A Brief History of Commencal, a Downhill Bike Manufacturer

Commencal downhill bike _001
Commencal downhill bike _001

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There are many bike manufacturers which manufacture downhill bikes, but perhaps, there are no other bike manufacturers which have a history longer and more memorable than Commencal downhill bike. Although the history of the company is quite difficult to be described in a straight line, it is a long history, nonetheless. Commencal is a company which manufactures various types of bikes, including, downhill bikes. Although the quality of downhill bikes produced by the company is high, its primary products are actually mountain bikes. Over the years, it has managed to become one of the world’s leading bike manufacturers that is loved and respected by athletes and casual bikers. Well, let’s see the history of the company, shall we?

The founding of the company

To start talking about the history of the company, we need to know about Max Commencal. The guy, who is also known as one of the Godfathers of Mountain Bike and Downhill, was behind the founding of the company in 2000. But before that, he also founded another bike company named Sunn, which was also legendary but has been liquidated. Max Commencal resigned from Sunn and he established a new company named after his surname, which is Commencal. The company was founded in 2000 and it is based on a tiny but sovereign state named Andorra.


Supernormalwas a mountain bike launched in 2000 as the first line of Commencal downhill bike and mountain bike rosters. The bike was made with very few time and money owned by Commencal. However, with such limitations, the company managed to build a bike which could fulfill every important core that bikers want. In the end, Supernormal proved itself as a superb bike by grabbing the title of “MTB of the Year” by Velovert!

Doctorwas released in 2001 with cutting-edge features at that time, and it was also an amazing bike. The bike was comfortable since it was equipped with light full suspension. The modern design also boosted the selling.

In 2002, the company made a breakthrough by releasing a bike which focused on fun riding and not just for going around, which is Pasta. The bike was very modular and adjustable as well since it was equipped with a fork which height can be adjusted by the owner, enabling the bike to be used to go everywhere. This decision shocked the public and well-received by VTT Magazine, a French-spoken magazine which focuses on biking. The company also made another memorable decision by stepping up as an investor for a biking event in Andorra which was named MAXIAVALANCHE.

Commencal upgraded its Pasta bike by putting a better suspension and parts which enabled it to endure a longer journey, and the bike was released in 2003 as Pasta Power. The bike was so awesome and the performance was excellent, it even made Anne-Caroline Chauson to choose it as her bike and assisted her in winning World Champion until four times. In the future, she would be important in the development of downhill bikes made by Commencal, such as Supreme DH.

Commencal expanded its market and became a global brand in 2004. Bike athletes who rode Commencal, such as Anne-Caroline Chauson and Miguel Martinez won several championships worldwide! Besides, Roman Saladini, the winner of Junior World Championship, also rode a Supreme DH! There were huge investments made in this year.


The brand which would become the flagship of the company for a very long amount of time was initially released in 2005, which is Meta. The bike was designed with a precise accuracy which attributed to its hgh quality. The bike was so good it was even put among 10 best bikes according to the press in Great Britain. Supreme bike frame was also sold in this year, providing a huge success for Commencal. Also, Anne-Caroline Chauson became a World Champion again in this year by riding a DH!

In 2006, Commencal proudly claimed itself as an international entity, reflected by the fact that the company managed to export its product to at least 30 countries worldwide. The sales in France, although still growing, could no longer represent the sales overall. Now, the company established itself as a company loved by a huge number of bike athletes around the world. It was also widely covered by the media.

Commencal released a catalog of its product for the first time in 2007. On the other hand, Absolut, an entry-level bike, enjoyed a mainstream success! The downhill and mountain bikes were evolving as well.

A record was broken by the company in 2008 when the managed to sell 20,000 in total. Although there were still many Commencal bikers who won many championships this year, the company shifted its focus from the podium to the public. It was also the year when the company released its first carbon bikes.


2009 made Commencal become the top brand in several international competitions. Also, thanks to its Absolut, the company became a strong brand in terms of dirt biking.  There were several new models as well.

In 2010, a Commencal downhill bike, Supreme 8, was released. It was also designated as a freeride bike, although it was no doubt excelled in terms of downhill. On the other hand, marketing was shifted to sports which was marked when Yannick Granieri joined the R&D department.

2011 marked a renewal of two main ranges of the company with the release of the new DHbike and the META bike. Both utilized cutting-edge technologies and features and became a huge success. Myriam Nicole also won her first DHWorld Cup using a Commencal bike.

The company widened its market range in 2012 by targeting two new fields, which were recreational road bikes and kids’ bikes. The reason why recreational road bikes became a new target is that the company wished that people would spend less to travel in a car. While kids’ bike was considered essential because there were few bike companies which produced downhill and mountain bikes suitable for kids.

The company is now a strong, global bike manufacturer. Until now, the selling remains strong and it will remain to be one of the world’s leading companies in terms of bike manufacturing. Well, that was the history of Commencal downhill bike and mountain bike!