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2019 Commencal Meta AM 27 Race Review

By Bruce Lin

The Commencal Meta AM 27 Race is a long travel all mountain bike (hence the "AM") with a very clear intent: to smash downhill trails as fast as possible. It’s stable, planted, and confidence inspiring on the descents and is an excellent enduro racing or park riding package.

Commencal Meta AM 27 Race Highlights

  • 6061 Aluminum Frame
  • 160mm Rear Travel
  • RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Shock
  • 170mm RockShox Lyrik RC2 Fork
  • SRAM GX & NX Eagle Drivetrain
  • SRAM Guide RE Brakes
  • e*Thirteen TRS Alloy Wheels
  • 65.5° Headtube

Commencal Meta AM 27 Race Details

Commencal has been in the mountain bike game for a long time and over recent years they’ve been gaining a stronger foothold in the US. Their Meta AM is their burliest option short of a full downhill bike. With an ample 160mm of travel in the rear and a 170mm fork up front, it’s aimed squarely at the enduro and park riding market. Commencal are aluminum specialists and the tubing of the Meta AM is beautifully hydroformed, especially at the toptube where it wraps neatly around the rear shock. Their choice to stick to aluminum helps keep costs down and ensures that their frames are robust and durable for riders who are likely going to be pushing the limits. The frame has decent reach numbers (435mm Medium / 458 Large) and a fairly slack 65.5° headtube to make the bike more stable on fast and gnarly terrain. The Seattube isn't the steepest at 74°, but it's enough to position you nicely forward over the bottom bracket for climbing.

The Race build of the Meta AM is targeted at the rider searching for the best downhill performance at the lowest cost. The rear travel is controlled by a RockShox Super Deluxe coil shock. This gives the rear incredibly supple and consistent performance and excellent grip. Some lighter or heavier riders may need to adjust the spring weight to achieve optimum performance. At the front is RockShox’s Lyrik RC2 fork, which provides 170mm of sublimely damped travel, and it comes painted in their factory BoXXer red colors. This suspension combo is as good as it gets. The drivetrain, on the other hand, is more budget minded, with a mix of SRAM GX and NX Eagle components. The SRAM Guide RE brakes, are the beefier e-bike version of the popular Guide brake, which provides more stopping power at a lower cost than SRAM Codes. This combo of parts is great for racers. The high-end suspension will suit riders who value suspension performance, handling, and tuning capabilities, while the more budget oriented componentry is perfect for those who take risks and are bound to break parts.

Rider Type

  • Enduro racers
  • Bike park riders
  • Those focused on going fast on gnarly downhill trails

The most striking quality when riding the Commencal Meta AM 27 Race is how planted and stable it feels traveling at warp speed through gnarly trails. The downhill focused geometry paired with excellent suspension produce a bike that is happiest when pushed hard. It’s downhill credentials are obvious, with multiple Enduro World Series wins and championships beneath some of the worlds fastest riders. The Meta will give any rider supreme confidence when the trail gets steep and hairy. It can be ridden just fine on long epic trail days and on mellow flow trails, but there are plenty of other bikes more suited to that style of riding. The Meta Trail is an option from Commencal that provides less travel and snappier handling for those looking for a more playful and spry feeling trail bike. Also, for those who want the Meta AM but are devoted to 29er wheels, the Meta AM 29 is a new option this year. Ultimately, the Meta AM 27 Race is an enduro bike through and through. If you plan to race, or if you hit the bike park several times a year, or if you simply just want to push the limits and go as fast as possible on your local tracks, a bike like this, especially with the RockShox suspension, is hard to pass up.

 

Bruce is a writer who loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.