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Field Test: Commencal Meta HT AM Ride - Big Tires & Big Fun

Apr 21, 2022 at 10:30
by Ryan Palmer  


Commencal Meta HT AM Ride

Words by Ryan Palmer; photography by Tom Richards

Of the nine bikes we tested for the value bike Field Test, two had something we’d basically forgotten about: plus-size tires. The Commencal Meta HT and Diamondback Sync’r both sport 27.5x2.8-inch tires, but there’s only one that testers would want to bring home with them. The Commencal had us rethinking the death of plus-size.

We still all agreed that 2.8” tires don’t need to be on full-suspension bikes, but trail hardtails are the perfect application for plus, where the extra meat improves climbing traction, descending stability, and technical prowess. But big tires can’t make a bad bike good, and luckily the Meta HT has solid bones.

The frame is a real standout when compared to some of the hardtails in the mix. It’s actually really nice, and we don’t even have to add the caveat, “for a 1,700 dollar bike.” The Meta HT frame will compete with any trail hardtail regardless of price. Most importantly, the geometry is appropriate for what the bike is trying to be, which of course is in the name: All-Mountain.

Commencal Meta HT Details

• Travel: 160mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Head angle: 65°
• Seat tube angle: 74°
• Reach: 445mm
• Chainstay length: 432mm
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL
• Weight: 29.8 lb / 13.5 kg
• Price: $1,700 USD
It sports a 65-degree head angle, runs a 160mm fork, has short 432mm chainstays, and a roomy-enough cockpit. The 445mm reach number on the size large seems short, but with the slack 74-degree seat angle, the toptube is actually longer than the Stumpjumper. Testers reported that the bike fit comfortably despite seeing numbers we’re not used to. Hardtails don’t require the same reach or seat tube angle numbers as full-suspension bikes do. It’s nice to see Commencal recognize that and make a bike that simply rides well rather than following trends that might compromise the bike’s intent just to make it look interesting on paper.

Featurewise, the Meta HT AM frame has a nice, low-slung standover, internal cable routing with the ability to run the rear brake on either side of the headtube, tons of tire clearance, a nice integrated chainstay protector, and all the rest of the things you’d look for in a modern frame, like tapered ZS44/ZS56 headset fitment, Boost axle spacing, and of course a no-nonsense threaded bottom bracket shell. There’s just one thing missing: a second bottle mount. There’s one on the downtube, but most hardtails have a second one on the seat tube. The Meta HT doesn’t. The reason for this is to maximize dropper seatpost insertion. Bottle mounts protrude inside the tube and limit dropper insertion, which would be a bad thing.


Speaking of dropper posts, this bike doesn’t come with one. But Commencal does offer this exact build with the addition of a dropper post for 200 bucks more. Get that one, or BYOD (bring your own dropper), because dropper posts are absolutely required. Don’t listen to your Primal Wear-jersey-riding uncle when he tells you dropper posts are for people who don’t know how to ride. Trust us, it’s one of the most important inventions to mountain biking, period. With that public service announcement out of the way, we can carry on with the rest of the Meta HT’ AM Origin’s spec.

Which isn’t too bad for a $1,700 bike (this time we do need the caveat). The RockShox 35 fork can get a bit overwhelmed at speed, the SRAM Level brakes aren’t crazy strong, and the SRAM SX drivetrain isn’t the most responsive, but it all works just fine. However, Commencal does spec the bike with a 200mm rotor up front, and we didn’t experience any lack of power in Tucson.

The Maxxis Rekon and High Roller tires on the other hand are top notch. They’re probably the same tires we’d choose, too, though it’d be a good idea to put something with bigger lugs on the back if you ride in wet conditions often. The Rekon rolls really efficiently though, which helps a ton with such a beefy tire.




The plus-size tires dominated much of the discussions around this bike’s riding characteristics, and climbing was no exception. We noticed exactly what you’d think we’d notice about the big meats—they’re a bit slower to accelerate, but offer a ton more traction than standard tires. And since hardtails can use all the traction advantages they can get, especially on the loose, chucky trails we were testing on, we all agreed that a little plus in our lives isn’t such a bad thing.

We were definitely able to clean more technical climbs with less effort on the Meta HT than on other hardtails in the test. When you’re constantly fighting for grip, the larger contact patch of the plus tires helps a ton, and in these conditions could even save energy over a lighter standard tire. There was a lot less weight shifting and monkey humping needed on this bike than other hardtails in the test, simply because the rear was hooking up better.

Up front, the 160mm fork and 65-degree head angle didn’t seem to hinder things in the slightest, nor did the more traditional seat tube angle. The reasonable reach helped on the climbs as well, and made the bike feel quite well-rounded. Mike Kazimer and I agreed that the bike’s not-too-out-there geometry makes the bike well suited for all types of climbing. It might not be the quickest-feeling climber when it comes to acceleration, but it’ll tractor up some impressively steep and technical features if you’ve got the legs, lungs, and skills to make it.




There’s no getting around the fact that this is a hardtail. It’s a point we couldn’t stop ourselves from making despite very much not needing to. But Mike Levy asked straight-up if it’s as capable as an all-mountain full-suspension bike. The answer is of course a resounding no. But, in an apples-to-apples comparison, it’s remarkable how much more smash and plow the Meta HT has than the Salsa or Marin hardtails in the test.

Between the longer 160mm fork, slacker head angle, and big 2.8-inch tires, the Meta can definitely haul some ass. We found it to be right at home on the loose, techy, often kitty litter-covered trails in Tucson. There was never an opportunity to get it on any real extended steep terrain, but for the slow-speed tech, tight puckery moves, and mid-speed pinball-type descents, it proved to be a blast.
Timed Testing

Our timed lap consisted of steep, technical climbs full of ledges and hard efforts, and a rough descent littered with rocks that lead into a fast, loose section of trail. Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.

The Meta HT ended up in second place on the climbing portion of our lap, four seconds behind the Marin Team Marin 1. On the descent, it tied with the Marin in second place, four seconds behind the Salsa Timberjack. Those results placed it in second overall, three seconds behind the Marin.

It won’t beat a full-suspension bike, but that’s not really the point, is it? At least for me, I wound up hooting and hollering more on the Meta HT than I did on any of the other bikes I rode in Tucson. That was after manually dropping the post, of course. Definitely splurge for the $1,700 one with the dropper—it’s worth much more than the 200 bucks it’ll cost.



+ Do-everything geometry
+Plenty of tire clearance / room for 29" wheel
+ Internal cable routing


- No dropper
- Fork can’t fit a 29” wheel
- One bottle cage mount

The 2022 Value Bike Field Test was made possible thanks to Visit Tucson and Norrona clothing.

Author Info:
RyanRPalmer avatar

Member since Nov 1, 2021
10 articles

  • 112 3
 Every value minded rider should take Commencal seriously when shopping for they’re next ride. Their geo is spot on and their build kits offer great value for money. But perhaps best of all, the frames are all built to the same spec regardless of the component build level.
  • 39 13
 They’re indeed.
  • 11 6
 I try my best to keep on hating commencal but it is not as easy as it use to be.
  • 5 1
 Every value minded rider as well as performance valued rider should be paying attention to Commencal! I have owned two of their bikes and they are second to none! My 2018 meta is incredible, I have looked at other brands and models to replace it but cant find anything better that justifies spending the money!
  • 4 63
flag carlwheezer69 (Apr 22, 2022 at 10:49) (Below Threshold)
 " for they’re next ride"? nice try pal its actuallly their
  • 70 0
 @quinn3: it's actually "actually"
  • 6 0
 If they could drop the frame weight of the Meta TR a couple pounds it’s probably my next bike.
  • 14 0


It’s the new grammar nazi.
  • 7 2
 @carlwheezer69: nice try pal nobody cares
  • 1 6
flag Uuno (Apr 22, 2022 at 16:41) (Below Threshold)
 @Snyderjl I thought Commençal was going downhill, so much I thought your first sentence was irony. I stopped reading the specs (was always too expensive compared to other direct sale brands in Europe) and the Geo (too short CS for long reach) a few years back. Has it improved?
  • 4 2
 Ok, didn't bother to check Geo... But specs :
Now in France, both available, the Commençal is 1650€. A Radon Cragger is 1300€ with dropper and Marz Z2... Let's say both differences make up around 250€ better value, that's a win by 600€ for Radon.
Or to put it the other way : you need to fork out 2400€ to get a Commençal with dropper, and it still has NX...
I guess it depends on where you're buying!
  • 2 0
 @Uuno: Sorry everybody about the spelling error, damn spellcheck. The thing with Commencal is that they offer European direct pricing to a market dominated by overpriced “name brands”. My ‘21 Clash does have a very long reach compared to other brands. But the geometry felt better than all the other “big brand” bikes I tried. The thing that you must accept with any Commencal is that they really focus on descending capability.
  • 1 0
 @EricSharp: Too many people get caught up in their shorter than average reach and slacker seat tube angle and immediately dismiss this kind of bike but they really are a great all rounder. Similar to Nukeproof Scout,RagleyMmmbop etc.
  • 1 4
 except if you crash and dent the alloy. i dented my HT and Am29 Not even high speed crashes. they are the yeti of the alloy world.
  • 2 1
 @carlwheezer69: also, were you being intentional by using "its" improperly when you corrected his use of "they're" ?
  • 41 0
 would it be that hard to put a yari on these bikes...it's like 50$ more than a rs 35 gold rl from wwc (and it is a lot better)
  • 65 0
 Not at OEM pricing. the 35 is dirt cheap at OEM.
  • 23 1
 The difference might be more for bike manufacturers. Company pricing != consumer pricing. If 35s aren't selling well, RS might provide a significantly higher discount on them then on fast selling Yaris. It's the reason you see crappy SX and NX on lots of high priced bikes instead of Deore (which is similarly priced for consumers). High discounts decide builds unfortunately.
  • 10 0
 This bike has the 35 Silver, which I believe is OEM only. I did find one on Ebay for $289 - more than $200 cheaper than the Yari.
  • 7 2
 I mean—even if it's a $150 difference it's worth it. The Yari can (and probably should) be upgraded. I was a little surprised at the thread www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=223613 as I've been impressed by Yaris before. Either way, the 35 is trash and the Yari is functional and that would be worth it to me. Product managers... look at these tests. If you spec a $2k hardtail with a base drivetrain but a decent fork you have a winner.
  • 31 2
 @Mac1987: Deore is probably one of the best values ever in mountain biking.
  • 6 0
 FWIW I was trying to find a budget hardtail, and ended up with one with the Marzocchi Z2. Only a few rides in, but thus far I'm VERY impressed. Its priced a touch under the Yari, so it could possibly be in the same range as the 35 at OEM pricing. If so, there is literally no excuse to spec a RS 35 rather than a Z2.
  • 19 0
 @ratedgg13: Yeah the Vitus Sentier 27 VR has the Marz Z2 and full Deore brakes and drivetrain. Makes this Commencal look like junk spec wise. Same price (with dropper) @ 1700$.
  • 5 0
 @Svinyard: Thats the one I bought!
  • 6 21
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 22, 2022 at 11:41) (Below Threshold)
 @NWBasser: I don’t know about you but I certainly can’t afford to run deore. How many rides do you get out of a deore mech before it falls apart and starts flopping around and going lose at the pivots? That’s a lot of new mechs your going to need to pay for over the course of a year. I’m going to cheap out and stick with X01. Might initially cost more but won’t bend in a light breeze or fall apart after 6 months.
  • 4 0
 I ride a previous version of the Meta HT and it got a Yari back then. I love this bike, probably the one I will keep the rest of my life, adapting and changing the parts to what I need....
  • 3 0
 @Mac1987: I must say I got a 11 Speed NX and while it's not the most chrisp or fastest shifting derailleur it proved to last and work for years, summer winter you name it...
  • 2 2
 A RS 35 silver is a coil spring fork. Can't compare with a yari you can setup or upgrade.
  • 5 1
 @thenotoriousmic: How many Deores have you had fail on you? My wife's setup has been great for over five years. And, FWIW, I use XT.
  • 16 0
 @thenotoriousmic: cheap out with x01? Deore falling apart? Neither of those things make sense.
  • 2 13
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 22, 2022 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 @NWBasser: I obviously wouldn’t waste my money on a deore but all my bmx mates that have all got into mountain biking over the last two years are all on entry level deore / slx builds and the build quality is very poor especially on the deore 12 speed mechs. They’ve all fallen to bits in less than 6 months use. It might cost you more initially to buy XT / GX upwards but the chances are you’ll end up with a product that works and won’t fall to bits unless you hit it off something. Deore might be cheap for a 12 speed groupset but it’s overpriced when you consider it doesn’t last before needing replacing and how heavy and clunky the components are when they’re not rotting away.
  • 3 0
 @GBlanco: My RS 35 Silver is air.
  • 3 0
 @NWBasser: for consumers, definitely. For bike manufacturers, it doesn't seem so unfortunately, with SRAM probably giving big discounts for selling complete SRAM+RS builds. Time for Shimano to take over Manitou/SR Suntour/DVO and do the same?
  • 9 0
 @thenotoriousmic: not sure what you are doing wrong with your components. Deore and SLX are long lasting and similar in many of the materials to XT.
  • 10 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I think you're confusing SX and Deore here. Look through the comments on this article and any other article on pinkbike and SX is largely thought to be garbage. You're the first person i've seen on this site call Deore trash. Most people from what I've seen have had great experiences with Deore, bad experience with lower-end SRAM, both SX and NX.

Anecdotally, I've ridden Deore on my Marin for almost two years and it's been rock solid. I've got friends with NX and one guy has been through countless NX derailluers, cassettes, and multiple shifters in the same period as I've had zero issues with my Deore setup.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: Oh, I love that idea!
  • 3 0
 @NWBasser: Microshift Advent X is better and cheaper
  • 4 0
 @skyroach: LOL! I have cheap-ass NX on my hardtail and somehow it manages to keep functioning somewhat. I think it keeps working out of spite, because I want it to fail so badly so that I can upgrade to a Shimano group.
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: Probably. But how many stock builds come with that? I mean, nobody's out there grabbing Deore to upgrade their bike, but it works just fine if that's what your bike came with and much better than SX or NX.
  • 1 1
 Except this bike didn't get a 35 Gold, it got the 35 Silver R. And its also a question of what was actually available at the time they were building the bikes.
  • 1 0
 @betobi: Autumn?
  • 3 12
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 23, 2022 at 2:26) (Below Threshold)
 @skyroach: Welcome to the upside down world of pinkbike and quite a lot of it is deluded shimano fanboys who still think it’s 2014 and don’t actually ride and when you start highlighting issues with shimano’s products they for some unknown reason start talking about sram, like yourself. I’m pretty sure I said to spend the money on GX / XT and deliberately didn’t turn it into a sram vs shimano thing. Ether way deore / SX is utter junk and if you buy it and actually bother to ride it regularly it won’t last especially those 12 speed mechs and those awful brake levers.
  • 9 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Deore 12 speed is actually fine. No problems here.
  • 2 9
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 23, 2022 at 4:36) (Below Threshold)
 @JonnyTheWeasel: Sure it is. Go grab your bottom jockey wheel and give the mech a wobble and watch how much it flexes and how much play their is in the pivots and that’s from new. Now imagine what it’s going to be like after it’s been used two or three times a week being rattled around on the back of a bike. If you keep defending sloppy, overpriced tat then manufacturers have no reason to improve and we’ll be stuck paying over the odds for the same old shit. It worked with sram back around 2016 when they were forced to drop avid / x9, x7 etc and completely reboot their range and now we’ve got quality products as a result.
  • 2 1
 Common sense isn’t to common anymore. People just want to take sides.@thenotoriousmic:
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Been using it for almost a year now. Been absolutely fine. Shifts perfectly too.
  • 7 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Did shimano touch you as a child?
  • 3 1
 @ratedgg13: Haha no I was die hard Shimano fanboy in my youth, they didn’t start abusing me until I hit my 30’s.
  • 2 0
 @NWBasser: has been since it was released.
  • 2 0
 @wburnes: this is what I thought, but I recently went to buy it and I could get the new 11s Deore (11-51t) for less than the 9s Advent.
  • 2 0
 @wburnes: Oh, FWIW I would like to see Microshift come on more stock bikes. I think that would be a terrific option.
  • 30 2
 I'm very happy to hear PB say a positive thing about plus tires.
  • 8 0
 That was a plus
  • 25 1
 Plus tires ain't dead! (on HT's).
  • 4 0
 (AM HT)
  • 2 34
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 22, 2022 at 10:35) (Below Threshold)
 The first thing any serious hardtail rider is going to do is take those stupid tyres off and replace with a sensibly sized DH tyre, especially on the back. I can only assume it’s a good way of getting rid of all those plus tyres that still have In stock.
  • 18 0
 Intermittent comments early in the video about 27.5+ isn't going to be fast. Sets 2nd fastest time overall, and 2nd fastest on the climb.

Everybody keeps on this assumption. Even when test after test, timed testing shows 27.5+ equal to, or faster than 29 on the trail.
  • 2 0
 I don't have a 27.5+ or 29 bike, but if you're comparing tire size speeds with this small test it seems fair to point out that one of the other bikes this one did beat (and the bike that came in last in timed testing) was another 27.5+.

I think that the PB crew was pretty fair here. There are situations that 27.5+ tires excel and it sounds like climbing on a good hardtail in loose conditions is one. I'm a desert rider too and I'd have loved to have had + tires on my 27.5 bike as I panted and pushed my bike up a sandy access a week or so ago. Every tenth would have helped.
  • 7 0

We’re on the same page. This test doesn’t show 27.5+ faster…but it certainly doesn’t show it as slower. And PB staff was pretty fair. Other test have shown it faster. It’s just such a common assumption that they are slow/sluggish, which simply has never been shown to be true. I ride both sizes, but I bet some people are missing out who aren’t going to try it.

I’m also bummed by disappearing tire options in 27.5+.
  • 21 3
 I have had plus tires and still prefer the way a 2.4 29er feels. Maybe a bigger tire out back, but I don't find it makes a huge difference - it ain't suspension
  • 3 1
 Same here... I think you and I are on a Chromag right? Anyway I've found the same thing.

I have 3.0 x 27.5 Terrene Chunks and 2.5 x 29 Maxxis DHF and I prefer the 29er wheel size simply because it rolls over rocks/roots better. I find my 27plus wheelset hangs me up a lot more than I expected and I'm also bashing my crank arms... maybe I should go with a less aggressive tread on the 27.5+ set, but so far my full suspension rig and my hardtail are competing for the same wheel set.
  • 2 0
 @bhuckley: RSD 291 (similar to a primer/hawk) and I agree about the roll. The outer diameter might be similar, but I find the roll is far better. Also, if you get a tire that offers legit more grip, it's a beast on climbs. A schwalbe Mary/Dampf have lots of grips, or Minion/Agressor and are far more 'sprightly' if you ask me. With inserts you can get the pressure pretty low. But to each their own!
  • 2 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: I currently have a 27.5 x 2.6 on the rear of my ht with cushcore. I thought I'd be able to run low pressure for the rough stuff and still be able to rail sharp berms without squirm, but it doesn't work anywhere near as well as I'd hoped. Still need at least 18psi which defeats the object a bit. Prefer the 29 x 2.4 instead.
  • 5 3
 It's like horses, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink. You can lead a mountain biker to plus tires, but you can get them to ride them because they were marketed for newbz and nobody wants to look like a newb... Smile
  • 13 0
 Actually, it is suspension. You may not like the undamped feeling of high volume tires, but tires are in fact the first part of your suspension system and should be chosen and inflated accordingly.
  • 4 1
 27.5 plus is the same outside diameter as a 29r. more air volume is most certainly suspension.
  • 2 2

It's like having 10-15mm of suspension going from like, a minion 2.4 to a 2.8. When you go crashing down rocks, it's still hard AF. I just thing a knobbier thinner tire with a legit sidewall rides nicer than either a lighter plusser and climbs with more ease than a 2.8 with a legit set of knobs and casing. I wouldn't mind trying a plus mullet, but in the end I just default to my squishy bike on more aggro trails. Does everything but out of the saddle climbing better. I like the HT for variety, and cause they are pretty
  • 2 0
 @tremeer023: what width rims do you run? its extremely common for people and brands to put 30i rims on 2.6 but i find that if you want to run those low pressures, 33 is the minimum, 35 or 36 is ideal for under 30 psi
  • 2 0
 @ltharris: Good point, 30mm. I used to have a 35mm which I agree would probably work better. Hmm, I like my wheels as they are though. Maybe I'll try it again with a different wheel some other time.
  • 4 0
 @slayerdegnar: no, its not. theres a reasonable difference in size and a huge difference in feeling. I have two wheelsets and 27.5 is awesome for some situations, but overall I prefer 29x2.4. Problem with plus tires is that you need to get the pressure spot on to ride good, a little to high and you bounce alround, little too low and you can bend the rims. Also since the tire is huge, if you need a better protected tire, you will have to carry a lot of weight. In fact i think there are no DH tires for this size. I think this is the main reason plus tires didnt catch.
  • 2 0
 @thelittle: plus is so finicky!
  • 13 1
 When decent 2.8" tires started to become available a few years ago (2017-2018?), it seemed clear to me that this is the exact kind of bike they were meant to be put on. I suspect people wrote off plus sized tires after riding some of the bigger squirmy tires that came out first.
  • 15 7
 I would really enjoy a HCHT field test with the overall question of "quiver-killer or garage filler?" The bikes would be tested on the usual, plus their ability to handle a trip to some double-black diamond descents, the local pump track, and short-track XC sprinting. That can answer the question of what a "quiver killer" is supposed to do...?

It could be a standardized kit test with sub-$1k, 29er framesets, or a straightforward field test of HCHTs sold for under $2k... Just look at how many views Tom Bradshaw got with his videos about his hardtail adventures Wink
  • 22 7
 I was pretty into the idea of a gnarlier hardtail until I bought one and actually rode it. I bought Chameleon with a 160mm Fox 36, and found that while I definitely enjoyed it on flatter terrain and at lower speeds, it quickly overwhelmed me when pointed downhill. I totally agree with Ryan's comment that I wouldn't have been able to distinguish between a 160mm and 140mm fork on that bike because I spent most of the descents trying to keep my ankles intact. I never wanted to jump it on anything other pump-track-style jumps because coming down on rough terrain was always a painful experience. I now own a Specialized Epic Evo, and can very definitively say that for me, the Epic Evo, despite its XC inclinations, is much faster on all terrain than the hardcore hardtail ever was. I do recognize they're very different price points, but my point is that I question the "hardcore" element of hardcore hardtail.

I will also add for context that I'm a young-ish guy who grew up learning to ride on a hardtail, so for me the negative experience didn't come from bad joints or inexperience on hardtails.
  • 6 4
 @airdonut41: My experience exactly with a Chromag. Not much fun on anything rough, which is basically everything around here (PNW)
  • 7 1
 @airdonut41: My experience too! I built up a Canfield Nimble 9 with spare parts and honestly I don't like it.

It just doesn't hook up and pedal when the going gets rough. I've been biking since the 80's so very used to rigid bikes.

I just feel like my 120mm bike does every single thing better than the HT. More fun too.
  • 3 5
 At least out west where descents are really rocky, a true quiver killer (that can handle the legit gnarliest trails) is going to have 140 rear 160 front travel and a HTA around 65 degrees.

You *could* ride those trails on a steeper bike or hardtail, but your margin of error on high consequence moves would be small, and you’d feel wrecked even if you didn’t wreck.
  • 13 1
 @airdonut41: There's definitely a speed limit when it comes to AM/enduro hardtails on rough terrain. That said, if you're not after absolute speed, they are extremely capable and a lot of fun. Personally I really enjoy riding my ht at the limit of control, and it very rewarding when I clear challenging stuff. I also keep hearing people complain about ankle pain, but I've never experienced such a thing despite riding long hard trails. What gets me usually is leg muscle pain from working so much to absorb the terrain. There's also a point when the trail is too steep and has too little traction where controlling your speed and direction becomes impossible, as the rear wheel just locks up and breaks traction. This is the limit of ht's for me. And while I still love mine, I'm trasfering it's parts to a FS frame soon because after many years of rigid rear ends it's time for a change.
  • 4 0
 @airdonut41: My hardtail is for style and to make easier trails more 'fun'. If I only had one bike, 100% it would have rear squish, if even just a little. But I've spent lots of years hardtailing and loved it, just found as I rode more aggressive it became painful or would make things scarier.
  • 2 0
 @justwan-naride: Yeah, I definitely understand the appeal of hardtails for lower speeds on technical terrain. The Chameleon really made me think about where I should put my rear wheel, and I think that has translated to better riding for me overall (particularly on the XC bike).
But then I hop on my Ripmo and realize that I can just jump over all the gnarly stuff and get away with it, and that puts a big smile on my face.
  • 6 0
 I feel like the hardcore, do it all hardtail, is kind of a romantic fantasy for many riders. FS bikes are just so solid. I spent my first 2.5 years on a hardtail, along with my main riding buddy and we always told ourselves hardtails were the best and FS just not necessary. Then I got a FS bike but kept my hardtail. Took the old HT out for some actual trail riding last month and it was ridiculous how stiff it felt lol. I love riding it around the street though. All that in mind, I'm still always contemplating a newer hardtail. Something like a ragley mmmbop or marin san Quentin. I love the idea and simplicity of a HT but FS is so hard to beat.
  • 5 2
 @DylanH93: rattling down rocks, on flats, with no rear suspension is terrible. Tell yourself it's better all you want, but it's only better if you like pain and sketchy handling. Don't get me wrong, I love a good hardtail ride, but sometimes they're more trouble than they are worth. My old smooth clay based trails were great for hardtails, but still, a long ride was tedious for the chode/ass and bad landings were so unpleansant. There's a reason you don't see many hardtail motorbikes on the road anymore.
  • 1 1
 @airdonut41: I had a 150mm travel full sus broke it. Did a bunch of demos, found that I preferred the aggressive hardtails (vs full sus or XC hardtails) on my local trails so I built a Ragley Big Wig with the parts of my full sus.
I want to build a full sus again but with a 2 year old at home most of my riding is shorter rides and local so an aggressive hardtail is the bike for me.
  • 1 1
 @airdonut41: jumping from the ht to your fs is what makes you a better rider. That is the gain of owning a ht ( and a fs of course)
  • 1 1
 @gapos999: One thing I've noticed going back & forth is that a hardtail feels so much more capable when you're clipped in. The biggest thing are unexpected lumps which have your feet working hard and then the heels down position which hurts when shit gets rocky on an HT. When you're clipped in you can ride so light it really helps. That said I keep my HT flatted, cause of the whole 'makes you better' thing. Don't wanna form bad habits.
  • 6 1
 @airdonut41: Yeah... I concur with your statements, especially the ankles. I truly believe the HCHT's are really about cost savings... an entry level trail bike. I think the bike is clearly far less capable, at very nearly the same weight of AL FS bikes. And you pay for that low cost of entry with wear and tear on your ankles, knees, and back.
  • 2 2
 @Baller7756: maybe I’ll get my first FS for my 50th birthday next year…? My ankles and back are fine, currently, but maybe I’ll start writing HT checks I can no longer cash next decade… ?
  • 8 0
 @airdonut41: yep.
The occasions where 160mm front is needed with 0mm sagging in the rear, are rare. In the end 130-140mm is the max I've felt useful on a hardtail.
Mentioning ankle pain, I can't relate to this but every problem I can have in my hands comes up fast when riding chunky stuff on the HT instead of FS. The rear wheel is still connected pretty rigidly to the handlebar even though it seems far...
In the end, I'd recommend a HCHT only when budget is limiting during purchase and use (especially easy and cheaper to maintain in regular muddy conditions)
  • 4 1
 @airdonut41: I've had nearly the opposite experience with my Chameleon. If you get the tire pressure dialed and ride light on the rear wheel it can fly down some rowdy stuff. My strava times are about the same on the local downhills as on my Switchblade. My problem is that I bought two "quiver killers" and probably should have gotten bikes that are more distinct.

I'm a middle-aged guy who has ridden MTB since 89 and sometimes my ankles and knees hurt. Admittedly the ankles take more of a beating on the Chameleon.
  • 3 0
 I love riding my hardtail (Nimble 9). Set up singlespeed is where it’s at. Relatively maintenance free, light, cheap, just an all round blast.
I’m not going to win any races or KOM any segments but who give a rats. I’m having a blast.
I don’t see the point of a hardtail without sliding dropouts.
  • 8 0
 Praying for Mishka. Will see what I can do about sending $24 of dog food (bypass the middle man). How big's the Pinkbike PO Box?

Commencal making some great bikes at the moment, hopefully Tom will hurry up with a confirmation bias report on hi TR antics.
  • 9 0
 Love the bleeping out of the word "Shit", while Palmer is sitting there in a hat that literally says "Nature & Shit" hahaha
  • 8 0
 Absolutely no shaming intended here but I definitely read that summary as "Making hips plus-sized again" instead of "Making plus-size hip again"
  • 5 0
 I’d be interested to see how this (and the other hardtails on test) compare with some of Ragley’s offerings. They seem to have some pretty nicely specced aggressive hardtails at a very competitive price
  • 5 0
 I have a Marley that I got on closeout for pretty cheap and it's more fun than a porcupine in a tree farm.
  • 7 0
 2.8 hardtail makes for a nice winter bike in areas with snow and melt happening every couple weeks.
  • 4 0
 Agree, or even 3.0 if your frame allows.

The only downside is to be extra careful if your frame is steel (which many aggressive hardtails seem to be)! All of that road salt can cause problems if you don't have your frame coated internally properly (speaking from experience with my nearly fused seat post, oops!)
  • 3 0
 I had a Canceled EPO with 27.5 + 2.8 F/ 2.6 R and it was one of the best bikes I've ever owned. On more XC style trails its was crazy fast, climbed awesome and would allow you to get into some pretty rowdy stuff too and then go hit the local jumps afterwards.
It was my second bike but I really regret selling it.
I firmly believe that HT bikes make you a better rider.
  • 39 0
 Dang, your bike must have said some pretty offensive stuff.
  • 2 0
 @BobbyHillbomb: LOL Canfield
  • 2 0
 @Dustfarter: I'm also big fan of 27.5+ hardtails, but I just couldn't pass up an opportunity for a dad joke.
  • 7 2
 Every time I read about the importance of droppers posts I think about the HiteRite I used to love in the 90s!
  • 2 0
 I almost downvoted you for making me feel old, but then I clicked the upvote button for nostalgia Smile
  • 2 0
 Hite Rite was not only functional on the trail but kept my roommates from taking my seat post back to the apartment and forcing me to ride home standing up from class.
  • 1 6
flag thenotoriousmic (Apr 22, 2022 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 If you’re going on actual bike rides then you definitely need a dropper but if like me your riding your hardtail around in the woods near to where you’ve parked then you definitely don’t need one and if your playing around on it doing wheelies and manuals etc the seat starts rocking side to side and the dropper stops working. There’s no point me ruining a £300 dropper doing wheelies and stuff in the woods when I can just use a £20 standard post that doesn’t develop play and break. I’ve always got my seat slammed anyway and it’s not the end of the world to put it up to climb the occasional fire road.
  • 6 3
 "To be faaaaaaair...." I find my self replying like Letterkenny every time @mikelevy says it. You guys need to start doing a three-part harmony of it if you are going to let @mikelevy say it on camera.
  • 8 1
 Take a drink every time I say "To be Faaaaair" or use the words energy or poppy haha
  • 3 1
 "We still all agreed that 2.8” tires don’t need to be on full-suspension bikes"

I still think plus tires are awesome, except that they were not technologicaly explored, just made from what they had at the time.

2.6 on full suspension are rock garden bliss, when it doesn't puncture or gash.
  • 2 0
 I'm riding Conti Der Baron's in a 27.5x2.6. Very tough sidewalls and just an awesome tire in my opinion.
  • 4 0
 Plus tires do work awesome on full suspension bikes, providing the tire is current, like a 2.8 DHRII, inflated to the correct psi, and it’s on an appropriate wide rim, like 40i. They’re faster, have better traction and small bump compliance. I’ve been on them for years and I much prefer them to 2.4 in back to back tests. Just ask Seb how they are.

  • 3 0
 @Twenty6ers4life: agreed, they absolutely need to be on a wide rim, with careful attention paid to pressures. And that alone is enough to make them "not for everyone".

It feels safe to guess a lot of people who don't like 2.8" might not have put them on wide enough rims.

2.6 is a little more friendly to imperfect setup so I'm not too surprised it's taken over the "plus" market
  • 3 1
 I almost bought this bike last year even though I don't need a 4th it's such a killer deal and lots of room for upgrades. Their entry level kids bikes are also a great value as both my kids have ridden their 14,16,20,24 wheeled bikes and selling them once they grew out of them was a not a problem at all.
  • 2 0
 The roundtable was kind of hilarious. With Ryan Palmer there, he made Levy and Kazimer look like twins. Maybe because Palmer has so much more hair, more beard, more of everything... except tattoos.

Right... its not even 4/20 anymore, so back to the bikes...
  • 2 0
 I really wonder how long it will take for this HT to get reviewed somewhere:


Dropper, geo, fork and drivetrain tick all boxes in the price range.
  • 2 0
 I'm happy to see that they've finally stopped their fake outrage over plus tire weights, considering most plus tires are nearly same weight as their 29er cousins.

I don't know about acceleration times vs rolling resistance. Lots of very unscientific roll down tests and just basic trail riding have proven that plus tires aren't slower than 29er, and sometimes can be faster.

For the record:
Maxxis Recon 27.5x2.8: 120tpi, 3CT/EXO/TR - 861g

Maxxis Recon 29x2.4WT: 60tpi, 3CT/EXO/TR - 840g

Still not convinced about the first half of this sentence "We noticed exactly what you’d think we’d notice about the big meats—they’re a bit slower to accelerate, but offer a ton more traction than standard tires.", considering a 29er version would have the same tread pattern but also be slightly taller.

I don't think plus is a great choice for FS bikes because you'll end up fighting the rubber trying to tune in rebound on big hits.
  • 3 1
 Is this bike meant to compete with the specialized fuse type ride or is this more a true value bike that got lucky when it came together? Asking for a friend who will be pissed if they spent 1k more on a fuse…
  • 3 1
 It's not exactly made to compete with the fuse, the meta is more all-mountain focused and probably better at descending. Having ridden one a few times, the meta is a great hardtail, and I'd definitely recommend it, especially for the price in comparison to the fuse (that said, I've ridden the higher spec 29er version, so can't entirely speak to this specific model)
  • 6 0
 Fuse pricing is out of control. The top end build has inflated by $800, and the only meaningful change has been a 35G to Fox 34. I loved my 2020 (until it was stolen), but there was no way I was going to replace it with another Fuse. This bike and the Timberjack offer so much more value.
  • 3 0
 Two are the things I've learned from this video:

1: Without Alicia it's not a Field Test
2: MacBook Pro used for all previous videos was Alicia's
  • 15 0
 Hah good guess, but I think it was actually Levy's! I'm firmly on the PC side of the world (and Android, so I ruin any and all group texts).

But hey, point 1 might have made my day.
  • 3 0
 @alicialeggett: Well, your professionalism is surely an example, and I personally find your reviews useful and genuine... Let's just say that if I must choose a new bike, I'd ask you for an advice
  • 2 1
 Because the review didn't mention it, this bike has the Rockshox 35 Silver. Coil fork (not the good kind) and not even a basic compression damper. When you can get other options for the same price with a Marzocchi Bomber Z2 and Deore Drive train and decent shimano brakes...this thing is kind of a joke dollar-for-dollar.
  • 2 0
 Maybe its the TK version of the fork that has Solo air spring instead of the coil?
  • 1 0
 I have the 2021 Meta HT Race, upgraded the damper in the Fox36 to grip2 and the bike totally slays. It has become my daily rider and I keep my full suspension bike for when I actually drive to the trailhead instead of riding to the trail head and then home after doing a few laps.

I have done double blacks and a World Cup dh track on it and it slays.

For me I wanted something that was a daily driver that I could commute to work but still maybe hit a trail that has tech on the way to and from work and saves money from a service perspective.

Long term I am song no further upgraded to the bike outside of Chang cassette/derailleur as they wear out.

Solid bikes, def worth to spend a little bit more on a better model if you can but frames are great and upgrade paths for components make sense over time.
  • 3 0
 Good review overall. Steve @hardtailparty has an excellent review of this bike and also compares it to other aluminum and alloy hard tails …. Check it out.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding a custom built Commencal Meta HT AM since 2015 as my everyday-commuting-and-do it all bike. I'm definitely looking to buy a new one since the geometry is starting to feel way off when switching between the enduro rig. But yeah, it is and have always been really reliable so two thumbs up to Commencal!
  • 3 0
 If you're down for 27.5 this seems like a proper build for 1500. Looks good too
  • 3 2
 Did you measure the actual width of those tires? The 27.5x2.8 Rekons I've had measured 2.63 (67mm) on i30 rims and only grew to 2.67 (68mm) on i35 rims. I wouldn't really call either of those plus sized.
  • 2 0
 My 27.5x2.8 High Roller 2s on a 45 internal rim measure 2.79".
  • 1 0
 How did you measure? In my experience Maxxis tires are reasonably true-to-size if you measure at the widest point of the knobs. Conversely, Schwalbes are true-to-size at the widest section of side wall.

It's been a few years since I paid attention and things changes. YMMV.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: Those numbers I quoted are for the widest point of the knobs. The only other Maxxis 27.5x2.8 I've measured is the DHR2, which came in at 2.72in (69mm) on an i35. Just to be clear, I'm only talking about these specific tires. FWIW a 27.5x2.6 Assegai is exactly as advertised on an i35 rim.
  • 1 0
 @ThermalAttorney: Cool. Thanks for the info.
  • 1 0
 @ThermalAttorney: I got curious so I checked. Mounted to i35 rims (DT Swiss), my labeled-as-2.6" Forekaster and Rekon measure 2.49" and 2.54" respectively.

Granted, the arms of my calipers aren't quite as long as I would like them in the case, so there might 0.05" on either side that I'm missing.
  • 1 0
 Rekon is a little bit smaller than other Maxxis 2.8. On my son's Highttower 2018 with ARC 40 rims, Rekon is 2.7 and DHR2 is 2.8, same as DHF that we ran before... Personally, I'm more into 29er than 27.5+ but I think they have their place... Previous son's bike was a RSD Middlechild with 27.5+ such a fun bike
  • 1 0
 Maxxis in general LIES about their claimed widths, across the board. Even their fat bike tires, on i95 rims (practically the widest available) don't reach their claimed widths. Ironically, the WTB tire that kicked off the plus craze, on their original i45 rim made for it, was ONLY a 2.8 casing width. Its actual tread width was only 2.4.
  • 2 2
 Why are we glossing over the ugly here like sales guys at a car dealership? SRAM SX is NOT "Fine" nor is that Rockshox 35 Silver (the gold had big issues...the silver is junk). Maybe its fine compared to a Walmart bike not for 1500$. This is Commencal cash grabbing instead of spec'ing a proper Yari and Deore (or even NX).
  • 5 0
 Speccing those parts mean that it is no longer a $1500 bike.

I bought the 2020 version of this bike which, at the time, had a lower quality fork and group. It was all I could afford and was fine for getting me out on the bike. I've upgraded it over the past 18 months with some second hand parts, and it's an awesome bike now.

I think a lot of people forget that this is a value field test, and that for some people $1500 may be a firm ceiling for them. Yes, there are better parts out there, but if it bumps the price higher then you're just pricing people out of riding.
  • 3 1
 @CleanZine: BS. The Vitus Sentier has a freaking Marz Z2 and full Deore. 1700$ - same price as this model with the dropper.


@mikelevy this is a good example of why these reviews that are not legit, brass-tax are missing the mark. People think that for the money this is fine and up to par "not that bad" and it hits the baseline spec for a good bike that'll last. However its not. The el-cheapo coil fork here (not the good kind) doesn't even have a compression damper lol. We all know SX is junk. There's opportunity here for calling a spade-a-spade. Its also important that people buy good, cheap bikes not junky ones (that cost the same) because they then become good used bikes for those who can't afford to drop 1500-2500$ on a bike. These disposable junky parts aren't it, and it should be pointed out much clearer imo.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: but has a lower quality frame, what appear to be lower quality brakes, potentially a lower quality rear hub, etc. Bikes at this price point are always about balancing things out, they'll all do it their own way. My point still stands that if they changed those parts they wouldn't hit the same price point. As people have said, at OE there's a sizeable difference in price by going to the Yari, for example.
  • 1 0
 @CleanZine: Unknown on the hub. All cheap bikes have lame hubs at this point. Why is the frame lower quality? It’s a hardtail after all. I own two commencals (hardtail and FS) and the frames are fine but nothing insane and they are unnecessarily porky. There’s stuff I like about them and stuff I don’t. I own the level brakes too (came with commencal) and they suck. I’d take those new shimano 2 pistons any day. Regardless, suspension is king here. Trust me, that Vitus bike with its pretty nice fork and deore is a big time setup from this junk on this bike for identical price or cheaper because Commencal hoses you on shipping for like 140$. I’ve got 13 bikes in the garage and service them all with a range of stuff (suspension too aside from nitro). You don’t want the cheap stuff, it just don’t hold up and breaks a lot and it’s often super hard to service etc too or even find parts.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see plus tires getting some luv, I have the original Timberjack GX build with plus size (Fox transfer was only add-on). Took me a while to get to used to two wheel drifting but now I enjoy the slide until they bite
  • 1 0
 I have the 2021 meta ht race 29er (top spec w/ 36 performance and deore 12) and it absolutely rips, couldn't recommend it more, and for only $2300 US it's a pretty decent deal.
  • 1 2
 Built one up with a 140mm fork recently as I’ll likely be on a full suspension if I’m in terrain that requires a 160mm travel up front. Super fun ride, comfortable and efficient.

I’m planning on sticking a rigid fork on it and a slightly longer stem for some gravel rides. Think it’ll be a blast.
  • 2 0
 It's more than a bit surprising that it tied with the XC Marin on the descent.
  • 1 0
 Yup. Also the Marin is a good bit lighter on 29 x 2.3s and faster up.
  • 3 1
 Marin probably has more monkey humpin too.
  • 4 0
 @Telebikes: you ok bro?
  • 4 0
 @Gibbsatron: Just stating facts from the article. "There was less weight shifting and monkey humping with the Commencal".
  • 1 0
 Just enough reach on the L, I don’t need a freight train. Screw the bmx background….this bike is gonna rip the trails like an overgrown bmx……sweet!
  • 1 1
 I think it's interesting that they went with this model, when the higher ones are much better value, and still at a decent price point.
  • 3 3
 Because it's a hardtail and even around this price you could get a Stance 29 or a Marin Rift for a few hundred more rather than just getting a slightly better-equipped bike that's still just a base aluminum hardtail.
  • 6 0
 @nickfranko: yeah, but for $2300 you can get the 29 race version with a Fox 36 and full Deore, which is a lot better than the components they put on the base model Rift Zone, or the next one up in the same price range. It just seems like there are better value versions of this bike than the base model with RS 35/SX.
  • 2 0
 @danielfloyd: Because this is a test aimed at cheap bikes, and if you're a rider with a budget that includes this model at $1500 then it's unlikely you can afford to spend almost half that again. They mention that there are better spec options available, so with the idea of this test being value-orientated it makes sense to go for the cheaper model. If the fundamentals of that bike are good, then it follows that a more expensive one with higher quality parts will be even better.
  • 1 0
 @CleanZine: this is the value field test, not the cheap field test. There needs to be a distinction.
  • 1 0
 @danielfloyd: I'd always been under the impression that for these tests "value" was essentially being used as a kind of polite synonym for "cheap".
  • 2 0
 LOL... the kids today calling a 74 degree seat angle "slack"
  • 1 0
 bike looks legit, these commencals are definitely looking like a solid option as a next bike whenever that is.
  • 1 0
 Forget the rest and go Growler... www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2kGRok9EQc
  • 1 0
 Checked the meta ht website. Size L:
Seat tube=465
Every other competitor seat tube=420
  • 1 0
 I built one of this aggressive hardtails for "training" and ended up using it more than my santa cruz nomad
  • 1 0
 is there going to be a round table or do we have to pay for beta to see them
  • 2 5
 Surely if it can take a 27.5x2.8 it can take at least a 29x2.35 on the front?

BUT, too bad they don't spec the bike 27.5x2.8 back and 29x2.6 front. Great tires for desert hardtail, not bad for desert short travel FS either.
  • 3 1
 Simple math to check. Wheel radius is roughly 584+71=655 for the 27.5x2.8 and 622+60=682 for the 29x2.35. The 29er is about 27mm larger than the 27.5+. If there's a healthy gap between the fork arch and the 27.5+ tire then you might be able to squeeze in a 29er, but it might be dangerously close to the arch.
  • 2 0
 @nrj: that’s wheel not radius, so the difference you need in fork crown clearance is ~14mm for the 29er. You want 5mm minimum for mud and sticks, so I would depend on it unless there was a 20mm gap with the 27.5x2.8.
  • 1 0
 @nrj: per @melanthius , I guess your math was simple but wrong... Smile

I'm just not understanding what fork is set up to take a 27.5x2.8 that isn't just a 29er fork? Like did RS make a dedicated 27.5x2.8 casting for the 35 fork? And if so WHY, when every other plus tired bike I've ever ridden on just used a 29er fork.
  • 2 0
 @stiingya: The Rock Shox boost forks with 35mm stanchions go up to 2.8” tires for their marked wheel size, and the boost 29 one can take a 27.5x3.0” as per their documentation. So, it’s not that they make a dedicated plus fork, but instead that all the boost forks are just barely plus forks. The 27.5 forks are just barely big enough to take a 2.8” tire but not enough to size up the wheel, which certainly needs more room than a 27.5x3.0” tire would.

  • 1 0
 A 27.5 x 2.8 is smaller diameter than a 29 x 2.35. We're talking about 28.4 vs 29.3 inch diameter, and thus half that for a radius difference. As someone else pointed out, they offer a seperate version of the fork lowers for 29 boost which can take up to a 29 x 2.8 OR a 27.5 x 3.0 (the actual maximum tire width is 81mm). Rockshox has moved to emulating Fox forks, which actually have had more clearance for tire diameter than width for years (the 26er models were rated to safely handle 27 inch diameter tires with excess mud space leftover, which is why a lot of those forks lended themselves well to doing 27.5er conversions).

From a fork manufacturer's perspective, tire diameter clearance is more important than width clearance, because too wide a tire simply wouldn't turn in the fork at all, whereas too tall a tire might only become a noticeable danger if you bottomed the fork. Also not every tire maker actually labels their tire sizes honestly. WTB's original 27.5 x 2.8 tire was only 2.8 inch in CASING width (on an i45 rim). Its tread width was only 2.4 inches and its diameter was smaller than a 29 x 2.1. So it would fit perfectly well in a regular 29er fork, and most 29er frames. But you take a Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5 x 2.8 on the other hand, which is measure BOTH casing and tread in that width, and overall its a larger diameter as well (but still less than 29 inches).
  • 1 0
 @melanthius: @deeeight Gotcha... Never bothered to look into it. Fortunately both the plus hardtails I got came with 29er forks and allowed easy plus mullet conversions. Seems limiting to both the customer and the manufacturer to spec a dedicated 27.5 plus fork when any 29er fork would do???
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: A 29er fork would do for the inflated diameter, but not guaranteed to accept the tread width. On many boost spacing 29er forks, they simply re-positioned the dropouts and disc tabs placement when changing the fork lower castings from a non-boost version. Nothing else changes so there's no additional clearance for a wider tire than before. Putting a 27.5+ tire into the fork may or may not allow sufficient gap between the inner sides of the brace at tread height position, especially where on most every fork casting, the wiper seals cause the legs to bulge in diameter where the brace begins.

My Suntoujr Raidon 27.5+ fork has 15mm of clearance all around the tire tread, both under the brace and on its sides with a 27.5 x 3.0 tire, but a a regular Fox Float 29er fork, while having the same amount of clearance UNDER the brace to the top of the tire tread, has barely 2mm of clearance on the sides. What happens if you dent your rim or break a spoke while in motion and suddenlly your front wheel is out of true laterally by 5mm ? Your tire will jam into the inside of the fork leg / brace and you'll go supermaning over the bars.
  • 1 0
 @deeeight: I went and looked on the RS site. It's not a dedicated 27.5 plus fork. It's just their normal 27.5 fork and can take up to a 2.8 tire. Same as their regular 29er forks can take up to a 2.8 tire. (same 81mm internal tire width on these 27.5 or 29 castings too, so no difference there) And just like I mentioned above if you want to run 27.5x3.0 tires they list the regular 29er fork as compatible which is how my plus bikes were specced.

So back to I don't understand why they didn't just spec the 29er fork... seems dumb? But maybe they were easier to get a hold of? Smile
  • 10 11
 It’s crazy that they do hardtail reviews and don’t discuss frame compliance or harshness. That’s like the biggest detail when comparing hardtails.
  • 50 1
 They’re all rough. The tires and pressure makes way more difference than anything else.
  • 9 0
 If you want someone who compares frame stiffness, check out hardtail party on yt. It's a silly think to talk about really, because, as Levy pointed out, the tires make a bigger difference than anything on the frame.
  • 11 1
 No... it's not. Anyone who says they can tell the difference is full of shite. The big squishy 2.8 tires would dampen any noticeable difference. Prove me wrong
  • 5 0
 @FauxreaL: there are definitely some bikes out there with a good amount of BB flex that is definitely noticeable while pedaling, but as far as impacts go, I totally agree.
  • 6 2
 @mikelevy: I'm so glad you just come out and say this! People talk so much hot air about frame feelies and it drives me mad. It's like reading headphone reviews: "Ahh yes, this frame has an elegant timbre over high-speed chatter, without being overly vibratous when the rocks get large and chunky"
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: My Banshee Paradox would like a word
  • 14 0
 @uncanny: What kind of wood does it ride like? Oak or cedar?
  • 9 0
 @mikelevy: He wooden know...
  • 4 1
 @mikelevy: I'd probably liken it to a good maple. Banshee's seat tube yoke really does an impressive job of damping, especially for an alloy frame.
  • 4 5
 you've been drinking too much of the koolaid put out by that clown in the Hawaiian shirts and goofy shades.
  • 3 2
 @jamesbrant: If you're talking about HT party I don't really like him or his style, and FWIW I wasn't even aware of him until several months after building my bike.

I'm a mechanical design engineer in the industry and I've ridden plenty of AL, steel and Ti bikes over the years to come to an informed opinion, my dude. I actually bought the Paradox for the geometry and it's combination of thoughtful attention to detail and versatility. I was looking for a hardtail to compliment my Ripmo for more mellow/peadaly trails.
  • 1 1
 @FauxreaL: There’s a world of difference between something like a Planet X Jack flash or a spooky metal head and something like an on one Dee dar and then jump back on something like an orange crush or something. You can definitely feel the difference.
  • 4 3
 ...As a mechanical design engineer in dentistry with some bmx background i went steel for the feel. Kona Honzo ESD is the winter ht battler for me.
  • 1 1
 Thanks guys, great review! I just definitively miss Alicia's energy and meta-spirit in the round.
  • 1 0
 Ok but where do I get that Nature & Shit hat?
  • 1 0
 Internal cable routing a pro?
  • 1 0
 You lost me at Sram drivetrain...
  • 1 0
 Hey!! It's CO. MEN. SAL.
  • 1 0
 uh, so we´re not going to see a Diamondback bike anytime soon again? Smile
  • 2 4
 This is the bike that has a crazy short reach right? I'm not particularly tall but that XL maxing at 475mm reach is just too short for me.
  • 1 0
 somewhat short reach, yes. i have an XL with custom build, wagon wheels and 170mm fork (carry over from fully) and i'm 6 5 and it's fine. i don't want a super long HT as when the fork compresses it feels longer anyways. i subscribe to the theories put out by Jeff Lenosky, though i'm sure not everyone buys it. i'd say it feels 'about right' in sizing, but definitely not very long, compared to my RM Slayer, or any fully that will have a wheelbase 5cm's longer or more. but i also built this bike up to be used on more mellow terrain and slower speeds. it's a simple, light bike and that's the point of it for me. i love it.
  • 2 2
 as an ALPHA rider I would never ride a BETA
  • 1 1
 Wait.What?Threaded BB on a Commencal?When did that happen?
  • 1 0
 What's a chucky trail?
Below threshold threads are hidden

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