Trail and Enduro Bikes

Commencal Meta Trail V4.2

Europe, it’s every second and third word at the moment it seems; in the news, social media feeds… and in the bike world. Andorran brand Commencal made the switch to web-only sales a few years back and as such has some incredibly keenly priced trail and enduro bikes that simply can’t be ignored.

Commencal is a brand rich with race history and pedigree – Absalon, Gracia, Chausson and the Athertons are among a long list of riders who’ve been aboard this brands bikes over the years. The Supreme and Meta bikes have been benchmark machines and are truly evolved designs, with their roots back to the brand’s beginnings in the year 2000.

So, with Commencal’s decision to go ‘no carbon’ in 2012, this re-focussed range has a strong emphasis on durability and longevity as well as a great ride. The Meta Trail V4.2 is the latest shorter travel trail bike from Commencal and rolling on 27.5” wheels compares well against bikes like the Orange Four, a brand with similar values albeit with a different approach to suspension design and visual presentation.

With only two equipment levels to chose from in the Meta Trail range we’ve picked the Origin model, the cheaper option selling at €2349 and is only a dropper seatpost away from being ready for the trails.

‘Clean lines, contemporary geometry and a good range of sizes sit well with an excellent spec for the price’

With a 140mm RockShox Yari RC fork up front and 130mm of travel at the rear, we’re bang in the middle of trail bike territory here. Useful numbers when matched to a slack 66.5 degree head angle, a longish wheelbase and 437mm chainstays. Good reach numbers (460mm for a L, 490mm for XL) are bang up to date too and work well with the 50mm stock stem – you could go to a 35/40mm length without a compromise to fit. A steep 74 degree seat angle helps with climbing too, getting you well placed over the cranks. This latest version of the Meta Trail really is a great fit.

With triple butted 6066 aluminium tubing, the Meta’s frame is well finished and bang up to date, with Boost spacing 148mm dropouts, additional under belly frame protection and inboard rear disc mounts.

The distinctive pierced seat tube designs of the earlier Meta frames were superseded in the V4 era and now this V4.2 series refined thing further. With a clean design and the metric rear shock sitting neatly under the low-slung top tube, access to the shock’s lockout switch is easy and there is ample space for a large water bottle.

It’s SRAM all round when it comes to going and stopping – the recently launched NX transmission is a sound and reliable choice with Level brakes matched to 180mm rotors for good control. Plump Maxxis rubber with tough sidewalls shows that Commencal have pitched this bike at the more aggressive side of trail riding, not just cruising the blue and red routes at trail centres.

While many of us here at Dirt would chose to roll on the larger 29 inch wheels when travel dips below the 150mm mark, plenty of riders are attracted to the smaller 27.5” size. There are a few very well sorted bikes in this category and they can be hugely fun and entertaining to ride. Light, tight and quick through the tight stuff, they offer a balance and all-round capability that is very hard to ignore. This latest evolution of the Meta Trail hits the spot and joins the Whyte T-130 as our choices for 130/140mm travel bikes with mid-sized wheels.

Commencal Meta Trail V4.2

Clean lines, contemporary geometry and a good range of sizes sit well with an excellent spec for the price. If you’re happy to buy direct then the Meta Trail V4.2 should be on your list without question.



Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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