The Meta has remained a prominent bike for many years, although it’s taken on many different forms in that time. Sold in short travel (TR) and long travel (AM) versions, it looks astonishingly similar in both forms thanks to its clean four-bar design that’s been refined from the long-standing Meta V4.
This particular model — the Meta Trail V4.2 Essential — is the more expensive of the two builds on offer and retails for £2,899 / €3,249 / $3,249, although it’s currently selling for a fair bit less on Commencal’s site.
Top tube measurements have increased on all but the smallest size Meta TROliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Suspension travel is up from the TR V4, with 130mm of movement at the back wheel and a 140mm fork up front. That’s taken a degree from the head angle, which now measures in at 67.5 degrees. The Meta TR has also grown in length for 2017, with extensions to the top tubes of all but the shortest of four sizes on offer.
Another significant yet subtle change to the frame lies beneath its top tube, where additional room has been freed up to accept larger volume air cans. The Rockshox Deluxe RT shock that’s tucked in beneath is now metric too, following a move by the industry that you can read more about here. Also worth mentioning is that the Meta comes Boost-axled for the first time too.
The 140mm Pike RC at the front is dressed in all black, in fact it’s only the Meta’s few white and silver highlights that stray from this blackout aesthetic.
Increased clearances beneath the unusual top tube mean that larger air cans are no longer a no-noOliver Woodman / Immediate Media
The drivetrain is a mix of SRAM’s GX and NX 1x parts, which marries a 32t chainring with a pinned version of the 10-42t cassette. A cassette that used to look so huge but can now be considered the norm.
Elsewhere, the Meta’s 650b wheelset marries Mavic’s hookless and tubeless-ready 424 rims with Formula sealed bearing hubs. The Maxxis Minion and Ardent tyre combination is also one that’s well tried and tested. Stopping comes from SRAM’s no-fuss Level TL brakes with 180mm rotors at each end.
We’ve got high hopes for the Meta TR, mostly down to the fact that we know its longer-legged sister (the Meta AM) rides so nicely. We’ll crack on with testing this one so the next time you hear about it on BikeRadar we should have a full review.
Our XL sample bike tipped the scales at 14.1kg / 31lb.