Commencal launches Meta AM V4.2

Legendary Meta V4 refined

With the new Commencal Meta AM V4.2, "many little changes equal a big change”, engineer Nico Menard tells us inside Commencal’s office, just below the Vallnord Bike Park in the Pyrenean principality of Andorra.

Having had a cursory tour round the office cum showroom cum bar, flanked by a range of fancy branded company vehicles, we’re expecting big things. The Meta AM V4 has long been a popular bike, having scooped What Mountain Bike’s 2015 Trail Bike of the Year award, and come a close second in 2016. At 160mm it was on the longer-travel-end of the trail bike scale, but impressed with its descending prowess and climbing ability.

What we’re here to see though is the new Meta AM V4.2, and, as the engineer hinted at, Commencal’s engineers have been busy with a raft of tweaks.

The company is driven by the enigmatic founder, Max Commencal, who seems to have a hands-on attitude when it comes to running the business. Max wants a bike that is build to perform on the trails he rides, and with the steep, rocky trails in the area, it’s no surprise that the AM version now comes with 170mm forks across the range, as well as Boost hub spacing for a stiffer wheel.

A move to the metric shock standard improves feel and tuning ability
A move to the metric shock standard improves feel and tuning ability

Main changes

There are two main changes to the 4.2 though that the engineers say make the difference. First off is the use of the new metric shock standard, which gives a longer shock length, but the same stroke length. This gives the shock more room for adjustment, increases oil volume and room for valving for improved hydraulic performance, a bigger air volume that is easier to tune, and ultimately a more sensitive feel. Commencal has made the suspension curve more progressive, offering better small-bump sensitivity at the top of the stroke, and more support in the mid stroke.

The second is a move to wider rims, with all the bikes in the range benefitting from 27mm internal width rims (save for the World Cup edition, with 30mm rims). This gives the Maxxis tyres a better profile, improving grip, comfort and precision, according to Commencal.

These two changes have been slotted in to a new frame, details of which are below.

A couple of days riding in Andorra was a great introduction to the bike
A couple of days riding in Andorra was a great introduction to the bike

Fine details

Commencal is sticking doggedly to alloy for its frames, claiming the weight cost versus carbon isn't an issue, and that the brand prefers the little bit of flex that its alloy frames give over carbon. The new frame is a touch slacker (.5 degrees) in the head angle to account for the 10mm longer fork, and there’s a touch extra steepness in the seat angle too, to boost climbing performance. New tube profiles around the bottom bracket allow for improved space for bottles and there’s a new BB protector too. Around the BB there’s also improved cable routing, with a guide holding the cables away from the BB shell, an area prone to wear.

While on the Meta V4 the shock mounted directly into the frame, the 4.2 has an enclosed nut/bolt attachment in a new, more svelte looking top tube, reducing risk of damage, and enabling the new raft of bigger air shocks, such as the Fox X2 to fit nicely.

Our only real gripe? Wide hips mean shoe rub on the stays
Our only real gripe? Wide hips mean shoe rub on the stays

Model range

Commencal is offering five builds for the 4.2, as detailed in the table below.

The basic Origin build is a bike to get people into riding, while the Ride level prioritises suspension performance. The Essential is the bike Commencal would ‘recommend to their best mate’, while the Race is, as you’d expect, race-ready and the World Cup, top of the line.

SRAM XO1 Eagle does the shifting business
SRAM XO1 Eagle does the shifting business

Origin

  • Frame: 2017 META AM V4.2 650b, Travel 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe RT, 230x60, 2 position
  • Fork: RockShox Yari RC 170, solo air, boost
  • Headset: Ride Alpha
  • Stem: Ride Alpha, Alloy 2014 Forged
  • Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 6061, 760mm
  • Grips: Commencal Lock-On
  • Brakes: SRAM Level 200mm/180mm
  • Shifters: SRAM NX 1x11spd
  • Rear Mech: SRAM NX 11spd
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
  • Cranks: SRAM NX X-Sync, 30t
  • Chain: SRAM PC 1110
  • Cassette: SRAM PG 1130, 11-42, 11spd
  • Rims: WTB STP i25, 32 holes, double wall, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: Formula, 32 holes, sealed bearings
  • Spokes-Nipples: Pillar Spokes, stainless steel, 2mm black, Nylock
  • Tyres: Maxxis HRII 650x2.4 EXO TR (F); Maxxis DHRII 650x2.3 EXO TR (R)
  • Seatpost: Ride Alpha
  • Saddle: Ride Alpha, super light foam
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
  • Colour: Yellow
  • Price: €2,199 / $2,199

Ride

  • Frame: 2017 META AM V4.2 650b, Travel 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe RT, 230x60, 2 position
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RC 170mm, solo air, boost
  • Headset: Ride Alpha
  • Stem: Ride Alpha, Alloy 2014 Forged
  • Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 7075, 780mm
  • Grips: Commencal Lock-On
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R 200mm/180mm
  • Shifters: SRAM GX 1x11spd
  • Rear Mech: SRAM NX 11spd
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
  • Cranks: SRAM NX X-Sync, 30t
  • Chain: SRAM PC 1110
  • Cassette: SRAM PG 1130, 11-42, 11spd
  • Rims: WTB STP i25, 32 holes, double wall, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: Formula, 32 holes, sealed bearings
  • Spokes-Nipples: Pillar Spokes, stainless steel, 2mm black, Nylock
  • Tyres: Maxxis HRII 650x2.4 EXO TR (F); Maxxis DHRII 650x2.3 EXO TR (R)
  • Seatpost: Ride Alpha
  • Saddle: Ride Alpha, super light foam
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
  • Colour: Orange
  • Price: €2,499 / $2,499

Essential

  • Frame: 2017 META AM V4.2 650b, Travel 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Deluxe RT, 230x60, 2 position
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RC 170mm, solo air, boost
  • Headset: Ride Alpha ZS44/ZS56
  • Stem: Ride Alpha, Alloy 2014 Forged
  • Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 7075, 780mm
  • Grips: Commencal Lock-On
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R 200mm/180mm
  • Shifters: SRAM GX 1x11spd
  • Rear Mech: SRAM GX 11spd
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
  • Cranks: SRAM GX X-Sync, 30t
  • Chain: SRAM PC 1130
  • Cassette: SRAM PG 1150, 11-42, 11spd
  • Rims: Mavic 427, 32 holes, hookless, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: Formula, 32 holes, sealed bearings
  • Spokes-Nipples: Pillar Spokes, stainless steel, 2mm black, Nylock
  • Tyres: Maxxis HRII 650x2.4 EXO TR (F); Maxxis DHRII 650x2.3 EXO TR (R)
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
  • Saddle: Ride Alpha, super light foam
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
  • Colour: Matt Black
  • Price: €2,999 / $2,999

Race

  • Frame: 2017 META AM V4.2 650b, Travel 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe RC3, 230x60, 3 positions
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3 170mm, solo air, boost
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series
  • Stem: Ride Alpha, Alloy 2014 Forged
  • Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 7075, 780mm
  • Grips: Commencal Lock-On
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS 200mm/180mm
  • Shifters: SRAM GX 1x11spd
  • Rear Mech: SRAM X01 1x11spd
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
  • Cranks: SRAM GX X-Sync, 30t
  • Chain: SRAM PC 1130
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1150, 11-42, 11spd
  • Rims: Mavic 427, 32 holes, hookless, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: Formula, 32 holes, sealed bearings
  • Spokes-Nipples: Pillar Spokes, stainless steel, 2mm black, Nylock
  • Tyres: Maxxis HRII 650x2.4 EXO TR 3C (F); Maxxis DHRII 650x2.3 EXO TR 3C (R)
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
  • Saddle: Ride Alpha, super light foam
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
  • Colour: Matt Black
  • Price: €3,499 / $3,499

Race Eagle

  • Frame: 2017 META AM V4.2 650b, Travel 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe RC3, 230x60, 3 position
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3 170mm, solo air, boost
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series
  • Stem: Ride Alpha, Alloy 2014 Forged
  • Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 7075, 780mm
  • Grips: Commencal Lock-On
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS 200mm/180mm
  • Shifters: SRAM X01 Eagle 1x12spd
  • Rear Mech: SRAM X01 Eagle 1x12spd
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
  • Cranks: SRAM X1 1400 Eagle, 34t
  • Chain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1295, 10-50t,12spd
  • Rims: Mavic 427, 32 holes, hookles, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: Formula, 32 holes, sealed bearings
  • Spokes-Nipples: Pillar Spokes, stainless steel, 2mm black, Nylock
  • Tyres: Maxxis HRII 650x2.4 EXO TR 3C (F); Maxxis DHRII 650x2.3 EXO TR C3 (R)
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
  • Saddle: Ride Alpha, super light foam
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
  • Colour: Matt Black & Brushed & Yellow
  • Price: Black/Yellow €3,999 / $3,999 : Brushed €4,099 / $4,099

World Cup

  • Frame: 2017 META AM V4.2 650b, Travel 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe RC3 170mm, solo air, boost
  • Fork: RockShox Lyrik RCT3 170mm, solo air, boost
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40 Series
  • Stem: Ride Alpha, Alloy 2014 Forged
  • Handlebar: Ride Alpha, Alloy 7075, 780mm
  • Grips: Commencal Lock-On
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS 200mm/180mm
  • Shifters: SRAM X01 Eagle 1x12spd
  • Rear Mech: SRAM X01 Eagle 1x12spd
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP Press Fit BB92
  • Cranks: SRAM X01 Eagle, 34t
  • Chain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1295, 10-50t,12spd
  • Wheelset: Spank Oozy Trail 345 Wheelset, 32 holes, tubeless ready
  • Tyres: Maxxis HRII 650x2.4 EXO TR 3C (F); Maxxis DHRII 650x2.3 EXO TR dual compound (R)
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
  • Saddle: Ride Alpha, super light foam
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL
  • Colour: Matt Black & Brushed
  • Price: Matt Black €4,499 / $4,499 : Brushed €4,599 / $4,599
Tom Marvin

Technical Editor, Tech Hub, UK
Tom's been riding for 15 years, and has always chopped and changed bikes as soon as his budget allowed. He's most at home in the big mountains, having spent nigh on 30 weeks riding the Alps, as well as having lived a stone's throw from the Scottish Highlands for four years. Tom also enjoys racing events like the Strathpuffer and the Trans Nepal.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep and super tech or fast and flowy
  • Current Bikes: Canyon Spectral, Pivot Mach 429SL, Mondraker Vantage R +
  • Dream Bike: Transition Scout
  • Beer of Choice: Gin & tonic
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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