Strengths: Great geometry
With the right shock great suspension design
Carbon version has klller looks
Weaknesses: The carbon front end on mine has a bit of wind up more than I would describe as flex.
I gave it 5 stars in value as I got the carbon version, frame only on special. Got a bunch of shocks and a meta 6 frame to try at the same time. The meat 5 is more progressive than the Meta 6 and needs a large volume air can and about 35% sag to use all it's travel. Saying that it has over 100% antisquat that does not drop away with more sag. So it climbs well if not a little floaty rather than bob at 35% sag. I've settled on a high volume low tune RT3 with a stiff 140mm fork like a XMM 140 as a good trail bike set up. The RT3 is higher damped than a Fox shock so needs low tune to stop it chopping on sharp hits. The RT3 is more linear so you get to use more travel. The carbon Meta 55 can run the 200 x 56 shock to get 150mm travel. So for AM use I have found that a pre boost valve mid tune rp23 with xlarge XV2 can and mid size travel spacer gives really good results. have also tried post boost valve Low tune rt3 and High volume RT3. The post boost valve shock pulled up to short and the RT3 was a bit soggy even with volume reducton kit.
This frame needs a good stiff fork to keep it accurate. it has a bit of wind up so loose the cut and thrust with a flexy for. I've found the XMM 150 excellent and also run the Bomber 55 Cr reduced to 150 off my Meta 6. nice gold bling as well to match the gold accents on my 10 frame. Suspension has an amazing floaty feel when seated. Not as good as my Wolf ridge descending on sharp edge hits, but then what is. It's a fun versatile ride with great geometry. I think mines about 67 degrees with a rev 150mm fork, dips under 67 with the 55CR. i can race this bike in marathons with the 140mm set up and go AM with the 150/ 160mm set up. Only give it 4 chillis as most carbon bikes are slightly lighter.
Strengths: Angles,Suspension design,option to have a bolt thru on the rear
Weaknesses: The super low BB can be a pain on certain trails........pedal strike
I bought my 5.5 back in the early part of 2008 & it's the 140mm OG shape with the rear triangle.This has been a beast of a bike which I've ridden all over the UK & taken on trips to the alps.The frames still intact & still looks in great condition(helicopter tape)One of the best things u can do to this bike is upgrade the front & back to bolt thru & then you can hit those rock gardens way quicker.Also a shock tune makes an already excellent suspension action even better.The meta was way before it's time for what we in the UK were calling trail bikes back in 08,but considering these were designed by people who's back yard was the Alps (Andorra) you can understand why things were designed the way they were,especially giving you the option to add bolt thru drop outs & stiffen the back end up.As you can imagine there have been the regular wear & tear replacements which have been replaced by better bits of kit & I've added a dropper,replaced the 9mm fork lower's with 15mm Bolt Thru lower's,replaced the stem with a 70mm one, added wider 760mm bars & have just converted to tubeless.Next on the list is a 2x10 Shadow + drive train.All in all I love the way this meta rides........point it up & up it goes............point it down & it rips.The low BB & slack angles are golden.I've also had the 09 meta with the swingarm & didn't like the changes to the geometry & sold it quite quickly..........good thing as well as that model year had a lot of issues with cracking.On this occasion newer was definately not better,.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2012
Strengths: Fast when you point it down hill
Climbs amazingly with propedal on
handles anything you throw at it
Bike Setup: Commencal Meta 5.5 Alloy
Fox Float RLC 140mm
Fox Float RP23
Monkey lite Carbon Bars and seat post
Chris King Bling
Shimano XTR clipless pedals
Avid Juicy sevens with Carbon levers
Sram XO rear
Sram PG 990
E13 guide ring 34T
Date Reviewed: April 15, 2012
Strengths: Everything. This bike feels amazing. I live in Utah, and just rode it for 2 days in the rain. I have to say I was shocked! I bought the bike expecting a durable XC bike. But it's not... It is a super nimble, responsive, fast as all hell frame that still feels bottomless on the downhill. I have the 2010 carbon fiber Meta 55, so maybe it is different than the alloy frame. That being said, it is the sickest AM bike I have ever ridden. Keep in mind I come from a DH background. I have a Banshee Legend MKII, and it and the Meta 55 compliment each other perfectly.
Weaknesses: None yet.
Just buy one. You can still find some really good deals on the 2010 carbon fiber models. Seriously, buy one now.
Similar Products Used: DB Mission, Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized FSR xc comp, Morewood Ndiza, Gary Fisher Cake, Felt, Intense, Giant, Ellsworth, I have basically ridden everything...
Bike Setup: Meta 55 carbon frame
race face deus cranks
sram X.0 rear
sram X,9 front
Formula k 18's
DT Swiss rims
Fox float 140 up front
Fox rp23 rear
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2012
Strengths: Climbing, Value
Weaknesses: Short Wheelbase, High Stand-over
After breaking my Giant Reign 3 frame, I was looking for minimal investment in something new by swapping out the parts from the giant. It was a fairly easy build especially with the non pressed headset provided; however, had some complications with the front derailleur (limited space). Cable routing was a bit tricky as well. The Commencal Meta 5.5 seems to be well worth the money. It's slightly more xc than all mountain in my opinion but therefore climbs very well. Minimal pedal bob compared to what I experienced with the Reign. It does pretty well when pointed down also, and the suspension seems to be more engage when standing up on the pedals. Doesn't soak up small bumps that much but is plush when it needs to be, the design is a bit stiff but handles well. The cockpit seems a bit tight on the large but has high stand-over. I'm 6'2' and purchased the large. It seems pretty fair in weight. I had never heard of the brand but after doing a bit of research was pleased. Eventually, led me to the "Atherton Project" videos, good show but looks like they are switching to GT sponsorship, bummer, nevertheless it's cool having something like no one else has around town.
Bike Setup: Commencal Meta 5.5 VIP Frame 2011 white/blue with fox float r, Manitou Splice Elite 130mm travel, Crank Race Face Ride XC ISIS, 22/32/44 teeth, Saddle WTB Speed V, Handle Bar Easton EA30, Hubs Formula disc, Rims Alex DP-20, Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore LX, Front Derailleur Shimano Deore LX, top swing dual pull, Shift Levers Shimano Deore, Brakes Magura MT2, BB Race Face, Steam Race Face Diablo, Seatpost Thompson Elite, Pedals Azonic Fusion, Grips ODI Ruffian Lock on
a Weekend Warrior
from Denver, Colorado, USA
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2011
Strengths: NOTE: review on 2011 Meta 5.5 Team
This bike climbs like a mountain goat with the ProPedal on. Very light! (29lbs) Outstanding downhill capability. Very agile. Smooth shifter (Shimano SLX). Stops well with the Formula RX brakes. I love the Fox Float fork. It absorbs all the impact of a downhill descent on rocks or harsh trails and can lock for climbing. The tires (Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,25 Front, Rocket Ron 2.25 Rear) are better for mud in my opinion. They slip a little on sand and dirt. Still great tires.
Weaknesses: None as of yet.
I would recommend this bike to anyone who is an all mountain rider. The bike is perfect for climbing and descending. I have done a lot of biking in Colorado but not with this bike yet. I’m riding it in Nepal and so far, it’s impressive! I think this bike will do outstanding on all sorts of trails including downhill riding. The bike outperforms the competition and is at a competitive price. If anyone finds themselves in Nepal, check out Epic Mountain Bike Adventure in Kathmandu. They are very knowledgeable and friendly. Buying the bike there was an experience all on its own.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 18, 2010
Strengths: Contactsystem works, ok geometry, ok climber, efficent pedaller, fun to ride.
Weaknesses: Some flex in the rear can be bothersome if you ride hard, not so dialled as others, standover is high on L and XL sizes, tubing to week on s and m sizes. Weight is not low on L and XL, HA should be slacker, its not so lively due to the contactsys.
It has shortcomings, the meta 5 is more of a pure trailbike than allmountain in my book, im not shore this bike could handle occasional bikeparkvisits. A stiffer/stronger rear, lower standover, a slacker HA and maybe little more progressive suspensionsystem, then it would the perfect allmountain/trailframe.
a Weekend Warrior
from New York NY USA
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2010
Strengths: With the right sag set up at 20% the rear tracks the terrain transparently and feels endless in trail riding and semi crazy freeride sessions including jumps, berms, and technical single track. The 5.5.1 is spec'd beautifully, love the X.0 RD and the Formula brakes. The custom Superteam SDG Saddle is stunning.
Weaknesses: Torque specs for the rear suspension have to be spot on for a nice quiet ride - over tightening causes squeaks. The sexy neon team green makes you look like a poser if you don't ride it hard and fast!
Commencal isn't all that well known in my neck of the woods and I'm liking the exclusivity. The fact that this bike only weights 28 lbs but can still bomb freerides and rip single track makes it the best all around machine I have ever ridden. The rear suspension is plush and bottomless on drops even though it actually has only 5.5" of travel. The Contact System, and low center of gravity on this frame has also helped me increase my speed in the corners. I pump trannys more than pedal nowdays! The cockpit sets you dead center on the bike so it's nice to jump (whips are easy) and ride on skinnies and ladders. I'd absolutely recommend this bike to someone looking for an all-mountain rig that can do everything. Turn on the Pro-Pedal and lower/shorten the Fox Talas fork to 110mm and pump track and DJ the thing. Set everything to full travel (140mm) and bomb DH runs with some of the best brakes in the biz. It's a really fun bike and if you're the type of rider who plays with every obstacle in his way, this bike will make you very happy - like me!
Similar Products Used: Kona Kula, Kona Bear, Ellsworth Moment.
Bike Setup: Stock Meta 5.5.1. set up with Azonic 420 platforms and a MCP Party Crasher bash guard.
a Weekend Warrior
from Totnes, Devon, England
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2010
Strengths: Does a damn good impression of being a DH bike yet assuming your not out to win is still light enough to race xc without totally imbarising yourself
Weaknesses: 09 and earlier frames break, i killed 1 within a week and the replacement a few months after that, still despite some pretty heavy use and very sketchy landings my current 2010 frame seems fine so they seem to have this sorted with the 2010 frames.
sure its not the lightest or sharpest thing out there if your into racing xc and if you hit a gnarly world cup down hill course you very quickly realise that its a whole lot more twichy than a proper full fat dh bike and you invent a new brown difficulty for the biggest features but unless your getting really silly its not going to be totally out of its depth and you will struggle to find a trail where you really just have to say no. and for the vast majority of riding in between, be it non competitive xc, am or light fr where most of us like to shred this bike is as close to perfection as i have found and will probably run out of ability long after i do, always daring you to go a bit faster until your upside down, in a puddle with your mates laughing at you. if you just want to go out and hit some trails your not going to find anything more fun than this without an uplift or hookers.
Similar Products Used: Scott aspect 45, played on other peoples stumpjumpers and played on a commencal mini dh
Bike Setup: 09 metta 5.5.2 Stock + sunline logo fat lock on grips, Shimano DX pedals, Hope seatclamp, 22 32 44 swapped to 24 36 bash at the front with a saint front shifter, xtr cables, before long a new (probably floating) roter as the current one has a bit of a wiggle after me getting a bit to confident and a few silver spokes against a black background for the same reason
Strengths: The short frame/wheelbase means it is super nimble, fun to jump and combined with the contact point suspension system corners like a demon.
2009 model frame is the business, well built and apparently strong.
Weaknesses: 2008 frame broke at shock mount under top tube. As said below the replacement 2009 frames ARE made in a DIFFERENT factory and don't have the same tubing or the same construction problems (ie. all gussets were closed on 2008 models, shock mount less robust than 2009).
Lateral flex in rear end with 2008 swingarm (typical of single pivot), can be fixed runnin ga through-axle with dropouts provided but through-axle dropouts (135mm x 12mm) makes it hard/impossible to find a QR through axle.
Cable routing prone to crud, front derailer cable routing can't be easily modified for continuous cable housing.
Really fun bike, ride up the mountains and then bomb-it down (as much as possible with 140mm travel forks :).
The 2009 model frames ARE the business, the 2008 frames were NOT the business.
Similar Products Used: Craftworks FRM125, Specialized SX trail, kona stinky, GT Ruckus (2003 model), Commencal Meta 4, Santacruz Blur, Iron Horse 7 point
Bike Setup: Meta 5.5 numero 2 with upgraded/replaced wheels and shimano drivetrain (Truvativ/SRAM gear broke/stuffed)
from Wanaka, New Zealand
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2010
Strengths: Fast, quick handling, great climber, super stable in bumpy corners
Weaknesses: None so far.
If you are looking for a super fast trail/all mountain bike, then this has to be one of the best on the market. The biggest thing you will notice is how flickable and conversly, how stable it is. It holds a line in bumpy rutted high speed corners better than anything else out there, rips downhills so fast and climbs the steep and technical like a goat. I rode this bike back to back with all the top of the line 2010 models from Trek, Specialized, Intense and Foes, spending up to two hours on each bike over two days. The Meta 5.5 Carbon is what the other bikes are trying to be, but just haven't got there yet.
Bike Setup: 2010 Meta 5.5 Carbon frameset with full custom build.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2010
Strengths: I have a 2010 Meta 5 which I received as a warranty replacement for a 2009 frame which cracked within 3 rides.
The 2010 is clearly made in a different factory and is of much higher quality - no issues so far with the 2010.
This frame rides very differently from the ultra-neutral FSR suspension on my previous stumpjumper. This bike makes you want to ride faster and harder. The short wheelbase makes it highly manoueverable and the contact system linkage allows for controlled climbing and rapid descending.
This bike is certainly capable of any black trail and wouldn't be out of its depth on rugged alpine descents.
Weaknesses: - Weight (it aint light)
- Short wheelbase means that its not super stable on high speed descents
If you want a bike which will test your skills and allow you to really push yourself then this is the bike to go for. Its highly responsive and agile while being highly composed on rough descents. Climbing is easy with the help of propedal and big drops and jumps are soaked up with ease.
However, its pretty heavy for its class and is certainly a drain on the legs on an all day epic. But for pure fun its hard to beat.
Strengths: '09 552. Inspiring ride, excellent value (end of season bargain @ £1274).
Weaknesses: Needed everything torquing to spec when I got it. Cable routing is not for UK winter- sealed cables a must. X9 shifters would have been nice.
Excellent value and great ride. Much reported issues with cracked frames but mine and my mates have been fine so far. Previous reviewer has slated it in 2 separate reviews because he dropped something on it?!
Similar Products Used: Kona Kula, Orange 5, Chameleon.
Bike Setup: Stock, changing to Pro II and maxles in the new year.
a Weekend Warrior
from United Kingdom
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2009
Strengths: Great Geometry leading to great handling on singletrack, contact system.
Weaknesses: Paint job - poor for a modern mtb, frame strength.
Firstly this is no 'all-mountain' bike, it's a trail bike and even then red routes only. Don't get me wrong its inspirational to ride but only in the right places. The Geometry and weight wouldn't support the traditional hack across the Peak or Lake District, the contact system kids you into thinking there's more travel when there isn't so you try bigger stuff and here's where you'll come a cropper, I can't compare it to the Orange 5 like everyone else wants to but I can compare it to the spesh enduro which had the same travel and with that bike the riding opportunities were endless, with the 551 i'd say they were limited. I base this on my experience of it which i'd agree is limited, I've had it 6 months and the bike is bent through the same type of riding I've always done, which is agressive XC, last week a bike fell on it in my garage and caused a dent in the top tube so severe its now a write off, would anyone consider this normal? Finally, over the last couple of years hype has got hold of this bike everyone i know who has had had one has reported cracks on the shock mounts.
Similar Products Used: Specialized enduro 03-04, S-works Stumpy 06, Scott Ransom
Bike Setup: Stock, but with Sunline Bars and Thomson elite 60mm stem.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2009
Strengths: Singletrack speed, handling, geometry and contact system.
Weaknesses: Paint job, build quality, HYPE
Its with a heavy heart that I give the following verdict, as this is a truly great ride, fast on technical singletrack, good over jumps, not bad on climbs. But this is a classic case of a bike that's been hyped up beyond its capabilities in short red routes yes, black routes no. In the short time i've had one i've bent the seat tube and not through running the seat post too high, and dented the frame in an innocuous accident that left it as an insurance write off! Bottom line is this is a great trail bike, too heavy for traditional cross country, not strong enough for more agressive XC/Trail, although the travel provided via the contact system lulls you into thinking it is. Finally the paint sucks, the straps from my bike rack wore a strip of everytime, for modern bikes that's just unnacceptable.