For almost twenty years Commencal has been building mountain bikes and always looking to try to boil down the basic nature of what makes a bike a joy to ride on trails. So as e-bikes started to pop up on & off road they were curious but cautious as to whether if was something they thought could add to the experience of mountain biking. It looks like they have been sold on the concept (so cue the reasoned discussion & debate below) and have introduced the new Power line that takes their 27.5+ hardtail & full suspension Metas and tucks in Shimano’s quiet but powerful E8000 drive motor and battery to extend your range of heading out into the woods…
Commencal emphasizes that these aren’t some lesser mountain bikes cobbled together around a motor and targeted at beginners, and are obviously targeted at the kind of terrain & trails open to e-bike access. Instead, the Meta Power & Meta HT Power are both proper performance trail bikes that have been reshaped & reworked to neatly integrate the powerful 250W E8000 system to make it easier to get farther (and higher) away from the trail head. They build on the contemporary long & slack trail geometry trend to make for bikes that beg to be thrashed down the mountain, just as they are happy to offer some assistance to get back to the top to do it all again.
They went with the Shimano system as it really delivers one of the best power outputs, but also claims the best range of the major e-bike setups. That puts it at up to 100km/62mi on a single charge in Eco mode with 800m/2600′ of climbing. That means all day trail riding, and in many cases the ability to tack on extra climbs & descents to almost every ride within your same precious window of available time to ride. A big side benefit is also its compact design which goes a long way to keeping chainstays short-ish for a normal feeling ride.
Another important reason to go with Shimano was the fact that Commencal sell direct to consumers. Since Shimano already has such an extensive after-sales service presence around the world, Commencal was much more confident that buyers would be able to receive any and all support they might need to keep their eMTBs running for years to come.
Both Meta Powers get spec’d with eMTB specific components like chainrings and drivetrains designed to excel under the high torque loads, as well as fat plus-sized tires both to help deliver that power to the ground without a loss of grip and to let you run low tire pressures for comfort even with the added weight of the motor+battery system.
We only have detail on the hardtail for now, which will be available in two builds. A Meta HT Power Essential will start at 3500€ with a Deore 1×10 setup, while a Meta HT Power Race will bump up to 4000€ with a XT 1×11 group.
Details are still scant on the full-suspension Meta Power, but expect it to float around 150mm of all-mountain travel at both ends, and be available in several spec levels as well.