We were recently invited over to Commencal HQ in Andorra to check out the 2014 bikes in the all-mountain/enduro Meta range: the Meta AM, Meta SX and Meta 29.
The highlight of the trip was the unveiling of the completely revamped Meta AM, which is brought fully into MTB Year 2014 with the inclusion of 650b wheels.
Here’s a look at the new AM and its siblings, stay tuned for more on the three bikes in the near future.
All photos © Sam Decout
Commencal Meta AM 2014
Early in the year we had a cheeky glimpse at Commencal-sponsored Remy Absalon’s 650b-wheeled Meta AM while we were out riding in the Italian hills behind San Remo – an area where many of the top European racers go to test kit and get in decent trail time when a lot of Europe is under snow. At that point the multi-Megavalanche winner was on some slightly cobbled-together wheels, which looked to be taking some serious abuse, but he seemed very positive about the increase in diameter and the potential to race on the fabled ‘inbetweener’ wheels for the 2013 season. That is what he has done and of course to great success (he’s been a top-five contender at every round of the Enduro World Series).
We were excited about the seemingly imminent release of a new steed to the Commencal stable and now that we’ve had a little time on the bike over in Andorra we can safely report that it is a corker. It does everything that a bike in its category should: it climbs well, it is incredibly adept on the descents and, on first inspection at least, it is sturdy enough to take on all that the new-breed of mountain biker can throw at it.
Out of all the available bikes at the press camp, this was the one that we felt most apt for the range of riding that took place, which included downhill runs, savage technical climbs (well, at that time in the morning it seemed savage), an all-day epic and one heck of a helicopter-assisted descent.
We’ll have a full test as soon as we can get our hands on one for a greater length of time.
Brief first impressions:
- Shock tune more supple than the original (26”) Meta AM which we found to be a tad firm
- Noticeable improvement over 26” wheels? Well who knows. The whole bike works as a great package and the wheels are undoubtedly part of that. This was our preferred bike for the entire of the Andorra trip
- Confidence-inspiring ride – is this the sign of an optimal wheel size and the benefit of an increased drop from axle to BB, meaning rider is sat ‘in’ the bike more?
- Out of the three bikes this one seems like the all-round workhorse. It’s nimble and fun, can be thrown into downhill scenarios yet pedalled with ease
What Commencal say about the 2014 Meta AM:
“High-end and coherent, the META AM 650b offers the best of what is available for All-mountain, with comfort/performance/pleasure. To race or just shred…”