The COMMENCAL META AM Makes its Mark




A few days after the release of our new META AM 29 models, the TEAM and RIDE versions coincided with the launch of the all new RockShox ZEB enduro fork, and French magazine Enduro Tribe unveiled their findings after testing the META AM 29 TEAM.

 





META AM 29 TEAM

Shock :
RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate, 160 mm

Fork : RockShox Zeb Ultimate, 170 mm

Brakes : Sram Code RSC

Wheels : DT Swiss, montage spécifique

6 models, 4 sizes 

 

 



Journalist Antoine Hoffman begins by explaining the new aesthetics of the frame:

“The latest generation of COMMENCAL META TR & AMs share the same frame, with a few differences. This is an evolution of the concept already used through previous seasons but with a few tweaks worth a look. (...) Top tube now straight and in one piece, seat tube with a larger diameter. A build which makes it possible to resize the linkage/shock assembly and remove the bridge between the seat stays. The whole objective of these developments is to control the stiffness and flex differently. An approach which means in particular, that the front triangle deforms less, all-round and under braking.”


Obviously, the arrival of the RockShox ZEB was a talking point:

"The RockShox ZEB continues the trend started several years ago by the brand. More support at the start of the travel, more use of the full travel, and an ever weaker stiffness," explains the journalist before discussing the fitting of an air shock, which was logical to him. “No wonder then, we find a COMMENCAL META AM range mainly fitted with air shocks, including the flagship model, the Team version which we have here in our hands. The shock on the back is definitely what goes best with the RockShox ZEB."

From geometry to suspension, Antoine Hoffman quickly realised the differences between the AM and TR:

"A reach 5mm longer (490mm, size L), a stack which increases significantly (+20mm fork / + 5mm bushing), flatter head angle by 1° (63.5°), an increase in wheelbase (+ 27mm), a raised BB (+12mm). In the end, we have a COMMENCAL META AM which really stands out on paper from its little brother."

The first test of the META AM 29 TEAM, like the META TR 29, took place in the 'Terres Noires' in Digne-les-Bains, France:

"What is obvious in the first place is this famous proficiency of flex/stiffness which makes the COMMENCAL META whether TR or AM, a success. In terms of the frame, it seems to correspond to what we know about DT wheels - rigid in the sense that it can distort, but is not stiff, in terms that rider doesn’t have to put up with it".

Finally, it's obviously during downhill sections that the META AM 29 shows all its qualities:

“At the same speed, the AM allows you to let go and requires less: less grip, less movement, less wariness, less commitment. This can place the most cautious in a bubble of comfort, without getting on board. But this can also tempt the more daring to ride faster and harder, to find the limit again… When the terrain is rough, choppy and/or demanding, we don’t get the impression that this is what we’re actually riding. A root the wrong way? An unavoidable rock? A hidden rock behind a step?! Whatever! The bike doesn’t require us to go the extra mile. Just adopt your usual riding style, like you would use if there were no surprises on the ground. Even better, we naturally end up being on the best trails, even if they are the most involved, not necessarily on the main trail…” 



To conclude, tester Antoine Hoffman is won over by this new generation META AM 29, as he finishes with:

"This is why, in my opinion, the COMMENCAL META AM defines the times! In my mind, it’s only the second bike to achieve this level of accuracy in over a decade of testing. It’s almost a sign of a new era. In any case, a new important landmark, and a bike that joins the shortlist of those to rely on.”

Discover the full article on Enduro Tribe


 "I'm not going to go down four paths: when the terrain gets tough, off-camber slopes, roots poking out, the tips of sniper rocks or wet slabs shine at the slightest bit of light, the COMMENCAL META AM 29 passes over them without flinching! It never slips abruptly, it never vibrates after an impact, I never feel surprised because it never wobbles, or the opposite, throws me into a turn... I stay on course and hold my lines easily. In short, it's easy. It is harmonious with its rider."

"We all know that COMMENCAL has taken a stand; they advocate aluminium and carbon is not their cup of tea! So, making the connection between the aluminium construction of this META AM 29 with its behaviour is systematic, but not obvious… In fact, it is indeed the work done on the rigidity/stiffness which makes the quality frame of the COMMENCAL META AM 29. The control of these 2 parameters - frontal, lateral, torsional... - gives it this behaviour where it is rigid to be precise and to function well, and sufficiently stiff to keep reading the terrain, but nothing in excess, in terms of rigidity or stiffness, to keep comfort."

"If we dare to engage, the COMMENCAL gives back: it gives the impression that we’re progressing and helps us to achieve something new or a new way of doing things! What could be more rewarding?"

“So, it is one of those enduro bikes that makes the terrain easier… of those who outclass these 5-figure full carbon bikes that are often far too stiff for ordinary people who ride in Europe.”

Discover the second article on Enduro Tribe







Singletrack reporter Andy Sykes also unveiled a META AM 29 Team test in October 2020. The UK magazine’s comments are equally positive.

"Technical climbing is where the 2021 Meta AM surprised me, not that it turns in to a magical goat and sprints off by itself, but that you can clear technical climbs more easily than the 170mm travel, 495mm reach might suggest. The steep seat angle, updated suspension kinematic and sticky Schwalbe tyres are quite the trio and result in bags of uphill traction and forward momentum."



"Well, one Monday I had taken the older Meta out and put down my fastest local time. I rode that bike to the point that I felt fatigued and I may have pushed myself a little too hard, but I felt fast and the time proved it. (…) My first ever downhill on the 2021 Meta AM, on a bike I had never ridden before with suspension not quite set up how I like it was a full 5 seconds faster than my fastest time on the old bike! The new Meta AM is phenomenal!"


"The 2021 Meta is a pure thoroughbred, designed to go downhill at warp speed, to smash the most technical EWS stages on the planet, no wonder my local trails feel tame on this beast! It swallows them whole.", Andy Sykes.


In his conclusion, Andy is just as won over as the journalist from Enduro Tribe:

"Where the 2021 Commencal Meta AM excels is in the fast rough and rocky stuff. It loves the steeps too, isolating the rider from all those nasty steps, and drops with its sorted suspension, acres of reach and valley swallowing amounts of travel. It corners well too, it’s longer than a lot of other bikes out there so you do need to physically throw it around corners, if not then you will lose speed but time it right and the Meta will reward you with bags of grip and speed."


See the full article on Singletrack




 

The META AM 29 has also been tested over in Oceania by the well-known publication in Australia and New Zealand, [R]evolution Magazine.
Again, the reviews are particularly positive!

"As you can see by some of these specs this bike is built to take on the meanest trails, bumps and booters you can throw at it. No expense has been spared in relation to quality, durability, and performance of the components, that along with the refined frame aesthetics and the frames black on white colour scheme made for a package that not only looks really cool but is going to perform really well". 

"The Meta AM is built and marketed as an all-out enduro race bike; it’s basically built for speed. With that said, if you want to own, ride and maintain one bike and descending is your thing but you want something that will pedal well, the Meta AM is for you. You can pretty much do anything aboard this steed, it’s no XC bike but if you’re hunting enduro races, park laps, dabble in some DH and/or freeride and just want the one sled to maintain well look no further".

"At times when we had this sucker diving into some rough corners or off camber sections, we were really amazed at how well the front end tracked through those sections. Just when you thought your front end would give way the tyre would dig in and just tear through sections. That accompanied with a super subtle rear end that tracked well, along with the larger contact patch of a 29er wheel, Commencal have produced a bike that rides amazing. This bike doesn’t get hung up on square edges, it delivers heaps of grip to the rubber below, it maintains momentum really well and it feels super stable at speed yet surprisingly nimble and agile for a big rig. Not only that it is really nice and quiet to ride, there is no issue with cable rattle. It is no surprise this bike has been winning a sh#t load of races because we can sum this weapon up in one word ‘fast!’. (...) In our books the new Commencal Meta AM 29 has definitely earned a place on the ‘best bikes of 2020/2021’ list."

 
 


       

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