HEAD TO HEAD
COMMENCAL META AM
The second part of the Grim Donut's story was released last week, and we saw Commencal's Yoann Barelli do head-to-head timed laps on his personal Meta AM 29 enduro bike and the Donut. Given that we sorta kinda pulled its geometry out of our asses, I wasn't expecting Barelli to post a quicker time on the Donut. And definitely not six-seconds quicker over just a two-minute-ish descent. But that's exactly what happened.
Okay, fine, there are a few buts...
The larger the data set, the more reliable the data. In other words, real testing would involve many laps on both bikes, not just a single attempt on each after a long, hot day of filming. More varied terrain - our loose, fast test trail certainly did suit the Donut - with another Freelap cone for a split-time would also be a must. So it'd have to be done on all sorts of trails, of course, not just a single one, and we'd ideally have both the Donut and Meta AM built up with identical components where possible.
In other words, if we're talking proper testing with results I'd bet on, the Commencal didn't get a fair crack at it.
Speaking of Barelli's Meta 29er, it's one of the more forward-thinking enduro bikes out there; his large has a 495mm reach, and 63.6 and 78.5-degree head and seat angles. Travel matches the Donut, with a 160mm/170mm combo, but the head angles differ by a whopping 6.6-degrees and the seat angle by 4.4-degrees. The Donut's also 124mm longer, 17mm of that behind the bottom bracket and the rest up front via that worryingly relaxed headtube.
And don't forget about that ground scraping bottom bracket, which is partially the result of putting a 27.5" wheel on a bike that wasn't originally designed for one... The bike being a touch under-sprung only adds to the excitement, right? Right.
However flawed the testing was, Barelli ended up going six-seconds quicker on the Donut than he did on his own enduro race bike. You've watched the head-to-head video; where is the Donut gaining or losing time?
Want more Donut? Part 1: We Went to Taiwan & Made a Bike from the Future - The Grim DonutBehind the Numbers: The Grim DonutWe Tested Our Bike From The Future - The Grim Donut Part 2 (April Fools)Video: We Actually Tested Our Bike From The Future - The Grim Donut Part 2