Field Test Review: 2024 Commencal Meta 5 SX - Supercross for a Reason

Oct 12, 2023 at 21:38
by Henry Quinney  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST REVIEW

Commencal Meta SX



Words by Henry Quinney; photography by Tom Richards


The Commencal Meta is one of the tried-and-true lineages of bikes. Although, for some reason it doesn't have the same brand-power as something such as the Enduro, the Genius or even the Trance, perhaps it should. Where those bikes have had one layout or design often underpinning the bike (FSR, kooky shocks, and Maestro suspension respectively) the Meta has hopped around. In its nearly 20-year history it's had various linkage designs, some confusing names and has featured all of the main wheel sizes.

This V5 features a new twin link suspension system, it's called the SX to denote its mixed wheels (the standard Meta V5 is full 29"), and it's all-aluminum. The top-line V5 SX Signature we've tested has a retail price of $6,900 USD, and there are solid builds that start at $4,500.

Commencal Meta 5 SX Details

• Travel: 165mm / 170mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• 64° head angle
• 77.5 seat angle
• 442 (S/M) or 445mm (L/XL) chainstay length
• Reach: 480mm (L)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 36.7 lb / 16.7 kg
• Price: $6,900 USD
• More info: commencal.com
The Meta SX is an alloy bike that offers balanced geometry, rather than extreme geometry. The 64-degree head angle is adequately slack and when paired with its high stack height (643 mm for the size large we tested) that means there is little to no risk of you ever feeling like you're going to get sent out the front door. These elements are balanced by comparatively long chainstays to help shuffle to rider's weight forward a little, all while reaping the descending ability of something slack and tall.

The frame has some clean lines and neat features, but not all of them landed. The extra bosses on the underside of the top tube to store tools are nice, but what would have been nicer still is correctly placed water bottle mounts. In their place, the bottle contacts the shock. I first assumed that the reason it was so high, and so in the way, was because of the way the linkage moves. I figured it would probably foul the bottle if it was lower. However, after fettling with a shock pump and some cable ties I found a position that neither fouls the linkage or the shock.

In fact, while we couldn't fit a small 22oz (650ml) in the stock position, with cable ties even a 26oz (760ml) bottle can sneak in. Why Commencal couldn't achieve this, I don't quite know. There are other dashes of pragmatism though, all of which are thankfully better executed. There are ports for easy internal routing, as well as internal headset routing through the headset. The headset itself has blanking plates installed but, should you have an interest, you could pop them out and run them through.

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The new suspension at the bike's heart is called the Virtual Contact System. It uses two small links that connect the swingarm to the front triangle, the upper of which also drives the shock. Where some bikes that use a dual link suspension layout have been at pains to keep the rear triangle and at least one link behind the seat tube, the Meta has both links in front. This isn't an issue, but it does mean the swingarm takes on some extra width as it navigates around the seat tube. Thankfully, this bike does have decent geometry because there is no adjustment to any key dimensions such as the head angle or rear center.

We tested a size large, which has a reach of 480 mm and a rear center of 447mm. For the small and medium sizes, that rear center is reduced to 442 mm. The spec is solid, although the $6,900 price tag doesn't offer as great of a value as Commencal was known for in the past. Highlights include a Fox Factory X2 and 38, SRAM GX T-type drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes and solid DT EX1700 wheels. My only real bugbear would be that the 175mm seat post is too short for a bike with a seat tube angle approaching 78 degrees. With Maxxis DHRII DoubleDown tires installed our test bike weighed in at 36.7 lb.



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Climbing

Climbing the Commencal is definitely something that could happen. It's definitely possible, it's just you'll end up thinking of reasons why you really don't want to. It is a big burly enduro bike, but there are plenty of big burly enduros that feel a lot snappier and responsive. It does provide an adequate if not spectacular platform for climbing, with good but not great levels of grip - it's not particularly willing to break into its stroke at slower speeds.

On technical trails, it could definitely be a little more active, and perhaps has slightly too much anti-squat to feel like it can really find the traction no matter what you're riding over, but then again you'll also find yourself reaching for the climb switch on tarmac roads or pavement. Maybe that means it's in the sweet spot, but I'm not so sure. Truthfully, there are better climbing bikes out there. The rear suspension does some things very well, and I'll touch upon them in all their glory in the next section.

The geometry and balance of the bike is good. Its high front, long rear center, and steep seat tube mean that there is plenty of weight on the front while still being very comfortable. You don't have to muscle up through tight sections because your weight is already in a good place.

In regards to both climbing and descending, Commencal seem to really understand how to use a bike's geometry to the rider's advantage, it's just all the other things that hold this bike back when going up.

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Descending

This bike is a very confidence-inspiring descender and thrives on trails that are fast and committed, and needs your position to be up and ready, looking out for what's next. The faster you go the better this bike is. Everything about it wills you - the suspension feel, the geometry, and, to some extent, the weight that you've just lugged to the top of the hill. It's true heavy metal.

Thanks to that long rear end, you'll find yourself committing hard to banked turns, and feeling the confidence to transition from edge to edge at will. You only need to ask nicely, apply some weight into your inside hand and you'll be amazed at how this bike corners - especially considering how tall that front is. That said, you will also notice elements of flex creeping in. For me, it's passable, and I enjoyed the comfort it brought with it, but I certainly wouldn't want it to be any flexier through high-speed berms.

When the suspension is in its stroke and moving it provides genuinely fantastic performance. It's responsive, with great support and bottom-out resistance. That said, it sometimes felt unwilling to use the initial part of its travel. Once that was overcome, however, it's one of the best systems I've personally ridden on enduro bikes and manages to offer a great blend of traction and support.

On trails that don't work the bike so hard, I don't think it quite has the suppleness in the rear to really shine in terms of tracking. This obviously isn't just down to rider speed but also elements like steepness and how you brake, but I think the Commencal does do a more effectiive job at finding grip on medium to high speed trails. This bike, which I could get full travel out of in the right situations, is not one to tiptoe around the problem. Instead, it wills its rider to tackle everything head-on and deal with the consequences. That's in part down to the suspension but also the upright and balanced geometry. The shock does track well at higher speeds and gives a great feeling of stability, but more often than not I wish it would have been more supple at slower speeds.

For an enduro bike, this is a very good descender and thrives on bike park trails. It has loads of pop, and in some ways is the freeride bike reimagined, only now you truly can pedal it.

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Technical Report

Sensible Parts Kit (except for the seatpost): If we can forget about the dropper that is too short, and the bottle that doesn't fit, the Meta does have all the parts that you'd want. In fact, if it came with the 200mm length Fox Transfer, as it should do, it would be really smartly speced. The small touches of the alloy Renthal cockpit, alloy DT wheels, ODI Grips, and a SRAM GX T-Type drivetrain and Shimano XT brake pairing cover pretty much all the bases. It's almost exactly as I'd have it straight from the shop. It was a breath of fresh air compared to the silly carbon one-piece bars, horrible grips, and brake hoses that rubbed on the bars you could find on some of the other bikes.

Fox Factory Suspension: In the game of RockShox versus Fox I think Fox has the slight upper hand currently. While the Zeb is a good fork, it can feel somewhat dull compared to the precise and honed tracking of the 38 GRIP2. Both are very good, but I was impressed not only by the frame's suspension design but also the way the Fox shock and fork kept pace with it.

Noisy Bearings: If you heard this bike coming, you'd think it had done at least 3 seasons in the bike park. From day one this thing creaked, cracked, and clicked its way through the test. If it were my bike, I'd be interested in seeing what decent after-market bearings could do. That said, quality bearings aren't always the solution, and it's actually the facing and machining of the frame itself that can prove to be an issue. However, I would imagine and hope the former is more likely.



Pros

+ Very capable descender
+ Great, balanced geometry
+ Comfortable
+ Shock performance is truly impressive on mid to high speed trails


Cons

- Water bottle didn't fit
- On the cusp of being slightly too flexy
- Frame developed creaking from pivot / bearing area fairly quickly









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The 2023 Enduro Field Test is presented Bluegrass



Author Info:
henryquinney avatar

Member since Jun 3, 2014
311 articles

257 Comments
  • 97 2
 The bearing situation would worry me. Mike Kazimer mentioned that the bearings in the Tempo - which has the same suspension layout - weren’t well protected. And as a guy who ran CNC machines, making pretty precise stuff, I would guess that - unfortunately - it’s more a frame/machining/facing issue, than a bearing issue. But this is just my armchair-engineer perspective
  • 15 1
 It's hard to tell without taking it all apart really, but you cannot assume that all of them will just creak. I have an older Meta and it is remarkably creak-free, although It runs a 4-th season without any bearing maintenance, hell, I have an original Shimano pressfit bottom bracket and it is also creak-free. Maybe just not using pressure washer is the key, who knows who had this bike on test before.
  • 19 4
 I think it's a fluke. I've had 3 Commencals that I abused though PNW winters and none of them ever creaked.
  • 8 3
 That is true for pretty much all bearings, no matter where in a frame: suspension, BB or headset. It's almost never a bearing problem (even if they are cheap), it's always a tolerance thing with frames. Ever re-threaded the head tube in an aluminum frame? The amount of chips coming out of the frames usually is crazy. The only exception I experienced was my RAAW Jibb frame.
  • 42 2
 @PhoS: but this is new design...
  • 6 9
 @jrocksdh:
Commencals tend to have some tight tolerances in their links , it could be as simple as too much powdercoat, a flipped spacer, or something not greased. It doesn't sound like they checked, either way not worth writing the bike off over.
  • 52 1
 @Xaelber93: rethreaded a head tube?
  • 22 2
 Almost all new bikes are dry assembled on an assembly line, even the most expensive ones. All new bikes need a 3-5 hour pro build, this involves removing and re-installing virtually everything with grease. Creaks come from dry interfaces.
  • 12 1
 Every Commencal I've owned started to creak about 1 month into ridding it. Sometimes it's the crappy Acros headset, sometimes it's the linkage bearings, Sometimes it's the PF BB. If you spend a good bit of time properly lubricating everything they are rather quiet bikes.
  • 12 1
 @Xaelber93: Threaded head tube? What type of bikes are you riding bro?
That does not sound healthy.
  • 1 3
 @ChristianToole: In my experience, that's all true except for the PF BB. My Meta *hated* grease there and would creak incessantly if you put any on the BB before installing. Put that thing in dry as a bone and it'll run for 2,500 hard kms creak-free.
  • 7 1
 @brightfff:

Wheelsmfg thread together PFBB cups make this a non-issue, if there ever really was one..
  • 17 1
 Ima enjineer.. enganear.. enjen.. I'm good at math
  • 11 0
 @KennyWatson: Sounds like he meant to say refaced.
  • 6 0
 @PhoS: On my 2017 Meta, I tried to install one of those, but it was impossible. There's a hunk of metal that protrudes inside the BB and it doesn't allow the thread-together cups to work. I do have one in my Orbea gravel rig though and it works a treat there.
  • 5 0
 These bikes and the tempo should ship with a little mud flap like the DH bikes have to prevent unwanted substances from getting all up in the bearings, as they are quite exposed. I have a TEMPO and I can confirm bearing issues were real and super annoying to deal with.
  • 5 0
 @brightfff: had the exact same issue installing one of those wheels BB in my wifes 2018 meta
  • 8 0
 @lkubica: My Meta from 2021 started creaking after about one year. I still doent know for sure where it comes from, but i suspect the bottom bracket and the linkage. I took apart the linkage, in my opinion the tolerances are shit. Some bearings are way to tight in there and dont even spin freely. Additionally i noticed that the rocker isnt aligned with the seatstays, so i had to force and preload them so that they would fit together...
Im a bit disappointed with the frame quality overall
btw: i never pressure wash and in general try to avoid washing as much as possible Smile
  • 9 4
 @levaca: Frame quality is definitely not on par with butique frames like Knolly, Nikolai, Raaw etc for sure. My was creaking for some time but I figured out it was just a not properly tightened seat post. Alignment on aluminium frames is almost never ideal, I had a Knolly Chilcotin (old) which was misaligned by a 1mm! Aluminium frame can only be properly aligned if either it is aligned while assembled (e.g. Last bikes) with a lathe or when constrcuted with forged/CNCed 1-piece elements (like Banshee), otherwise, meh, will always be little off. For me the main (if not only) benefit of carbon is alignment. Also CNCed bikes are perfectly aligned, but they are 100% out of my budget.
  • 8 3
 Mechanical Enginerd here. on bikes it's pretty hard to tell where a creak is coming from without methodically singling stuff out. I my experience it's usually headset, seat rails or BB. it can certainly be pivot bearings, but just assuming its bearings from the get go is not the way to go.
  • 3 0
 I'm on my 3rd Commencal. No creaking or build issues for me. Two of the three were purchased as framesets that I built up but I've been really happy with the quality.
  • 3 0
 @Xaelber93: head tubes are threaded?
  • 2 0
 @inthenude: maybe means re-faced?
  • 3 0
 @MN-mtb1977: Own two commencals here with no issues, although they were bought frame only and built up correctly. I will say my SX does have issues keeping fasteners on the shock linkage tight. Have to threadlock and torque regularly.

This also seems to be an issue with the new multi-link models.

In this pic the paint looks to be chipping where the links go into the swingarm and the collet washers. Could just be my imagination also.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/25704738
  • 5 0
 @lkubica: CNC bikes are necessarily perfectly aligned, but I wouldn't be surprised if most full CNC billet frames are very close to perfectly aligned because they are built in tiny quantities and probably undergo more dimensional checks than the average frame.

Do you think you could really feel your frame being out of alignment by 1mm? I find that hard to believe. Imagine the dish of your wheel is off by 1mm- would you feel that? Or a wheel that is out of true by 2-3mm, is it possible to feel that on the trail? I'd be willing to bet there aren't many bikes out there that even have their bars aligned to the fork within 1, 2 or 3mm. Anyway, sorry to hammer on this point so much as it is a bit pedantic, but I think frame alignment is something that can get blown out of proportion in terms of *ride feel.* Not that bikes shouldn't be built straight! Tolerances are certainly a big discussion in any design and engineering field, so there will be a variety of opinions here.
Bearing alignment, concentricity and bore diameter are a whole other discussion and an area where a lot of problems crop up in bikes.
  • 1 1
 @inthenude: don't get this either. Refaced? reseated? Maybe he's confusing with a mason jar - they have threads!
  • 3 1
 @bitterbiker: Almost all new bikes are dry assembled on an assembly line

if you mean assembled without grease this is patently false. Not only would it be dumb it's also way harder.
  • 3 0
 @brightfff: yeah the 21 meta wouldn’t take my Hope BB same thing , but I just put it into the new V5 no worries. It’s just one sized bore the whole way through on the new ones
  • 3 0
 In Commencals defense, I don't think I ever had any alloy frame that didn't creak. It's most likely just an issue of rushed assembly. Pull it apart, grease everything, apply loctite where needed and tighten every bolt to spec. Problem solved.
  • 2 0
 @WheelNut: I agree that every customer should for their money get a bike that has been built straight and aligned. But I think the issue of misalignment is blown way out of proportion in most cases. I can really not think of any scenario where a slight deflection or misalignment by 1mm would make any sort of tangible difference to everyday ride quality.
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: Probably both reamed and faced. If the headtube ovalizes, it also warps a bit. Obviously you'll eventually end up with a more uneven interference fit as you cut away the sections that move inwards, but won't get the bits back that moved out. I remember when Paul Aston reviewed a BTR Pinner for Pinkbike and rode it with insufficient headset preload. When BTR got the frame back, they filled the area with solder before reaming it so that they got the proper and even interference fit back. I can't think of a solution for an aluminum frame.
  • 5 0
 @lkubica: Small deviations and misalignments are inevitable and definitley normal on alloy frames. That's just what's gonna happen when you're trying to weld like 20 individual pieces togehter and then put them through a hardening process. Every small imperfection adds up and it's almost impossible to prevent. But production tolerance isn't an issue isolated to welded alloy frames. Even the highest-end CNC or carbon frames will in practice always have a small amount of deviation from spec. It's actually more common on carbon frames than people think. No part is ever going to be perfect. Trying to manage these imperfections so that they stay within an acceptable range of tolerance is key. That's what a rigorous QC process will do for you. Unfortunately, this is exactly where most bike brands skimp out, even the large ones.
  • 2 0
 Same, I have a Commencal v4 and it doesn't creak.
  • 2 0
 @bitterbiker: regarding bikes being assembled without grease, I can say that the giant Trance X that I bought this year started creaking right away so I took it all apart and found that the linkage bearings and headset cups were all pressed in without grease. So annoying!
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: do you think the tubes/lugs method like Atherton bikes uses minimizes the alignment issue? Seems like it could
  • 3 0
 @DCF: I agree, that surely seems like a way to minimize tolerances.

By bonding together carbon tubes and additively-manufactured lugs you obviously eliminate three of the biggest potential sources of imperfection of traditional frame manufacturing - those being welding, heat treating and machining.

I guess Athertons operation specifically benefits from the fact that they are a very small outfit who try to sell to a niche audience who is very much ok with paying high prices for a frame. Thats why they can use these slow and expensive methods of manufacturing and also have a good qc process - which is what ultimately leads to a better product more than anything else.

Unfortunately, according to a lot of people who have a lot more insight into manufacturing bikes than I do, the carbon-tube-and-titanium-lug method of production is not (yet) feasible for mass production. The additive manufacturing of the lugs just takes way too long and the cost of high-precision additive manufacturing machines is a huge barrier to entry. IMO the way forward is CNC'd and bonded alloy frames, similar to what Pole, Actofive and Speedgoat/Ministry Cycles are doing.

All that being said, you can still use the traditional method of construction (welding hydroformed tubes) and get a super high quality bike frame, like RAAW, Nicolai, Last, Banshee, Knolly and others. The key is less the manufacturing, because that's never going to be perfect, but a robust quality control process.

Regarding Commencal: My experience with the production quality of their bikes hasn't been great so far but I know a lot of people who rode their bikes and were really happy with them.
  • 4 0
 @plyawn: I build them everyday and dry bolts and pivot axles are the norm.
  • 1 1
 test riders should apply wd-40 to the bearings and see if the creaking is still there or not... if it's still creaking, it is a tolerance issue
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: Sorry that English isn't my mother tongue. I meant "re-cuttinng" the head tube before fitting a ZS headset. There's no thread of course.
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: Well, tell that the assembly workers. It's definitely the norm, that bikes are not assembled with enough grease of any at all.
  • 3 0
 @inthenude @KennyWatson You both know exactly what he meant, yet here you are feigning ignorance just to pick on someone's native language not being english. smh
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: 1mm would be great! My seatstays and rocker are misaligned by at least 5mm. Its not that i can feel it while riding, but one can imagine what it does to the bearings and stays, being loaded asymmetrically all the time...
  • 1 0
 @levaca: yeah I had shock bolts not lining up on a Devinci and it cost me 3 shock rebuilds and 2 new shafts on my dhx. Figured it out and Devinci promptly sent me a new front triangle no questions. Legends!
  • 1 0
 @WheelNut: Frame alignment probably doesn't matter much if at all, unless we are talking so much that it's easily visible to the naked eye.
Bearing alignment on the other hand, does matter, a lot.
  • 3 0
 Doing a bit of gravedigging here, but I thought it might be useful to someone considering buying a Meta SX. I bought a frame and it also developed a creak after a couple of rides. The problem is exactly what @henryquinney suspected. Commencal cheaped out on the bearings and they come with garbage generic Chinese Bolu brand bearings. Commencal tech site drawings spec enduro max bearings. The creak was due to the front bearings in the lower link seizing up.
Unfortunately 8 of the 10 bearings are an unusual size (17289) which has been a bit of a headache to source in Aus. Just received delivery and will be swapping out the lot this weekend. Hopefully that will sort it for good.
On the water bottle issue. It's not an issue with my setup. Large frame, Ohlins shock and fidlock. Plenty of room for a large bottle.
  • 2 0
 @JamesR2026: f*ck dude that sucks. I creaked my way up the access road today. What a joke
  • 1 0
 @JamesR2026: call commencal and ask them about the main pivot washers. This will be a reason for your bearings dying. There’s play in all of them. Wrong washers installed from factory. Whoops
  • 76 4
 A crappy climbing bike is one thing but I want to be well-hydrated if I'm going to have to work for the climbs.

Putting the water bottle bosses in a location that you can't use is inexcusable on a department store bike. It's ridiculous that a company that charges nearly $7000 for their bike misses something as basic as this.
  • 11 20
flag pakleni (Oct 17, 2023 at 11:53) (Below Threshold)
 You just need a side loader cage or Fidlock twist bottle
  • 8 0
 @pakleni: but why is that a viable reason for a inherently poorly placed set of mounts, I doubt the engineers are using a dislike water bottle in their cad software when designing the bike
  • 5 2
 @pakleni: and I just need to carefully hold my iphone with only two fingers away from my face to make a call. Why is this user error? Nobody tried to test-fit a water bottle before they went into production?
  • 1 3
 @Grady-Harris: I would bet that brands choosing Fidlock only compatability are doing it for esthetic reasons. Mainly that if you remove the bottle the bike looks cleaner than with an empty bottle cage.
But that's just a guess.

I choose to run Fidlock on my Polygon and my High Above hip pack because then they are interchangeable. ;-D
  • 2 0
 I had to use a Wolf Tooth B-RAD on my meta TR to fit even a mid-sized bottle. It doesn't seem to be a big concern for Commencal, but it is frustrating.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: nope, you can only fit a 450 even when you invert the mounts
  • 1 0
 I wonder if the frame was designed around a shock with a different/no piggyback and plays better in that scenario. A lot of these have either olins or cheaper (non-pg) rockshox shocks which maybe clear a bottle?
  • 2 2
 The frames are designed around fidlock attachments. Henry wasn’t correctly informed. I have zero issues with my AM using fidlock.

Also am surprised about Henry’s views on climbing. My AM has given me PB’s on several technical climbs. The AM at least ( which is rather similar) is an amazing technical climber. Perhaps the AM is the bike of choice if you do a lot of climbing. Its a thoroughly easy and fun bike to ride up and down
  • 56 2
 Every Commencal is unique and different. You never know what you are going to get out of the box. It's a surprise!
  • 16 0
 I once got a dh frame with no hardware and they basically claimed it wasn't supposed to come with any. Then changed their tune. Ah, Commencal.
  • 20 0
 Can confirm.

My Supreme SX was stated to have a 65* HTA and was actually 63*. No complaints on it being slacker though
  • 9 0
 @ATXZJ: you are kidding right? How is this possible?
  • 20 0
 @valrock: i see you've never had a commencal
  • 11 0
 @blackpudding, @ATXZJ : Is it really that bad?

I can understand alignment being off be 1mm here or there.
HT angle being off by a whole 2 degrees is like, made-in-a-shed-whilst-stoned levels of bad...

I want a Tempo but this thread is helping me cure my itch that I want to keep scratching.
  • 7 0
 @PeakHopper:

@valrock

Yep. It was off by 2* landing at 63* with the same 180mm Lyrik fork and 27.5 tires. I was under the assumption that I was going to have to buy and angleset to slack it out but commencal had already done it for me LoL. The STA was 75* just as advertised.

It's now 62* since I converted to mullet.
  • 2 3
 @ATXZJ: if you converted to mullet, that would slaken it even more, unless you did reverse mullet which is the only proper way to mullet my ape Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @valrock: did he check his rear tire pressure? Was it flat?
  • 3 0
 @valrock: yep. Thats why it went from 63 to 62 HTA. Probably going to grab a DC fork and drop the A2C back down some.
  • 1 0
 Ah yes, after having owned two of their bikes in the past I know that feeling. Although, their production quality seems to have massively improved with this new generation of bikes. I've got a Meta SX frame on order and trust me it will get thoroughly scrutinized upon arrival.
  • 1 0
 @valrock: Nah, he's not kidding. A 2° deviation from spec isn't normal though and definitley grounds for requesting a warranty replacement.

That being said, small deviations and misalignments are almost inevitable and definitley normal on alloy frames. That's just what's gonna happen when you're trying to weld like 20-30 individual pieces togehter and then put them through a hardening process afterwards. Every small imperfection adds up. It's almost impossible to prevent. But production tolerance isn't an issue isolated to welded alloy frames. Even the highest-end CNC or carbon frames will in practice always have a small amount of deviation from spec.

No part is ever going to be perfect. Trying to manage these imperfections so that they stay within an acceptable range of tolerance is key. That, and a rigorous QC process.
  • 1 2
 @PeakHopper: get the AM, even more fun than the Tempo!
  • 2 0
 @ATXZJ: what do you use to calculate headtube angle?
  • 1 0
 @blackpudding: Haha, that reminded me that the same happened when i bought a Absolut SX frame. Though they didn't claim it was not supposed to be included, so they sent the hardware without discussion.
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: Cool man, yet Trek is telling me if I mullet my Session the HTA will change 1,5 degrees which is enough for warranty void Big Grin
  • 37 0
 I’ve had 2 metas- 2020 meta am and a 2022 meta sx… both have the same water bottle mounting issue- bolt holes too far up and the bottle hits the shock. Mind blowing that it’s still an issue in 2023. Good riding bikes otherwise
  • 1 2
 And No creaking on either?
  • 7 0
 Does anyone make a layback bottle cage? Sounds like there's a market for one.
  • 5 0
 @chakaping: wolftooth makes a cage that can be mounted lower to clear bottles
  • 12 0
 @chakaping: I’ve got one of these with a couple of spacers to help with frame clearance.

www.wolftoothcomponents.com/products/b-rad-bottle-relocation-and-accessory-device
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: you can get an offset mount kit, i had a cheap 3d printed one on a whyte t-130 to avoid contact with piggyback on the shock. Doesn't look great though . .
  • 4 0
 @neimbc: no but both of mine had the older suspension design. They were/are durable heavy smasher bikes.
  • 1 0
 @dcamp2: Thanks - I'm thinking of getting the SX.
  • 6 0
 @chakaping: Giant make a simple side-load bottle cage with long mounting slots, worked a charm for me to fit a longer bottle in my front triangle without shock interference

www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/clutch-mount-airway-sport-sidepull-cage---right-2022
  • 2 0
 I've got a '22 Meta SX. $.30 worth of nylon washers under the lower cage bolt between the frame and cage and a large bottle clears the piggyback easily. It's not a real issue
  • 2 0
 These work a treat, and they give you two in a pack. Had one on my '21 Meta and Meta TR

www.topeak.com/global/en/product/1094-ALT-POSITION-CAGE-MOUNTS
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: not a layback, but Canyon do the eject hydration system which allows room for a piggy back shock, and gives you two 400ml bottles. Either fill both with water and wear a pack for longer rides, or you can fit a pump, minitool, levers and patches in one, and water in the other one, for short rides.
  • 1 0
 Actually, it is a layback too, multiple mounting positions.
  • 1 0
 Same here. I have a 2022 Meta TR Race. Blows my mind how this was deemed ok.
  • 3 0
 Even with a Fidlock, I needed to install the mount backwards to clear the piggyback on my Meta SX (size M).
  • 2 0
 @NikBNZ: not the hero we deserve, but the hero we needed.
  • 2 1
 @alxs31: that’s how it’s designed. Install upside down and swap your bottle magnets by 180 degrees. Easy task but every dealer should tell the buyer this.
  • 37 7
 Noisy out of the gate, heavy, not optimal for slow tech, bottle fit issues, press-fit BB...next. This is unfortunate as it is a great looking bike (I saw it in person at the UCI Snowshoe), but I'd expect more from a company that has fielded many top riders. Frown
  • 7 5
 Perhaps some of the things that we see as issues, aren't actually issues for the performance of the bike? (barring creaking and weight)
  • 15 0
 @AddisonEverett: Correct. I've had this bike for a month or two now. The water bottle thing is annoying but workable - NSMB pointed me toward the wolf tooth b-rad mount which I have on the way. Excited to see if that solves the issue.

My Meta SX V5 developed some serious creaks after about 3-4 rides. The collet pivot system Commencal have moved to is actually a pretty nice setup, but everything was lacking grease. Coming off an Enduro, I'm familiar with collet creaks as it's the exact issue the Enduro has as well. I pulled the Meta links, pivot axles and collets out, greased everything thoroughly and it's been quiet ever since. Not too uncommon from most bikes I've owned in the past - even brand new KTMs come with dry linkages, swing arms, head set bearings etc. I'm not saying it should be excusable, but it happens.
  • 4 0
 @p2rida: www.topeak.com/global/en/product/1094-ALT-POSITION-CAGE-MOUNTS

These worked a treat too on the older 21-22 year frames. Worth a look for the new ones.
  • 19 1
 I really liked the format that this video was shot in. Having Henry and Matt go back and forth on what their thoughts on the bike are and working through why that is, with Kaz being the summary voice, over example slo mo B-roll is enjoyable to watch.
  • 10 1
 The old Beta: Bible of Bikes format
  • 11 0
 Dunno if you've forgotten a /s there, but I didn't like it. The guys sounded stiff, artificial and robotic. A nice dialog based presentation like it was before was much better and sounded natural. This seems like a downgrade.
  • 1 0
 @Archimonde: I liked it in the context of the video being made as part of a comparison series. Having a structured review style makes sense (to me) to shape the lens that all of the bikes on test will be viewed through. Kaz is a bit monotone, yes, but it's a nice foil to Henry's more "English" use of the English language.
  • 1 0
 @Assclapp: yep brings back some good memories. Wonder what Palmer is up to, definitely not riding a hard tail
  • 1 0
 Kaz's voiceover reminds me of this:

www.youtube.com/shorts/NlkZ4-2ThsM
  • 3 0
 @HughBonero: Palmer has switched sides. He now works for Yeti, doing marketing and such.
  • 1 0
 @Assclapp: Meh. It liked it better when Beta / Bike Mag did it. The discussion sections in these PB reviews seem a bit too moderated / scripted to resemble an actual discussion.
  • 18 1
 Can't stand a noisy bike. That's concerning if it's new. Did they forget to grease the pivot hardware?
  • 68 0
 Le Freak c'est chic BUT Le creak c'est pas chic
  • 16 0
 A brand new noisy bike from a DTC brand offering no service sure sound like some fun is to be had.
  • 16 0
 I can confirm we had a test bike that seemed like it didn't get enough grease from the factory- once rebuild with some fresh grease it stopped creaking
  • 2 2
 Very cool
  • 3 0
 yep, same here
  • 28 10
 CRACKENCAL
  • 4 2
 With a side of creak
  • 4 0
 Where is @Maxcommencemal when we need him?
  • 8 0
 @Uuno: I've only got a TR, but I've used it on everything for the last 16 months and no cracks, yet
  • 3 3
 EFBE Tri-Test Category 5 approved. The frame definitley won't crack, unless you smash it into a boulder or a tree at full speed (at which point no frame would survive).
  • 2 1
 @Muscovir: sounds like a Supreme testing protocol
  • 19 6
 Doesn't pedal great, creaks, known to break, heavy, jacked water bottle placement, flexes excessively, sold D2C from a tax haven and not a particularly good deal. What's not to like!?
  • 1 3
 Well said…solid pass for me. I’m willing to make compromises for the right price but this isn’t a good value.
  • 3 0
 They aren't "known to break" though?

The new Meta and Meta SX have been tested by EFBE to DH-bike standards, their highest test criteria. If I trust anyones verdict on the quality of Commencals engineering, it would be EFBE. Those guys have basically written the book on how to do structural tests on bikes. If the bike has their seal of approval, you can confidently thrash it all day every day.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: standardized fatigue tests are a great step forward for the bike industry, but they can only test a few sample frames to show that the design should be good. What they can't test is the manufacturer's quality in producing all the rest of the frames for customers, as any deviation in material quality, weld spec, alignment etc. can drastically reduce the strength of the affected frames.

Strong bikes need to not just be designed well but also manufactured well. I don't know too much about Commencal quality or reputation, but from the comments here it sounds like their manufacturing consistency is a bit lacking
  • 14 1
 hold up, AL frame with a price tag that starts with digit 6.9? I thought the industry is in turmoil and everything is 40% off these days? Why would I buy this instead of let's say - YT Capra
  • 3 3
 Indeed, Commencals are expensive for a DTC brand.

30 to almost 50% more than most others. (YT, Propain, Canyon etc)
  • 4 3
 Yeah alloy frame with alloy wheels and GX drivetrain (T type sure but still) at $7k is madness. So much better value out there
  • 3 3
 @justridingalong1: wait till you ride this bike. Well, the AM at least which is the pick of the pack

its on par with Pivot and Yeti on performance. Price is pretty good in that comparison!
  • 6 2
 @professed: so middle of the pack performance then?
  • 10 1
 I don’t know why everyone is so hung up on waterbottle mounts. For a “park day” just one small waterbottle is fine, and I just fill it up a few times throughout the day. On a long day of climbing (more than 2000 feet) I’d probably just bring a pack anyways because that is going to be over a 2 hour ride so I’ll need more than 1 24oz bottle anyways. As for climbing, let’s get real, all of these bikes suck at climbing compared to an XC rig (120mm of travel or less).
  • 3 0
 I also enjoy a small bottle for park days, it helps massively with getting the laps in quickly. However I have to say I would never use a backpack again for MTB riding. I'd rather, and have done in the past, hang an additional cage below the down tube and secure the bottle with velcro. There are some nice solutions from Topeak for example. Or cable ties.
  • 2 0
 @Muckal: Meh. I'd rather use a hip bag or small backpack than have stuff strapped to my bike. Whatever works, I guess.
  • 13 5
 With most of these bikes pushing 170mm+ wouldn't this be more of a "Super Enduro Test? Considering most of the Enduro teams are racing the lesser versions of these bikes like Mega vs. Giga, Meta AM vs SX, etc. Or are we trying to bump everything up a slot for yet another travel category?
  • 7 0
 And what's wrong in calling them park bikes,because that's what they are?
  • 7 0
 @nozes: That might make the shuttle guys feel left out...
  • 8 1
 @nozes: Downduro? Like almost Downhill but more than enduro? Big Grin
  • 3 0
 @valrock: enDHuro might stick.
  • 1 0
 I've noticed that too.

This "enduro" bike test mostly has bikes with mixed wheels and over 165mm of travel, while most of the top 20 enduro racers have started to switch back to bikes with shorter travel and full 29er wheel setups.

We should really start calling these bikes something else.
  • 2 0
 we need a new class - DH bikes with single crown forks. Maxed Enduro
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: the PRO Enduro team race the AM not the SX. Odd choice of bike by Pinkbike

SX is their park bike.
AM is a absolute killer of an Enduro bike!
  • 8 0
 Had the same creaking issue on a brand new Meta V5 29er frame.

Turned out to be some leftover paint on the rear triangle race that contacts the lower main pivot of the frame. It took me a couple of fully disassembles of the pivot points to find it. Something that shouldn't happen with a $2,200 frame, but not a deal breaker since I built mine from the frame up. Honestly, the bike feels very balanced and confidence inspiring... Did a parts swap from my 21' Stumpy Evo to this.

Did a bunch of shakedown rides, along with an Enduro race, and the bike remains pretty silent. Pretty sure the bug was squashed. Wonder why they didn't use a Fidlock bottle? The 590ml fits perfect on my medium frame.
  • 1 2
 You paid a lot for the frame. They sell for $2,200 AU down under which is around $1,500 US.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for sharing - will check my tempo for the same
  • 5 0
 Theres a reason why Wolftooth makes the B-RAD because of stuff like this. I needed it to clear my top tube on my YT Izzo so my water bottle wouldnt rub on the underside of the top tube. Also Commencal has priced themselves to same price as LBS bikes. They are no longer a good value bike.
  • 9 3
 The NSMB test found this bike to have some very strange handling especially in corners due to the relatively high bb Geo. Any thoughts on this Henry?
  • 29 2
 Hmmm - I think that this bike turns very well. That long rear end just gives so much grip. I found it to be very confident through the turns and easy to just send it in and hope for the best. Maybe if you weren’t too active on the front due to that higher stack it might feel a bit vague? But I think this bike has great geometry.
  • 5 0
 Did we read the same article? I thought NSMB's point was focused around the high stack, and requiring either high speed or steep descents to make the bike work properly.
  • 24 0
 @henryquinney: For all the self deprecating humor you regularly practice, you are quite wonderful in your explanations, attention to detail and ability to reply to people. You're appreciated! (waiting for self deprecating, humorous response instead of taking a compliment). Smile
  • 3 0
 They were riding a medium in the NSMB article and a large in this one. FC/RC balance is pretty different between the two sizes so it would be hard to compare anything geo-related.
  • 2 1
 @CaMKii: So NSMB riders don't know how to reduce bar height? Wierd, I would have thought they'd covered that in bike set up 101.
  • 2 1
 Can anyone figure out the BB height? BB drop is confusing since it could be relative to the front or rear axle, which are at different heights on a mullet. Then you can subtract rear travel * sag percentage to figure out the dynamic ride height. If you're riding park, you can push dynamic ride height down to as little as 285mm (e.g. Transition Patrol in Low, or SJEVO in low slack, Raaw Madonna), but you need to be very careful to avoid pedal strikes, even with 165mm cranks.
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: Which sounds very much like what Henry's saying - go down something steep at some pace, and it comes alive and turns like on rails. Go slow, and you'll feel a little out of sorts.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: Yep. I had the same feeling about my 2021 Meta AM 29 - incredible with steep or speed, but unwieldy otherwise. That bike had even more extreme geo with 63.5 HTA, 495 reach and 433 chainstay. My theory was that the unbalanced FC/RC caused this but this bike is much more normal in that sense and Henry still feels the same way so I'm stumped.
  • 2 1
 @g-42: If the bike keeps you centered (with the right front center to rear center balance) and upright (with a more upright stack), it will turn in quickly even with a long wheelbase. When a bike forces you to actively weight the front (as in bikes with disproportionately short chainstays or low stack), it becomes harder to change direction quickly.
  • 1 0
 @djjohnr: Yeah Med has a 5mm shorter chainstay to keep it balanced so they have tried to keep it proportional..
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: Sorry, I was conflating a comment I read with the article although the commenter was making the point that the geo is funky which is related to the stack. Here’s what they said, it’s possible they were wrong.

“ The Meta SX's bottom bracket number is where things, in my opinion, get weird.

Looking back at our dedicated-MX bikes and their bottom bracket heights/drops:

Transition Patrol: 340mm, -15mm
SC Nomad v6: 346mm, -8mm
Meanwhile the Meta has a bottom bracket drop of +4mm. The BB sits above the rear axle. Based on other manufacturers' numbers around a 27.5" rear wheel, this would lead to a BB-height of around 358-359mm*.”

At any rate the reviewer seemed to think the ride characteristics were pretty weird so there was some effort to unpack that in the comments which I was curious about. I was interested in this bike as a do-everything bike but it seems like its niche is a bit limited.
  • 4 0
 @car-ramrod: FWIW, the NSMB review was done on the Shore, and while there are a lot of proper gnarly trails here, there's also a lot of chunky jank and sections that are relatively slower speed than what you'd find in the bike park. I think the NSMB take on ride characteristics might parallel what the PB review said about slower speeds.
  • 2 0
 @CaMKii: 2021 Meta TR 29 owner. Same experience with mine, although once you adapt to it, it moves pretty good no matter what.
  • 3 2
 I think that reviewer was stoned
  • 4 0
 So far these new field test videos seem very professional, kaz on the voiceover and then the workshop backdrop. Def think the production, and thought around the look of it all has gone up. I like it, but I also liked the previous field tests where is was filmed at their house on the mountain.
  • 7 1
 Sounds like I’d better keep my sx v4! Yeah it’s heavy but it climbs pretty well if ya ask me. No creaks. And after a megneg the rear suspension is sublime!
  • 4 0
 Seems like Commencal has found a beautiful balance within contemporary geometry values. Both front- and rear center are nicely proportioned, stack height is very appropriately tall in regards to reach length, bb isn't too low to the ground. This geometry should get the riders' center of gravity into a well-balanced place within the wheelbase and give a nice, strong, upright riding position for aggressive descends.

It's also good to see more brands finally leaving the old and completely nonsensical stiffer-is-better dogma behind. Another place where Commencal seems to have found a beautiful balance. Only as much stiffness as necessary while having as much compliance as possible. The bike is EFBE Cat. 5 Gravity certified, so frame strength is not going to be an issue, despite the compliance.

Suspension looks dialed aswell. Good consistency in the leverage curve, moderately progressive, with good support and an inflection point within the last 20% of the leverage curve, so that you can actually use all the travel. This is definitley the way to go for all these modern shocks with bottom out control. That's good forward thinking.

QC doesn't seem perfect, but then again it never was with Commencal. The frame I've ordered will get a very thorough scrutinizing once it arrives.
  • 6 2
 This is a good looking bike. I have been riding carbon bikes for the last few years so I am nervous about going back to aluminum, and hearing that this bike is "loud" doesn't inspire confidence.
  • 5 3
 i've tried going back to Alloy bikes but they keep cracking in odd places or frames have poor alignment. I bought the new updated Reign an its been excellent in alloy. - infact its such a good bike overal.
  • 5 0
 My son rides the alu Transition Patrol. No creaks, super solid!
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: I got the same new 23 Reign alloy. I agree it is fantastic. I wish they sold alloy framesets aftermarket.
  • 2 0
 @OzarkBike: how are you finding it overal? I bought it for the bike park/big stuff, has 180mm fork and mullet running 165mm in the rear(similar to the sx but can be pedaled)
  • 3 1
 @HeatedRotor: I understand that Giant is one of the frame manufacturers that actually knows what it's doing?
  • 2 2
 @boozed: I feel like this is true but we need to remember that giant make alot of frames for alot of brands - to which im sure ive also had issues with.
Giants own brand stuff, whether by design is better or they QC more - im not sure but its definitely better
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: also Giant will only build to whatever brands specs. Even if it is a inferior engineered design. It is just a contract at that point.
  • 2 2
 @boozed: Nah. Every major oem manufacturer pretty much "knows what they're doing". The key to a good bike of any frame material is a solid qc process. This is actually the step that most brands (- even the big ones) skimp on. That's why, say, a Nicolai or a RAAW is going to be much better production quality than anything that would ever come from Canyon, Specialized, Trek, Giant, etc. Commencal seems to be so so on the qc front.
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: At least the frame cracking is definitley not going to be an issue on the new Meta and Meta SX. But I agree. Commencal QC could be better.
  • 2 1
 @Muscovir: i dunno about that, Friend built one up, broke the rear triangle at the front weld - above that wee link.
  • 5 0
 I had a really loud creak on my Meta TR (V4). Turned out to be their flip-chip at the shock yoke. A little grease and it has been quiet for the last 7-8 months.
  • 2 0
 I had a 2021 Meta TR with a coil. After replacing the bb and installing a wolf tooth headset, the creak didn’t go away. I ended up replacing the bearings in the yoke and it seemed to solve the issue. Loved the bike but don’t miss lugging it up hill and hearing the creaks the whole climb up.
  • 3 0
 @Craigsinatra: I have the exact same bike just with an air shock and it developed a creak in the pivots after about a month of riding. Hoping it just needs a service and it'll be creak free again.
  • 8 3
 Lovely looking bike, but pressfit and noisy frame are a no no for many riders. I.e all.
  • 4 1
 Owned 3 different versions of the meta all had poor alignment. Trashed bearing and pivot hardware quickly and that stiction at the beginning of travel sounds like the symptoms of mis aligned bearings and side loading to me.
  • 6 0
 I wish Renthal would sell those bars with the stealth logos.
  • 3 0
 Same. Why doesn’t Renthal have an alternative to a logo that looks like it’s from the late ‘90s / early 2000’s?
  • 2 0
 I wonder if the lack of suppleness in the rear suspension but yet it feeling good once moving and the creaking are related. If alignment was off there would be more friction in the suspension movement which would account for both issues. One would hope that is not the case but quite possible unless the jigs and tolerances are very good during production. Also I would think that if the linkages are not installed and torqued in the correct order then this could happen as well. The latter would be a better case and would just require a methodical re-grease and torque of the linkages.
  • 5 0
 I'd like to know how this V5 compares to the V4 Meta SX?
  • 10 0
 The geometry changes between the two aren't huge, but they make a difference, especially when combined with the new suspension layout. The V5 doesn't feel as stuck to the ground, and the overall balance felt better, at least to me. Where the V4 didn't really feel like a race bike, I'd happily do an enduro on the V5.
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: I thought race bikes were more stuck to the ground? Sorry if I missed something
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: the geometry to the V4 Meta SX is pretty much exactly the same no?
  • 2 0
 @Elipirelli, they're very close - a 5mm difference in reach, and a head angle that's a little steeper than the prior model (64 vs 63.6-degrees for a large).
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Great reviews as always Kaz. ^Those HTAs are correct if you compare the V4 in low; in high, you'll find the entire chart eerily similar, save the 5mm reach/WB reduction, and extra 5mm ETT, accomplished by the slightly slacker STA. But as you say, very close. See y'all in the lift line.
For anyone interested, measured BB height on my V4 in high (same listed 'drop' as the V5), at 353mm, which is also what you get when you divide 27.5 by 2, convert to French units, and add 4. Probably coincidence though as I doubt the chart, my measurements, and assumption that Commencal uses a BB drop formula that simple, are all accurate. Actually like the slightly higher BB on the trail bike, for not clipping pedals on the up; and sized right, these bikes have zero concerns in the steeps.
  • 3 1
 Did you check the alignment of the rear end? There are quiet a few documented cases where the alignment was so off, that the shock saw horzontal bending forces and of course that could also kill bearings way sooner
  • 1 0
 I had a similar issue with a Commencal about 5-6 years ago. Albeit a different suspension design, I bent/had a bent shock yoke a couple times, which caused creaking and my shock seals to leak air pretty significantly due to the side loading.
  • 5 0
 As the kids would say, I'm bricked up with the look of this bike
  • 4 2
 So they can't be bothered to get the water bottle mounts right AND it developed creaking. It can't climb and on the downs it works only if your pushing your limit. Talk about red flags.
  • 1 3
 Still fit a water bottle. Larger bottles did touch the piggy back but I wasn’t too concerned. I am on a carbon stumpy evo now and I still think about the meta sometimes. Kinda like an ex. But don’t miss 1,100’+ Of climbing on it.
  • 4 0
 @Craigsinatra: really? 1100 feet? That's like 1 uphill here, maybe 1.5. How do you get around without a lift? Serious question.
  • 2 1
 where would i ride this bike?
Trails are kind of a no no unless you like walking........ There is NO hiding 38 friggin pounds of girth with no water bottle mounts.
That said I think this would be a great park bike that has no uphill sections.
  • 2 1
 I have to say it seems like for 7 grand us you could find a bike with less problems. I bought and own an absolut and the bb needed to be faced and tapped, seattube needed to be honed and the headtube was bored slightly off center. I didn't do anything about that part, customer service was great, and it looks great and rides great now that it's assembled. But I don't think I will be buying a commencal again for quite a long time. It kinda really feels like they are great at hitting the big things, but don't really care about the details. And I really like details.
  • 1 0
 Bearing alignment doesn’t come up in reviews too often, but it’s critical to ride quality and frame durability.

And Commencal has rightfully earned a reputation for poor bearing fit. This might have been okay when they were notably cheaper than other bikes, but they need to pony up more $$ buy better built frames.
  • 1 0
 I've got a '22 Meta SX and TR. Bought them as frames and pieced it together, no creaks for either and I am not nice to them as well (ok, well on the SX, creak developed at the BB and had to replace with another, fixed issue). I would have gladly paid another $50 for each frame if they came with threaded BB....PF sucks
  • 1 0
 Disappointing commencal is still having frame issues. My Meta am 4.2 from 2019 was a nightmare. BB shell was oval which resulted in creaks, loads of misalignment in the frame which destroyed bearings and shocks, everything was dry as a bone from the factory and the pivot hardware rattled loose often, even with loctite. For some reason it even killed the lower headset bearing regularly. It really put me off the brand
  • 3 0
 Perfect length video for a bike review. Appreciate that this round isn't 15-20 mins long
  • 2 0
 Number one complaint with my v4 is the flex in the rear end. My rear tire wore the paint off the chain stays on both sides. Was pretty concerning in the park at speed.
  • 1 0
 AM or SX? I've heard this said about the V4 AM quite a lot, but I'm wondering if the same is true for the V4 SX.
  • 2 0
 @Braapp: meta am 4.2
  • 2 1
 Love the looks.
Sounds like it delivers the ride quality I’m looking for.
Good spec.

But creaking from the get go, it’s soooo out of my list

I’d take stupid headset cable routing over a creaking bike any day.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney Did you ever ask Commencal what the flip chip in the lower shock mount does to the geometry? This information is strangely missing in the geometry table on their website...
  • 4 1
 Good to see you guys mixing up the approach with Kaz reading a voiceover.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, but initially Mike sounded like Travis Engel, who did this for BikeMag and Beta Smile
  • 5 0
 Disembodied Kaz will be the name of my MTB themed Metal-Klezmer fusion band.
  • 2 0
 I had a 2020 Meta AM 29. Pivots came loose all the time, PF bottom bracket always creaked, and the linkage creaked.
  • 4 5
 "On technical trails, it could definitely be a little more active, and perhaps has slightly too much anti-squat to feel like it can really find the traction no matter what you're riding over,"

This is a new look from PB: too much anti-squat reduces traction!
  • 3 0
 Yeah that's been bothering me for a long time the way many reviewers praise a lot of AS. Too much AS is too much. Pedalling efficiency on smooth road is not the same as tech climbing. Need to have a balance.
  • 6 6
 Meanwhile, that $3k Status from a while back gives even more aggressive geo, quality suspension, climbs about as well it sounds like and fits a water bottle...and mine is dead silent.
  • 2 3
 The Status is a great value bike and I really hope Spesh do more of that kind of thing, but I'd take the geometry on this thing any day (particularly that long rear, which I think is why the guys are saying you could race this bike).
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: very fair point altho I specifically wanted a less racey bike. The short chainstays agree with me
  • 3 0
 Are they not doing "timed testing" anymore?
  • 5 6
 Where is Levy? You guys are great, but without a contrarian and opinionated personality as the lead editor, you will just be BMX Plus and never be Freestylin'. Please bring him back and give us flavour and not just a place to sell advertising.
  • 2 0
 This isn’t even a Henry Quinney review without a direct comparison to his beloved spire .
  • 1 2
 I've been bullish about Commencal's and even open to purchasing one day, but reading the comments about creaking components is a death knell. I'm not going to be a beta tester.

Make fun of the Norco's, they build solid bikes (except the Sram DUB garbage press-fit bearings on my Optic).
  • 1 2
 I don’t get this obsession with water bottles. Most of my rides are around 4 hours and I will drink 2-3 litres depending on the ride and the weather. I’m always going to have to carry some on my body. Either I drink a lot, people can topupon their rides or do much shorter rides then I’m confused
  • 2 0
 Sounds like you drink a lot. 3-4 hours I'm I'm usually taking a 26-ounce bottle, if I'm givin er' or going for another hour, maybe coupled with a 21-ounce bottle in my fanny pack.
  • 1 0
 How was the 24 x2? Any issues? Does it feel the same as the previous generation?
  • 2 0
 Should get some fidlock bottles to test what size you can get in a bike.
  • 4 2
 what happened to the other Mike?
  • 2 0
 {Cocks wrist and make valve bounce noises}
  • 1 0
 I was watching the trails on those pictures, not the bikes. Any more pictures of those trails, please?
  • 1 0
 I just remember when Commencal was great value for spec. You could excuse some creaking and excessive noise back then.
  • 2 0
 Narrated by Michael Kazenborough
  • 1 0
 Can you comment on that helmet ( VANGUARD CORE ) ? How does it fit?
  • 1 0
 So its a DH bike you can pedal? Oh wait..
  • 2 1
 Better off riding a Clash if it doesnt carry a water bottle
  • 3 1
 Spindrifts are cheaper
  • 1 0
 Optical effect or that GX had a very bent cage?
  • 2 0
 The cages on Transmission derailleurs have a bend to them as part of the design.
  • 2 1
 吉里安布朗的参赛座驾。
  • 1 0
 looks almost like a spot mayhem.
  • 1 0
 Yes. But how does it compare to the Transition Spire?
  • 1 0
 So slack is not a thing anymore.
  • 1 0
 Perhaps shoul have gone to Italy and test a MDE instead.
  • 2 4
 Are people still going in for “looks like a session” comments geeeeez
  • 2 5
 How does a tall stack height make you feel "deep in the bike" wouldn't a low stack height do that ?
  • 2 1
 Larger foot to pedal distance in the vertical axis
  • 1 2
 @ashmtb85: so riding taller rise bars makes you feel deep in the bike, rather than on top of it ? still doesn't make sense to me
  • 17 2
 @dgwww: A higher front will, to my mind anyway, make you feel more in and behind the bike. A lower front will make you feel more above and over it.
  • 6 1
 @dgwww: if you were standing at the top of a cliff would you feel more safe/supported with a 500mm high railing or a 1000mm railing?

For me I'd feel like I'd go straight over the top of the 500mm rail but the 1000mm rail would give me something to push against.

But maybe your body is different.
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 @PhillipJ: Agree on this. Taller stack with correct reach for your size actually gets you riding more balanced on the bike and its also easier to stand up and over the bike for positioning in tech and on descents. Low head tubes don't necessarily promote a confident 'forward' descending position.
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 @henryquinney: We ride alot of steeps where I live, and people are lowering their front ends to get more weight over the front of the bike to get more front tire grip. Being behind the bike on steeps leads to disaster on the trails I ride.

So is being 'in and behind the bike' good ?
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 @dgwww: whilst all trails are different and canadian ones are awesomely steep we ride rocky/clay gnar steeps and a taller stack promotes more control and confidence AND weight forward. Might be different for steep loam but my meta V5 AM is much easier and more precise to ride than my low stack Firebird in this terrain.
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