Yoann Barelli's Commencal Meta AM V4.2 - Finale Ligure EWS 2017

Sep 29, 2017 at 13:54
by Richard Cunningham  



Yoann Barelli didn't just switch bikes when he joined Commencal, he says that nearly every component sponsor was new as well. His new Meta AM V4.2 had different tires, wheels, and cockpit items, so he says that first ride was an alien experience: "It wasn't me!." Standing 170 centimeters tall (five foot, seven inches), the 74 kg ex-downhill racer admits he should be on a medium chassis, but likes the longer, DH feel of the size large he has been riding since joining Team Commencal. In fact, he also sets up his suspension to emulate his gravity bike, with a supple beginning stoke, backed up by a progressive end-stroke rate that never feels like it bottoms. PB photographer Ross Bell met with Barelli in the EWS pits to talk about his Meta AM V4.2 and how he tuned it for the last EWS race of 2017.
Yoann Barelli on Commencal For 2017
Yoann Barelli

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
RockShox damper with a 425-pound Super Alloy racing spring. Fabric cageless water bottle.

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Renthal Apex 35mm stem and Fatbar handlebar cut to 760mm.
Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Levers set flat - a steep descending trick Yoann learned in Whistler.

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Hutchinson 2.35" Toro tires: soft compound front, with a hard-compound ebike rear tire. Both wheels have Huck Norris inserts.

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Yoann chose an "easy," 38-tooth climbing gear for the Finale's infamous steep liaisons.
Yoann Barelli Bike Check
American Classic's wheels are earning some credibility on the EWS circuit.

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Yoann used a 180mm fork for the Whistler Crankworx EWS with 90psi and three Bottomless Token air volume spacers. He dropped the travel and took out one Token for Finale, but the pressure is still 90psi.

Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Yoann Barelli Bike Check
Simple office. Barelli says that remote lockouts require concentration that takes away from his ability to read the terrain ahead. "Adrien Dailly doesn't use a lockout."







117 Comments

  • 86 3
 Crazy that the AM bikes of today could have handled redbull rampage 10yrs ago
  • 23 18
 It can handle today's rampage too....easy. As long as there is a proper landing it doesn't matter the size of the jump-drop
  • 95 1
 Says more about the riders 10 years ago than the bike.
  • 3 3
 is that Hardline specification, not?
  • 1 1
 Need more spacers.
  • 5 0
 @JesseE: I'd still like to see Tyler klassen make a come back
  • 78 4
 lol "ebike specific" rear tire. We used to call that a dh tire.
  • 7 3
 Exactly . Such bullshit Ha!
  • 25 3
 No it's different than a DH tire, the compound is way harder on the center than it is on a regular DH tire.
  • 1 0
 i guess thats the only way to pedal those huge tires around, y have had Toros for a few seasosns, and damn do they grip, but heavy and draggy as hell. Also 2,35 =2.5 or 2.6 in another brands
  • 30 0
 coils always bring sexy back
  • 21 1
 Crazy that this is the 2nd bike check with horizontal brake levers
  • 2 0
 What's the reason for having them set up like that?
  • 16 1
 Makes my wirists hurt looking at it!!
  • 25 0
 By next season they'll pointing 20 deg above horizontal.
  • 27 1
 @Levin192: When you ride down really steep terrain youll be leaning over the back wheel. So your fingers will be streched a little. When they are flatter they can be in a better braking position for that kind of riding.
  • 5 1
 Just goes to show how steep some of the stages are.
  • 76 1
 Man, I just thought of a new product to make all of your brake levers obsolete. I'm going to invent dropper levers - they're angled down for climbing and technical flat terrain, hit the button, and they pop up into the descent position! I'm going to get rich!
  • 15 1
 @pinhead907: as long as you don't steal my remotely operated clutch for rear derailleurs. Off for smooth shifting on the climbs and on for a tensioned chain on the descents
  • 10 1
 @Levin192: When your levers are pointing downwards you stretch the extensor muscles when reaching for the levers, which leads to what is known as arm pump. try raising them up even a little and you will notice a big difference overall.
  • 10 0
 Makes sense if 100% of your descent is at incline of 45° or more. Either EWS trails are more gnarly than we could ever imagine or those who prefer this have strange physiological characteristics.
  • 27 0
 @piersgritten: I've already patented a system that adjusts brake lever position, derailleur clutch, and remote lockout based on dropper post height.

You'll hear from my lawyer soon.
  • 5 0
 @chillrider199: also another way to look at it is when riding down steep terrain with flat brakes your wrists will be straight in a locked position as opposed to your wrist being bent when reaching for low brakes. With a bent wrist it is easier to roll your wrist more and lose grip. The heel of your palms are no longer helping, now your only holding on for dear life with your fingers and thumb.
  • 18 0
 @pinhead907: na, just loosen the handlebar bolts on your stem so you can twist/roll the handlebars.
  • 5 1
 @mitochris: I'm trying to get paid, though, man. How do you monetize that?

{edit, *sarcasm* in case anyone didn't catch that and decides to show up at my house with a pitchfork}
  • 3 1
 They're taking the piss. No doubt trails will have kids riding around with their levers pointing skywards filming each other now.
  • 7 0
 In 14 years of riding I've seen the pendulum swing three times now in racing. Levers up for the steeps, levers down for proper elbows-out form, now up for the steeps again. I have a feeling that we are all clever enough to find the middle ground that actually works.
  • 31 0
 > this is why he needs those levers horizontal... www.pinkbike.com/photo/13307028
  • 2 0
 @Levin192: When you are hanging off the back of the saddle your wrists aren't rotated downward.
  • 2 0
 @jlobes: work for Specialized, do you?
  • 1 0
 Having commented about Damien Oton s setup and looking at the riding pictures just posted there seems to be a few factors: 1 do you ride with your elbows more in or out? 2 do you bend your wrists? I'm fascinated by body mechanics and how it effects bikes and really everything we do. Obviously we move around a lot when riding but if you look at the pictures just posted of practice there seems to be some riders that tuck their elbows in a little more or bend their wrists more, if you fall into that group maybe try flattening them out a little.
  • 2 0
 @vikb: braking with their thumbs
  • 2 1
 It also helps keep your arm behind the grip
  • 3 0
 @bartender: you my friend speak the truth. Another way to think about it. Imagine doing a push up on a dead lift bar. Try doing a push up with with your wrists tipped forward(this will be the same motion as riding with levers tilted down). You will probably do it but you will use a lot of forearm strength and will get arm pump easy. Now tilt your wrist back(the more flat brake lever position) and push up. It will be way easier as more power is put through your palm.
  • 2 0
 @MD-dh-rider has the right idea. I don’t think for one minute there is a solution that will work across the board for a given type of terrain. I tried the high levers a couple of years ago when the enduroists first started trying it again and I get arm pump/ hand pump immediately. I run my levers where I always have - where they feel comfortable which is somewhere in the middle. You can talk to me all day about deadlifting a bike with my arm at 49.5° to my wrist, etc but I’ll still get arm pump. All our physiology is strange.
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: I didn't mean dead lift a bike. I said on a dead lift bar. But yes. Where ever you feel best will be best. A lot of it come from muscle memory.
  • 5 0
 @Levin192: It's mostly the French riders, who set them up like this. I think it has to do with their riding position, if you watch them in the steeper bits at Finale, they often ride rather low over the bike, forearms almost parallel to the ground. In that positons, flat levers will work, I guess...

Only found a pic of Cecile, that kind of illustrates what I mean: ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb14005874/p5pb14005874.jpg
  • 2 0
 @pinhead907: million dollar idea... haha.. make them electric too!
  • 2 0
 @pinhead907: you’re correct. I’m sorry. But could we pattern loose stem bolts? Each time a bolt loosens we get paid? It’s a feature, dude!
  • 1 0
 @Wheelersmtbholidays: wasn’t directly referencing you matey, nor did I mean any offence ;-)
I think you’re right about muscle memory being a factor - used to ride trials back in the day and so had my levers quite low. Perhaps that’s why the higher levers don’t work well for me.
  • 2 0
 @mitochris: Ya, I gotcha. A loose-bolt stem with a credit card reader attached. Put your credit card into the slot on your stem so it can pay directly into my bank each time the bolts loosen? Maybe I can put that onto my dropper levers, too. Instead of a button to release the drop, put your credit card into the dropper lever slot, pay me my $2, and the levers change position after I get my $$$
  • 1 0
 @MD-dh-rider: I think all depends on your ridding position and style. My levers are steep but not as flat as those. I´m quite light to my size and I must work a little bit more to keep the weight balance while braking. An almost flat or level levers works for me cos I can push forward whit the palms whit my own weight,not holding whit my fingers. I never got arm pump.But in the other side I see tons of riders working the opposite direction whit any problem at all.
  • 2 0
 @pinhead907: excellent. At least you pay for what you get.
  • 1 0
 @Levin192: it reduces arm pump. When your wrists are straight/inline when reaching your brakes, then some trail bumps send your wrists foreward and some bumps send your write backwards. When your wrists go forward, the only this holding you onto the bar is you squeezing the shit out of your bar. however, when your wrists bend backwards you can hold on/ rest on the bar with minimal squeezing or use of your muscles. Think when you're just cruising on the street, you can totally open up your fingers and rest on the bar when your wrists are cocked back. so, you want your hands significantly cocked back when reaching for your brakes. Knowing that the angle changes when you are on a steep downhill and hanging your ass off the back, you will have exaggerate the flatness of your levers to have your wrists still cocked back when on steep DH.
  • 1 0
 @Levin192: Apparently it also helps with arm pump, putting the brakes closer to level changes the way your hand sits on the grip. You sit more on your fingers, and less on your palms which normally puts all the impact into your arm.

Not sure of the science behind it, but I ride with more flat levers and it helps with arm pump immensely.
  • 2 0
 @Katakalism: Flat levers puts the weight through your palm, while levers pointing down puts the weight through your thumb.

Try to imagine doing some heavy bench presses with a straight wrist, that's what running low levers will do to you...
  • 1 0
 Tried and tested: Works great. On long descents, your weight is on the palms of your hands, like when doing push-ups. Your elbows are wider too. In fact, you have to adjust your position, and adjust your brake levers acordingly.
  • 23 3
 Renthal fatbars are like buying Jordans back in the 90's.
  • 16 1
 For those of us who were busy learning to ride without training wheels ... is that like real popular or not popular?
  • 3 0
 @VTwintips: It's like over the top popular - where not only teenage boys who wanted to play ball like Michael Jordan would wear them, but their mothers too. And he kind of has a point, I'm looking out for the first trekking bike with a Renthal bar... Wink
  • 7 0
 The super alloy racing springs are great. Mirka from SAR is awsome to deal with and can give really good advice with spring rates etc. Personal one on one service.........and the springs are really light and top quality....
  • 5 1
 That seat tube look's modified. Little strange lookin where seatpost meets the collar. I am almost same height as him, and I have M size Meta V4. And I could not drive large size without cutting seat tube down, and I have a quite tall feets. Inseem is about 80 cm.
  • 4 0
 I meant say that my legs are guite tall, not my feet...
  • 1 0
 Looking at www.commencal-store.co.uk/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=22591348

2-3 cm have been cut...efit im doing this...
  • 1 0
 I’ve cut mine as far as I can get away with. If it’s ally and you’re very careful about what you do I don’t see any problem. Obviously consider seat post insertion, whether your seat collar will foul the gusset, etc. And you’ll probably have to lower the split in the seat tube appropriately too.
  • 7 0
 an "easy," 38-tooth climbing gear - Puss
  • 5 2
 You know he's got a 50t on the back right?
  • 1 0
 zoom in and you can see it scraping up the chainstay!
  • 1 0
 38/50 Eagle is an easier gear than 32/42, which is a pretty standard setup for 11 speed drivetrains. Many frames will only clear a 36t ring, which really limits the benefit of Eagle... unless you really need that uber-slow granny gear.
  • 6 3
 The only difference between this one and a Supreme DH 4.2 is slightly steeper HA, climb oriented gearing and 30mm less travel in front. How much more can enduro bikes evolve without becoming DH bikes?
  • 2 1
 I think you’re referring to the Supreme SX... which has the high pivot like the DH bike...

www.pinkbike.com/news/commencal-supreme-sx-hard-drug.html
  • 2 0
 It’s well within the realm of possibility to create a DH bike that can be pedalled to the top of the hill but then how would they sell us DH bikes?
  • 1 0
 @ThomDawson: it’s already been done actually - Canfield Brothers “The One”
  • 1 0
 @sb666: I rest my case ;-) but the question is, is the The One an Enduro or DH bike? And is it any good at either?
  • 2 0
 @ThomDawson: "Jack of all trades, but a master of none" If you equip an 200mm shock then you'll have more travel in the rear. I'd imagine that would be weird. If you go to a full DH setup with a dual crown fork then you might as well just get a proper dh bike. People apparently loved the One, but there's gotta be a reason why they only made them for 2 years (I believe).
  • 3 0
 No handlebar lockouts cos you always end up getting to the bottom and realising that you forgot to unlock the suspension! I'm exactly the same. As little as possible on the handlebar
  • 1 0
 I was heckling at an enduro race this season and a dude comes flying by screaming, "I forgot to unlock my f*cking Foooooooooork,"
  • 5 0
 Wow that spring weighs 425lbs!
  • 4 0
 per inch!
  • 2 0
 Can't believe he's able to use the fabric water bottle on that terrain. Had awful luck with mine and ended up getting a regular one because the bottle kept flying off. A shame, because I really wanted to like it
  • 1 0
 They seem to be hit and miss, Ive heard stories of peeps losing bottles in the past (may have even been you !) but personally never lost mine even during some crashes where I was sure I’d be hunting for the bottle in the undergrowth it stayed put.
  • 2 0
 What's the seat called that he has on there (the plastic looking one with the holes)? I remember seeing an article on it on PB but can't recall the name.
  • 4 0
 tioga sypder I believe
  • 1 0
 @awitt is correct, to be more specific, I believe Barelli's is the "Tioga Spyder Twintail 2". I wonder how comfortable they are, not as much butt sweat with all those holes! Haha
  • 1 0
 Tioga Spyder Stratum, they're really comfortable and very light
  • 3 0
 I've been skeppers about the fabric bottles but if it stays on an EWS bike, I'm very interested.
  • 3 0
 Love these bikes. Still miss the old flashy color schemes though
  • 5 2
 460mm bar! Narrow!
  • 10 0
 In the digital age, who needs proofing when readers will do it for the writers...?
  • 6 0
 @PinkyScar: glad to do my part ;-)
  • 3 0
 @PinkyScar: I'm liking your sub-editing crusade. If a job's worth doing....
  • 4 3
 Commencals have some super short reach figures, even for the new "longer" 2018s. No wonder he's on a Large.
  • 3 0
 I think his choice of the large might be based more on the wheelbase than the reach - if he’s trying to get a DH bike feel, they don’t have big reach numbers either but they do have big wheelbases. He’s got a short stem on there to bring the reach down closer to a medium with a 50mm stem. It’s not all about the biggest reach
  • 4 0
 @ThomDawson: Fair point. But the reach figures are short compared to a lot of other enduro manufacturers. The 2018 medium is 435mm (10mm longer than 2017), which is equivalent to a small in a lot of brands. They're awesome bikes, but I can see why Yoann would upsize to a Large. Especially coming off a Giant.
  • 1 0
 It looks like teams sponsored by Hutchinson always ride Toros no matter what. Why is that?
  • 3 0
 Maybe the only decent/grippy enough tire they make?
  • 1 0
 he was staying in the same hotel as me , he had a remote on the coil , got pics of it
  • 2 2
 is it just me or does that top tube look like they broke it during hydro forming and said "screw it we"ll just put a weld here, nobody will notice"
  • 1 1
 Barelli is the best. I keep waiting for the Toto tuesday, Wyn Wheelie Wednesday combo.
  • 2 1
 Holy shit a 38tooth front ring???
  • 1 0
 talk about his Meta AM... what did he say!
  • 1 0
 Nice looking bike!
  • 4 4
 Waterbottle is too ugly. Wouldn't ride. 2/10
  • 1 1
 #FAF French as f*ck!
  • 1 0
 Ain’t French !
  • 1 4
 Super clean setup. Likely a fantastic bike but seem flexy. Im probably wrong though.
  • 3 0
 You are. I have the Meta TR v4.2 and it's very stiff. The frame is designed around stiffness (it's a little on the heavy side though).
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