First Look: Commencal Furious

FuriousOne of my favorite things about mountain bike festivals is the opportunity to ride a variety of different bikes that I would normally only see in magazines. Enter Crankworx Colorado, 2008, Winter Park resort and the Commencal Furious. The nice gentlemen at the BTI booth had the entire Commencal lineup on hand for the shredding, thank you Preston and Mike. BTI, Bicycle Technologies International, is a distributor based in Santa Fe, NM and they are the Commencal distributor here in the United States.

Commencal, pronounced Co-Men-Sal, is a mountain bike company born out of passion for the sport in the mountains of Andorra—a mountainous region in southwestern Europe, located between Spain and France. The people of Andorra are reported to have the highest life expectancy of any other place in the world. This might have something to do with the seemingly endless recreational opportunities available there. Andorra is home to Commencal team rider and world champion mountain biker, Cedric Gracia. The Commencal Furious was designed with CG’s input to be his exclusive slopestyle and hucker bike. Having always been a fan of the rowdy Frenchman, this was the bike that I had to ride.

The first thing one will notice about the Furious is that it is a female. That is to say, there is an opening in the top tube, towards the rear end and in front of the seat tube. This femininity serves to allow the Marzocchi Roco coil over shock to move freely up and through the top tube. It also just really looks cool. It’s a girlWith the 180mm of rear travel handled by the Marzocchi Roco, the front is lead by a Marzocchi 66 ATA, also sporting 180mm of buttery smooth travel. The Furious utilizes a 1.5″ head tube, which adds extra strength and beef, and is a spec that is becoming more and more common on big-hit bikes. The parts pick on this bike contained a healthy mix of Race Face, Commencal house brand parts, Avid and SRAM. As always, the SRAM Shifters were on-point and the Avid Code brakes kept me in control. Maxxis Minions, front and rear, held the rubber side down, and oh how nicely they drift in the oversized berms that Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park is becoming famous for.

Let’s talk about the ride. The Furious is much lighter than other bikes in this category, weighing in at 39lbs as tested. This was very noticeable in the air, as I was overshooting many of the jumps on my first run with the unfamiliar steed. However, I am used to my 46 pound sow. By the second run, the lighter weight was a welcome change. The Furious is definitely made for rhythm sections and jumping. This is evident in the geometry which is slightly steeper than many other bikes in this category. The head tube is 66° and the seat tube is 72°. I attribute the steepness to the fact that this is more of a slopestyle, big-jump bike and not your standard downhill rig. Personally, I feel more comfortable in the bike park with a slacker head tube. Yes, this bike wants to jump, it felt like being on a BMX bike with suspension. The seat tube is 15″, and with the low bottom bracket height it is easy to hit the eject button or throw a can-can; that is, if I could do a can-can.

In summation, the Commencal Furious is a bike that wants to go fast and be in the air. I would like something a little slacker for downhilling, but if you are a 4X racer or a slopestyler in need of a new sled, I would give the Furious a serious look.

—Matt Weatherbee