Barely a month after Commencal told us about the new Meta AM V4.2, and they’ve gone and dropped another one on us! A bike that is. This time, it’s the Meta AM’s baby brother, the TR. Standing for ‘trail’, the 2017 Meta TR shrinks down the travel a bit and shrinks down the big-boy geometry a touch to create a more pedal-friendly trail machine rather than a balls-out enduro monster. It’s still pretty darn slack and long like all the bikes the cool kidz ride these days, but its a bike for the masses and those who don’t have the luxury of living right next to lift-assisted trail heaven.
Oh and the other news? Commencal has signed on all-round British mountain biking legend and bonafide commentator extraordinaire; Rob Warner! To celebrate, Commencal brought Warner together with the new Meta TR to get some slick riding shots and an appropriately amusing video of the two shredding in the forest. It’s entertaining to say the least…
“Our Trail (or TR) is best suited to less mountainous and more rolling terrain. It is less engaged and less committed in the downhill sections than its big brother the All-Mountain (AM). In a nutshell, what makes the difference between these two major categories of modern mountain bikes is the geometry of the frame and the suspension travel, front and rear. The narrower or more closed angles of the TR shifts the emphasis to climbing with the 130mm suspension travel on a TR instead of 160mm on the AM. The rest of the components are almost identical (to the AM) and the prices are more or less the same so it just depends on which reliable and durable bike you think suits you the most… TR or AM? The debate is exciting and competition is strong…” – Commencal Bicycles
The Commencal Meta TR V4.2 features:
- Aluminium 6066 Triple Butted tubing
- 130mm rear travel
- 27.5in wheels
- Designed for 210 x 50 mm metric rear shock
- Piggy back compatible
- 66.5-degree head angle
- Designed for 130-140mm travel forks
- Tapered zero stack headtube
- Postmount rear brake (180mm max rotor size)
- 31.6 mm diameter seatpost
- Press fit BB92 bottom bracket shell
- ISCG05 chainguide tabs
- 1x only
- 148 x 12 mm boost rear hub spacing
- RRP: €2099 – €2899
So there isn’t a whole lot drastically different about the new Meta TR. It takes the same overall shape and suspension design as the outgoing model, but refines the geometry a touch by going half a degree slacker, and reworks the suspension kinematics to accept a new Metric sized rear shock. The frame tubing remains alloy, with a custom butted 6066 tube set allowing for some seriously smooth lines.
The rear shock still tucks in neatly into the top tube, which offers some of the cleanest lines we’ve seen from a long travel trail bike. Rear travel sits at 130mm out back on the Meta TR, compared with 160mm on the Meta AM. Sealed bearings are used throughout, and a compact rocker link helps to stiffen up the back end of the bike, while a shock extender exchanges rotational duties from the lower shock DU bush to two sealed bearings for reduced stiction throughout the travel.
The Meta TR is 1x only, with no provision for a front derailleur whatsoever. So even if you wanted to bolt one on, you couldn’t. From what we’ve seen, this is a trend that is going to continue further on beyond 2017. You can fit a chain device on if you like though, and Commencal have used a modern 92mm wide press-fit bottom bracket shell to house the bearings inside the frame. Chainstay length sits at 437mm.
The rear brake mount is tucked inside the rear triangle and bolts onto the non-drive side chainstay. Rear thru-axle is updated to 148x12mm BOOST Spacing, though Commencal aren’t shouting about it on their specs. Given the chainstay length remains the same on the 2017 Meta TR versus the outgoing model, we’re guessing they’ve updated to the 148mm rear hub width to keep up with the Jones’s.
With 130mm of rear travel and a 140mm travel fork up front, the new Meta TR looks to be the trail bike that most of us should be riding. Unless you’re an enduro wannabe or an XC whippet, a capable and fun trail bike like the Meta TR is most likely the most versatile machine you could swing a leg over.
And that folks, is the new Meta TR and Rob Warner. Together at last in their collective melodramatic moody glory! While there aren’t drastic changes to the new Meta TR, it looks to be a case of careful refinement of an already well-received bike, though we’ll be keen to investigate further when we get a chance to climb aboard the new Commencal….