Commencal has announced an updated version of their popular META trail bike. I rode the META V4 briefly at Sea Otter a couple years ago and was impressed. Our own Chris Daniels had one in for a long-term review and liked it so much he bought it after the test. The new META V4.2 appears to be refined in nearly every aspect, creating an even more capable trail bike than the V4.
To sum it up, a lot. Most notably, the bike is getting a bump up in travel at both ends. The rear goes up to 160mm from 150mm, and Commencal is now speccing 170mm forks across the range, up from 160mm on most previous models.
Commencal uses a unique top tube design that has the shock hiding in a cubby hole. This creates a clean-looking frame, but limits shock choices as some, like Cane Creek’s DBAir, wouldn’t fit. For the 4.2, the basic design of the top tube remains the same, but clearance has been improved. Commencal claims the frame is now compatible with all shocks. Not only that, Commencal also made the switch to metric shock sizing (230x60mm) since that’s the direction the industry is going. The suspension kinematics have been tweaked slightly to provide a bit more progressive rate at the end of the stroke.
Other touches to the frame include: Boost rear spacing, better rear brake caliper clearance, room for a larger water bottle(!), and an integrated downtube protector.
The META V4.2 is thoroughly updated with all the latest “standards” or, features rather, you could possibly hope for.
What hasn’t changed?
Interestingly, Commencal didn’t mess much with the geometry of the META. The increased fork travel did slacken the head tube angle by half a degree to 65.5 and lengthen the wheelbase slightly, but otherwise, it’s unchanged from the V4. Top tube lengths, reach measurements, chainstays, standover, and seat tube angles are all the same between the V4 and V4.2. Commencal obviously believes they have a formula that’s working.
Commencal is known for providing a lot of bike for the money and the new META is no exception. All bikes come with 1x drivetrains, wider rims, and quality tires. At the entry level is the Origin for $2200. That bike comes equipped with a RockShox Yari RC fork, a RockShox Deluxe RT shock, SRAM’s NX drivetrain, SRAM Level brakes, and Commencal’s house brand Alpha components. For $300 more, the Ride model gets a nicer Lyrik fork, upgrades some of the drivetrain, and adds the more powerful SRAM Guide brakes.
The $3,000 Essential model gets a full SRAM GX drivetrain, Guide R brakes, Mavic rims, and a Reverb stealth dropper post. Commencal calls the Essential “the bike they would recommend to their best friend.”
Moving farther up the range, the $3,500 Race model gets nicer suspension by way of the Lyrik RCT3 fork and Super Deluxe RC3 shock. If I was spending my own dollars, this is the one I would get.
Want a 12-speed drivetrain? Then check out the Race Eagle which gets SRAM’s new Eagle group including the cassette with the monstrous 50T cog. The Race Eagle comes in at $4,000, and they also offer a special brushed aluminum edition for an extra Benjamin. Personally, I think the brushed bike is the best looking in the range.
Finally, there’s a $4,600 World Cup model listed on Commencal’s international site, but it doesn’t currently show up in their US store. The World Cup model is similar to the Race Eagle build, but gets carbon cranks instead of aluminum, and an upgrade to a set of Spank Oozy 345 wheels.
All models of the META V4.2 are available for pre-order directly from Commencal now. Estimated delivery appears to be mid-November.