Commencal’s best-of-both-worlds sales approach lets you buy in your local bike shop or direct from its website, offering a choice of ‘try before you buy’ security or better value for money. The latter price depends on the exchange rate but saves you money on the RRP (though you need to add €75 shipping).
Sporting a 160mm (6.3in) travel fork and a dropper post, the Meta HT AM is billed as a ‘semi-rigid enduro bike’. Conventional wisdom suggests this is too long a fork for a hardtail, so is Commencal overreaching here or has it really created a cheap and simple gravity racer?
Sleek frame but some dated kit
The Meta HT’s gently curved top tube flows straight into its stout seatstays for a stiff rather than compliant feel. Cables are externally routed, but hidden in the top tube’s concave underside. The sleek look of the frame disguises internal engineering with triple-butted tubes to maximise its strength-to-weight ratio. Its inherent stiffness is let down somewhat by a 135mm quick-release rear end though. There’s no internal dropper post cable routing and no ISCG tabs for a chain guide, but there is a direct front derailleur mount for more precise shifting.
The QR back end may be dated but the stiff frame still feels snappy and responsive
It’s impossible to ignore the Marzocchi 350 R fork up front, which delivers plush bump-eating performance and a huge (for a hardtail) 160mm of travel. Despite its reasonable price tag, the Commencal also boasts a dropper post – a 100mm drop KS eTen. Own-brand Ride Alpha finishing kit does the job nicely, but the SRAM X5/X7 2×9 gearing feels dated. That QR rear hub and square-taper cranks are also old-school cost savers.
A cockpit that’ll leave you feeling caught short
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