s own gravity rat. The single pivot swingarm rotates around the bottom bracket to allow for a singlespeed drivetrain and 100mm of travel is dealt by a proper Fox Float CTD shock. The aptly-named RST First Air Fork comes with 65mm of air-sprung and oil-damped travel as well as a proper tapered steerer tube. Listing at €2,200 (£1,785), the 2014 Supreme 20 is currently on sale at €1,500 (£1,220).
While the Supreme 20 may be compromised somewhat by its small wheels and singlespeed drivetrain, the Supreme 24 is beginning to look like the real deal. 140mm travel front and rear from the same platform used on the Meta SX makes the 24 enduro-friendly and light-DH ready. The 2014 edition is more than 6lb(!) lighter than Commencal’s previous generation but still comes with a 5yr warranty- so kids should outgrow the frame before breaking it. Given the jump to a proper (SRAM X5) drivetrain, Formula C1 brakes, and decent tyres, the price €2,500 (£2,030) – now on clearance for €1,700 (£1,380) – makes the 24 look like a bargain next to the 20.
When Junior is ready to get serious, the Supreme Junior jumps up to 160mm travel and a proper Marzocchi coil shock. With two sizes, the Junior should fit between 4’7″ and 5’7- a range that covers many adults as well. Much like kids’ shoes, pricing and spec are on the low end, which could make the Supreme Junior an appealing ‘occasional use’ bike for the less-tall rider. The X5 drivetrain is crash-friendly as well. More common parts pay off here, with a €2,400 (£1,950) – on clearance at €1,500 (£1,220) – asking price.