Doddy’s Commencal Meta 5.5


I’ve had the Meta for a while now- and I have to say it’s one of, if not the best trail bike I’ve ever ridden.
With the laid back seat angle and a head angle slacker than someone on the dole, it rails like a train. At first, I did think twice about running such a long fork on it but now I’ve had some decent trail time on the rig, I’ll be leaving the fork on for sometime.
Yeah, I know it’s a big rig and resembles a posh gate, but I reserve the right to say you can only take the piss if you can catch me on it…


Obviously I’ll be chopping and changing things to find my optimum set-up, but for now I’m running things like the original build. Ish.
The Intense System 4 tyres are something that will be staying for a while- they’re super fast, and grippy enough for UK conditions most of the summer..! At first I was sceptical about the dual compound as I’d read that the softer compound was the middle of the tyre and the harder was on the outside- which figured when seeing the grey band along the centre. A recent ride with Nigel Page (check out Nigel for info on bikes and training days) uncovered all though- the grey rubber is just a covering of the hard compound high rebound rubber- in other words hard compound for speed. The outer shoulders are slow rebound/soft compound in Intense’s trademark sticky rubber. When I first rode these tyres it felt like they hooked up marginally better than the originals- but it was the middle of winter and the rubber was harder in the cold. Today the outside knobbles could be twisted round nearly 180degrees as they were so warm and sticky in the heat. Let’s just say that cornering was amazing considering I was running about 60psi! I’m also running a Stans No Tubes kit in the tyres courtesy of Rob Cole over at Freeborn cycles. Talk about pain in the ass fitting the things with these particular tyres! I opted for the cheats method, which isn’t recommended by Stans- but I can tell you it works. C02 cartridges- so much air is forced into the tyre at once that the bead takes grip instantly- I couldn’t have done it with out them- or at the very least I probably would have started smashing things up in anger!


I have to say, I’m super impressed with the Pace RC41 fighter fork.
Under 3.8lbs, with 6inches of travel is just insane. Sure, some people will whinge that they’re not as stiff as a Fox 36, but the 36 is a rock hard freeride fork that’s useable for all-mountain too. The Pace doesn’t try and be that- it’s an XC dedicated fork. For people who ride miles and want a high performance fork. Yep it’s a flexier than a 36, or a Lyrik- or Pike for that matter. You know what?
I couldn’t give a shit. It’s light, looks rad and does (pretty much) what I want it to. If the Launch Control dial was indexed to avoid accidental rebound adjustment, and there was a low speed compression adjustment- I’d be a very happy man…
However, I’m loving them, and will be running them for a long time…


Carbon Fibre is an odd material. It’s so space aged, but freaks the hell out of a lot of people.
Namely sceptical and fairly heavy people like me…
I’m still virgin to carbon seatposts, but I’m now a convert to carbon bars- if they’re done right.
The Azonic carbon bar is amazing, but at 27in wide is a little narrow for me- I run full width 28in bars on all my bikes. The CNT technology Easton bars are amazing- it’s as simple as that.
Light, strong as hell and with great curve and sweep. Fantastic.


Another tried and tested product- Fiizik Gobi saddles.
Obvioulsy saddles are a personal thing, but if you like the Selle Italia Flight or SDG Bel Air, then you should look at the Gobi.
This particular hairy number lost it’s nose hair faily early on, but it still looks good and feels great.
I love the Gobi. Try it- you might like…


I’m a big SRAM fan, but I have to say that the new XTR stuff is fanbloodytastic. When I arranged the longterm frame from Madison , they offered me an XTR groupset for my frame- and I’m glad I went for it. I’ll update more on XTR later as the pub’s calling me for a shifty pint and a game of pool, so time for you to oogle…


Sometimes I hate cable routing on frames as I run Crud Catchers on all my XC rigs. The offset downtube routing made my catcher sit funny, so I made a few more holes a zip tied it on- like a treat!
I don’t like cable ties or rubber o-rings covering my downtube graphics, so zipping the catcher on to the cables and the cable guides looks neat and works great. Try it.


And a final snap of my beast. If you see me out riding, come and say hi- show me your single track and I’ll show you mine…