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.
- Can an e-MTB make a molehill out of a mountain?
- 10 reasons you really should try an e-MTB
- The real problem with electric mountain bikes
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.
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.
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 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.
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 1×11 Deore build with a Rockshox Yari RC fork, while the slightly more expensive Meta HT Powet Race (€3,999) gets a 1×11 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.