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Why That Bike? | Commencal Meta

If you've ever cruised our Bike Check section, the largest collection of badass bike builds on the internet, you know that Vital members spare no expense when it comes to radifying their rides. Always on the hunt for a backstory, we reached out to the owners of these six sick sleds to find out what went into each project. These rigs are all both drool-worthy and shred-worthy, so jump right in to get stoked.

About the Commencal Meta AM/TR

The Meta first saw the light in 2005, and by our reckoning we have now arrived at the 5th generation with the V4.2. There have been countless variations along the way, and today the Meta carries the torch for the Andorran brand as everything from a short-travel trail bike to a hard-hitting enduro race weapon. For this feature we've focused on the Meta AM with one Meta TR thrown in for good measure.

View the Commencal Meta AM in our Product Guide.

View the Commencal Meta TR in our Product Guide.


veefour's Commencal Meta AM V4

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Age: 52

Where do you live? West Sussex, South of UK, but the bike lives in NZ as I try to get there for winter escapes.

Favorite local trail to ride? Locally Surrey Hills, in NZ, Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua.

Why did you pick the Commencal Meta? I've had several Commencals and like the way they ride.

Is this Meta your only bike? No, I have a few others. Orbea Rallon, Transition Smuggler, Swarf Spline and Specialized Demo.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? I had the Meta V3 before this.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I bought the bike stock, but I've changed the wheels, bars, stem, saddle and post. And lost the paint, obviously.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? The rear suspension has a bottomless feel and I really like the shock. Marzocchi brought it out just before Fox took them over. It's a shame they didn't make many, it's very adjustable.

What would you change on it? I'm planning on trying it as a mullet, although it depends if it shortens the reach too much.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? I'll probably keep it until it dies. 

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? Right now? Or can I wait and have a new DH bike when the parks reopen? I like the look of the Gambler.

View veefour's Bike Check.


Kamil Tatarkovic's Meta TR 29

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Age: 34

Where do you live? Olomouc, Czech Republic.

Favorite local trail to ride? Secret trail of my friend Jara which is so technical and fun to ride. You need to be focused all the time from the top to the bottom and quite a few challenges are waiting for you. And for sure our small local bike park Olomouc.

Why did you pick the Commencal Meta? I wanted to try 29" and wanted to have playful bike and that's what META TR 29 offers. I was also interested in how the shorter travel of META TR will handle bigger terrain and that was the reason why I built this bike. [ed: Kamil is the founder of FDF Bike Shop, the Czech representatives of Commencal, Hope, and Deity among others.]

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Is this Meta your only bike? Well, no :) I also have a Commencal Clash for riding bike parks/jumps and a Commencal Absolut for dirt jumps and pumptracks.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? The last year I was riding mostly on a Commencal CLASH (27,5" wheels).

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? This bike if fully customized. Last few years I have been riding bikes with FOX suspension, HOPE brakes/wheels/cranks and DEITY components and I'm super happy with this combination. So we keep this setup and together with META TR 29" frame it works perfect!

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? I really like the general feeling of the bike, great possibility of setup on fork, shock, brakes and I think the combination of all components is well balanced. Hard to pick up one part but I have to say I'm really happy with HOPE Fortus 35 wheels. They already had some hard times on the trail and are still working great!

What would you change on it? At the moment it's my dream bike so there is no reason to change anything. Maybe I would just like to try coil shock on this built to see how it feels.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? I like trying new things so I think I will keep this bike for 1-2 seasons and after I will go for something new :).

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? If I have to choose just one bike in my garage, I would go for META AM 29 as a great all round bike that can handle harder terrain! And sure, if I had more time, I would go for a downhill bike!!!

View Kamil Tatarkovic's Bike Check.


bombole23's Meta AM V4.2

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Age: 37

Where do you live? Chamonix France

Favorite local trail to ride? Well plenty of trails here in the valley for example Chamonish and Alpage Respect.

Why did you pick the Commencal Meta? Well in my opinion the bike is very versatile .From bikeparks to single trails to steep loamy to multi-day trips.The factor of an excellent after-sales service and a bulletproof frame .

Is this Meta your only bike? No I have a hardtail as well...a Pipedream Moxie singlespeed.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? I have been with Commencal for 6 years now, the previous bike was A Meta AM V4.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? Customized by myself.

What’s your favorite part about the bike? Really good climber as here in the valley everything is speed climbs and steep trails.

What would you change on it? Right now the rear derailleur needs replacing.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Well i try to change bikes after 3 years as my average descending is more than 8000 meters per day by 4 to 5 days. The bike takes a lot of abuse.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? New Meta 2021 V4.2 special edition.

View bombole23's Bike Check.


29's Commencal Meta AM 29

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Age: 26

Where do you live? Augsburg, Germany

Favorite local trail to ride? My favorite local trail right now is called Ping Pong, roots, ruts, berms, drops, it’s got everything.

Why did you pick the Commencal Meta? Originally I planned on getting an entry-level DH bike to go with my 27.5“ trail bike, but after test riding a long travel 29er I didn’t feel like I really needed a dedicated downhill bike when these are so good. My trail bike was 3 or 4 years old at that point, so I sold it and got the this as my quiver killer for both park laps and long days in the alps. As for why the Meta specifically, there were several reasons. I wanted an aluminum frame with good specs, and a lot of other brands only offer their lower end bikes with alloy frames. As a student, price is always a factor, and I wanted a bike that would last me a good while. After reading the interview with Max Commencal about his design philosophy and his stance on carbon, it was just the bike that made the most sense to me.

Is this Meta your only bike? The only one I actively ride. I still have my first own mountain bike, a 2009 Specialized Rockhopper, but it mainly sits in the basement.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? A Müsing Petrol 5 which now belongs to my brother. I’m happy it stayed in the family, I made some good memories with that bike.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I started out with an off-the-shelf build and upgraded as needed. The only thing I changed right from the get-go were the contact points which I brought over from my old bike, and the brakes. The bike came with 2-piston SLX brakes which were underpowered for this bike’s intended use, and I took part in the Megavalanche three weeks after I got it, so I wanted all the stopping power I could get. Saints were the obvious choice.

Over the winter I upgraded my suspension to the GRIP2 damper and the DHX2 in the rear to tinker a bit more with my setup. Recently my dropper post developed some play and started creaking, so I used this as an opportunity to get some more drop with the OneUp V2, which has been flawless (and quiet) so far.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? In terms of performance, definitely the coil shock. It really makes the bike feel like it’s glued to the ground. In terms of irrational "I don’t need this but I want this" factor, the Intend stem. It’s really clean and despite its flimsy looks has held up to some hucks at the bikepark with no problems.

What would you change on it? The wheels. I didn’t run CushCore at the parks last year and dinged the rear rim a good bit. I’m going to ride these for the season and then hopefully get some EX511s for next year. Might get a Microspline hub as well and ditch the GX for XT.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? For the foreseeable future. I love how it rides with the current setup so I don’t really see a reason to change.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? Probably a road bike. I enjoy the fitness aspect of biking, I’ve ridden my dad’s old road bike a couple times now and it’s been really fun. We don’t have a lot of trails here, so always riding the same lines can get a bit boring. Road biking was nice for switching things up a bit.

View 29's Bike Check.


the_maxis_233's Commencal Meta AM V4.2

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Age: 31

Where do you live? Paredes, a small town near Porto City, Portugal.

Favorite local trail to ride? During the quarantine I built a local spot in the woods close to my home, a short line just for fun, but we also have some cool trails near Porto such as Sintra do Norte with some long trails and good dirt (loam), or Laúndos, another local spot of some friends with jumps and berms.

Why did you pick the Commencal Meta? The geometry caught my attention (besides the price) and after reading some reviews on the web about the bike/frame I came to the conclusion that frame fit with my riding style.

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Is this Meta your only bike? No, I also have an aggressive hardtail 29er and a dirt jump/pump bike.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Before buying the Commencal Meta AM 4.2 I had a Nukeproof Mega AM 275, medium size.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? This is a custom build.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? Trick question, the frame.

What would you change on it? The crankset will be the next change maybe.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Until the brand launches a new Meta frame 27.5 (hahaha) without that hole close to the BB for the cable routing. Something like the 29er version but in 27.5 would be perfect.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? Honestly, I still prefer to ride with 27.5 wheels, but I’ll give the Commencal Meta AM 29er a try probably.

View the_maxis_233's Bike Check.


Pedal4life's Commencal Meta AM V4.2

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Age: 60

Where do you live? Big Bear, CA 

Favorite local trail to ride? Hard to say I can’t pick just one, but I will say I really enjoy riding the local trails all over the Big Bear valley especially because I can’t stand driving to go riding, it’s perfect with trails very close to the front door.

Why did you pick the Commencal Meta? I had wanted a Commencal for quite a while, the Meta V4 was an obsession then when the V4.2 came out I had to have one, went down to Carlsbad, CA (where Commencal USA was originally located) and picked up my frame - thanks to my wife as I had 2 broken arms at the time!

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Is this Meta your only bike? No, there’s a GT Richter (also here in the bike check section) that I set up for pump track riding.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? A Mongoose Salvo.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? Full custom build.

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What’s your favorite part about the bike? How it corners. It’s absolutely crazy how fast I can get around a corner on this bike.

What would you change on it? 12 speed drivetrain.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Until the day I can no longer ride! Live to Ride, Ride to Live.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? I’ll be getting a 120-130mm trail bike that’ll likely let me explore a little further out in the years to come.

View Pedal4life's Bike Check.


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