Review: 2021 Commencal Meta TR 29 - T is for Turbo

Sep 15, 2020 at 14:10
by Mike Kazimer  
Commencal's Meta TR underwent a significant revision for 2021, emerging with 140 millimeters of travel (up from 130) and more aggressive geometry numbers than ever before.

I've been putting the $4,799 USD Signature model to the test over the last three months, which is spec'd with a 160mm Fox Float 36 fork and X2 shock, Shimano's XT 12-speed drivetrain and brakes, DT Swiss XM 1700 wheels, Maxxis Dissector tires, and a KS Lev dropper post.

There are five complete models available in the Meta TR lineup, with prices starting at $2,199 USD. The frame-only is priced at $1,399, although that doesn't include a shock.


Meta TR 29 Signature Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Aluminum frame
• Travel: 140mm (r) / 160mm fork
• 64.5-degree head angle
• 435mm chainstays
• Weight: 33.9 lb / 15.4 kg (size L)
• Sizes: S-XL
• Price: $4,799 USD
commencal.com


bigquotesIf TR doesn't stand for trail anymore, Turbo would be a worthy substitute. The Meta TR loves to go fast, no matter if that's on a rough, chunky trail, or something a little smoother, ideally with plenty of berms and big jumps. Mike Kazimer





MTB on a Budget


Construction and Features

The Meta's 6066 aluminum frame casts a similar shadow to the previous version, but there have been a few nips and tucks to give it a more modern look. The top tube no longer curves upward to meet the seat tube, and that seat tube now has a wider, 34.9mm diameter and shorter overall height to allow for longer travel dropper posts.

The seatstays and linkage are still quite wide, but their overall dimension have been reduced slightly to provide more clearance between the frame and rider.

Commencal Meta TR 29
The shock is tucked into a cutout on the underside of the top tube.
Commencal Meta TR 29
No baby rotors allowed.

A full length, and very effective, chainslap protector keeps things quiet in the rough stuff, and there's also a plastic protector to shield the downtube. There's a 200mm post-mount rear brake, which means it's not possible to run puny little rotors here, although you could go up to 220mm if you wanted even more stopping power.

There's room for a regular sized water bottle inside the front triangle, and a larger one can squeeze in, at least on a size large, depending on the cage and bottle configuration.


Commencal Meta TR 29
That soft rubber chainslap protector does a great job of keeping things quiet.


Commencal Meta TR 29

Geometry & Sizing

The Meta TR's head angle now sits at 64.5-degrees with a 160mm fork, and the effective seat tube angle measures 78.6-degrees, two degrees steeper than before. The reach has grown significantly as well – a size large now measures 490mm, a 15 millimeter increase over the prior version. Even the size small has a reach of 440mm, a number that wouldn't have been uncommon on a size large bike just a few years ago.


Commencal Meta TR 29

Suspension Design

The Meta uses a linkage driven single pivot layout for its 140mm of rear travel, with the 210 x 55mm shock mounted to a yoke that wraps around the seat tube. The starting leverage ratio has been decreased compared to the previous version, and the angle of the progressive curve isn't quite as steep, which should make for a smoother end stroke ramp up. The anti-squat percentage is relatively high, sitting around 130% at sag, and even in the hardest gear it remains above 100% until halfway through the travel.



Specifications
Price $4799
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X2 Factory
Fork Fox 36 Factory, 160mm
Cassette Shimano XT 12-speed
Crankarms Shimano XT
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-MT800
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT 12-speed
Chain Shimano XT
Shifter Pods Shimano XT 12-speed
Handlebar Ride Alpha R27 780mm long, 31.8mm
Stem Ride Alpha Freeride 50
Grips Ride Alpha DH
Brakes Shimano XT 2-piston
Hubs DT Swiss 350
Rim DT XM1700
Tires Maxxis Dissector 2.4" EXO F / Dissector 2.4" EXO+ R
Seat WTB Silverado
Seatpost KS Lev Integra - 125 mm on S, 150 mm on M, 175 mm on L, 200 mm on XL



Commencal Meta TR 29

Commencal Meta TR 29










Test Bike Setup

After a few rides with the Meta TR in its bone stock configuration, I did make a few small parts swaps. The first was trading out the 50mm stem for a 40mm one, a change that I'd imagine many riders will make due to the bike's long front center. I also ran a Maxxis Minion DHF instead of the stock Dissector for most of the test period. The Dissector works really well as a rear tire, but I'm not as much of a fan of it up front, especially in steeper, loose terrain.

I set up the Fox 36 with one volume spacer and 87 psi, while 175 psi in the Float X2 gave me 15mm / 27% sag with one volume spacer installed.

Testing took place in Bellingham, Washington, with conditions ranging from wet and slippery to dry and dusty - the full gamut of spring / summer weather in the Pacific Northwest.



Me.
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 38
Height: 5'11" / 180cm
Inseam: 33" / 84cm
Weight: 160 lbs / 72.6 kg
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer


Commencal Meta TR 29

Climbing

The previous Meta TR impressed us with its no-fuss climbing manners during the Value Bike Field Test, and that sentiment carries over to the new version. It's not light, or particularly nimble, but the 78.6-degree seat tube does an excellent job of hiding the bike's length. It creates a centered position that makes it easy to keep the front wheel weighted, free from any wandering, and it virtually eliminates any worries of looping out on extra-steep climbs.

That upright, centered position also makes it easier to remain seated while climbing, rather than needing to stand up and lean forward, or to balance precariously on the nose of the saddle. It is possible to have too steep of a seat tube angle – I thought the 80-degree angle on the Privateer 161 I recently reviewed was borderline excessive – but the Meta TR's position was comfortable even on the relatively flat three mile pavement / gravel spin that leads to my local trails.

I'd put the Meta TR in the middle of the road when it comes to climbing efficiency. There's plenty of anti-squat to keep if from going too deep into its travel, which makes it a relatively calm climber. I did make use of the climb switch to gain extra support on longer ascents on smoother terrain. That blue lever is easy to reach (once I got used to the new position compared to the previous generation X2), and since it's not a full lockout there was still plenty of traction to keep the rear wheel stuck to the ground.

At the end of the day, the Meta TR's climbing manners are still more in line with what I'd expect from an enduro bike compared to a more traditional trail bike. That didn't bother me in the slightest, especially once I figured out what this bike could do on the descents, but it's worth remembering that with the new geometry and additional travel, that TR acronym probably doesn't stand for trail anymore...


Commencal Meta TR 29

Descending

If TR no longer stands for trail, Turbo would be a worthy substitute. The Meta TR loves to go fast, no matter if that's on a rough, chunky trail, or something a little smoother, ideally with plenty of berms and big jumps. I wouldn't think twice about taking it to a bike park, doing an enduro race or three, or tossing it into the back of a truck for some rowdy DH shuttle laps – it has an aura of solidity that makes it feel right at home when gravity takes over.

It may look like a big beast of a bike on paper, but I found it to be much more maneuverable than those numbers suggest. The Meta's 435mm chainstay length is on the shorter side when paired with the 490mm reach of the size large, which helps make it easy to snap the back end around tight turns, or pop off the lip of bigger jumps. The flip side is that every once in a while the rear wheel would lose traction a little sooner than I'd expected. The Meta doesn't really need any more material added to its frame, but I'd love l to see a version with adjustable chainstays in order to allow riders the option to alter the ride characteristics.

The Meta's 140mm of rear travel helps it stand out from longer travel enduro bikes, in a good way. There's plenty of travel for dealing with chunky sections of trail, but there's a level of support and snappiness that makes it an absolute blast when it's time to get airborne. Don't get me wrong, it's still a big bike, but always felt like it was working with me - I didn't need to fight it to get it to do what I wanted. It's not the absolute poppiest bike on flatter terrain, but add some speed and a sculpted takeoff and it's a different story. On bigger hits or botched landings the ramp up at the end of the X2's stroke is smooth, and bottom-outs are barely noticeable thanks to the very effective internal bumper.


Commencal Meta TR 29



Ibis Ripmo AF
Commencal Meta TR 29
Commencal Meta TR

How does it compare?

Ibis' Ripmo AF is a bike that's often mentioned when it comes to the amorphous category that sits between trail and enduro. It has a little more travel than the Meta – 147mm vs. 140, but both bikes are built with similar intentions.

As far as geometry goes, the Meta TR is slacker by .4-degrees, with a 20mm longer wheelbase, thanks in part to its 490mm reach vs. the Ripmo's 475mm. The Meta has the steeper seat tube angle by a couple of degrees, which makes the seated position actually feel shorter than the Ripmo's, although both bikes have comfortable climbing position. The Ripmo's DW-link suspension design does make it feel a little more efficient, with less need to reach for that compression lever.

On the descents, the Meta TR has a slightly more voracious appetite for high speeds and rough terrain, while the Ripmo AF tips more towards that aggresive all-rounder category, despite the fact that it has a little more travel. Overall, it's hard to go wrong with either one if you're looking for a sturdy, do-it-all machine.

I don't have both frames on hand to verify the manufacturer's claims, but I don't have trouble believing that the Ripmo's AF's frame is around .6 pounds lighter than the Meta TR's. The Ripmo frame costs slightly less than the Meta TR frame when both are spec'd with a Float X2, but Commencal takes the win when it comes to pricing for complete builds.

Commencal Meta TR 29
Commencal Meta TR 29

Technical Report

Dual Dissector tires: I get that Commencal was trying to differentiate the Meta TR from the longer travel AM model, but the dual Dissector tire combo doesn't fit with the bike's abilities. It's a good rear tire for most conditions where I live (the side knobs do wear relatively quickly, something to keep in mind for riders whose trails are rockier and harder packed), it's just that something meatier up front would have been a better spec choice.

Shimano XT 2-piston brakes: I'm not sure why Commencal went with the two-piston XT brakes over the four-piston. They do have a very strong initial bite, especially when paired with 203mm rotors front and rear, and there was plenty of power for rides on rolling terrain, but on rides with long, sustained steep sections I found myself wishing for the more consistent power and better modulation of the 4-piston version.

KS Lev Integra dropper post: My test bike showed up with a 150mm post rather than the 175mm option that it was supposed to have. I've grown accustomed to running a 210mm dropper post, so the packing error gave me the chance to install a OneUp, which I used during most of the test period. The KS worked fine on the handful of rides I took it on, although there's not a lot of adjustment range for the thumb lever due to the way it mounts to the brake lever. I run my levers at what I'd consider a medium-high position, which meant that the lever ended up farther forward and more inboard than I would have preferred.

DT Swiss XM 1700 wheelset: These wheels are pretty much identical to what I'd put together if I was building my own wheelset from scratch. DT's XM 481 rims are laced to their 350 hubs for a reliable set of wheels that should be able to handle plenty of abuse. I haven't had to touch them at all over the last 3 months, and they're still dent-free and spinning true.



Commencal Meta TR 29


Pros

+ Solid, ready for anything feel
+ Excellent descender
+ Comfortable climbing position helps hide some of the heft

Cons

- On the heavier side of the spectrum for this category
- A few parts picks don't match the bike's abilities





Pinkbike's Take

bigquotesThe new Meta TR is all about more - it has more travel, more aggressive geometry, and it's more capable than ever. Can it still be classified as a trail bike? That all depends on what your ideal trail looks like. It's not the first bike I'd grab for an all-day epic on rolling terrain, but for a big ride that was full of steep rock rolls, jumps, drops, and tricky technical sections? Absolutely - this is one of the most fun bikes that I've ridden this year. Mike Kazimer








248 Comments

  • 91 0
 It would be really interesting how the TR compares to the AM? Is there much of a differnce in climbing or decending manners?
  • 36 0
 This is the comparison that I'm looking for. Both are on a shortlist.
  • 7 1
 For me its more about what you ride, this would almost definitely climb better than the AM but decend worse on some trails. So if you don't care how long it takes to ride to the top but love knarly downhills then AM. If you mainly ride undulating trails with a smattering of knar this will probably do
  • 18 1
 I’d like to know how it compares to the privateer, what’s better for a weekend warrior who likes racing but can’t ride super steep super long and rough terrain every weekend. Been considering a 140/160 bike want to know how it compares to a 160/170+ enduro bike
  • 4 2
 @toad321: privater launched an 141 bike
  • 14 0
 I've just bought the TR and my friend has the AM. To be honest, I can't really tell you anything that you cant already work out from their names. The TR climbs better, the AM descends better, but there isn't too much in it. I think it very much comes down to personal preference. We both ride pretty much the same trails however, I have a daughter who gets strapped in a seat on my bars for our weekly bike ride, so I figured 140mm was enough travel for me. He doesn't have to worry about that, and rides a few more DH trails than me so he went for 160mm. Either way, the Meta is ridiculous fun.
  • 9 0
 While at it, please throw in the Clash as well!
  • 1 0
 what i want to know too, just ordered an AM high polished build.. hope i didnt make the wrong decision. but considering it will do a fair bit of shuttles, should be fine
  • 1 0
 They look like the same frame but with different shock+yoke and 1cm difference in fork length. Worth calling, I’ve got a Supreme SX and support has been great.
  • 14 0
 @joehollindrake: “I have a daughter who gets strapped in a seat on my bars for our weekly ride”. - all I could think of was the Danny Daycare video when I read this. Lol
  • 5 0
 As someone who bought the TR I'd suggest going with the AM if both travel lengths suit you. The spec difference for almost the exact same price doesn't work out. I bought the TR because I didn't want more than 140mm travel, however, I can't help but be frustrated at the spec differences when I've paid the same price.
  • 5 0
 Been riding the AM for a few weeks and just received the TR frame to build up. I'll be posting up a YouTube review for each as well as a comparison video. Excited to try the TR.
  • 3 0
 @MrZ32: what build did you get? The high polished is hot but frame only is off putting to me. Their builder comes out pretty expensive.
  • 1 0
 @meSSican: how are you now finding the tendency for front wheel wash out? Have you adapted to the long reach/short stays? Living in a wet climate this concerns me.
  • 6 0
 @willf28: 2021 AM Meta Owner here, i had the front wheel wash out problem at the beginning too, i think is just a bad practice inherited from riding shorter bikes and staying in the back as much as possible, i am conciously staying more front centered now and i feel better on the bike, it also helped that I tilted the break levers downwards as much as posible, with 63.5 HTA is almost imposible to do an endo, so i feel safe with that set up.
  • 6 11
flag MrZ32 (Sep 21, 2020 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 @Afterschoolsports:
Coming soon.. not all through commecal
-Medium 2021 commencal Meta AM 29 (Polished Raw frame)
-Fox 38 Factory Orange Fork 29”
-Fox Float X2 Shock
-Hope Fortus Pro 4 Wheelset (with Assegai F and Disector R)
-Code RSC brakes with 200mm rotors
-Box 2 9 spd wide range drivetrain (with kmc gold chain.
-Descendant Cranks
-E13 trs chain guide/bash guard
-Gold Renthal Bars
-Ergon GE1 Grips
-Ergon SM Enduro Saddle
-KS 175mm dropper
-dmr vault brendog ice silver edition pedals
  • 9 0
 @trippleacht: I don't think they review 27.5 bikes on Pinkbike anymore?...That being said, I've had a over half a dozen or so rides on my 2021 Clash, mostly bike park and steep gnar trails and the "fun" story checks out!
  • 1 0
 @Afterschoolsports: looking forward to building it once all the parts arrive.

TBH their builds are better value but i didn't like the ohlins or black/ white signature models, so went something different. Should be built by the end of next month.
  • 6 2
 34 lbs, ouch! Looks like a modern version of the bottle rocket with those seat stay pivots.
  • 1 0
 Cheers @MrZ32:
  • 1 0
 Cheer @Narro2:
  • 2 0
 @willf28: For the AM on my first ride I was washing out a bit but after switching to a tire I am more familiar with and riding it more that issue was gone. The AM is fast and very stable but I do notice the short rear end in the chunk, while not a hinderance but similar to the long front end in that you get used to positioning on the bike. Personally I enjoy a bit longer chainstays but the AM's character is great in the right situations. The TR being a little shorter should add some pop and maneuverability, although the TR is still an relatively big bike. Thinking it will be a shredders do all bike.
  • 2 0
 @Noeserd: Much beter spec on the 141 and a threaded bb! Interesting to see a comparison......
  • 2 0
 @meSSican: cool, looks a really high quality frame so I’m very tempted. Definitely prefer longer stays also.
  • 2 0
 @Mitch243: That's what I've been stuck on looking at the TR Vs AM.
Not too bothered about the travel, but the more slack + more long of the AM is more off-putting / excessive for my needs.
  • 2 0
 @meSSican: Link req'd when you're done Wink
  • 2 0
 @GLOB-2018: Same for me... BUT...TR is 64.5 with 150mm so 64 with 160 (if you're going that way, like me) with half a degree slacker for the seattube. AM is 63.5 but would be the same 64 with a 160mm fork (would be enough for me with 29'' wheels), steeper seattube angle and a wheelbase probably not far away from the TR because I think it will be a bit shorter with a shorter travel fork? Plus I would probably put a 0.5 degree angleset to have 64.5 so still a bit shorter with that!

TR would be like half a pound lighter. Maybe climb a bit better but not sure...if you have a good shock, tuned for you, I guess the AM could climb and be poppy as a TR?! Then you also have 20 more mm in case of, or if you go at the bike park!

I'm still not sure about which one though... lolll
  • 4 0
 I can tell you that the TR Signature smashes the shit out of the Dunedin Nationals track, Rock garden might aswel not be there. Rinses my old Trek Remedy 9.8!
  • 2 0
 @joehollindrake: yup. I am that friend. For me it was a difficult toss up too, but getting rid of my previous enduro and my DH to get just one 'do it all' bike, the decision for me was more about where I felt I could live with the most compromise. The TR will always have more impeccable trail side manners than the AM, and would most likely be easy to live with day to day, but for shuttle/uplift days and trips to the alps, I wanted something that would feel more like a DH bike. I thin in both instances, Commencal have created 2 very modern cutting edge bikes that are pretty much future proof in terms of geometry for at least the next 3-5 years.
  • 4 0
 @meSSican: @willf28: this was the same for me. I've come from a relatively short bike, speshy's 2015 enduro 29 and although a great bike, the last few years I started to find the limits of its geo, which by modern standards are very dated, 425 reach, 67 HA, both of which made for an absolute trail killer, but anything more than that, and it was soon out of its depth, especially in the steep stuff as I had to constantly try and find the balance point between front and rear. Prior to buying the AM the privateer 161 was top of my list, but swinging it was the idea of buying an untested 1st gen bike (which I've been stung with in the past) and wanting to spec my bike up how I chose ( I went with the lowest Spec AM and then spec'd up the suspension aftermarket.) In the same way as you two, I feel the AM needs a significant amount of input to ride, and is one to ride from the front absolutely, but that suits my riding style. At 5"9' this is essentially me sizing up (on their medium) but without the high seat tube penalty. So far I absolutely love it and I've taken it to Wharncliffe for some Steep techy DH and it felt super composed, but my local hot lap is mellow flow trail and although it's far too much bike for thar everyday, it certainly doesn't feel like a pig when riding
  • 2 0
 @GLOB-2018: m.youtube.com/channel/UCHLGaEqGL4_BbQBn8UVI86g
Link to our channel. We have some content on the AM and TR. More to come
  • 1 0
 @Timo82: Hi Timo82, how do you know that 64.5 apply to the 150mm version? I can't find the information... Thank you!
  • 3 0
 @Timo82: I am currently running the AM with a 180mm Mezzer up front and WOW, it is stepped up a notch in terms of plow and speed. I did notice a slight change in seat tube angle but nothing horrible as its already awesomely steep. I have a TR that I am building up now and will have some comparisons soon on our YT channel. The TR frame without shock size L came in at just over 8lbs.

My early estimate is that the TR will serve a lot of shredders well as the geo is long and slack. Our AM Team size L came in at 37.3lbs. I would not use the word poppy to describe the AM more like planted and a complete smasher. It can climb though. I cleared a couple sections others either didn't want to try or couldn't make it....and I'm not a stellar climber.
  • 2 0
 @simon-olivier: Axle to crown (fork length) in geometry says 561mm which is a 150mm fork in 29''! Wink

AM is with a 170mm fork.
  • 1 0
 @meSSican: Yeah I'm already following you on YT and talked to you a couple of times for that TR/AM review. Wink

That is heavy but TR frame is only like half a pound lighter and if doing the same kind of enduro trails with it, you will have to build it with the same burly components. If you tune a shock for you, I guess the AM could become a bit more poppy like the TR... not OEM but with a tuned shock. That was only to say that I really don't know what would be the plus of going with the TR instead of AM... but yeah, I am waiting for your build to see what you think about it!! lol
  • 45 0
 Sit up and take note, ugly seat tower bracers worldwide, that's how you make it look good. At last, a reinforcement that doesn't look like someone's welded on a bit of offcut.
  • 6 9
 .....and have the shock about as high as possible.
  • 1 0
 #sculpted
  • 51 6
 No baby rotors allowed but 2 piston XT brakes without fins are allowed.
  • 10 15
flag lkubica (Sep 21, 2020 at 0:19) (Below Threshold)
 I also think tat a 180 rotor with 4 piston caliper is better than 200 with 2 piston in the rear. This is quite unfortunate that they did not make a 180 mount instead of 200. Especially for Shimano, since you need really good modulation in the rear of a single pivot design.
  • 9 2
 Plenty of less burly bikes have 4 pots, this just seems like another slightly strange attempt to differentiate it from the AM. You can spec 4 pots in the A La Carte program but it seems to be a choice of Rockshox and SRAM only if you go that route...
  • 28 0
 I have gone from XT 2 Piston /180mm > XT 4 Piston /180mm > XT 4 Piston 203mm. Biggest noticeable jump in braking came from the increase in rotor size, not piston count.
  • 9 2
 @GregorFuk: His point is that having 2 pot brakes and 203mm rotor gives you no modulation, which especially for the rear is important. I run 2 pot with 180mm at the back and it's not the braking power that is the problem, it's the modulation and I cannot imagine how it would be if I had a 203mm rotor at the back.
  • 8 0
 Interesting that the top-spec gets the XT 2-pots, but the model down, the TR 29 Race (which also has coil shock) gets G2 RS 4-pots...
  • 15 0
 2 piston brakes on a 34lb bike make about as much sense as a soup sandwich.
  • 1 0
 @SeanF82: They have similar weirdness on other bikes. I was looking at an HT AM as a second bike and the race build has deore 2-piston whereas the step down has guide To (4-piston).
  • 12 1
 @tonit91: Try squeezing the lever a little harder or a little less hard
  • 3 0
 @boozed: lol commuter eBikes are coming with 4-pots now.

This bike seems awesome but there is NO excuse for 2pot brakes a bike with such intentions.

BR-M520's would have been welcome over 2pot XT's on this.
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: I don't have any problems with that thank you very much. But there is no denying that a bigger rotor increases the braking power by a very large amount.
  • 2 0
 Wonder if it's due to availability from shimano???
  • 3 2
 I wouldn't boil it down to piston count, particularly once you are on big rotors. The 2-piston XT brakes are really nice. I prefer them to 4-piston Guide RSC.
  • 1 0
 @dontcoast:
BR-M20 caliper cost less than a 3C Maxxis. More annoying to have to upgrade to a dropper with enough drop.

I just got my AM29 and changing the caliper was a 15 minute job including bleed.
  • 1 0
 @SeanF82: some odd spec choice for sure. Would like to see XT 4pot and a coil. Or better yet. Have this model and instead of the same one in a slightly different colour offer an Öhlins RXF36/Coil versión like the AM has.
  • 2 0
 Unless the rider is 60kg @Bobo-the-Clown:
  • 1 0
 @boozed: I had formula cura 2 pot brakes on 'park bike' never have an issue
  • 47 6
 It is worth noting that it is 3% slower than the Grim Donut!
  • 8 2
 That's meta AM, this meta tr
  • 3 2
 Around 5% actually...
  • 24 0
 @mikekazimer - I'm not sure where you took off or where you're landing, but that jump photo in the "Descending" section is sick!
  • 17 2
 I don't think the negatives are a negative for the Meta, it's a commencal, you never buy em for the climbs
  • 2 0
 I agree they are known for descents. But it does make me wonder about the accuracy of Kazmir’s comment that the AF is a touch more efficient on the climbs. The Ripmo is the best climbing large bike I have ridden so if the TR is near that it would be a pretty great climber
  • 2 1
 I climbed the AM 2021 this last weekend, and it felt pretty good, way better than my 2012 stumpjumper, i was actually surprised. It doesnt climb like an XC bike, but the 78 degree STA defintely helps.
  • 1 1
 @Narro2: Stumpjumper climbs like a pig.
  • 1 1
 @mtb1101: really? Then...i guess i am a pretty good climber...
  • 1 0
 @Narro2: it has a ton of traction but can be a little slow
  • 12 0
 I've been on the Meta TR Race for 4 weeks now. Absolutely charging machine. The super-deluxe coil and lyrics are a great combo - super supple and the 160 up front can really take some hits. The four pot SRAM's are very necessary as the bike seems to accelerate super quick. Have hit some good drops and haven't noticed any bottom-out impacts, even mega casing a gap jump - the bike just monster truck rode out of it. Climbing tight switchbacks would be it's only weakness but I'm learning how to deal with that. The long reach, modern geo in some respects demands a modern riding style and at times I find it quite scary just how low and over the front I am and how much I've leaned the bike over, but the traction is just there and the corners just keep railing. Overall it is a confidence inspiring machine - super stable at speed or through chunky rock gardens. On flow/pump singletracks the short chainstays make this bike really fun as it's very easy to float the back end.
  • 1 0
 @Lumenous1 How do you like the coil shock on the back? Do you find that it sits too low in the travel or bottoms out easily? I bought a frame to build up, and I'm trying to decide if I want coil or air...
  • 1 0
 @chrismyass: I'm on the large- comes stock with 400lb spring. I'm 6'1 and 80kg ish. 2.5 turns on the preload sitting about 28% sag. Haven't had any noticable bottom outs even off 1m drops to slight landing. Traction is great, super plush feel.
  • 1 0
 how u were able to buy? all in pre order state
  • 1 0
 @nickmalysh: pre-ordered way back in July. Got one on the first shipment to New Zealand
  • 1 0
 @Lumenous1: in US - mid March availability; which is kinda sucks
  • 1 0
 @Lumenous1: how poppy this bike comparing to 27,5 ? Never ridden 29, however that one looks like perfect fit for the bill
  • 1 0
 @Lumenous1: Thanks for the help! Enjoy the bike. I can't wait to get mine built up
  • 18 8
 Looks sexy and I’m sure it’s a rocket downhill, but I can’t help but see another bike that’s gotten too long to be useful as an all-rounder unless you live in a place with only smooth climbs. It’s gotta take some real thrashing to get this thing up a chunky, technical climb.

Not knocking the bike so much as the fact that the Pinkbike tests are done in the PNW or Canada and might not represent the conditions most people ride in. It has to be guiding the development in this direction at least a little bit.

Signed, a slightly salty average sized Ozarks rider who thinks he’s seeing bike geo jump the shark.
  • 25 9
 Agreed. 90 % of testing happens on terrain that 90% of people don’t live anywhere near. Kazmir doesn’t really value climbing because climbing for him is a 45 minute slog up a fire rode. For me living on the east coast and 1:30 away from true mountains climbing happens intermittently with descending on every trail. And “trail” bikes are generally made for this kind of riding which is what most readers do except for when we travel to a destination. It would be great to eventually see some “affiliate” experienced PB contributors located outside of MTB nirvana destinations that could contribute how these bike perform on trails that are more accessible.
  • 6 0
 @NERyder: It is worth noting that we have terrain like that out here too. It is not just long DH charging out here, and there is lots of climbing that is not on fire roads or smooth single track. In fact there is lots of variety including tech climbing and up and rolling terrain. I am sure Kazimer rode a variety of terrain.
  • 19 1
 @NERyder, I do value climbing - my East Coast roots are strong - and I mentioned a number of times in this review how this bike doesn't feel like a traditional trail bike. It's true that we have plenty of logging road grinds that lead to gnarly descents out here in the PNW, but there are also lots of techy singletrack climbs. This bike was tested on a wide variety of terrain, from mellow to wild.
  • 4 0
 @NERyder: Have you ever been biking in the PNW?
Because personnaly moving from Europe to BC I felt like a beginner on the climbs. And who climbs fire roads anyway?
  • 12 3
 @mikekazimer: thanks Mike. I wasn’t really trying to be critical, and not specifically of you, I just know how different riding is when I have done it out west verses the constant up and down here and in many places where large portions of readership likely live.
From watching and reading everything you have done on PB I believe you like to ride big terrain and steep stuff and so I beleived downhill performance is more important to you (basing this off multiple comments, sorry if I am incorrect).

The main challenge I was pointing out is most reviews are done in destinations that most of us get to ride for a week after a plane ride. It is hard to translate them into the less idea topography that most of us have access to and ride the vast majority of the time.
The review is great, as are all the field (and bible) tests that happen. They just happen in “vacation destinations” for me so it requires a fair amount of translation to figure out what it means on my local terrain. I sort of feel like reviews In general would benefit from more attention being put on the summary section capturing the reviewers thoughts on ideal and non ideal terrain and riding styles for the bike.

Just my thoughts. I am sure most comments will disagree
  • 2 1
 @marge88: good point Marge. I have ridden out west but not the PNW. Perhaps my impressions are not accurate. My point is just sustained elevation changes being part of a ride really changes the nature of the ride (both the climb and descent) and often how enjoyable a bike is to ride them. Epic terrain can also have a pronounced effect. I don’t fault reviewers from testing in awesome places where these two things intersect, however I do feel it tends to skew most reviews towards how bikes perform in epic mountainous terrain. Which is fine, it is just less useful for understanding how the bike will work on terrain where a large portion of readership lives.
  • 8 0
 @mikekazimer: To be fair, the review doesn't speak to that. I just re-read the climbing section and there is no mention of it's technical climbing ability at all. Or how the longer wheelbase fairs on tighter trails, or how the bike handles undulating terrain. It's the usual "it climbs ok, but wait till you hear about how it descends!" winch and plummet stuff.

What I'd love to see is a comp between the two schools of philosophy over different terrains, take some steep and slack bikes (no lack of options) and run them against the more moderate bikes like Trek Slash and Pivot Switchblade in various environments. What are the tradeoffs from both approaches? What terrain do they shine on? What kind of rider does it make sense for? With the unrelenting push of geo, it'd be cool to hit pause and take stock.
  • 3 0
 @NERyder:

You are correct about different terrains needing different types of bikes. Out in the North East, a 130mm 27.5” bike is a great choice for the tight trails: Think of a n Ibis Mojo 3/4, Santa Cruz 5010, Specialized Stump jumper or Yeti SB140.
  • 1 0
 @NERyder: I think you bring up relevant considerations, but at the same time I would also expect Kazimer (as genuinely a professional bike tester) to take these kinds of considerations into account (i.e. from time to time also venturing with the test bike into more XC kind of trails, do some technical climbs, put on miles in relatively flat areas, more gradual descents etc).
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: thanks Sandrick. I am not looking for a bike just noting the issue of where review happen vs were most people ride
  • 1 0
 @roma258: yes this is in line with what I am saying. I think that would be great
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: So, how do you feel that this bike does on tighter more technical climbs? As someone from the NE who is looking at updating his bike next year, this is really becoming a key factor in my decision.
  • 2 0
 @marge88: Same! European roots don't seem to be as big or awkward to get up and over as they are here.
  • 1 2
 @NERyder: lol true mountains..I've been to all the mountains on the east coast and being from nepal those are not even considered hills for us. I regularly get 600m of elevation on my everyday ride.
  • 3 0
 @Riwajc: yes, the mountains in Nepal are bigger. And you seem to get a lot of elevation on your daily ride. Not sure what those things have to do with my comments.
  • 12 0
 this bike will go head on with the privateer 141
  • 8 0
 Similar frame price, similar geo/travel.

Which one you prefer might come down to your thoughts on short/long chainstays (or, maybe rather, fixed vs proportional to size).

Could be really interesting topic for a comparison review actually. Get a couple riders, make the bikes as identical as possible, and see if there is a consensus on opinion/timed laps, or just the realization that its just yet another preference.
  • 2 0
 @ocnlogan: Also internal vs external routing!
  • 10 3
 To see who can build the heaviest trail bike ever.
  • 1 0
 @CM999: I've been looking at a frame for my wife and when you look at the weights, almost all aluminum framesets sit around 3.5kg. Most people seem to be comparing these bikes with carbon versions of other frames (apart from the ripmo here...)
  • 10 0
 @mikekazimer How would you compare it to the Norco Sight? They both have the same FC lenght, as the CS of the Meta is 5mm shorter and consequently WB as well.
  • 5 0
 Sounds like we need another Field Test.... Throw the Privateer 141 and Starling Murmur in the mix as well.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: they will be broken from picking them up. I find the idea of a trail bike being as heavy as a dh bike a bit silly. Their supreme is only 3lb heavier
  • 5 0
 @CM999: I guess it depends on your idea of trailbike. My Murmur weighs between 35 and 38 pounds depending on tyres and on board tools. Add a bottle and that's another pound. But I can ride it anywhere.
  • 6 0
 This is the way.... Seriously though, this I have been riding the SJ Evo as my do it all bike for a while. This is the future of 140 trail bikes if you ever ride anything semi rowdy. The Evo did everything from 50 mile XC rides to a week in Whistler and did them all well. Stoked to see this category growing.
  • 19 13
 You had me until 435mm chainstays!
The long front centre needs to be balanced by longer rear centre too for L/XL sizes - it's not asking too much, just a flip-chip at the rear axle
  • 4 0
 Truth, i also think that without longer cs geo works great for size M and L only. S and XL is so so
  • 34 0
 Incredibly, Mike still had fun.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer According to Commencal's website you could also ride a size M. I noticed on the bikechecks that some pros downsize their (non-competition) bikes these days. What is your opinion on the size L for you? Would you have possibly enjoyed a size M as well?
  • 1 0
 Also would like to know this.
  • 4 0
 @tommynator, at 180cm I'd be on the very upper limit of what they suggest for a medium. I'd be worried that the shorter top tube length would make it feel too cramped on the climbs. This bike isn't intimidating to ride at all, despite that long reach number, and if I was purchasing one a large would be the way I'd go.
  • 1 0
 I'm 183cm but actually with a shorter inseam than Kazimer at 32". Ride a 2021 Large Meta AM with 5mm more reach. Given the steep seattube, the ETT length is shorter than you'd think and on tight switchback climbs the bar is almost touching my knees in the turns.

Played around with the idea of sizing down to a medium myself actually given the long reach, but very happy I went for the large.
  • 1 0
 was also curious about this. i'm like 5'10" with a 31" inseam and i ride a previous gen Meta 29 still as my day to day bike. looking at pure numbers, all these new bikes seem to add like 2" or more to the reach. i don't feel cramped on my Medium as is right now, but was wondering what would work best. i've ridden Larges in some other stuff and they feel a little bulky going straight from the Medium, but easily doable. i was concerned on getting too front heavy in body position by reaching so much further than i currently do. not sure what way to go. i have a Medium Supreme FR bike as well and FOR SURE i want to go up to a Large next frame when i replace that, but maybe that's just the way it is... medium in one bike, large in another.
  • 1 0
 I’m 1.75m and thinking about ordering this frame as a Large.
Coming off a G16 so I’m used to a longer FC. The short stays are what concerns myself. Like it might not be as good a climber due to that
  • 1 1
 Downsize only if it is a shuttle bike. The TTL ion the Meta TR Large is fairly short at only 618mm. I am only 170cm with about a 175 wingspan and a 618mm TTL is about perfect even for shorty me. I would NIOT recommend to downsize to a Mediium for anyone over 178 . TTL is just as important as Reach for a PEDALING bike, and may be even more important as we spend way more time riding seated than standing for these type of bikes. For a park and lift service bike, TTL is really insignificant as we are rarely ever pedal seated. For Park Bikes, Reach is basically the only measurement that really matters.

I jhave a 2020 Commencal Furiious, this bike also has the bigger numbers for both Reach and Wheelbase. For the Furious I did decide to downsize to Small for playfulness. However, even for a "Small" this bike is pretty big as the Reach is 440mm and it has a WB of 1223mm. TTL for a Small Furious is a traditional medium length at 595mm and it is not as cramped as the Meta TR due to the super slack seat tube on the Furious.

Like I said though, TTL is insignificant for a Park and DH bike. I use to upsize all the time when I rented DH bikes, but no more! Now I am finding the sizing of these newer bikes finally catch up to my liking. I always felt I should be riding Small bikes and NOT a Large as I am only 170cm, and always felt that the bigger guys were riding bikes way too small for,them.

My Small Furious is the same size in Reach and Wheelbase as Large DH bikes from 2018,. One of the best DH bikes I have ever rented was a Large 2018 Devinci Wilson, and my Small Furious is basically the exact same size as a Large 2018 Wilson. No wonder I love my Firious so much. It feels just perfect!

Another thing that surprised me about my Furious is how awesome it pedals. These newer Commencal bikes do pedal quite well, almost as good as my Ripmo. I am even considering putting a dropper and some winder and easier gear range on my Furious to make it a Pedal Bike! expand its horizons beyond shuttle and life services! My Furious is 37.5 lbs with DH cased tires, a Fox 40 fork, and pedals. That is really not that heavy if you think about it. My Bronson V3 has a CC Carbon frame, a Fox 36, and EXO cased tires, and it weighs only 5 lbs less. A 200mm travel front and rear pedal bike would justify me using my Furious much more.
  • 1 0
 @HendersonMike: what do you do for a living that you can afford this many bikes ?

I’m struggling just to keep one up to date
  • 1 0
 @HendersonMike: What? Dude there is no way that thing comes even close to your Ripmo unless your Ripmo is broken. Ripmo flies uphill...its truly bizarre how nicely that thing pedals. It's like free speed with each pedal, it's strange how it feels. I dont own one but steal my buddies. It's crazy nice (the Carbon one...I havent ridden the AF)
  • 2 5
 @barbarosza: ,
Come on man! A bicycle is only 10k max! People own 100k boats and cars at the same time. I am NOT rich, but keep it real man. How old are you? 12?
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard,
No bike pedala better than an Ibis DW Link bike, however, you would be amazed how well these Commencal bikes pedals. Not as good as a Ripmo, but close enough. Let me put it this way, the Commencal is not the limiting factor in pedaling, I am!
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: Very interesting. My kid rides one but I've yet to pedal a Commencal. They sure look nice. Cheers
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: The point about TTL vs Reach is an interesting one and worth exploring further.

The current geo trend is: steeper seat tube angle, longer reach and slacker head angle right? And it's primarily driven by enduro bikes that need to be able to handle steep, chunky descending, while also pedaling back up to the next stage. And the development of dropper posts, ofcourse. But in terms of a trail bike, what you're getting is that that TTL that fits, is gonna come with a bike with a really, really long wheelbase (because long reach and slack fork. So for trail riding which might include tighter turns, techy climbs, and maybe terrain that's not squamish steep getting a bike that fits you will result in being way overbiked.

At least that was my experience when I get the Sentinel. It fit me great in the parking lot (size large, 178 cm tall), but on my home trails it felt like a total barge, despite only being 140mm in the rear.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard:
I am really liking the 2021 Commencal bikes, people will be amazed how well built and finished they are. The Paint job and attention to detail on my Furious frame is just amazing. Made from 6069 T6 Aluminum and braced in all the correct places for stiffness. I bought frame only and built it up, so I was able to closely see all the details when building it up. The cable routing channels are nicely done and the routing of cables was super easy.

The numbers on these 2021 Commencals are spot on perfect geo wise. Finally the bike Industry gets their sizing correct! Only thing that is a negative is they will be about 2 pounds heavier than any carbon bike, but is that really a problem?

The biggest problem with Commencal the Company is we they do NOT offer a way for us to Demo them. I really want to try a 2021 Commencal Supreme Mullet DH bike in size Medium, but there is no place to try one. The Reach on the Medium Supreme is 455mm and Wheelbase is 1290! That thing must be smooth as silk to ride. My Furious is 1223mm WB and I feel it is so plush and soft, that I can only imagine how awesome a 29er Front wheel with 1290mm Wheelbase Commencal DH bike would ride.

One thing I realized about longer bikes is they feel slower and more cumbersome, but the reality is actually opposite from feel, because I am still able to make the turns, and my times are faster!

Then again, 90% of biking is more than speed, it is about feel, and my Furious in size Small and 1223mm WB just feels awesome. I think I will ride my Furious for at least a couple of years before even considering upgrading to another "Lift and DH" bike.
  • 1 0
 @roma258:
You have that right, these bikes are made for the chunky Enduro courses, but you also have to realize that they actually benefits us LESS SKILLED the most. These bikes are easier to stay on the bike because they are so forgiving. It takes more skill to stay on a bike with shorter wheelbase and a shorter reach. Then again, I am tallking about chunky downhilling here, and 90% of the time, we are NOT even downhilling much less chunky downhilling.

For an all day Trail Bike, I do believe these long Enduro bikes to be too much work. They are about 10 lbs too heavy, the Seat Tube Angles are just too steep, and the Head Tube Angle just to slack. I think for an all day trail bike, 66 deg HTA and a 74 deg STA is ideal. The legs seem to work harder when the STA is too steep. The wrists also work harder when STA is too steep. As the days drags on, we feel it. however, if we are riding 3 hours or less, then these newer Enduro Geo are just fine.

These bigger bikes do FEEL slower and cumbersome, but sometimes our FEEL is all wrong, because the reality is different. I am actually going faster on these bigger bikes, and I am still able to make the same turns the same way as I would on a smaller bike. "If the car feels good, that means you are going too slow" -- Mario Andretti. Basically what Mario is saying is you should always be on edge, and you should NOT based how fast you are going on FEEL ever!

Then again, most of us to NOT ride for speed, we ride just to have fun, but you have to admit, it is nice to stay on pace with the Bros with less effort.

We all seem to have it wrong when it comes to these bikes. 90% of the time riding does NOT involve techy climbs and chunky Downhilling. I would first set up the bike for the 90% first, get that reach perfect with the correct handlebar sweep, length, and height. Then from there work on the other 10%.

Even with those steep seat tube angles, those Super Techy climbs are impossible if our Conditioning is off. I have about a 5 minute section on my local trail network I have only cleared twice on my best climber (Ibis Ripmo, 76% Deg STA), and only reason I was able to clear them at all those 2 times was my conditioning was at it's peak. Most of the time, it is NOT.

As for Downhilling, unless we have shuttle service, we only get about 5 minutes of Downhilling for about every 50 minutes "Uphilling".

So therefore, TTL is the most important Geo Measurement of them all in bike set up if we are setting up a pedal bike. The other measurements are still important, it is just TTL is the most important for a pedaling bike. For me personally, I have found that any bike between 590mm to 615mm is perfectly OK with me. I can play with stem and sweep a little bit to even fine tune if need to.

As for Reach, I have found 460mm to be my absolute max for Reach, I am even ok with 415mm, but a bike with a longer Reach is just easier to DH with, as we have more room to move around the bike, and it does seem harder to go over the bars on longer bikes. There does come a point that reach is too long, and it seems more work to weight the front end. For me, that is 460mm (I think).

It is best to just ride and ride. I often travel without my bikes because I feel it is too much work lugging a bike around on vacation and worrying about if it would be jacked or not. I often rent bikes on "bike trips" to allow me to do other things. When I do rent bikes, I try to go for something different, both in design as well as sizing just to get an idea of how other bikes feel.
  • 2 0
 @HendersonMike: it doesn’t help you this year but Commencal Canada in Squamish demos the Supreme and Meta bikes among others. That was a proper throw down at WBP can be had.
  • 2 0
 I had the previous version of this bike for 18 months and absolutely loved it. Kaz and Levy got it exactly right when they called it a "tough trail smasher" in their Field Trip review series. This one seems to channel that exact same personality and turn everything up to 11. And now it also looks good. Very tempting.

The only thing I didn't love in my time with the Meta TR 29 was the customer experience. Having to deal with Commencal for warranty claims wasn't easy or pleasant at all. The tubes my frame was made from must have had some form of production error, because I, with my very tame riding style, managed to crack the frame where the seat tube joins the bottom bracket area. Initially they tried to turn the whole thing back onto me, saying that it must have been my fault. When I got them to finally admit that it must have been a production error, they initially sent me a wrong frame size as a replacement. All in all it took about 6 weeks until I finally was able to ride again.
  • 3 1
 I rented the new Meta TR for a day (Race version) and was left disappointed. The rear triangle width bothered me, it didn't climb well, and it didn't have the pop I wanted. I also rode a new Norco Site and the Ibis Ripmo V2. I would say the Site felt better than the TR, but for me, the Ripmo V2 was hands down the best. Immediately felt confident and was shredding. Everyone is different, but I'd strongly suggest renting one if you can before you buy. This bike was at the top of my list, but after a day in Squamish, l was happy to give it back.
  • 1 0
 What size did you rent and what’s your height?
  • 12 7
 So 15.4 kg is now okay for a trail bike.
  • 15 3
 nobody buys a Commencal for its weight
  • 6 2
 well, yeah. It depends on your trails and how you ride them.
Personally I don't want a super light skittery bike with light but fragile wheels and a flexy fork. I'm much happier riding something heavier that's going to take some questionable lines through rock gardens, cased jumps and accidental hucks to flat, without needing to wonder whether i can still ride my bike back to the trailhead.
Companies are never going to satisfy everyone with their full builds (it looks pretty good to me) so go frame only and pop your featherweight components on it if burly bikes aren't your thing.
  • 3 0
 Cheap, fast, light, pick two:

This bike has excellent suspension and is a bargain for the component spec( Xt, DT Swiss wheels, Fox factory X2c, etc) . Weight is going to be the price you pay for a bike that normally costs $ 6-7k, that you can get for $1,200 less.
  • 1 0
 Apparently, even a carbon SC Hightower (S kit) weighs 14,86 kg (no size specced).
  • 3 0
 @Saidrick: but it’s heavy and certainly ain’t cheap so that’s down to one of the three
  • 1 0
 @CM999:

Find me another bike with xt, DT Swiss wheels and fox factory fork and X2 for under $5k.

It’s a bargain the way it’s built.
  • 1 0
 @dennis72:

The aluminum high tower is 14.86 kg. The carbon one is 12.88 kg.
  • 1 0
 That's the same weight as my Large Pole Evolink 158 with a relatively budget build (170mm Lyric, but most of the rest moved over from an older bike). I'm a bit confused how that's the case.
  • 1 0
 @Saidrick: lmao 12.88?? The $11,000 AXS Hightower weighs 13.74 on their website
  • 1 0
 That's a featherweight compared to my Steel full suss Smile
  • 1 0
 @f00bar: I wasn't complaining its just that there is usually a chorus of "its too heavy" comments when a bike is nominally a "trail bike" and it weighs this much. It weighs about the same as my 170mm XL 27.5 Enduro but its 29 so understandable.
  • 1 0
 @jambarbeast:

I was going off of Cambria bike’s listed weight????‍♂️

cambriabike.com/products/santa-cruz-hightower-carbon-s-kit-2019
  • 1 0
 So Cascade Components is making linkages to make a bunch of bikes more progressive, along with a few brands also talking about more progressive designs as well, yet Commencal is over here making less progressive curves... Hmm... I mean this review has most of the same things mentioned when something gets more progression: support and snappiness, smooth bottom-out (bottomless), smooth ramp up.
  • 5 0
 Shame they still do press fit bbs
  • 1 0
 Finally a Meta TR review!

Here's the question that has kept me up at night. You have three bikes: Meta TR, Meta AM, Trek Slash 8. So hard to decide if mini-enduro or enduro is the way to go. Is the Meta TR too "trail"? Is the AM too slack for a daily rider? Would I grab the Slash 8 at 170/160 for daily rides?

For someone who rides up to go down, with a few bike park days, which is the best choice...?
  • 1 0
 Just bought a slash 8 and my day to day rides are very technical and flat(max 30m elevation) and I like it alot. Had a 2016 kona process 165 which is way smaller and I think the slash is almost as nimble but way way better even on the minimal downhills we have here! I also think the 76 seat tube is spot on for allrounder enduro bike! And the 2 degrees steeper head angle compared to my cona doesn't seem to effect it any negative way!
  • 1 0
 I have the 2020 META TR 29 SX and it continues to impress me. This is my 3rd Commencal because they make incredibly fun bikes that withstand abuse at a great price. I'm actually glad I went with the 2020 cause I think the longer front triangle would be a little too long for me. I'd love to do a back-to-back with the 2020/2021.
  • 1 0
 On paper it looks like Commencal came close to nailing the Meta TRs. Curious about the Dissector F/R tyres and the XT 2piston brakes. Really would’ve liked to see an Öhlins RXF36 equipped version like the AM has. The Lyrik/Deelux equipped version looks nice but you get GX and a pawl equipped DT wheelset.
  • 1 0
 @mike this review makes me think:
1. High antisquat
2. Light wheelset not enduro/dh capable
3. Superduper steep seat angle

And it is not a great ascender. Something is not adding up (cannot believe it's the alu frame weight it makes no difference).

And yet the ripmo slacker in the seat is a better ascender. People that went from a pivot Firebird to a meta previous version did not find any difference ascending.

I think the numbers are all messed up or perhaps there is a problem in these tests (bias?)
  • 1 0
 "And yet the ripmo slacker in the seat is a better ascender. People that went from a pivot Firebird to a meta previous version did not find any difference ascending."
I rode about 14 different bikes last year before settling on the Ripmo AF for a new bike. These ranged from the new Specialized Enduro, Devinci Troy, a number of Niners, Rocky Mtn, Pivots, Intense and Santa Cruz bikes. Even down to some ST more XC rigs just for reference (Santa Cruz tallboy and Intense Sniper). The only thing that climbs like it in techy climbs with comparable travel, are the Pivots. Even the tallboy and Sniper, while faster climbers and total whips, didn't crawl up and over the techy stuff as well as the ripmo. I look at the leverage curves, the anti-squat, anti rise all the data and I don't know why they don't clearly show a difference that would explain the difference in the experience. I can't figure out what makes that DW link in the back feel so different, but as a heavy rider it is a huge difference for me.
  • 3 3
 Mike I love your writing,and I hate to be one of those commenter thats just looking for something bad to say,I love you but the picture with you climbing doesnt match the writing :

That upright, centered position also makes it easier to remain seated while climbing, rather than needing to stand up and lean forward


Love you and wish they had this bike available for buying deja.
  • 6 1
 Huh? Do they have to stage photos to make you happy? He didn't say that he never has to stand while climbing.
  • 1 1
 @LeoTProductions: oh gimmie a break you got it wrong I was maybe being sarcastic
  • 1 0
 @barbarosza: Oh... Well sorry about that. I didn't pick it up.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Would you say there is a significant difference in climbing on the TR vs the old Meta AM 29 you reviewed? I'm currently riding the AM but think the TR might be better fit for climbing.
  • 2 0
 I guess the 'too steep'-ness of a seat tube angle depends on the rider height (leg length). 78.6 would be excessive to certain riders.
  • 4 1
 Look at Grim Donut and realize how outdated this bike is! At least here in 2030...
  • 4 0
 So it isn´t a trail bike.
  • 1 0
 Can annoying comment on the stand over height on this. It’s not on the website, I emailed them and customer service rep told me he had to go measure it by hand and it was 780. Can that be right? Seems massive.
  • 3 0
 SOH is an annoying measurement because everyone measures at a different place. And unless you're in the way-too-high realm like the most recent GTs, it's not too important.
  • 1 0
 The TR an AM were on my bikes to boy, finally a bought the AM because of the 4 piston brakes, and more travel, it climbs and goes down wonderful, and weight difference according to commencal website is less than a kg
  • 2 0
 @COMMENCALbicycles Interesting how you put a coil shock on one model of the TR. How does that leverage ratio work with both air and coil?
  • 1 0
 What is that brake hose routing? I didn't believe my eyes this morning, but wow. Hopefully I am incorrect, and this does not pose any safety issues to future owners of this bike
  • 1 0
 Pre-order only? With 150$ shipping, cmon I believe u can do better!
I’m gladly buy this bike, however some availability in stores would help more as well as other final touches
  • 1 1
 My shortlist is coming down to the Meta TR or Rocky Mountain Altitude. I'm leaning towards the Altitude because of its adjustability, and all Commencals in large are sold out until March 2021 here in Australia
  • 2 0
 Blown away by the AM. XL feels oddly nimble with the short stays etc. Crazy good bike
  • 3 0
 Wonder how it rides compared to a GG Smash?
  • 3 0
 how does it compare to a TR Sentinel? pretty much the same idea?
  • 4 5
 "The first was trading out the 50mm stem for a 40mm one, a change that I'd imagine many riders will make due to the bike's long front center."

Don't you mean "the bike's long reach"? Or are you worried about saying that a reach is too long?

Too long of a front-center would actually benefit from a longer stem, to pull the center of gravity forward and make it easier to weight the front wheel.
  • 7 2
 Not entirely true. A long front center means that a significantly more amount of your weight is already in front of the BB and therefore putting weight on the front wheel rather than the rear. So you dont need that longer stem.
  • 2 4
 @Svinyard: No, a longer front center does not put more weight up front, reach (including stem and such) does that. If the bars don't move, the weight doesn't move, so axle farther away means less weight on it. Pulling the bars back with a shorter stem without moving the axle is going to take weight off the axle, because the axle is now relatively further away.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: You are missing the point. He was mentioning that since the bike already has so much more reach (and forward weight/position), and is long...that you can reduce steam length to a reasonable 40mm. Mike knows what he is talking about dude...
  • 1 2
 @Svinyard: He didn't say anything about _reach_ in that section. He said, and I quote, for the second time, "due to the bike's long front center." He mentions reach 6 times total, zero times in the section about test setup, and zero times in relation to stem length. The stem length was only mentioned in a sentence about the front-center. You're correct that Kazimer knows a lot of stuff, but in this case either he doesn't, or he made a mistake.

Yes, a long reach "allows" you, or forces you, depending on your perspective, to reduce stem length. Except, and this was argued very well previously by another PB editor, less than 50mm can cause deleterious effects on steering feel. A major point used in that argument was that almost no professional DH racers run shorter than 50mm, regardless of how long their front-center is, because it upsets the steering feel. If they need to micro-adjust the reach, they do it properly with an offset headset cup or even changing frame sizes, so the stem can remain at 50mm to get the feel they all want.
  • 3 0
 @just6979: Front-Center = virtual horizontal distance from BB to Headtube center (aka reach) + headtube center to the axle (virtual horizontal distance). Reach makes up the majority of that distance on this bike and is the primary reason Mike was talking about the bike having a longer front center and therefore felt better with a stem reduction. Mike tested it and it felt much better to him. My nephew just did the same thing yesterday in a similarly long bike on the Giant Trance X. 50mm stem dropped to 40mm made the bike feel a lot better (he is on the lower side of XL).

Also, the rake/offset on a Fox 40/49 is way different than that of a trail fork these days. More often you are seeing stems closely match a forks offset for best steering feel. So a Fox 40/49 DH fork has a 52mm\58mm rake vs 42/44mm on common trail forks now. Unsurprisingly the DH bikes run a stem similar to that 52mm. Also a lot of DH bikes actually aren't ultra long in the reach, so the longer stem is often more appropriate for balance. DH champion bike the Commencal Supreme has a fair bit less reach than this "Trail" bike. That's my understanding of it at least. You do you tho.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: All that is correct. Doesn't change that shortening the stem makes the front-center relatively longer. You even kinda mentioned it: the reach measurement is included in the front-center (though no one measures it with a stop at the head tube, just go straight horizontal BB to axle). A shorter effective reach (shorter stem) without changing the front-center means the front-center is relatively _longer_. It's possible that's what Mike meant, he wanted the front-center to feel longer, but then I'm not sure why he mentioned that shortening the stem is something to be done _because of_ the already long front-center.

I don't think you or Mike is completely wrong, I just think the wrong term was accidentally used. I'm fairly sure he meant to say shorten the stem to offset the long reach.
  • 2 0
 i bought a 2019-20 AM specifically to avoid the geometry of the 2021 models.
  • 2 0
 My meta AM just broke. I guess we will find out how good the customer service is
  • 2 0
 2021 or older? My friend broke his 2018 a couple of weeks ago and he received a new one (not 2021 as they still had older one's) like 2 weeks after....seems pretty good but maybe not always like that! :S
  • 2 0
 @Timo82: Mine is a 2019
  • 2 0
 @Crankmt: Ok! Did it break just above the shock, on the top tube?
  • 1 0
 @Crankmt: Oh boy so maybe it is more frequent than I thought... Mmm good to know!
  • 3 0
 @Timo82: it sounds like my new frame is on the way already. The customer service with Commencal from the day I bought the bike has been exceptional
  • 1 0
 @Crankmt: Nice, good to know the customer service in USA is as good as in Canada! Smile
  • 4 1
 Why doesn’t commencal place the pivots on the chain stays?
  • 3 0
 Because they wanted a single pivot(?)
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer

1. Which bike has more pop, clombs better and goes more forward when hitting the pedals, the Meta Tr or privateer 141?

2. Which does what better?
  • 3 1
 came for the comments but there is none
  • 7 6
 1257 mm wheelbase, 435 mm chainstay , sound like a balanced bike.... oh wait...
  • 1 0
 He compensated for it by changing the front tire to a DHF. Wait for the Meta AM review... bet they either downsize and/or say that it's for the most aggressive racer types, and that the TR is recommended for most.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer If you would have bought a clash with similar reach for bikeparks would you go with large or medium?
  • 4 2
 Is it just me that thinks about mulleting this bike?
  • 4 6
 "The flip side is that every once in a while the rear wheel would lose traction a little sooner than I'd expected."
Come on, that's disinfo. Shorter chainstays give more traction at the rear, not less. This is obvious. Funny how when something becomes a trend, such as longer chainstays, all its attributes become "good". They offer more traction both at the front and at the rear (though in different articles). Miracle!
  • 1 0
 I've noticed on my 2021 Meta AM that the rear wheel will skip around under braking more than my previous bike (Trek ABP). I wonder if this observation is due to the single pivot design rather than weight/traction on the rear.
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: Single pivot is the answer, try app or any dual link bike
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: An increase in rigidity might also propitiate losses of traction in certain occasions. A shorter chainstay will also be inherently more rigid. So, yes, there might be a direct relationship between one and the other, but it shouldn't be worded like that, just mention the extra rigidity (which also has its advantages, though). And even with the extra losses of traction in some situations, there might be extra traction in others due to the shorter chainstays.
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: And the different suspension systems will also be more or less rigid, and any noticeable difference comes more from that than from whatever wheel path the wheel follows.
  • 1 0
 @CaMKii: I guess the ultimate rear wheel traction would be achieved by a short chainstay bike, with no actual chainstays, like a Prophet or others. That would maximize the distance between the rear wheel axle and the main pivot, thus maximizing, or rather optimizing the flex.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer could you speak to the tire clearance in the frame? Room to run a 2.5 on 35mm ID rims? Thanks!
  • 1 0
 I'm glad to hear you find the side knobs wearing quickly on the dissektor too. That's been my biggest complaint.
  • 1 0
 Really torn between this and the meta AM. Would love a review on that as well.
  • 1 0
 Isn't the XM481 way more prone to defects than DTs enduro rim 511? Compelling weight though!
  • 1 0
 Thanks Mike, been waiting for this. People the Donut is dead give it a rest and move on..
  • 1 0
 Nice review! Now tell us more about those shades @mikekazimer
  • 2 0
 Those are Smith Wildcats. Basically fancy safety glasses to keep dirt out of my eyeballs.
  • 4 3
 The 2021 Clash is the bike I am way more interested in.
  • 3 4
 Previous comments: "Nobody buys a Commencal for climbing", &" Nobody buys a Commencal for its weight"...hmm those are 2 important parts of choosing a bike to buy?
  • 1 0
 Bike I like. kinked seat tube, don't like. Long droppers for everyone !
  • 1 0
 Not bad for a single pivot, eh?
  • 1 0
 Is there any thing like this with 27.5 wheels
  • 2 0
 The new Transition Scout has similar geometry numbers. I have it and it feels very similar to Mike's riding impressions of the Meta TR.
  • 1 0
 I am sure soon will be Meta AM with longer cs.
  • 1 0
 If you tape off the top of the "A" on the seat stay, it says "METH"
  • 1 0
 Why are they still using press fit BB’s?????
  • 1 0
 dream bike, commencal has done it again
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer what cage/bottle size and tube strap are you rocking here?
  • 2 3
 still waiting for the grim donut trail bike, with a steeper HA around 58,5 and slacker SA around 81 ;-)
  • 2 3
 I preferred the nutsack saddle swoop of the previous frames to the straight too tube. They just look common now.
  • 1 1
 Polerizing geometry numbers......................
  • 3 3
 why would anybody buy it knowing that there is a bike 6sec faster
  • 1 0
 We wanna see the CLASH!
  • 1 0
 34 lbs.
  • 3 3
 Meta AM who?!
  • 3 3
 NEEDS more Donut
  • 1 2
 Where is the electric motor on this Turbo model?!
  • 1 0
 ask the Grim donut!
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