Review of Commencal Ramones AL2

The range of aluminum Commencal All Mountain HT bicycles includes two models. Both are equipped with the same frame, but the more expensive AL1 has a 150mm travel fork. As for the AL2, its fork has a travel of 120mm, but the angles of its frame are still small, and there is still plenty of room for the cyclist.

Driving and handling: confidence, stiffness, and aggressive fork

The Ramones makes a very good impression right from the start – it feels comfortable and balanced. But it seems to me that the handlebar is not wide enough, as it would compensate for the weak steering angle and short stem.

The bike’s design is such that it practically dictates a certain riding style – you will surely want to do wheelies. However, every time the front wheel leaves the ground, the fork, whose travel reaches its limit, makes a dull sound. However, this is not the most unpleasant drawback.

ramones al2 v2

Overall, the management of the Ramones is beyond praise. Excellent grip, decent geometry that knows its business, and if you shift the weight forward during turns, the fork feels very good.

However, at AL2 speed, it is quite bouncy – there is no strong damping during rebound. Nevertheless, the fork will be the first component on our upgrade list – the big difference is noticeable even compared to the basic Fox model.

Either way, you probably won’t want this bike for downhill climbs, but keep in mind that this machine is equipped with a decent low gear, a rigid frame, and grippy tires, which allows it to haul almost anyone uphill if they put in enough effort. Ramones AL2 is a heavy bike, but considering its price and area of application, this cannot be considered a disadvantage.

Low seating, beautiful exterior, and budget-friendly transmission

This does not affect the performance of the bicycle at all, but its bright green color will immediately catch your eye. This color palette will likely cause a couple of heated debates, but for the price, it’s hard to complain. It’s worth mentioning the low riding position of the bike – this low compact frame just begs to be ridden off-road.

The top tube is slightly bent – at first glance, it appears flat and rectangular, but there is actually a recess underneath where the gear and brake cables are located.

The bent seat stay supports the seat tube, and the top tube smoothly transitions into the upper stays, which start as triangular sections and end in visually massive, but still hollowed out (to save weight) dropouts. There are pleasant to the touch holes with recessed cutouts on the rear brakes. The slightly triangular lower stays become wider towards the bottom. There are no “bridges” between the seat and lower stays, so there is more than enough space for dirt.

ramones al2 v1

Given the riding style that Ramones claims, we were disappointed to not find ISCG chain guides on the frame of the bike – it’s definitely the type of bike where you would expect to see some sort of chain retention system.

AL2 is not rich in accessories, but that’s not surprising considering its budget price (we repeat once again). It is equipped with an RST Omega fork with a coil spring and 120mm (4.7 inches) of travel. It has adjustable stiffness and a lockout lever, but that’s where the list of adjustable components ends.

The branded Commencal wheels, fitted with flawless 2.35-inch Kenda Nevegal tires, proved to be quite reliable. Additionally, the bike is equipped with Commencal handlebars, which are fitted with a sturdy stem and lock-on grips – a nice addition to this relatively inexpensive model.

Like many other bikes of this type sold at roughly the same price, the Ramones is equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. They work wonderfully, especially when paired with 180mm rotors.

The drivetrain seems somewhat budget-oriented. However, it comes with a chain guide and two chainrings with 22 and 32 teeth, providing a wide, albeit slightly limited, gear range, as well as an 8-speed 11-32T cassette on the rear axle. The derailleurs and shifters are borrowed from the budget X4 line by SRAM, which may not be the most prestigious, but they get the job done.