For Flow and Commencal, it has been far too long between drinks. In fact, it was well over two years ago when we last had a Commencal test bike in – a Meta AM 4.2, which turned into a much-loved long-term test bike. We’ve always found a certain allure to the Andorran brand’s robust metal frames and its distinct focus on gravity-fueled riding, and it seems many other riders share our sentiments, with Commencal having developed something of a cult following over the past few years.
Since we last had a test bike sent to us, Commencal has continued to update and refine its lineup, while the name has regularly been seen aboard the top step of the World Cup and World Champs DH podium thanks to speedy French-folks like Myriam Nicole and Amaury Pierron. Also during that time, there’s been a bit of a shakeup for Commencal in Australia, with the distribution centre now located in Sydney, where stock is kept on hand to supply the local market. You still buy the bikes online and direct via the Commencal Australia website, so the pricing is well-sharp, but delivery is faster and for those nearby, there’s also an option to collect bikes directly from the showroom in the Northern Beaches. Like Mick’s spangly new test bike – the new 2021 Commencal Meta TR 29 Signature. What a looker!
The Commencal Meta TR 29 – What’s New?
The name is the same, but that’s about all that’s carried over from last year. For a start, the 2021 Commencal Meta TR gets a brand new frame, which is made from hydroformed, triple butted and heat-treated 6066 alloy tubes. Commencal has made it pretty clear in the past that it prefers working with metal rather than carbon fibre, and the brand’s dedication to alloy has resulted in some really nice clean and refined lines, whilst still retaining Commencal’s tough industrial aesthetic. Indeed this bike looks like it’ll survive a nuclear holocaust – just take a look at the huge alloy links and oversized pivot hardware!
With the new frame, Commencal has bumped up the travel on the Meta TR 29, lifting the back end from 130mm to 140mm. Our test bike, the Signature model, comes with a Fox Float X2 air shock and a 160mm travel Fox 36 fork up front. There are all the bells and whistles here, with adjustable high and low speed compression AND rebound damping, plus the usual volume spacer adjustment, giving you the ability to tune the suspension any which-way, depending on your trails and riding style.
Another change for the Meta TR 29 is the move to a fatter 34.9mm diameter seat tube, a size that is quickly growing in popularity. The reason being is that 34.9mm dropper posts can be built stiffer and stronger than skinnier posts, allowing designers to create a shorter structure with more travel. On our Medium sized Meta TR 29, we’ve got a 150mm travel post as standard, though that goes up to 200mm on the XL frame.
Geometry has had an update too, though unlike some other brands, Commencal has been a little less conservative with the changes. The head angle gets a full two degrees slacker, coming in at DH-worthy 64.5°. The seat tube goes the other way by two degrees, steepening to 78.6°. The old bike wasn’t exactly what we would call short, but Commencal decided to go even longer, taking the reach on our Medium test bike up to a huge 465mm.
What Models Are In The Commencal Meta TR 29 Lineup?
There are five different models available in the 2021 Commencal Meta TR 29 range, with prices starting at just $3,399 AUD for the Origin model. All Meta TR 29 models use exactly the same alloy chassis, so the suspension design remains the same throughout the line. You get ISCG 05 chainguide tabs, masses of armouring, partially internal cable routing, and clearance for a water bottle inside the mainframe.
The geometry is slightly different through the line though, and that’s because the top two models (Signature & Race) come with a 160mm fork, while the three cheaper models (Origin, Ride & Essential) come with a 150mm travel fork.
All Commencal Meta TR 29 models feature the same 6066 alloy frame, though the top two models get a 160mm travel fork, while the rest get a 150mm travel fork.
The value pick of the bunch surely has to be the Meta TR 29 Essential, which sells for $5,199 AUD and comes with a Fox 36 fork, Float DPS shock, Shimano SLX 1×12 groupset, and DT Swiss wheels. Commencal also has a more aggro build option in the Meta TR 29 Race, which comes with a coil-sprung shock and RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork for $6,499 AUD.
Our test bike is the very top-end of the range, and it’s called the Signature model. It gets Fox Factory Series suspension, a Shimano XT 1×12 groupset, DT Swiss wheels, Maxxis Dissector tyres, a KS LEV dropper post, and finishing kit from Commencal’s in-house component brand, Ride Alpha. Read on for the full spec list, along with a closer look at the all-metal Meta TR 29.
2021 Commencal Meta TR 29 Signature Specs
- Frame | 6066 Triple Butted & Heat Treated Alloy, Single-Pivot Suspension Design, 140mm Travel
- Fork | Fox 36 Float, Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 44mm Offset, 160mm Travel
- Shock | Fox Float X2, Factory Series, 210×55mm
- Wheels | DT Swiss XM1700, Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
- Tyres | Maxxis Dissector EXO 3C Maxx Terra 2.4WT Front & Rear
- Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT 1×12 w/32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette
- Brakes | Shimano Deore XT 2-Piston w/203mm Centerlock Rotors
- Bar | Ride Alpha, Alloy, 31.8mm Diameter, 27mm Rise, 780mm Width
- Stem | Ride Alpha Freeride, 50mm Length
- Grips | Ride Alpha DH Lock-On
- Seatpost | KS Lev Integra, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 125mm (S), 150mm (M), 175mm (L), 200mm (XL)
- Saddle | WTB Silverado
- Sizes | Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
- Claimed Weight | 15kg (size Small, no pedals)
- RRP | $7,499 AUD
Mo’ Flow Please!
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