COMMENCAL’s New TEMPO Short Travel Bike – Who Is It For?

by | Dec 1, 2022 | Bike, First Look, Gear, Reviews & First Looks

COMMENCAL have just released a brand new short travel trail bike, the TEMPO (T.E.M.P.O.). It cuts a fine figure and we know the Andorran brand is often bang on the money with their bike design. We take a look at the details and who it’s for!

Andorran mountain bike and ski company COMMENCAL have just dropped another one of their banger YouTube videos (their channel is definitely worth checking out) teasing their new short travel mountain bike the TEMPO (or T.E.M.P.O.). This bike has been seen out and about on social media in the last few months, notably under Cécile Ravanel (ex-pro Enduro racer and technical coach to Pauline Ferrand-Prevot). You can check out the video below and then we’ll discuss some of the details on this new trail bike from Andorra.

Jump Aboard The New Commencal Tempo With Hugo Frixtalon In British Columbia
Fast flow trails and catching some airtime. That’s what the COMMENCAL TEMPO is built for. (c) COMMENCAL

“Jump aboard the new COMMENCAL T.E.M.P.O with Hugo Frixtalon in British Columbia for this edit that oozes that late summer heat feel! The T.E.M.P.O is our brand new short travel trail bike, a real playful powerhouse, designed to make the most of all those dream trails where the terrain is just calling out for you to enjoy.”

COMMENCAL TEMPO Details

  • 29-inch wheel from and rear
  • 125mm rear travel / 140mm front travel.
  • Dual link suspension layout dubbed the “Virtual Contact System” giving a virtual pivot point said to “combine liveliness and comfort”.
  • 65,5 deg. Head Tube / 76,6 deg. Seat Tube / -35mm Bottom Bracket Position
  • 2 chain stay lengths: Small and Medium – 435mm / Large and XL – 440mm.
  • “Geometry designed for pedalling performance without sacrificing downhill performance.”
  • Aluminium frame
  • 4 sizes (reach): S (430mm), M (450mm), L (470mm), XL (490mm)
  • 4 builds: 3 250 – 6 200 EURO
The Tempo Shares A Similar Dual Link Design Seen On Their Prototype Meta
The TEMPO shares a similar dual link design seen on their prototype META (pictured). COMMENCAL like to do their R&D and prototyping out in the wild for all to see and we are not complaining! (c) COMMENCAL

Material Construction and Weight

If you have a look across COMMENCAL’s range of bikes you will notice a distinct lack of the 6th element, Carbon. Several year ago, after Max Commencal (founder and owner) travelled to the East to visit the factory where his bikes were manufactured where he was not pleased with the working conditions of the labourers in the carbon frame factories, the company committed to switch to 100% aluminium manufacturing. The use of this material also allows them to iterate at a higher rate on new designs and keeps their productions costs down.

The TEMPO keeps with that trend and makes use of aluminium for the frame with a claimed 3.125kg frame weight “without accessories”. That isn’t by any means the lightest short travel trail bike you will find around, with carbon bikes in this suspension category sitting around 2.5kg with shock and alloy models just under 3kg also with the shock and hardware. We wouldn’t let that put us off too much as modern enduro bikes have showed us how efficient a bike with a hefty weight number can be. This will likely mean that the TEMPO will require a little more effort to manoeuvre at slower speeds than other bikes of this suspension class but we would expect it to make up for that in its ability to handle some really rowdy terrain.

Commencal Tempo Geometry Chart
COMMENCAL TEMPO Geometry Chart

What And Who The TEMPO Is For

While we haven’t had our hands on the TEMPO, there are some observations about the bike that can be made from a good look at the product page and spec sheet. The short stem (40mm), riser handlebars (20 or 30mm) and aggressive tire spec (Dissector – rear, DHR II – front) suggest that the design team prioritised descending speed over climbing when brining this little weapon to life. It is likely going to feel like a mini-enduro bike more than a beefed up XC bike to ride. The robust frame and build kit are going to be confidence inspiring on the descents, within the reasonable range of what you’d want to ride hard on a 125mm / 140mm travel bike. The geometry (seen above) will probably give riders a stable platform, but not overly so with moderate reach and chain stay numbers.

If the riding you enjoy is smooth and fast, not too rocky or regularly involving big hits, this could be quite the rocket to suit your vibe! At 140mm of travel top front, there won’t be much this bike can’t handle with a skilled pilot but as the trail gets rougher your speed will definitely be limited as opposed to that of a longer travel machine. A flow trail with some decent jumps and the odd rough section or steep chute would be the perfect playground for this bike, pretty much what you see in the launch video. An easy pedaller with a knack for shredding descents.

With the T.E.M.P.O. we are rediscovering the joys of pedalling. Whatever the trail or the conditions, we always give a little more. And when it’s downhill time, we know we can count on it to be there, even through the most difficult sections. The terrain is our playground, each compression becomes an incentive to go a little faster or jump a little higher. Pure riding, on the edge, we’ve reached the perfect T.E.M.P.O.

COMMENCAL

For more info on the COMMENCAL T.E.M.P.O visit: www.commencal-store.co.uk