Commencal has added a mixed-wheel option into their Meta lineup with the next generation of the SX model. They're quick to point out that they're not just jumping on the bandwagon, since they've had mixed wheel DH bikes on race tracks for the last three years.
Like the Meta AM, the SX has 160mm of rear travel and a 170mm fork, but the geometry has been altered to accommodate the 27.5” rear wheel. Those changes include a 10mm shorter reach and 10mm longer chainstays – a size large now has a 485mm reach and 447mm chainstays. The head angle remains a relatively slack 63.6-degrees, and the seat tube angle is a steep 78.5-degrees.
According to Commencal, the geometry numbers were chosen to give the bike a balanced feel, with good grip at both wheels. The usual reasoning for the two wheel sizes also apply here - the smaller rear wheel is meant to improve the bike's performance in the steeps by providing more room between the rider and the rear tire, while the larger front wheel is in place to keep the bike plowing right along.
When I reviewed the Meta TR 29
last year I mentioned that I wouldn't have minded slightly longer chainstays, or at least the option to experiment. It'll be interesting to give this version a try and see how the changes affect its handling. I'm also curious if the longer chainstays will end up on the next generation of the 29” Meta models.
There are six complete models of the Meta SX, all with aluminum frames of course, with prices starting at $2,999 for the SX Origin, and going up to $5,999 USD for the SX Signature.
There's also an SX version of the motorized Meta Power. In this case, the geometry adjustments include a longer reach and shorter chainstays compared to the version we recently reviewed in the most recent Field Test
. The seat tube lengths are still on the longer side, but the 64-degree head angle and 78-degree seat tube angle are all on point for this style of eMTB.
Shimano's EP8 motor is powered by a 630Wh battery, which should provide enough juice for heading out on decently long rides without getting range anxiety.
There are four complete models, with prices ranging from $5,999 USD to $7,899 USD.