Commencal made a lot of progress reshaping their 27.5″ Meta AM into the current 160mm travel v4.2 enduro bike, while the 29er still sat waiting. We got a sneak peek at the new alloy Meta AM 29er back in April, seeing a bike that took as much inspiration from Commencal’s 29er DH bike as the smaller wheeled all-mountain ride.
Commencal Meta AM 29 alloy enduro mountain bike
Having already brought 29″ wheels to the Supreme DH bike last year, it was just a matter of time until the Meta AM got big wheels too. Remember, Commencal called an enduro bike “just a DH bike that knows how to climb”. The new Meta AM 29 bears a striking family resemblance to the current 27.5 bike, but Commencal says “almost everything has changed to enhance the 29″ platform.”
Tech Details & Geometry
The new Meta AM 29 takes pretty much all of the tech developed on the latest Meta AM v4.2, and reshapes it to work around bigger wheels.
Big wheels plow over & through the toughest enduro tracks, so with modern trail geometry the 29er Meta could be the ideal bike on the steepest and gnarliest race tracks.
That means the new bike gets modern long, low & slack enduro geometry, starting off with the same 65.5° head angle of the 27.5″ bike. Its seattube angle looks slack on paper due to revised shaping, but is effectively a bit steeper for climbing efficiency.
You’d be excused for thinking the 29er would get longer chainstays than the 27.5″ bike (those are 437mm). But as I surmised back in April Commencal was concerned with keeping the rear end stiff with the bigger wheels, and the revised suspension design & forward-bent seattube actually allowed them to trim the stays down to a super tight 432mm. At the same time the 29er gets redesigned bridges at the stays, plus a rocker with larger bearings to handle bigger forces from the 29er wheels.
Relative to its 27.5 sibling, the new Meta AM 29 moves the main swingarm pivot back several centimeters, now behind the bottom bracket, and brings the lower rocker pivot forward at the same time.
Commencal says this was to provide more dynamic suspension performance, with improved pedaling efficiency and less pedal feedback (the anti-squat that limits suspension movement with pressure on the pedals, but also moves the pedals when you hit something big with the rear wheel.)
Commencal claims a less harsh ride that allows stiffer shock setup, while retaining comfort. The bike’s sensitive suspension kinematics are also said to work well offer customizable ride feel through the use of coil or air shocks from a wide range of suspension makers.
It uses the same reworked 3-piece toptube design of the 27.5 bike to more smoothly integrate either piggy back air or coil shocks in. (No more short list of limited shock compatibility.)
Overall the 160mm frame gets paired to 170mm forks for aggressive trail capability. Its faux-bar, single-pivot suspension design with its rocker & yoke driving the shock is fundamentally the same as the 27.5 bike, just with completely new suspension geometry, said to be less tiresome on the rider, especially in longer format racing.
The 6066 triple butted alloy 29er frame still shares metric shock sizing (230x60mm), Boost rear spacing, and a tapered headtube. The Meta AM 29 frame features integrated chainstay & downtube protection, with the possibility to bolt an extra bottle/tool cage under the downtube, plus a new rear wheel mud flap to protect the area between the rocker and frame.
The new bike gets an integrated chain retention device at the main pivot, high quality Enduro bearings, new seals, ISCG tabs, plus revised modular internal cable routing, including several new ports like one for an air shock lockout, as well as others we’re not quite sure about (Fox Live maybe?)
Complete Bike Builds Pricing & Availability
The new Meta AM 29 is available at three complete build levels, plus a 1300€ frame-only option. The frame itself comes in a four size range (S-XL) and in burgundy/gray or raw brushed aluminum.
The top of the line $4400/4400€ Meta AM 29 Signature build features Fox 36 & DHX2 Factory suspension, powered by a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, and alloy e*thirteen TRS wheels wrapped in 2.35″ Schwalbe Magic Mary/Hans Dampf tires. It gets house Ride Alpha cockpit components, a KS Lev Integra dropper, and Turvativ Descendant cranks. (It also in curiously not available in a Small.)
The team replica Meta AM 29 Team is actually more affordable at $3900€. It matches a RockShox Lyrik RC2 fork & Super Deluxe RCT Coil shock, and features a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Guide RE brakes, Renthal cockpit, KS dropper, and Schwalbe rubber on a Spank Oozy 350 wheelset.
The Meta AM 29 Essential is the most affordable complete at $3000€ with a Lyric RC fork & Super Deluxe RCT shock, plus a new NX Eagle but with a 10-50 12-speed cassette, still getting e13 TRS rims & a KS dropper.
The new Meta AM 29 is available for pre-order now. Complete bike availability is not expected until September 2018, with the frame only option pushing that out to October.