Review: Commencal's New Meta AM 29 Team

Jun 17, 2018 at 13:30
by Mike Kazimer  
It hasn't exactly been a secret that a big-wheeled version of Commencal's popular Meta was on the way. After all, artistically shot images of the bike were released back in April, and a few weeks later Cecile Ravenel piloted it to a win at the third round of the Enduro World Series in France, giving fans plenty of time to start speculating about all the details of the new machine.

That veil of pseudo-secrecy has been lifted, revealing a stout aluminum-framed 29er with 160mm of rear travel and a 170mm fork up front. The Meta AM 29's overall look is very similar to its 27.5” wheeled counterpart, but a few key revisions were made to optimize it for those bigger wheels.
Commencal Meta AM 29 Team

Intended use: enduro / monster trucking
Travel: 160mm rear / 170mm front
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 65.5º
Chainstay length: 432mm
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 35.6 lb (16.1 kg) size large, w/o pedals
Price: $3,899 USD as tested
More info: www.commencalusa.com, @COMMENCALbicycles

One thing that hasn't changed is Commencal's extremely reasonable pricing, made possible in part by the company's consumer-direct business model. Take the Meta 29 Team, for example. It comes with a RockShox Super Deluxe Coil shock, Lyrik RC2, SRAM Guide RE brakes, and a GX 12-speed drivetrain, all for $3,899 USD.

There are two other complete models in the lineup, the Fox-suspension equipped Meta 29 Signature for $4,399 USD, and the Meta AM 29 Essential, which retails for $2,999.

bigquotesThe Meta 29 has a solid yet plush feeling that makes it easy to launch into nasty looking sections of trail without needing to worry too much about the outcome. Mike Kazimer







Commencal


Construction and Features

The Meta 29's frame looks even burlier in person than it does on a computer screen, with a wide and flat top tube that curves over the shock, and a chunky swingarm that provides loads of tire clearance. There's now a brace between the seatstays in order to add a little extra stiffness, and the size of the bearings in the rocker link has been increased as well.

Other details include the ability to carry not one, but two water bottles, although one of them will need to be pretty small to avoid hitting the shock, and the other one will be mounted to the bottom of the downtube. Still, it's good to see that this feature wasn't overlooked. There's a thick chainstay protector to minimize chainslap noise, along with a down tube protector and a little mud flap on the back of the seat tube.

Threaded bottom bracket fans will have to look elsewhere, as Commencal have stuck with the BB92 shell found on the 27.5”, although I do think the fear of pressfit bottom brackets has been blown out of proportion. In fact, I can't think of the last time that I had any noise-related issues with a BB92 bottom bracket, despite all the mud and grit that I regularly ride through.

Commencal
There's just enough room to fit a small water bottle under the shock.
Commencal
The 230 x 60mm RockShox Super Deluxe coil is tucked into the underside of the top tube.


Commencal
There's no shortage of tire clearance, and there's now a brace between the seatstays to add a little extra stiffness.
Commencal
The Meta 29 has a bolt on thru-axle for the 148 x 12mm rear end, and 200mm rotors front and rear to keep things under control.



Commencal

Geometry & Sizing

Commencal didn't go too wild with the Meta 29's geometry numbers, but it does have a longer reach and a steeper effective seat tube angle than the 27.5” Meta. The chainstays are also shorter – by pushing the seat tube forward Commencal's designers were able to create a 160mm 29er with 432mm chainstays and plenty of tire clearance, which isn't an easy feat. Having the seat tube pushed so far forward creates a nice and steep effective angle of 76.5 degrees.

The head angle sits a 65.5-degrees with a 170 fork, again, a number that matches that of the 27.5” version. Reach numbers are what I'd call moderate - the Meta 29 isn't the longest bike out there, but it's also not the shortest, and the 460mm reach of a size large is close to what you'd find on a Santa Cruz Nomad, Trek Slash, or Orbea Rallon.


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Suspension Design

The Meta still relies on a link-driven single pivot suspension design for that 160mm of rear travel, but the new frame sees the main pivot shifted backward and raised by a few millimeters, a step that Commencal says was done to improve the pedaling efficiency and reduce the amount of kickback.

Commencal Meta 29 review
Commencal Meta 29 review

Specifications

Specifications
Price $3899
Travel 160mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe RCT Coil
Fork RockShox Lyrik RC2 170mm
Headset Acros Alloy ZS44/ZS56
Cassette SRAM GX Eagle 1230
Crankarms SRAM Descendant Eagle
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP BB92
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM GX Eagle
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar 30mm rise, 800mm, 31.8mm
Stem Renthal Apex 40mm
Grips Renthal Traction lock on, ultra-tacky compound
Brakes SRAM Guide RE 200mm f/r
Wheelset Spank Oozy 350
Hubs Spank Oozy
Rim Spank Oozy 350
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35 / New Hans Dampf 2.35 - Addix Soft compound
Seat Fabric Scoop Flat Elite
Seatpost KS Lev Integra



Commencal













Test Bike Setup

Commencal was kind enough to send out the Meta 29 prior to the official launch, which allowed me to log some serious vertical on the tan beast ahead of its debut, including big rides in Bellingham, Squamish, as well as in the Whistler Bike Park.

The bike arrived with a 400 lb spring, which put me at just a touch less than 30% sag. That worked for my 160 lb weight, but I also tried a 350 lb spring that gave me 33% sag. For higher speed trails, like those in the bike park, the firmer spring was the better choise, but the softer one worked well on slower speed, rougher trails where I wanted as much grip as possible.

Up front, I ran 74 psi with 2 tokens (one more than stock) in the 170mm Lyrik. I typically go more by feel than by measuring sag for front suspension – modern forks tend to have negative springs that make them extra-soft at the beginning of their travel, which can lead to inaccurate sag percentage numbers.
Mike Kazimer
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 35
Height: 5'11"
Inseam: 33"
Weight: 160 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer


Commencal
The Meta AM 29 is happiest plowing its way down rough trails.


Climbing

Every time I started grinding my way uphill, the Hollies' 1969 hit, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother would start floating around in my head, except that this version had the refrain of 'It ain't heavy, it's my Meta...' (There's a reason I usually ride alone...) That became my mantra as I spun those cranks on this over-35 lb machine, and it seemed to work. It certainly took more effort compared to bikes that weigh five or more pounds less, but with the lockout engaged on the Super Deluxe coil, I was still able to make my way up some seriously nasty logging roads in Bellingham and Squamish. I'm not ashamed to admit that the 50-tooth cog on the Eagle cassette saw plenty of use on those climbs – after all, this thing weighs as much as a modern downhill bike.

Straightforward dirt road slogs went as expected - slow and steady - but what about more technical, twisty sections of trail? Well, I still wasn't setting any speed records, but the Meta's handling is very manageable, with a comfortable seated climbing position, and a front end that I didn't have any trouble keeping on track. For the most part, even on those techy climbs I kept the shock locked out, prioritizing efficiency over outright grip – there was still enough movement in the shock that the ride wasn't harsh at all – but I did flip it to the full-open position every once in a while in order to maximize the amount of traction. In that fully open position the Meta remains a calm pedaler, and unless you're standing up and really stomping on the pedals there's not much unwanted movement.

I'm not normally a proponent of remote lockouts, due to the fact that most of them seem to end up on more efficient, shorter travel bikes where they create more handlebar clutter than they’re worth, but I do think it'd make a lot of sense for the Meta 29. If this were my personal bike, and I had plans of doing some enduro races on it, I'd probably be scheming about how to get a lockout on there.


Commencal
Dropping in... The RockShox Lyrik / Super Deluxe combo helped make touching back down to earth nice and smooth.


Descending

Pedaling the Meta 29 to the top of a climb is like using super fat powder skis to access a remote peak – there's more effort required initially, but it's worth it when gravity takes over. I channeled my inner Grave Digger on countless occasions, dropping my heels and letting the Meta plow through whatever obstacles lay ahead. It has a solid yet plush feeling that makes it easy to launch into nasty looking sections of trail without needing to worry too much about the outcome. As long as you keep hanging on to those sticky grips, there's not much that'll faze this beast.

The combination of the Meta's extra heft and coil suspension does mean that getting airborne does require a little more muscle – it's more challenging to pop off natural doubles than it would be on a lighter, air-sprung machine. On bigger jumps taking flight wasn't an issue – just like a DH bike, with enough speed and a big enough lip you can launch as high as you'd like aboard the Meta. I did find the bottom of the bike's travel every once in a while, but the suspension design is progressive enough that this was a rarity rather than a regular occurrence. The Meta kept its composure on steep rock rolls as well, aided by the big rotors front and rear. That extra rear braking power does accentuate the amount that the back end squats under heavy braking, but there was always enough traction to remain in complete control.


Commencal
It's no lightweight, but put a big enough lip in front of it and the Meta will happily get airborne.


I don't have a staunch position in the long or short chainstay debate – that number is only a part of the equation when it comes to how a bike rides, but in this case the Meta's short back end fit the overall manners of the bike very well, keeping it quick in the corners, and facilitating rapid direction changes. Once it's up to speed it's more nimble than you'd expect, and I was surprised by just how well it could bob and weave through the bermed turns on the twistier trails in the Whistler Bike Park.

Part of me does wish that Commencal had gone a little more radical with the Meta's numbers - after all, I don't think anyone's going to be taking this machine on mellow trail rides, at least not on purpose, so why not kick back that head angle a bit and stretch things even further in order to position it even further into the downhill realm? That being said, I felt totally at home dropping into the steepest, roughest trails I could find -- as it is the Meta is more than capable when the going gets gnarly.

Commencal definitely pushed the boundaries of how wide they could make the Meta's back end, and I did manage to knock the inside of my right knee (I ride left foot forward) on the seatstay a few times, and every once in a while my calves would rub it slightly while climbing, usually if I was running flat pedals and not paying much attention to my foot position. This won't be an issue for everyone, but it seemed worth at least a brief mention.





Commencal
Commencal Meta 29

Nukeproof Mega 290
Nukeproof Mega 290

How does it compare?

I've spent a bunch of time on Nukeproof's Mega 290, so a comparison between it and the Commencal Meta 29 seems fitting. Both bikes have big wheels, and were designed with a strong focus on durability and downhill performance – although the Nukeproof is lighter than the Commencal, neither one will be the best choice if weight is anywhere close to the top of your priority list.

The Nukeproof gets docked a point for the fact that a water bottle won't fit inside the front triangle, but the threaded BB helps it regain some ground. There's also no internal cable routing, but that's not anywhere close to a deal breaker for me – it's nice not needing to break out the dental tools and a flashlight when you're swapping out a brake line or installing new derailleur housing.

What about the handling? With a 170mm fork installed, both bikes have the same head angle, but the Nukeproof's chainstays measure 450mm, while the Meta's measure 432mm, which makes a noticeable difference. The Nukeproof's handling feels calmer than the Meta 29's – it's a bike that doesn't feel like it's going as fast as it actually is, something I like to call 'sneaky speed.' The Commencal is easier to slap into tight corners, and the coil shock gives it a plusher, more ground-hugging feel than the Nukeproof. I do prefer the extra length of the Nukeproof, especially at the higher speeds encountered in a bike park.

The Meta sits closer to the DH side of things than the Nukeproof, although not by much. Both bikes can easily withstand bike park usage, big jumps, and rough trails – it really comes down to what type of ride feel you're looking for. The air-sprung Mega is no XC-whippet, but it does feel more energetic when climbing and on more rolling terrain – I'd be more likely to grab it over the Commencal for longer rides that didn't involve a lift or a shuttle.


Commencal
Schwalbe's new Hans Dampf is a welcome improvement over the original.
Commencal
Fabric's Scoop saddle was nice and comfy, and the rounded profile helps keep it from snagging shorts.


Technical Report

New Schwalbe Hans Dampf: I never really got along with the original Hans Dampf – its round profile and knobs that seemed to fall apart like a dandelion gone to seed just didn't do it for me. The updated version is much better, and although it still wouldn't be my first pick for really wet trails, it's much more predictable while cornering. Schwalbe's Addix compound is also a marked improvement, providing good grip on slippery roots and rocks, and even after plenty of DH runs in the Whistler Bike Park all the knobs are still intact.

Spank Ooozy 350 wheelset: Spank claim that the new Oozy 350 rims' profile gives them radial compliance that's supposed to reduce deflection when encountering obstacles. I'm skeptical that anyone could feel that compliance aboard a bike with 160mm of travel and big tires, but I can say that the wheels stayed true despite plenty of hard laps in the park. They're not the lightest or the quickest engaging, but so far they tick the tough and low maintenance boxes.

Chainstay protection: The Meta has an extra-thick chainstay protector, with a soft upper portion that eliminates almost all chainslap noise. Loud bikes are one of my pet peeves, so this little detail was very much appreciated.

RockShox Super Deluxe Coil: This shock is one of the reasons the Meta is such a downhill demon – it's plush and quiet, and with a wide range of potential low-speed compression settings. Best of all, there are sag markers that make setup much, much easier. Simply slide up the bottom out bumper, put your weight on the suspension, and then when you step off the bumper will show how much sag you're running.

Renthal Traction Lock-on: Grips are an easy place for product managers to cut corners, but that's not the case here. The ultra-tacky compound works just like sticky rubber does on tires, making it very unlikely that your hand will slip off, no matter how wet or steamy the weather.


Commencal



Pros

+ Excellent parts spec for the price
+ Excels on rough, steep terrain
+ Fits a water bottle inside the front triangle
Cons

- Heavy
- Wide seatstays may hit calves, knees




Is this the bike for you?

Forget mini-DH or super enduro - it's time for 'freeride' to make a comeback, which is exactly the category that the Meta 29 belongs in. Sure, you could use it as an enduro race sled – Cecile Ravenel and the rest of the Commencal team have proven that it's EWS capable – but it's better suited to extra-rowdy courses like Whistler, rather than ones where you'll be sprinting and pumping more than bombing down the fall line.

Obviously, this isn't a bike for weight weenies, or really anyone that cares even the slightest about what the scale says, but it's a solid choice for riders looking for a gravity-oriented machine with a killer component spec at a very good price.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesPlanning on going for a pedal on Friday, shuttling on Saturday, and riding the chairlift on Sunday? That's the type of schedule that suits the Meta best – it's a gravity-oriented bike through and through, but with geometry that makes earning those turns entirely possible. Just make sure to eat your Wheaties. 
Mike Kazimer









248 Comments

  • + 41
 I like the color scheme and the price but there's just no way I'm going to willingly pedal a 35lb bike. If it's supposed to be a park sled, I agree with the reviewer - slacken it out a bit more.
  • + 94
 Bikes are getting heavy. People are running real tires, and the big wheels make everything weigh more. I would bet that most EWS bikes are in the low 30s, and their budget is unlimited.
  • + 13
 Closer to 37lbs with pedals...
  • + 38
 weight is only one part if the equation. My go to trail bike (Banshee Rune) is normally around 33-35 lbs depending on the tires. yes I'd like a lighter bike bike but even more so I'd like my bike not to have mechanical's when blasting through one of the many highspeed rock gardens or boosting off a sketchy feature around here. Most weeks I log over 10k in vertical feet climbed, I just figure the extra weight is making me stronger
  • + 10
 Add tire inserts,bottle cage,tools,and...yeah,that would be a 40lb super-park-hard-enduro-mid-downhill monster.
  • + 2
 Whaaaaaat? Just a few years ago I was pleased to get my all mountain bike into the mid 30's...real world+durable+performance parts weigh more in my experience. I'll take a Minion over a semi-slick for the extra 350 grams a wheel, for example.
  • + 2
 16.1kg? next!
  • + 113
 Pussies.
  • + 96
 Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it does not work you can always hit them with it.
  • + 10
 oh cmon dude the thing is within like 2-4 lbs of the other top enduro bikes and it's suggested that this bike performs on par with if not better than those previously mentioned bikes. So given that you say get a bit stronger and lose a bit of unnecessary weight (everyone can always improve, even the best among us) you could save yourself a couple thousand dollars on your next bike.
  • + 11
 @DMal: Exactlty... Check out Jared Graves current ride. It's carbon everything and he says in the setup pictured it is a hair under 35lbs!
www.instagram.com/p/Bh9ygr7Hl3-/?hl=en
  • + 31
 @Harlsta, for what it's worth, Graves weighed his bike with the pedals on, plus a tube, CO2s, and snacks. Toss all that on the Meta and you'll be looking at close to 38 pounds.
  • + 3
 @ryanandrewrogers: yeah but you always have to see bike weight in relation to rider weight I think... for some light dudes like myself it's just not an option to pedal a bike that heavy uphill. But we often don't need extra weight like DH casings and inserts...
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Also with Cushcore and DH casing tires aaaand a powermeter cranks...
  • + 2
 @Harlsta: my calves and quads are a 1/3 of his...
  • + 4
 @BradleyGrincevicius: quote from a great film!
  • - 10
flag jclnv (Jun 18, 2018 at 13:30) (Below Threshold)
 Unno's DH bikes are under 34lbs...
  • + 5
 @jclnv: and yet some racers on the UCI DH are literally adding lead weight to their bikes...
  • - 7
flag AZRyder (Jun 18, 2018 at 13:47) (Below Threshold)
 Wow. I pedal a 40lb downhill up and down because it’s the only thing that fits. Sounds like you need a midol before you ride lol
  • - 3
 Slap an e-motor for it to be climbable.
  • + 2
 But no one realized this is the weight from the tested GX... low spec bike NOT the top one showed at first pictures??
Some one please bring the real weight of top model, this is not fair...
  • + 6
 @PauRexs: love the enthusiasm about all this Weight.. looks like a friggen Sick ass rig and can still do it all, while adding a new 29er option to a large verity of riding styles! Cool by me! She looks like great fun!
  • + 5
 I don't see a direct correlation to those bikes that are winning EWS stops and weight nor do I see a direct correlation between how much fun I can have on the bike and how much it weighs. So- sure light is nice in some regards but not the whole picture.
  • + 3
 @PauRexs, the listed weight is of the bike that's in all the pictures in this review - the Team model.
  • + 2
 @BradleyGrincevicius: ha ha best movie ever...
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: yes you are right sorry could not see properly pictures on phone and then could not modify my comment. This is mid range from aluminium affordable brand so I wonder how much weights top model not so expensive so we can better compare if...
  • + 7
 Light, reliable, cheap, pick any two.... FYI my HTLT CC is over 32 lbs with an essentially unlimited budget. Durable over light wins every time.
  • + 1
 @DMal: Yep. My trail bike with 135mm of travel weighs 35 pounds.
  • - 2
 @Harlsta: that coil fork is not light either.
  • + 2
 @BradleyGrincevicius: in the movie, the gun didn’t work
  • + 2
 You couldn’t handle this bike...kid ;P
  • + 1
 @Lagr1980: get under the squat rack and do some Bulgarian split lunges.. You'll be sorted in no time!
  • + 1
 i have the last model Meta29 with beefy tires, overbuilt wheels, beefy cranks... no dropper and air sus though. comes in around 33.5lbs. coming from a slack titanium HT with short stays, its noticeably heavier and slower to go uphill. it also hasn't skipped a beat in like 3 years of hardly any servicing and almost daily use. iican't really complain, but the weight would be the one if i had to, and this one weighs more.
  • + 1
 Yeah...I kind of agree this bike is a bit heavy for what it is. I have an xl supreme sx and it weighs 36lb which is certainly heavy but seems more stomachable when you get a 180mm travel bike
  • + 3
 @BradleyGrincevicius: in the UES - Uzbek Enduro Series?
  • + 2
 You could get their e-bike meta AM and then the weight wouldn't be a problem for you!
  • + 4
 These types of bikes are built to be capable not light, 4-5 yrs ago enduro bikes were slightly beefed up trail bikes, now they are full on DH capable. cant have your cake and eat it too
  • + 3
 If weights an issue enduro bikes aren’t for you. If you’re riding them on trails there designed for you need to be running at least double downs which is going to put most enduro bikes at the 33lb mark. There’s no way round this besides the heavier tyres normally make the bike ride nicer anyway.
  • + 1
 Agree! Sweet looking bike, but if it's going to be a shuttle pig/mini park bike... Why not stretch and slack it out a bit more. Alloy gx Trans Sentinel is 14.79 kg and has a 64* ha, 15mm longer reach, with 160 fork. @mikekazimer how does the Meta stack up against the Sentinel alloy?
  • + 0
 @Mtb4joe: air shock and shit tyres?
  • + 2
 @Mtb4joe: exactly what I was thinking reading this!
  • + 1
 Weight is my least important concern! Geometry, suspension, good brakes and good tires are much more important. My bike is 16.5kg setup for climbing and 16kg setup for the bikepark. My old bike was 2kg heavier so I am fine with the current weigh of the bike. Definitely not going lighter and sacrificing strength, durability or puncture proofness!
  • + 1
 @nozes: cross-downhill?
  • + 1
 @I’m a lighter dude, ~145ibs and pedal my 37ibs Transition sentenel no problem
  • + 33
 The difference between 35lbs and 30lbs is mind blowing.... unless ALL I am doing is going downhill I'll pass on a 35lb bike.
  • + 18
 I agree - I don't mind pedaling a heavier bike around, but once things get over 33 pounds or so it's a different story.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: I am curious if you think we're at the point with these big 29r's where one would seriously consider one instead of a "traditional" DH bike? Especially if you are not a truly elite level rider and/or dont have routine access to a chairlift. Its heavy and so you can pedal it, but likely would rather not, and its fast enough that mortals wont ever push its limits anyway. is that a fair assessment?
  • + 19
 @kliss, I think so. I love riding downhill bikes, but I still had a great time riding the Meta in the Whistler Bike Park - I never felt undergunned. For the gravity-fiend that can only afford one bike, but still wants to be able to pedal uphill, this style of bike could be a good option.
  • + 2
 Would you believe that I have never ever weighted a bike? Still, I make good progress every year (both up and down). Last upgrade I did was exchanging i23 to FR570 because they were cheap as f* (polish distributor clearly made a mistake), yeah, they are much stiffer and I do not get dents anymore Wink
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I find my Meta 29 to also be a good ride in this category. It's so forgiving.
  • + 8
 I think youll find the difference is 5lbs actually
  • + 7
 I've got a guerilla gravity smash on order, smaller travel bike, but with similar intentions.
Estimated weight is coming in at 31.5lbs for:
Aluminium frame
150mm lyrik
Super deluxe coil RCT
XT drivetrain with e13 wide range casette
XT brakes
DT Swiss XM 1501 i 30 wheels
2.5 minion exo front
2.5 aggressor dd rear
Price around $4500
  • + 4
 Ya this thing looks sick but damn that’s heavy.

I went from 35.5lbs down to 29.5lbs when I got my current trail bike and it’s a crazy difference in climbing especially long days.

My DH bike with DH casing tires, flat pedals and a DHX2 coil is just a hair over 35lbs.

Overall, I would take the Capra CF/Pro/Pro Race and throw DD or DH casing tires and call it a day.
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: you need to get in better shape Wink
  • + 32
 Not one. BUT TWO WATER BOTTLES. Bravo! Bravo!
  • + 70
 To make it easier to hit the 40lb mark.
  • + 55
 At this rate, I'll only be able to moan when bikes can't carry three bottles.
  • + 2
 Nice bike ! That bottle mount under the down tube - best spot for packing tubes and tools for any bikes with a dropper post (that cannot use a saddle bag). Was disapointed to see that go with the new Rocky instinct. Good job Commencal
  • + 1
 @tbev: make it hold 3 bottles and we’ll get into ebike territory !
  • + 1
 @BrutalSyl: Most mini-pumps also mount to the bottle mount so the under the downtube mount is ideal for that. If you get the One-Up pump with the built-in toolkit, you can tick that off too.
  • - 6
flag AZRyder (Jun 18, 2018 at 13:49) (Below Threshold)
 @tbev: wah wah wah! Hit the gym lmao
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Pole got you covered. Might need to bump your number up.
  • + 3
 @Randomscruff: Good point. I'll put up with the crazy long wheelbase because it allows for all that water bottle real estate Smile
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Have you ridden one of these?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Pole Machine
  • + 2
 @vinay: I haven't, but I think @paulaston might have...?
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Yeah I think Paul rode one. I think he liked it and has also been racing it. He also had his Robotbike made extra long, so it may just be his preference. I'm asking because "I'll put up with the crazy..." comes across as a bit negative so I was curious what that was based on. For the record, I haven't ridden anything "crazy long". My current BTR (with 460mm reach for a large) is probably considered normal by today's standards.
  • + 1
 @vinay: It's mostly just me joking about Paul's Pole. I'm on a 480mm (med) Foxy XR right now and really liking it for a lot of riding. Not all riding.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: Ah, good to know it was just friendly banter. I understand you prefer your bikes a bit more agile than what's currently in style whereas Paul may be at the other end of the spectrum. The BTR is just right for me, I'll keep the BMX for the pumptrack.

Now don't go and look at my bike. I don't want you to hurt your eyes. I do have a bottle mount but am currently not using them. Sorry for that Smile .
  • + 18
 Make sure to buy the bike in europe - It is 3kg lighter over here (13,2kg) compared to BC. Different gravity I guess.
Anyway, good comparison bit, thanks for that (coming from a happy meha 290 owner).
  • + 29
 Ah, great point! The gravity exchange rates around the world are getting hard to keep up with.
  • + 3
 It's surely due to the inflation of earth!
  • + 16
 New aluminum tariffs
  • + 19
 WTF with the water bottle obsession? There is so much more to say about a bike than this detail... It's getting ridiculous.
  • + 128
 There are 3,045 words to that review and about 40 of them relate to water bottles, or roughly 1.3-percent.
  • + 30
 @mikelevy: Only 3 pros and 1 of them mentioning about the water bottle.
  • + 43
 @PoussMouss: Yeah, because it's a pro Wink
  • - 21
flag mollow (Jun 18, 2018 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 @PoussMouss: seriously... How the f*ck is that a pro/con...
  • + 41
 @mollow, because there are other bikes in this category that don't hold a water bottle. I avoid wearing a pack full of water whenever possible, so it's a feature that falls into the 'pro' category for me.

But if we keep discussing this minor issue, @mikelevy is going to need to bust out his calculator again and redo his word count math.
  • + 4
 @mikelevy: Must be a slow day at Pinkbike if you had time to count all those words Wink
  • - 8
flag adespotoskyli (Jun 18, 2018 at 10:20) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: yeap, but insignificant to bike performance. Period.
  • + 31
 @adespotoskyli: Really? Me not being completely dehydrated while pedaling this fat beast to the top of a mountain is surely related to overall performance. Backpack? No thank you. It really just comes down to what's important to you, and being able to carry a bottle or two just isn't as important to you as it is to me.
  • - 4
flag tuumbaq (Jun 18, 2018 at 10:35) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: and yet you’ve chosen to write it down as one of the only 3 pros. Also, look at all the comments about that, people are making such a big deal for nothing.When a water bottle becomes a selling feature, Im a bit worried there’s isn’t anything special about a bike
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: 40 too many words about not having to carry a hydration pack Razz
  • + 12
 @adespotoskyli: Correct; it's insignificant in terms of the bikes performance. But this isn't a strictly performance-oriented review, and I don't think it should be. More factors than just straight up performance go into what people thing of their bikes, and whether or not you're willing to purchase a particular bike. Design, fit, geometry, color, brand, origin of manufacture....all of these are factors we consider when making a decision to purchase a bike. And whether or not you personally think it matters, a lot of people will choose not to get a bike specifically because it DOESN'T have a bottle mount.
  • + 25
 @mikekazimer: I won't buy a bike that can't hold a water bottle inside the frame so I appreciate you noting that point. Smile
  • - 7
flag mollow (Jun 18, 2018 at 10:46) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: there will always be a way to mount a bottle if you want to. Just ask @MikeKazimer ... He lists this as a pro, but still bought a frame that doesn't actually have bottle mounts. Oh, would you look at that, he is still hydrated and doesn't sport a backpack? But, but, but HOW?
  • + 9
 I used to think all this water bottle moaning was standard PB b*tching for the hell of it. But I've moved all the heavy stuff to the frame and my arms and back definitely get less fatigue. It would certainly be part of my buying decision now.
  • + 20
 @mollow: Of course you can still carry a bottle on a ride if you really want to. Personally, I would never buy a bike that couldn't carry at least one bottle, no matter how good it of a bike it is. The fact that it's not a big deal for you is great - it sure makes bike choice easier - but it's a dealbreaker for me and some others.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: fair enough
  • + 2
 Imagine how heavy it is with two water bottles on board ;-)
  • + 9
 it's so damn hot! milk was a bad choice!
  • + 3
 @tuumbaq: I feel like drinking water definitely improves my performance on a bike so water bottles are important to me as well.
  • - 6
flag gnralized (Jun 18, 2018 at 14:58) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy:
But if doing so you discard bikes that can makes you need less water (because of a lighter frame, or whatever), is the presence of WB mount still a rational choice, in particular when there is only room for one small 21 oz/620 ml WB on the frame ?
Do you often go to ride with only 620 ml of water on you ?
If not, where do you put the extra water ? If it is on the bike then do you discard all bikes with less than two WB mounts ?
What if changing your shock to get a better ride (like upgrade for a X2 ) preclude the use of a WB ?
All the more that there is a lot of after market solutions to put a water bottle on your bike (wolftooth B-rad, etc...).
Of course consumers do not behave like rational beings but discarding a bike on the sole WB mount criterion is the less rational thing I ever heard...
Maybe a bit of provocation from you ?
  • - 1
 I am with Frenchy. Its a 170/160 coil fired, 35lb sled made for going down. The future pilots of this bike could give a f*ck about water bottles. I could give a f*ck about water bottles, because I am sick of seeing dropped f*cking water bottles on the f*cking trails. I am coming for you, Mr. Douchebag Range Rover S Works Epic man????
  • + 2
 Keep in mind the trend now is to strap all kinds of crap to your bike and go ride. So hence the "pro."
  • - 1
 True, do people even use bottle cages on MTB's? I stopped as soon as I got a decent size hydration pack.
  • + 6
 I own a bike without a water bottle mount and it's a major negative. I will never buy another bike without an easily accessible bottle mount.
  • - 1
 @mkul7r4: people still wear hydration packs? Is your back so sweaty that you got stuck in 2005?
  • + 2
 @vikb: I think it would be really great too, however whenever I've experimented with it they always bounce out, and so I've all but abandoned the experiment . . (OK - not helped probably by my use of whatever old cage is hanging around in the bike shed . . .)

It would be absolutely fantastic (can't emphasize how much) to hear about the water bottle cages / water bottles / water bottle + cage combos that PBers reckon work. I'd love to go for a ride with weight off my back (as well as the metaphorical weight that always disappears on a ride of course ????).

Any top tips out there (or chance of a PB article, given it's such a hot topic)?
  • + 2
 @ernestozed: blackburn slick cage. Will hold any bottle even in the roughest whistler black diamond, can even hold a 1L SmartWater bottle. Cheap and light too
  • + 9
 Having owned a Meta V4 and getting rid because ultimately I didn't like it as I saw it as having some major flaws - looks like Commencal has addressed them all. 1. Rear end was stupidly flexible - brace added. 2. Front triangle was too short - Reach increased. 3. Dreadful cable routing under the BB - Rerouted over the top. Well done!
  • + 10
 This Pricepoint KILLS all other bikes & their component specs! I’ll take one please and thank you!!! Get an XC bike if you don’t like bikes over 30 lbs lmao
  • - 1
 Commencal used to have the best price point but not anymore. Look at YT and Canyon if you want good parts spec for less and not have a 40lb bike.
  • + 2
 @casman86: missing my point.. this is a great looking beast of a 29er that has Great Specs and could easily be just as capable on a Wide variety of awesome trails! She’s not such a bad looker too! I like this option for a 29er even if other people need 25lb DH bikes
  • + 10
 Looks pretty nice dut dammmmm it’s a hefty pig
  • + 7
 I wonder how light one could get it with some bike nerdery. Up the spec a bit, air shock, throw on some Carbon hoops and see where it lands. Maybe 31 or 32 lbs? Not too out of line if so.
  • + 64
 @partswhore: My plan is to buy the bike and then lose 30 pounds through rigorous diet and exercise. If my calculations are correct this means that the bike will then way around 5 lbs.
  • + 16
 Coil shock, alu frame, 29" wheels, 12sp - this bike was always going to be a porker. As an old Nukeproof rider, f*ck it, get stronger.
  • + 9
 @scottay2hottay: Someone got an A+ in internet maths today.
  • + 4
 Its built to be capable, would far sooner have a bike like this than one that is compromised because it has to be light.
  • + 5
 Weight is also with EVO sidewall tires, add pedals and a SG/DD sidewall rear tire or CushCore for a 37 lb bike. My Slash with Maxxis DD rear tire and RF Atlas platform pedals is 30 lbs even. I'm no weight weenie but 7 lbs is a massive difference!
  • + 9
 What an enduro monster!! Go big or go home pinkbike trolls.
  • + 6
 Someone should compare a Capra 29 to those two bikes mentioned. I rode one and it was great. Too bad you can't buy a carbon one in the USA right now.
  • + 3
 Capra, process, wreck, rallon, meta, ripmo,
  • + 4
 I've owned a couple of meta's...right now I'm on the black star world cup 2018...love it too, but I'm thinking I will get one of these 29r's also, what beaut and the price is unbelievable. Commencal by far is the best bang for your buck and the bike can take a serious amount of beatings at the bike bark and hold strong...couldn't say that about my buddies Specialized enduro that completely disintegrated after just one summer at the bike park...I told him not to get that expensive overpriced carbon cause its not gonna hold up to the abuse of a bike park...did he listen to me, F no and now his carbon gem is shit.
  • + 1
 park, not bark!
  • + 5
 With all these great 29-inch long travel bikes - I think it's time for a shootout. Come on @mikekazimer @mikelevy @brianpark @pinkbikeaudience let's do this!
  • + 17
 We did a Ridden and Rated article last year (www.pinkbike.com/news/ridden-and-rated-7-long-travel-29ers.html), but you're right, with so many new options on the market it's time for another installment soon.
  • + 19
 @mikekazimer: and great if you could include that evil wreckoning review that we have never seen :-)
  • + 1
 You can always read some old MBA mags...
  • + 1
 @grugged: there are a lot of wreckoning reviews already. I don’t think PB needs to do one 2 years after it’s release just to say the same thing as every other review. I would have liked to see them do it from the get go.
  • + 5
 Meta vs Mega took a couple of readings to make sure which bike I was reading about in which sentence.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy - look at the suspension video title Wink
  • + 2
 @lkubica: and STA seems wrong alsi. 66?!
  • + 2
 @MTB-Colada: Not necessarily, this may be a real STA vs Effective STA.
  • + 2
 @lkubica, correct, that's the actual seat angle. Effective is 76.5, which is mentioned in the article.
  • + 4
 Seat-tube is mighty slack, and reach could be longer given some of the recently figures we've seen (tall guy problems), otherwise a nice looking and performing machine!
  • + 3
 agree! nobody over 6'2" cares about the effective seat angle... it's a huge problem on most long travel 29ers.
  • + 2
 @powderturns: I kind of do. I assess bikes based on ESTA and ASTA. A slack ASTA and short chainstays is a brutal combination for tall people. In any case it's a non issue for Commencal whose disdain for tall people is only outdone by Polygon.
  • + 4
 @alexsin: sorry - poor phrasing on my part. As a fellow tall guy (and I’ve purchased a used bike from you) I care far more about asa than esa. As you note, short chain stays with a slack asa is a red flag. What’s good in this regard? The GG smash stands out. Maybe the Transition Sentinel? Not sure what else.
  • + 2
 @powderturns: Pole Machine has a 78 ASA and a 79 ESA. That's pretty wild.
  • + 2
 Pretty good value I'd say. Not sure why anyone would choose the more expensive Signature Fox outfitted one over this trim. The Team model has the better cockpit, saddle, and wheelset.

The 'top-end' Signature trim Fox equipped model has a house brand cockpit and lesser E13 wheels. The brakes are 4 pot XTs, but brakes are a personal preference for most people.

Everything else, but the suspension(obviously) is the same.

The suspension on both bikes compete directly with each other and are top of the line. I'm a Fox guy through and through, but I would buy the Team model no question. Then I'd take that $400 difference and buy a set of Code Rs or RSCs and call it a day.
  • + 1
 Ouuuuuu that seatstay brace!

I ride a meta V4.2 and really want to try this bike. For what it is worth though, the 4.2 is a great bike. Mine is built with not the lightest components and has never been on a scale what I can tell you is that in the last week I have been on a cross country race pre-ride and ridden an enduro race. For me it is all about the rider. I spent years putting my bikes on and off scales trying to squeeze out pounds and ounces wherever I could, using single ply tires and the like in the end its just not worth it you end up running something that you either can't fix because its too niche in most places or something you don't want to fix because it is too expensive.

Also, my size large 4.2 will fit a 750mL bottle inside the frame so to me it is hardly something riders need to be aware of on that bike. I understand the coil shock will provide you with less space however I still think most shops "small" bottle should fit no problem.

Nice to read this review but it would have been cool to have both this and the 4.2 reviewed by the same person RC did the 4.2 and complained that alloy frames are noisy and the bike doesn't climb.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer, how do you get a lockout on there? Does Rock Shox sell the handlebar lockout you see on the EWS rigs independently, and can this version of the Super Deluxe be setupto run it by a normal shop? Have you been back to Gunnison lately to see Double Shot? Cool to still doing bikes in the Tune Up space, even if it's not still around. Dan does a banger job, obviously.
  • + 1
 I think of Commencals as heavy bikes, and I care about weight, so when I clicked on this article I glanced at the weight right away. I thought, holy shit, that's ridiculous, and this review is going to soft-pedal just how wacky that is. I was pleasantly surprised that it was dealt with bluntly but fairly. Cheers.
  • + 3
 I don't get why this is a free ride bike but every other enduro bike isn't. Can someone enlighten me?
  • + 1
 Is that freeride that I heard? I disagree with the notion on press fit bottom brackets. I have one on my road bike and God forbid one gram of dust gets in the bb area. The ride just gets filled with creaks
  • + 3
 It looks like a bike, I would easily want in my collection. I would love to throw a leg over one before buying it though.
  • + 2
 commencal pleas make a 29er replacement for the 26 inch meta sl range please i want a shorter travel lighter bike. these do look nice but i prefer the neon colours more..
  • + 1
 Have you tried a coil shock on the Mega @mikekazimer ? I dunno about the 2018 model but my 2017 never felt quite right with air shocks (even an X2) but rides great with the Coil Inline.
  • + 1
 Awesome specs for the price. It’s a shame it weighs so much though Frown I wonder if commencal will ever make a carbon frame?
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer Commencal Meta AM 29 or YT Capra 29 CF Pro Race. What bike should I get???
  • + 2
 Who cares, I am too old, not skilled enough and rarely ride in the park but I want one.
  • + 1
 I´ve got one of these beauties ordered, I´m hitting 40 soon so it’s an early present or a panic buy substituting my increase in age? However, I´m stoked as f---k.
  • + 1
 How do you like it?
  • + 1
 @Mike: thank you for mentioning noise related themes which should be included in every review. Only a silent bike is a good bike!
  • + 1
 Commencal has teased a TR model of the new 29er. Makes me wonder if there will be any way a "shorter travel" 29er utilizing this frame design will be less than 30lbs.
  • + 2
 It won't. The Meta TR v4.2 Essential (27.5, 130mm) sits at around 31.5lbs with pedals. I'd guess the 29er would be a bit heavier.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer Good size drop you're hitting in the photo. Looks gnarly with that downed tree across the gap!
  • + 1
 Cool bike, I wish they made the reach longer or offered an XXL version for us tall lanky people. 480mm is good but not great.
  • + 0
 Damn, 34lbs and doesn’t even include pedals, plus you’ll probably put on a water bottle cages and water bottles, tools in the head tube and in front axel, air tool, spare tube...40lbs easy!
  • + 2
 Complete ripper for a little more than the price of a " boutique ( made in China )" frame. Nice.
  • + 1
 Given it's weight, it *IS* an Enduro bike. Weight becomes your friend going downhill. So are alcohol and some drugs.
  • + 1
 This with the cane creek offset head set. Another degree and a low offset fork is what I'm planning
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer Maybe I missed it in the article but what size of bike were you testing?
  • + 1
 Size large.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: I am about the same size as you. What do you think about going for an XL frame with a 30mm stem?
  • + 1
 @beerandbikes: Same thoughts. Reach 480 for the XL isn't that big compared to other bikegeometry's.
  • + 1
 I already got a bike I just wanna know where those drops are in BHam!? Please do tell.
  • + 1
 Finally a bike that's heavier than my Wreckoning! No longer will I have the heaviest!
  • + 2
 Commencial bike, so hot right now.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer

What about vs the 29 inch enduro or the evil wreckoning?
  • + 1
 Here's the geometry for comparison purposes... geometrygeeks.bike/bike/commencal-meta-am-29-2018
  • + 1
 (If someone gets an effective seat angle, please update the entry!)
  • + 1
 @refreshcycles 76.5° according to the article.
  • + 1
 @kwapik: updated, thanks Smile
  • + 0
 Myriam Nicole was riding one at Fort William with an idler sprocket like the Down hill bike or maybe was a DH frame with a single crown?
  • + 3
 Interesting, but are you sure it wasn't the Supreme SX? www.pinkbike.com/news/commencal-supreme-sx-review.html
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: Yes that could have been what it was! but was not really paying much attention
  • + 1
 it is a compromise , leaning towards meatgrind approach towards descending , sounds good
  • + 2
 This would be my #1 pick for a park bike with a single crown fork.
  • + 2
 Kk
  • + 2
 Supreme SX, dawg.
  • + 0
 Knolly Delirium or YT Capra 27, but I haven't drank the 29" Kool aid yet.
  • + 0
 Sweet Jesus... 16.1 WITHOUT pedals? O_o
This in not what I expected form AM bike :/

Do you know how much the frame weighs? My old AM29 frame weighs 4kg (w. damper, L).
  • + 2
 The chainstays on the Meta 29 are shorter than the Meta...? Weird but cool
  • + 0
 Put a 27,5 in the back and you have a really nice park bike
  • + 0
 Thanks Commencal for making my Geometron G16 29'r seem light at 34lbs with Flats, Maxxis DD with Tire Defender and Huck Norris on DT XM481 hoops Wink
  • + 2
 You run flat tire defender and huck norris? Both together in one tire??
  • + 3
 @cdmbmw: always wear two condoms
  • + 1
 2018 and still no carbon happening. Nice
  • + 21
 Thank god
  • + 2
 I need this
  • + 1
 absolutely love this colorway!
  • + 1
 im not good in math but 35 lb are definitely not 13,2 kg in my calculation
  • + 4
 Good catch - apparently I'm not great at math either. That's been fixed.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: no problem Wink
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: btw you can change the 169mm rear travel too ^^
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: and the 66 degree seat tube angle in the geo chart...
  • + 3
 @VtVolk, that's the actual seat angle - effective is 76.5, which is mentioned in the article.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: thanks for the clarification!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: How much travel does the dropper post have? It looks very short, especially for a bike with its intended descending capability. The seat mast is awfully tall - is that what's limiting the amount of drop?
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84, 150mm - it's just not raised all the way up in the title photo.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: Thanks - just a visual thing maybe. Still, a 175 mm dropper on this kind/size bike would be better, I think.
  • + 1
 jeez thats heavy, my Evil undead DH bike only weighs 14.3kg
  • + 1
 Great review, can't wait for the Meta Trail 29 review!
  • + 1
 "Grave Digger's on a rampage"..."hey, I'm still in here!"
  • + 1
 Why this short dropper is so high???
  • + 1
 How do you like them water bottles now?
  • + 1
 Can’t wait to see the numbers for the new TR 29er
  • + 2
 Psyched for the TR!
  • + 2
 Agreed I just got the new 29er Supreme and it is amazing... but don't have much need for an enduro level bike so really waiting to see how the Meta TR 29er turns out
  • + 1
 my DH bike weighs less and it has cushcores haha
  • + 1
 SEXIEST BIKE EVER!!!! ok fine one of the TOPS EVER!!!!
  • + 1
 I really loved the Brushed Aluminum, where are they?
  • + 1
 You can order just the frame in Brushed Aluminum for $1200.00.
  • - 3
 Does anyone else think that the suspension doesn't look like 160mm in that video... My XL Enduro comp 650 weighs less than this with pedals and heavy wheels and 2.6 tyres. Must be a combination of bigger wheels and coil shock. No thanks. 16kg needs a motor!
  • + 1
 That’s pretty cool at 30% travel you get 2 pedal kickbacks
  • + 0
 Geo chart shows 66° seat angle.
  • + 1
 Frame pricing?
  • + 1
 $1,299.00 available in October. You can get the bike in brushed aluminum too.
  • + 0
 BB92 AAHHHH why would you ruin such a great bike?!?!?
  • + 8
 Because we're not in 1994 anymore...?
  • + 13
 Does it really ruin the bike? I mean, if it's such a great bike, would the lack of threads in the bottom bracket shell mean it's a no-go for you? Actual question, though, not sarcasm Smile I only ask because after ten years as a full-time mechanic, and another ten doing this job, I've seen far more threaded shells make noise than PressFit shells, even on bikes I've had for multiple years. I'll grant you that PressFit is far less workshop-friendly when you need to do some maintenance, though.
  • + 10
 @mikelevy: as silly as it might sound, it is a deal-breaker for me. Regardless how reliable modern pressfit bottom brackets are, I can't get over how much easier and quicker it is to clean, service, and replace a threaded bb.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: I feel you on that, especially with plastic PressFit cups.
  • + 0
 @mikelevy: Better getting an e bike than heavy trail bike?
  • + 23
 @aljoburr: No, I'd rather have a 53lb KHS Dominatrix with a blown Romic shock and a Monster T for a trail bike than a trail bike with an electric motor.
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: Good for you, would like to see you ride that up hill!
  • + 9
 @aljoburr: I might need four water bottle holders on it!
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I own a Meta TR, and the creaking BB drives me nuts. Although it is not a deal breaker, it sucks really bad.
  • + 6
 @Caiokv: Sounds like it needs some love. Everything can creak at some point... I had a creaky stem/handlebar interface a few weeks ago, but that doesn't mean that the design is bad, only that I need to give it some love. My buddy's threaded bottom bracket sounds like nails on a chalkboard everytime he pedals hard, too.
  • + 4
 Threads in a BB are as important, if not more important to some than two threaded holes on the upper side of a down tube to others.
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs:
+1
All my bikes but my Honzo are pressfit. Guess which one I ride the most...
  • + 2
 @mikelevy: I don't get the argument that a threaded BB is easier to remove/install. I've had dozens of threaded BBs that require two techs to hold the bike and a third to turn the wrench to pull the corroded SOBs from the frame. I can knock a pressfit out in .03sec with the Park BB knocker-outer or if it's PF30 with the standard headset remover. I find if I used blue threadlocker to install most pressfit BBs they're silent through their service life.
The only pressfit BB I've come to hate is the Praxis works units because they get noisy and have to be replaced, but they're specific to Praxis works.
My personal bike uses BB92 and I used the Wheels Manufacturing angular contact setup and installed it with threadlocker, and it has been silent and smooth in two years of use.
  • - 1
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: I can service a pressfit just as fast as a threaded, your out of excuses.....
  • + 4
 @MrDiamondDave: I can service a threaded without taking a hammer to a $10k bike. I am the king of excuses.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: I know, but plastic cups are still creaky... I will upgrade to metal cups and see if it gets any better. But I have to remove the cups every two months to get rid of the creak... For two months....
  • + 1
 @Vandermouten: actually gxp is the new hotness. Again.
  • + 1
 @Caiokv: I've always had the impression that plastic cups, like those from Shimano, are far less likely to make noise.
  • + 4
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: For sure, with the right tools and know-how, PF isn't a big deal at all to service. And neither is a threaded setup. But picture the extent of your tools being a hammer and some screwdrivers... that's when it gets messy, especially with plastic PF cups. I know, you SHOULD have the right tools, but I don't think the average consumer does. Then again, you need to the right tools to work on a threaded BB, too.

I guess the moral of the story here is GET THE RIGHT TOOLS, DAMMIT Smile
  • + 3
 @mikelevy: Tell your buddy a creaky threaded BB is just lazy. I’m picturing a grown man in his moms basement doing cool ranch dorito angels.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: when I bought my first pressfit bike in 2010, I ordered the press arbor and removal tool nearly as soon as I bought my bike. I like to have all the tools for my frames, nothing is worse than needing to service something and not having the right tool.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: also not being sarcastic, but how many miles are on the bikes that you are riding? If you are always testing bikes, wouldn’t it stand to reason that you’re probably not riding any one bike long enough for it to develop a creak?
  • + 2
 @YouHadMeAtDrugs: I've had zero creaking problems on my BB92 since going to a thread-together bottom bracket (using one from Enduro). A little pricey, and yes when you do have to service it, a little more work than a normal threaded BB, but runs trouble-free for a long time.
  • + 1
 @sevensixtwo: I love cool rach doritos tbh
  • + 1
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I'm the same way. I think it's most pride, though. We're not riding space shuttles; they're just bikes and I want to be able to do everything and anything that might be required. Plus, I want alllll the tools haha
  • + 2
 @Shralpophiliac: It really depends on the bike. Most of them get three to four weeks of pretty hard use and then get parked and sent back. That's not long enough for me to comment on reliability, of course, which is why I usually don't touch on that topic. But there are some that end up sticking around for one or two full seasons. Those bikes, along with others, also get passed on to testers that I use for even more miles.

I had the previous version of the Element (with PressFit) for two seasons and it saw one BCBR and so. many. miles. The newer version was around for most of a year as well Smile
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84: Those thread-together adapters look like a smart, clean way to do it.
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