Commencal Announces 2021 Meta HT AM Hardtail

Jun 18, 2020
by COMMENCAL bicycles  

Press Release: Commencal

The Meta HT AM continues on its own path.Our research shows that this is the most versatile bike across our entire range. Enduro, off-road, urban playgrounds or pump track, it's literally at home everywhere.

We believed in this niche several years ago and since then we've become real specialists. To stay ahead of the curve, we're looking at the little details that make the difference.

On this new version, the seat tube is lowered, which comes with two advantages. First, it is now possible to install a longer travel seat post, and second, the choice of size is no longer restricted by a seat tube that's too high. That's particularly useful for those who want a longer bike.


2021 Meta HT AM


TECH


For the rest, we've tweaked our formula. A hardtail allows for more pedalling efficiency, a lighter weight and it reduces essential maintenance. A 150mm or 160mm fork provides comfort and/or safety depending on what you're riding.

The frame facilitates 27.5 and 29-inch wheels. 27.5 for small and medium sized riders. Or simply for those who prefer increased handling, comfort and grip.

29" wheels for medium and large sized riders. Or for those who favour efficiency, precision and performance.

A first-choice bike for some, a second or third choice for others, the Meta HT Am is one of those bikes that quite simply makes you want to ride.

2021 Meta HT AM


GEOMETRY
2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM

2021 Meta HT AM


RANGE

2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM

2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM
2021 Meta HT AM


Prices :

META HT AM ORIGIN : 1 199 € / US$ 1.199
META HT AM RIDE : 1 499 € / US$ 1.399
META HT AM ESSENTIAL : 1 899 € / US$ 1.799
META HT AM 29 RACE : 2 149 € / US$ 2.199

More info on COMMENCAL websites :

Europe
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand


118 Comments

  • 34 12
 $499 frame only option. Nice. Unfortunately, they're still speccing SRAM mid and lower tier systems instead of Shimano SLX and XT. Glad Deore is in the lower build kit, but SLX and XT should be a 2021 MY option at this point. Then, Deore again in the Race build?

If/when I ever replace my Honzo AL, this looks like a great contender.
  • 8 0
 The base model is the pick of the bunch, deore, same wheels as the middle spec one, though 35 silvers are steel legs and coil springs, so they're bin fodder.
  • 11 0
 Aluminum hardtails seem to make a lot more sense now than they did ten+ years ago, when you were guaranteed a bone-rattling harsh ride. They really have a good price point with this. Saves weight over the all-mountain steel hardtails, saves money over the boutique stuff and the "who buys this" carbon AM hardtails. Props to Commencal.

Can't be a valid posting without some criticism: can they hire a new copywriter? "For the rest, we've tweaked our formula. A hardtail allows for more pedalling efficiency, a lighter weight and it reduces essential maintenance." ummmm...
  • 11 3
 Don’t replace your Honzo. I tested them both (the Honzo vs the „old“ Meta HT) before buying the 2017 Honzo and to me it is so much more versatile and fun
  • 2 0
 Couldn't agree more! The Sram builds on these are... "meh". Even the top build being specced with Deore has me confused, not a big fan of these builds.

BUT, at least frame only is 599$ CDN, with is really nice, would probably be able to build something nice and the right specs with just a little more budget then what's necessary for the Race build.
  • 3 0
 @marcocellere: Thanks for that. Good to know. It's probably the super short chainstays, super low BB, and steeper (by today's standards 68 @ 120mm travel) HT angle. Don't get me wrong, I have no intentions to replace my Honzo. We just get bombarded by newbikeitis all the time.
  • 5 1
 Affordable mountain bikes are finally coming
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: I hear you. All I know is I love this bike and compared to all those full squishies this is the one I would never intend to replace
  • 3 1
 My spouse was in the market for a new full sus and the SLX build on the Occam is what sold us.
  • 7 2
 you need to get real and buy a chromag rootdown already.
  • 21 0
 @BoneDog: We’re talking rootdown?

I put my boot down.
  • 14 1
 @huntingbears: And if you wanna battle me, you're putting loot down.
  • 2 0
 @pbuser2299: I'd happily take your 35's if you'd want
  • 4 0
 @huntingbears: and if you wanna battle me I’m puttin loot down.
  • 5 0
 @nyhc00: d’oh you beat me to it!
  • 3 0
 @huntingbears: hhahahaha
  • 3 0
 @pbuser2299: Noticed the same about the new Meta TR builds - Much prefer the Deore to the SX...
Thinking, Meta TR Origin + Meta HT frame, swap out the basic stuff onto the HT and build a marzocchi monster TR... #DreamsAreFree
  • 1 0
 saw this video comparison between the 2020 & 2021

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZV3LHsAsdI
  • 18 1
 4 more days until Commencal drops Meta 29 AM. That's the one I'm interested in Wink
  • 6 0
 Hopefully it's a full rework and not just new 2021 builds. Would be lame if it was shorter and steeper than the TR...
  • 4 0
 @CaMKii: TR model is completely redesigned
  • 2 0
 Had no idea. Very interested thanks Smile
  • 3 0
 @pakleni: Yeah that's exactly my point. The redesign has longer and slacker geometry than the 2020 Meta AM 29. Hope the new AM goes even further.
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: to be perfectly honest I would be happy even with the same geo as TR model but we all know that they will push the numbers even further
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: reach numbers are the same as the TR iirc, head angle is 63.5.

Geo chart is in the Meta AM 29 thread in commencal forum.

Travel stays the same.
  • 2 0
 @CaMKii: it’s a full rework. Large frame 495 Reach 63.6 head angle and 78.5 seat angle. 1285 wheelbase and will come with Fox 38 or Rockshox Zeb depending on build.
  • 1 0
 @Ccouch5859: rockshox zeb?
  • 2 0
 Also does anything know anything about the Schwalbe Big Betty that is listed in the specs. As far as I can see they don't make it anymore, are they releasing an updated version?
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: Wow, that's a big step. -2 degree head angle, +2 seattube angle, and ~20mm longer reach. Been considering pre-ordering a privateer 161 but this is looking like a serious contender.
  • 1 0
 @hmstuna: spec sheet says Zeb too. Sounds like Rockshox is about to release a new fork.
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: Same boat here, but the short stays are a turn off for me. Commencal does look good tho
  • 16 2
 Lowest and highest spec'd bikes share the same groupset (Shimano Deore) while both middle spec'd have Sram SX, don't see the point
  • 15 0
 Its a bit deceiving, the low model has Deore 10sp, the high end model has Deore 12sp. The ones in between have Sram SX 12sp.
  • 5 0
 @mtmc99: Which is funny considering Deore 10 and 12 speeds cost basically the same... Trying to sway buyers with the "more is better" tactic.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: Actually 12 speed group msrp is about 300 and 10 speed is 230. That's fairly significant on a 1000 dollar bike.
  • 7 1
 @mtmc99: deore 10 speed should be considered higher end than sx eagle
  • 4 0
 @Ryan2949: TBH i would prefer 10sp or even 9 with wide range and small front cog.
You don't pedal going down. You can climb everything and almost everybody uses the biggest cog and don't play with changing gears while climbing. The old 9-10 spd sets were almost maintenance free. Cheap and efficient. Those new 12spd have too tight tolerance, too expensive parts and setting it almost every month...

Buy cheap drive train it is wearing out part it should be cheap. Invest more into good brakes, suspension and tires.
  • 2 0
 @Kptzbik: if you don't pedal going you gotta ride faster
  • 18 3
 Why are the reach numbers so short!!! Use the same geo as the Meta AM.
  • 5 2
 470mm for the XL is pretty short. It must be an Andorran thing because the Production Privee frames are even shorter.
  • 3 1
 I really don't understand the reach numbers. Even compared to a medium bike of similar design intent from 5 years ago, 420mm reach is very short.
  • 1 0
 I just built a medium Meta HT for my daughter. Reach is so short (almost the same as my son's small RSD Middlechild) that her knees are super close to handlebars even though she's 5'7''. My daughter thinks the fit is good and likes the bike but I wish I had gone for a large with a shorter dropper (she can fit a 185mm with maybe 5mm of shim with the medium)
  • 1 1
 @Lewis73: wow - that sounds real small. I built up a Small Octane One Prone for my 11yo, @ 5' it's a bit on the big side for him, but myself (@5'10") can ride it comfortably/playfully... of to www.geometrygeeks.com
  • 2 0
 Please downvote me...just get a super long stem if you want a super long reach Smile . Jk...but I borrowed a super old gary fisher HT today while I let someone new to mountain biking ride my FS. That over 100mm stem brought back memories and I'm pretty sure it had a 90 degree HT angle. I still had fun.
  • 5 0
 because hardtails grow in reach while going through fork travel. one might argue about +/- 5 mm but in my opinion the reach numbers are spot on.
  • 3 0
 hardtail reach grows. this bike feels same reach as my slash (both small) but slash is 15mm longer in geo chart
  • 4 1
 @amanite55: ya, I said the same thing down below. On a HT the reach will actually grow about 10mm for every 20mm of fork travel compression.

So for this bike, with 25% sag the reach would be about 490 for the XL riding flat terrain. Going down hill or in a hard turn and having more weight on the front end compressing the fork even more and the reach would probably be more like 500mm.

Another thing too is that being a HT you don’t need to run a 78* seat angle or whatever to keep you forward on the bike when climbing while your rear sus is compressing because it doesn’t have rear suspension. If you run a super trendy long reach with a 74* seat angle on a HT, your TT gets crazy long screwing up the fit and stretching you way out when seated and pedaling.

Why the want for a super long reach if you don’t need to have a super steep seat angle anyway? DH bikes don’t have crazy long reaches. An XXL V10 has a 475mm reach and that reach number doesn’t grow when you sit on the bike like on a HT. I would be way more concerned with the same chain stay length on the XL as the S.


It’s the 20’s now, “what the F is with the CS lengths from the teens” is what you should be bitching about.
teamrobotkillsyourface.com/2017/12/19/breaking-news-425mm-chainstays-still-suck
  • 1 0
 @Singletrackmac: I'm 6'2 with a 34" inseam and I've been riding hard tails since 1989. When I started to run shorter stems it became problematic as most bikes felt cramped for me. When frames with longer reach came onto the market it was a revelation, suddenly I had access to bikes that actually fit me. I now know that any frame, hard tail or not, shorter than 475mm reach will be too small for me, regardless of what fork travel and sag do to the numbers.
I think Commencal are missing out on prospective taller riders with their geo. If they offered an XXL with a bit more reach, they'd attract more of us.
  • 2 1
 @commental: i understand there will always be personal preference, but if Greg Minnaar can win over and over again on the XXL bike he helped develop with only a 475mm reach, what would be the need for a longer reach for someone around his same height?

I am thinking we are getting to the point that reach numbers are getting longer due to dart board decision making, not because of an actual performance improvement. Not only do you not see these long reach numbers on DH bikes, but also, the most winnings EWS bikes have a reaches of about 470mm for a size large. This bike rides at about 465mm for the large. That’s right there with other bikes designed with a pure focus on performance, not a marketing campaign.
  • 1 0
 @Singletrackmac: Well, I'm certainly not going to compare myself to Minnaar!

I agree with you that some manufacturer's reach numbers are getting silly. Of course it's personal preference, a lot of it depends on the style of riding. Shorter bikes are better for jumping, longer ones tend to be more stable at speed. I have a hard tail with 481mm reach, I find I have a lot more room to move around and it's much easier to weight the front wheel than on shorter bikes, pretty important on a hard tail. I've seen lots of comments from taller HT riders saying the same.

I like Commencal (user name's a bit of a give away), I've owned several of their bikes, still got one (482mm reach). I just think they're missing out on potential customers for this bike by not offering something a bit longer. Most HT manufacturers do and I think most of them would argue their bikes are also perfomance based.
  • 1 0
 @Singletrackmac: Well I certainly didn't push my analyse as much as you did, but analyse appart, most aggro hardtail with 130-150mm and 64-65 HA (Banshee Paradox, RSD Middlechild, Cotic BFE Max, Pole Taival, Norco Torrent, etc) have much longer reach than the Commencal. So maybe other companies are all just following the hype, or maybe that growing reach is not changing much in the ride. I mean if you're bottoming your fork, you're probably not in your seat pedaling so I don't see this as a bad thing, unless the bike is way too bike for you. Those hardtail are meant to run a short stem and larger bars, like most people do on their full suspension bike. Anyway, just visually, you would say the bike is small for my daughter and she's 170cm so in the shorter end of sizing... I don't see someone 180cm riding a medium... just my observation...
  • 20 12
 Geo is still a bit outdated on these. Long seat tubes and short reach numbers.
  • 14 1
 Yup, the Ragley frames have more updated numbers for the same prices.
  • 2 0
 @PtDiddy: that Marley looks cool
  • 5 1
 @PtDiddy: I really wanted a Ragley Mmmbop, but they're never in stock. I'm also getting a lot of downvotes, but these numbers mean you can't ride longer droppers.

It's odd because these are considered to be aggressive hardtails, but the numbers don't suggest that, other than the 65 degree HTA. Their other bikes are all pretty modernized, but then they do this with their hardtail.
  • 4 1
 @Ryan2949: I have a mmmbop amazing bike totally worth the wait. With a 160mm fork it has a 63.25° head tube.
  • 3 1
 @Ryan2949: Because a massive hardtail is less fun on mellower stuff and less capable than a full suspension on the rowdier steep stuff that it is tailored to. I thought the Norco Torrent they reviewed in the field test seemed pretty useless unless you just desperately want a Lyrik at a slightly lower price point. Commencal seat tubes have always been a bit high though.
  • 3 2
 @heffernw: My "massive" hardtail is loads of fun on everything that I take it on, and it hasn't limited my riding at all. The massive hardtail and my full sus are equally as boring on mellow trails, mellow trails are just not that exciting.

Also, even if they bumped the reach up by 25mm on every size, it still would be relatively normal sized (not massive). My Switchblade from 2017 has a 445 reach on the medium size; if I wanted to get a similarly sized hardtail (reach wise) from commencal, I'd have to go to the large, which would relegate me to a dropper under 150mm. "...choice of size is no longer restricted by a seat tube that's too high. That's particularly useful for those who want a longer bike." Uh, yeah it is...

My hardtail has a 470 reach and a 420 seat tube length, it's not like there is anything prohibiting commencal from doing the same, especially when they are claiming what I've quoted above.
  • 1 0
 @heffernw: I had the Mmmbop for about 8 months and loved it. Super fun on mellower stuff and could handle all blues and some black trails well. I regret selling it and plan on getting the blue pig next. I don't know, there was just something really fun about riding it.
  • 1 0
 @PtDiddy: the mmmbop is such a better bike then the commencal.
  • 6 1
 The seattube is still too long on the large and XL frame. It should be in the 400-420mm range, not 465 and 490. Im 5'10 and id want the reach of an XL, but with a 490 seat tube id be lucky to fit a 80mm dropper.
  • 1 0
 I'm in the same boat, long upper body needing more reach but stuffed for seattube / standover on these because of my stumpy legs, even at 6' tall.

I just bought an RSD Sergeant frame instead and read this headline thinking "NOW they give it proper seattube and stanndover!" but, looking at these figures, I'm still stoked on the Sarge for an all-rounder HT 2nd MTB.

This is a pointless half-measure, IMO.
  • 1 0
 There’s a massive seat tube gusset also so you can’t cut it down. These seat tubes are way too tall.
  • 7 2
 Why is it that every release video for any bike that's not for an enduro 29er has to show jibbing/trials moves that nobody actually does? 5010, Mojo, etc. They're trail bikes and we're not Josh Lewis.
  • 4 1
 Dunno about you dude, a lot of the guys i ride with enjoy arsing about on their bikes. Especially hardtails. I don't though, I suck at that sort of thing too.
  • 2 1
 @alexhyland: Totally. Me too. But the reality is that the ability to horse around like THAT has a lot less to do whether you own a jibby trail bike vs a monster truck enduro rig and more with being a next-level trials guy. Just noting the marketing shtick I guess.
  • 4 5
 Ok Boomer.
  • 5 0
 To be fair, it's not like these companies are going to just film some schmuck riding their new bike and drop it as the release video. Even if the whole thing was filmed on trails there would probably still be a lot of things shown well above the average rider's capability.
  • 5 0
 It's aspirational. Doesn't everyone wish they could ride like Chris Akrigg?
  • 3 0
 What I find odd, with droppers become more and more affordable, and other brands putting droppers on ~$1500CAD hardtails, Commencal doesn't even spec a dropper on the $1600CAD or the $2000CAD models. Doesn't seem like the best bang for your buck that Commencal used to be.
  • 1 0
 They forgot to list Stack in the geo table. That makes it hard to know if that 470 mm Reach is 20 mm too short or 30 mm or? There was an XL hardtail frame recently on PB news sporting a super low 610 stack...which effectively reduced actual Reach significantly.
  • 2 0
 Does it make that much difference? Could you please explain a little more? I always wondered about stack making a difference, but thought it was minimal
  • 1 0
 @jeremyk: assuming around 65 degree HA, every 40 mm reduction in Stack corresponds to an effective Reach reduction of 40/2.14 ... which is 19 mm.

This is a real world example; I have a 650 stack bike that fits perfect with no stem spacers.
  • 1 1
 Stack would be 652mm.

Also, this being a hardtail, things like reach, seat angle and head angle change dramatically when actually sitting on the bike vs looking at it or the static geo numbers.

with a 25% sag the XL would have about a 490 reach, HA of 66.6*, SA of 75.6*.

Reach will increase about 10mm for every 20mm of fork travel, so when going down hill or compressing the fork in hard turns the effective reach would be even longer, maybe 500mm or so.

Used the geo calculator link below to get the numbers...
bikegeo.muha.cc
  • 1 0
 @frorider2: thanks I didn’t realise it was that much. However do you not mean for a reduction in stack height that it increases the effective reach?
  • 1 0
 What would be the travel limit of the fork in an HT, not because of the geometry, but because of the fact that the front wheel will not pass quickly if the rear wheel will "hit".
  • 2 0
 Good geo, remember a HT only sags up front so reach grows @sag vs static. Also prefer my HTs shorter than My FSes.

But a steel version please?
  • 2 0
 I wish they'd re-release the Meta HT Chromo with modern geo. I LOVE mine and its super playful with older geo, but another affordable steel HT frame would slay right now.
  • 1 0
 After checking out the specs, I think an even more important point to take away from this is that Rockshox has a Coil 35 for budget bikes that should really heat up the budget fork wars.
  • 1 0
 At the end of this he should've strapped some bags to it and went out for a night under the stars. Because you can do that too on an aggressive hardtail. I loooooove mine!
  • 1 0
 So will 27.5+ wheels and tires fit? I see the website shows 27.5 x2.6 specced, but that may be at the max width for the stays.
  • 1 0
 Just looked at the ones in the shop in Chch here - they are fitted stock with 27.5/2.8
  • 5 1
 I'll stick with Ragley
  • 2 1
 yup. 2019 Big Al for me, 2020 MMMbop for my girlfriend.
  • 4 1
 27.5" >> comfort and grip
29" >> precision

What?
  • 3 0
 27.5 needs tyres over 2.4 to work on this frame. 29' famously roll better hold a line better. but yes this is pure marketing speak. A good rider can make a bike work how they want it
  • 1 0
 I like the Meta HT's but kinda wish they would make their 27.5 version more 27.5 specific instead of it just essentially being a 27.5 plus bike.
  • 3 1
 Hardtail so nice you typed it twice (in the title)
  • 1 0
 Like couscous
  • 5 0
 @nordland071285: except couscous isn't typed twice, otherwise people would be eating cous, and aint no body eating cous
  • 1 2
 My FS bike came with a better spec than their highest end HT at the same price.... Fuck these bike industries prices. Keep getting steeper and steeper, yet we keep buying so they'll continue to do it
  • 1 0
 I dont buy new bikes, but its driving up the value of used bikes too. Not cool. I like my used bikes to be dirt cheap, just like me.
  • 1 0
 saw this video comparison between the 2020 & 2021

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZV3LHsAsdI
  • 1 0
 bad link - here is the better one youtu.be/nfIsEcNhBL4
  • 1 0
 Shimano Deore 12-speed with Fox 38 forks. Good lord. Take my god damn money Commencal!
  • 1 0
 Imagine paying $2000CAD for a hardtail mtb and it not being spec'd with a dropper
  • 1 0
 Looks lie they mixed up #1 with #10.
  • 1 0
 It's Meta ADHD hardtail Big Grin
  • 3 3
 jeez... did people always bang on endlessly about geometry minutiae or is it a new thing?
  • 3 3
 Only intelligent people who like bikes care about geo. There’s a Venn diagram waiting to be drawn.
  • 1 0
 @frorider2: haha, yes i’d like to see it, get Taj on the job
  • 2 0
 Geo affects the way a bike rides way more than the components groupset. It's the one part of s bike they can't be changed I'm glad to see people feeling out about geo, especially on a hardtail.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty: nice to see you on here. Hopefully you .can take a look at this bike an your channel!
  • 1 0
 @ishanwagener: thanks man. I'm glad they shortened the seat tube, that was one thing i mentioned not liking in my review of the 2019 meta ht. If that's the only thing that changed then my 2019 review video should still apply. To date, the commencal is my least favorite hardtail.
  • 2 3
 Can't take a bike seriously with low end builds only. Specialized did the same thing. Cool frame but garbage parts.
  • 1 1
 They forgot the ISCG mounts...
  • 2 5
 Im sorry but this geo doesn't make any sense. I don't see how anybody no matter what their dimensions would be happy with this geo
  • 1 4
 Hard tails = hard fails.
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