Back Issue | Commencal Meta AM V4 “A La Carte” Review
For the coming season, Commencal have completely re-worked their proven, but somewhat aging META AM — and the result is the brand-new META AM V4 bike.
Along with the neon yellow colour, the first thing you notice on the META AM V4 is the top tube shock mount. The rear shock sits in a kind of recess within the frame, and viewed from the side is only partially visible. On our test bike, the suspension parts are high-end units from BOS:
a Deville 160 fork and a Kirk shock. Both units can be completely adjusted to the rider’s preferences via numerous adjustments, but they need experience and patience to find the perfect set-up. For many riders, less could be more here!
The rest of the parts are classy and expensive: the cockpit and some of the drivetrain are made up of Race Face Next parts, a SRAM XO1 group covers the shifting, and the powerful SRAM Guide RSC brakes slow the bike down.
The riding position of the new META AM V4 is characterised by the relatively long front end
(reach 448 mm) in combination with a steep 74° seat tube angle. On climbs you sit slightly stretched and centrally aboard the bike, which delivers plenty of pressure to the pedals. In order to transform that power into forward momentum, we recommend switching on the adjustable pedal platform on the shock — otherwise the rear end tends to bob and compress.
On the trails the META AM V4 shows where it feels most at home.
The combination of a long wheelbase (1193 mm) and potent suspension give the bike a smooth ride and a great deal of confidence. Thanks to the relatively high front end, the pilot always feels in control, even on the steepest descents, without feeling that the front end wallows on flatter terrain. Overall the ride is balanced, and tight corners are just as easy as rapid line changes. Once you’ve found the right set-up with the BOS suspension, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic traction ably supported by the grippy Maxxis 3C tyres. Even rapidly repeating big hits vanish without the bike ever feeling vague or plunging into its travel./p>
Well Packed –
On the new Commencal META AM V4 the rear shock isn’t mounted on the top tube, but in it. The split frame form with a “shock pocket” gives the bike its unique (and we think stylish) appearance.
Classy and light –
The Race Face Next SL crankset is pretty tasty! The narrow/wide chainring can be directly mounted without a spider, giving clean looks and saving weight — we like!
Super grippy –
Thanks to their saw blade-esque profile, the Commencal-branded grips give enormous grip and really bite into your hands on the descents. Our testers had various opinions: some fell in love straight away, while others found them unpleasant.
The testers all liked the high front end of the META AM V4 as well as the 760 mm wide Next 35 bars. Full control is guaranteed in any terrain!
Powerful and reliable –
The new SRAM Guide RSC brakes can be set to rider preferences without tools and offer perfect modulation, great power, and fantastic reliability.
Commencal has managed to build a top all-round bike with the META AM V4. It feels perfectly at home on moderate home trails and on hard race tracks. Only the slightly high frame weight slightly spoilt the fun. If you’re looking for do-It-all bike, you can happily choose the attractively priced version with RockShox suspension at 3299 Euros.
Price: € 4.599
Weight: 13,3 kg
- Fork: BOS Deville 160
- Shock: BOS KIRK
- Drivetrain: SRAM X01
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
- Handlebars: Race Face Next 35 760mm
- Stem: Race Face Turbine 35 60mm
- Tires: Maxxis Highroller II 3C 2,3 / Maxxis Ardent 2,3
- Wheels: ALPHA Enduro 650B
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Size: S / M / L (Tested)/ XL | Top tube:618mm | Seat tube: 72°| Chainstays:437mm | Head tube: 66° | Wheelbase: 1193mm Reach: 448mm | Stack:605mm | Wheelsize: 27.5″
Fancy a cheaper spec of the COMMENCAL META AM V4? Check out our COMMENCAL META AM V4 ORIGIN 650B Review
Text & Photos: Christoph Bayer