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...
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.
-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
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.
Not too bothered about the travel, but the more slack + more long of the AM is more off-putting / excessive for my needs.
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
Link to our channel. We have some content on the AM and TR. More to come
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.
AM is with a 170mm fork.
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
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.
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.
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.
Because personnaly moving from Europe to BC I felt like a beginner on the climbs. And who climbs fire roads anyway?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
I’m struggling just to keep one up to date
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...?
Wouldn't rear wheel drifts more likely be a result of the bikes stiffness rather than short CS length since short CS increase rider weight on the rear wheel?
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.
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.
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.
The aluminum high tower is 14.86 kg. The carbon one is 12.88 kg.
I was going off of Cambria bike’s listed weight????♂️
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.
I’m gladly buy this bike, however some availability in stores would help more as well as other final touches
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
A Ripmo with Fox Factory and XT 12sp costs almost $1700 more! Hightower doesn't come with that combo, but with Fox Factory and X01 12sp it costs $2200 more! It certainly doesn't help that SC won't put the better components on their alloy builds: best alloy option _is_ slightly less than this Meta, but only with GX Eagle and Fox Performance/RS Select+ suspension.
I do happen to have the 2021 Meta AM. It's probably the best descending bike I've ever owned, the geo is spot on. I really like how linkage driven single pivot bikes ride. The Meta AM is a big bike that can plow but it's also very snappy and poppy. It's also nice to have a direct to consumer brand with the HQ right in your backyard.
Just a name with minimal meaning to me. Could just name it SX, NX, GX or whatever and it'd have the same usefulness to me.
And btw first comment was sarcastic.
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