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…
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.
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.