Power up with Commencal's new Meta Power e-MTBs

Assisted mountain bikes from Andorra

Nothing divides the mountain bike community quite like e-MTBs, with many worried about the effect they may have on trail conditions, the already somewhat tense relationship between different trail user groups and the ongoing MTB access debate.

No matter where you stand on the topic, electric mountain bikes are not going anywhere, and now core brand Commencal has announced an assisted version of its 150mm travel Meta trail bike — the Meta HT Power Essential and Meta HT Power Race.

The Meta Power Essential gets a Shimano Deore XT build and a RockShox Yari RC fork
The Meta Power Essential gets a Shimano Deore XT build and a RockShox Yari RC fork

 Commencal Meta Power highlights

  • 27.5+ with 2.8 Maxxis tyres
  • Shimano STEPS E8000 assist
  • 150mm travel with Rockshox Yari or Lyrik fork
  • Short 435mm chainstays
  • Two hardtail models (full sus model teased)
  • Claimed weight for Power Essential is 20.4kg and Power Race is 20.3kg

Commencal is quick to point out that the Meta Power bikes are designed to be ridden to the same level as the rest of the Meta platform. Instead of targeting beginners, these bikes are aimed at riders who are looking to get buck wild on the downhills, but also don't mind a helping hand on the way back up.

The big advantage to the STEPS E8000 motor is that its Q-Factor is the same as a standard crankset
The big advantage to the STEPS E8000 motor is that its Q-Factor is the same as a standard crankset

Commencal has reworked the standard Meta to integrate Shimano’s 250w E8000 system and the brand says it chose this system because the compact motor does not affect the bike's geometry much, allowing for the manufacturer to reign in chainstay length to 435mm — some of the shortest I’ve seen on an e-MTB.

While the motor requires STEPS specific chainrings and cranks, it allows for the same Q-Factor as a standard Shimano crank, something that other systems cannot boast. 

Given Commencal's direct to consumer business model, choosing the STEPS system also allows customers to utilise Shimano’s extensive worldwide aftersales service network to keep its bikes ticking.

The geometry hasn't changed much from the other Meta trail bikes
The geometry hasn't changed much from the other Meta trail bikes

The E800 system also offers impressive battery life and range, with three levels of assist: Eco, Trail and Boost mode. Eco mode is claimed to offer up to 100km with 800m of positive elevation. 

Powering the system is a 500Wh battery, which is placed on the top of the downtube. It’s removable, comes with an LED charge indicator and is said to be waterproof too.

It's clear from the spec these bikes are meant to be ridden hard
It's clear from the spec these bikes are meant to be ridden hard

Beyond the e-MTB specific components, both Meta Power options run on 27.5 wheels and plus-sized 2.8in Maxxis Rekon rubber which, in combination with the ability to run low tyre pressure, should allow for solid purchase both up and down hill. 

The more budget friendly Meta HT Power Essential (€3,499) gets a 1x11 Deore build with a Rockshox Yari RC fork, while the slightly more expensive Meta HT Powet Race (€3,999) gets a 1x11 XT build with a Rockshox Lyrik RC fork. International pricing is yet to be announced.

Commencal also teased a full suspension Meta Power, though there are no details as to spec, how much travel or pricing.

Commencal hasn't offered any details about the full suspension Meta Power, other than photographic evidence that it exists
Commencal hasn't offered any details about the full suspension Meta Power, other than photographic evidence that it exists

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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