Commencal Launches the New Meta AM V4, New Suspension Design Offers Lighter, Lively Ride

Commencal meta am v4 2

Introduced back in 2005, the Meta has been a fixture in Commencal’s line as “enduro” cut its teeth. Now in its fourth iteration, the Meta AM sees one of the biggest changes yet with an all-new suspension design called the Contact System. Still based around a 4 bar linkage, Contact System is a big change from the previous suspension design with a pierced seat tube and low slung shock. Running the same 650b wheels as the 2014 Meta AM, the V4 is designed to fit Commencal’s vision of what an Enduro bike should be – a pedal-able downhill bike.

In spite of its lighter weight, the V4 is still welded from aluminum with an aggressively shaped 3-piece top tube. Special consideration has gone into the design to allow for excellent standover while providing easy access to the shock itself so you can make adjustments without the need for a remote. According to Commencal, the sum of the changes results in a bike that is even more versatile than the original yet still has their ideal balance of pedal efficiency to downhill supremacy.

Details, geometry, and more, next…

meta_v4_14_980

Bike Details

Built with 150mm of rear travel and capable of running 150-160mm suspension forks, the Meta AM V4 fits right in with the current crop of Enduro machines. The frame uses 6066 aluminum that is heat treated and shot-peened to make it as durable as possible. Suspension pivots are machined from 7075 aluminum and run oversized sealed bearings to keep things running smooth. Overall, the design of the Contact System results in a lighter weight, but it also allows for most piggyback shocks to be run. The shock bodies reside in a shock tunnel built into the top tube, which makes lock out switches easily accessible to the rider.

Commencal actually states that the rear triangle on the AM V4 is slightly less stiff than the V3. The reduction is a nod to the balance of stiffness and grip since a frame that is too stiff causes the rear wheel to struggle for traction in certain circumstances. The design changes also allow for a new removable front derailleur mounting system so 1x drivetrains won’t have an unneeded post. Other frame features include a BB92 Pressfit bottom bracket, ISCG 05 tabs, integrated post mount rear disc tabs inside the rear triangle, and compact 142x12mm dropouts.

Commencal meta am v4

meta_v4_09

meta_v4_23

To mesh with Commencal’s desire for a downhill bike that can be pedaled uphill, the AM V4 has a steep 74 degree seat tube and fairly slack 66 degree head tube. Couple that with a fairly low bb height, increased bottom bracket drop, and 437mm chainstays and you have a bike that is right at home in the steep, technical Pyrenean trails Commencal calls home.

Meta AM V4s will be offered in three builds, Origin, Essential, and Race which range from about $2671 to $4409, though Commencal has a US store and pricing coming September, 2014.

commencal-store.co.uk

Comments

Scott B - 08/12/14 - 3:11pm

Looks like a very stout design. I’d ride it.

Ripnshread - 08/12/14 - 7:14pm

That is not a “4 bar linkage” it is a linkage activated high single pivot. If the rear axle is attached to any linkage that is then directly attached to the frame it is a single pivot.

craigsj - 08/12/14 - 7:20pm

Ripnshread is correct. That’s a single pivot design that doesn’t use a floating brake. It is just about the simplest and oldest approach there is. At least they chose a decent pivot location.

Gromit - 08/12/14 - 8:14pm

Seems to me the way the shock is mounted to the frame at the top tube and around the seat tube is eerily similar to the current Specialized FSRs…

taylor - 08/12/14 - 8:29pm

glad to see that the rear caliper is mounted to (what looks like) the chain stay
*thumbs up*

Zach Overholt - 08/12/14 - 9:07pm

The “4 bar linkage” designation comes directly from Commencal, but as mentioned a linkage driven single pivot would probably be a more appropriate description.

Al Boneta - 08/12/14 - 9:32pm

@Taylor having the rear caliper on the chainstay does make the frame look cleaner. But on my Lapierre my heel does rub thje frame with my size 14 feet. Hope there is more clearance on the Commencal

Ripnshread - 08/13/14 - 12:03am

@Al Boneta, having the rear brake on the chainstay is more about reducing “brake jack” or suspension extension than heel clearance I would think.

@Zach Overholt, would rather have your professional cycling journalist’s take on the product instead of the marketing drivel above. Seems like Commencal are being intentionally misleading with their interpretation of what encompasses a “4 bar linkage”.

the owl - 08/13/14 - 11:14am

A system can have 4 swinging/pivoting elements (4 bars) and still be a linkage driven single pivot. Ventana and older Konas are obvious examples. To see if this “4 bar linkage” description is wrong, just tally the number of moving elements. I can’t see Commencal’s linkage so I can’t tell whether it’s 3 or 4 moving elements.

trailshredderr - 08/13/14 - 12:12pm

Looks sick!!

antoine - 08/13/14 - 12:23pm

In France mechanical engineer call a system consisting of 4 bar and 4 pivot a 4 bar system, whatever thé location of the wheel is relative to the bar. It is a system notre only used un suspension design but in many machines.

Ripnshread - 08/13/14 - 11:54pm

@antoine, don’t trust me? Just Google “4 bar linkage”. Pretty sure engineering is the same in any language.

PowersUSA - 08/15/14 - 11:59am

Four Bar “linkage” vs “suspension”.

In the purest “engineering” terms, yes, this is a four bar “linkage” but its not a four bar “suspension”.

Translating four bar engineering terms to bicycle terms:

Ground: Frame
Crank: Chainstay link
Coupler: Seatstay link
Rocker: Shock link

Generally speaking the most interesting “motion” within a four bar linkage is that of the coupler. A true “four bar suspension” has the wheel mounted to the coupler. All your VPP “s” curves blah blah blah are all talking about the coupler motion. This design has the wheel attached to the crank and as such in not four bar suspension.

Now back to designing my new suspension, which is 3D printed blah blah blah and will be on marketed on kickstarter blah blah blah (only partially kidding).

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