Commencal, the Andorra based Bike maker is on fire with its latest Meta dual-suspension platform. We rode the Meta AM in Whistler, where the bike's just right head angle and well-mannered trail suspension seemed perfect for any situation from mid-mountain play riding to the rolling singletracks in the Lost Lake area. Commencal introduced the entire Meta Family at Eurobike, with travel offerings from 130 to 160 millimeters, and even had a 29er in the mix.Meta AM
The sweet spot of the Commencal Meta lineup, the Meta AM-1 has 150 millimeters of suspension travel on both ends of an elegantly executed 7000-series aluminum chassis. New for its AM/Trail models, Commencal's 'Contact System' suspension drives the shock with a rocker link through a tunnel in the bottom bracket area where the lower shock eyelet is mounted to the swingarm. Contact System is said to relieve stress from the main frame and its leverage rates are designed to encourage bob-free pedaling without interfering with the suspension's action beyond the mid-stroke.
Commencal launched its Contact System suspension and all-new chassis design with the 150-millimeter-travel Meta AM. Early reports from test riders indicate that the Meta has the right stuff.
Fox is Commencal's suspension of choice, with a 32 Float RL FIT 150 fork and an RP2 Boost Valve shock. Drivetrain is SRAM X.0/X.9 2 by 10, and Brakes are Formula RX with 180mm rotors. A RockShox Reverb seatpost underscores its AM designation, and with a 67-degree head angle, a 73-degree seat angle and a low, 13-inch bottom bracket, the Meta AM has the right numbers for the job.Meta SX
Commencal's ride for those who want to go big and still get around the woods without a shuttle is the 160-millimeter-travel Meta SX. Slightly slacker, with a 66-degree head angle and a 72-degree seat angle, the SX can push harder and go steeper than its more trail-oriented brothers.The SX has a 142/12 through-axle in the rear and a 20-millimeter up front. Front suspension is the Fox 36 Float R and the rear end is controlled by a Float RP2 XV Boost Valve shock. Topping off the Meta's All-mountain fest is a RockShox Reverb dropper seat post. The Meta frame has ISCG-05 chainguide mounts, but comes with a SRAM X.9 2 by 10 drivetrain. We'd have liked a roller guide on a capable machine such as the Meta SX (easily fixed). Sizes are small, medium and large, and the Meta SX comes in yellow only.
Meta SX Details: (clockwise)
The Meta SX is one of the least cluttered AM/trailbikes we've seen in a while. Internal cable routing makes a difference • The Meta frame uses a wide-stance, press-in bottom bracket system and features an ISCG-05 chain guide mount • Beefy, clevis-type suspension pivots and a 142/12-millimeter through-axle keep the Meta SX tracking straight and true • The Fox 36 fork separates the SX from its trail-oriented siblings • Commencal lock-on grips, Formula's RX brakes, and the hydraulic actuator for its Reverb Seat post -- top quality in the control room.Meta AM 29
All-mountain 29ers are the buzz in the Pacific Northwest, but the dust has yet to settle on the genre's frame geometry. Commencal's Meta AM 29 features the same frame DNA as the 26-inch-wheel Meta range, including Contact System suspension, internal cables and hoses, and a balance of handling and component choices that enable the Meta rider to take on technical trail situations. Suspension travel is long for a 29er at 130 millimeters, so care was taken to minimize the head tube and handlebar height. The Meta 29's 68-degree head angle is slack for 29er-specific geometry, but in keeping with its purpose. Commencal wisely chose stronger-stopping Formula The One brakes to handle the larger-diameter Fulcrum Red Power wheels. Suspension is all Fox, with an RP2 shock and 32 Float RLC 130 fork. Commencal says the Meta AM 29 is its only 29er model, and will be offered in medium, large and XL sizes and in white only.
Meta AM 29 Details: (clockwise)
Commencal's 29er is so well proportioned, due to its longer travel suspension a large-volume tires, that it is easy to mistake as a 26er • A through-axle rear end is tantamount to a flex-free 29er design - so is a hard-stopping brake. The Meta AM 29 has both • All Metas have tapered head tubes and internal routing for cable housings and brake hoses. Supreme DH V3
Commencal developed the Contact System suspension originally for its World Cup DH racing platform. The Supreme DH V3 was surrounded by wishful gravity riders at Eurobike. While not a 2012 model, the Supreme DH V3 is well worth a look for its elegant profile and clean engineering treatments. The three figures on the graphics are the three Atherton siblings who make up Commencal's Pro Team.
Supreme DH V3 Details: (Clockwise)
Always a crowd around the Supreme DH at the Commencal display • The Atherton family portrait • Large, forged-aluminum pieces at the forward swingarm pivot handle the forces generated by the Contact System's floating shock linkage • Adjustable wheelbase means that the brake caliper must slide along with the rear axle to keep the pads centered on the rotors.So that's the meat of the Commencal lineup, but there are more models in the range that you may want to check out. Drop a note if you have any thoughts on the Meta AM range, especially if you have thrown a leg over one.