a Cross Country Rider
from Sydney NSW Australia
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2011
Strengths: Agile,quick,great climber,good fit out,nice feel,good acceleration,comfortable for epic rides,confident on the downhills,its all in the geometry,it has the European thing happening.
Weaknesses: frame cracked 09 model. Stock tires (not a fan of the larsens),paint work 09 model chipped easily
Bought a 09 large 4.3 (the black paint one)well aware of frame and swingarm issues for that year model,Commencal had said they would replace with a 2010 frame,the price was to good to pass on (was looking at Scotts, Giants and Konas)very happy with the 09 model climbed like a goat (once I ditched the Larsens),confident on the downhill,stopped on a dime (the formulas are brilliant) and handled the single track well.The I-beam seat setup was new to me but it was faultless.I didn't change the stock setup I found it to be great.The seat tube just above the top tube developed a crack, back to the shop a few pictures taken was still able to ride the bike, a few holdups with emails and such in Australia once Commencal recieved the warranty application they replaced the frame.I got a 2010 XL frame (white)shop swapped all the parts over. The problem areas in the frame have been addressed (flared tubing,thicker tubing,bigger welds ect)very little noticeable weight difference.I haven't had a hiccup since the XL frame suits me better and its only increased my praise for the bike.I'm a big guy (90kg)and I like to ride epic rides mile muncher style of stuff uphill or down, single track,fire trail wet or dry,no cruising,I'm into smashing out the miles or k's as we say in Oz.Not into getting air or jumping of things if I was I'd get a Meta 5 or 6.But this bike suits my riding style and competitive racing aspirations. I have competed in Adventure races and the bike did its job,in the near future I'm looking at competing in some Enduro events.If your looking for a fuller susser XC/Enduro bike try one of these, a European bike worth a look.
Bike Setup: Stock setup.swapped out tires for Continental mountain kings/verticals/x-Kings.installed laidback I-beam seatpost
a Cross Country Rider
from Canberra, ACT
Date Reviewed: December 29, 2010
Strengths: Light, quality parts
Weaknesses: Probably not enough bike for me - it's a good bike but I think a bit too light, neither strong or stiff enough, or enough travel for my kind of riding. However, this is probably not a weakness of the bike but just lack of a good match for my riding style. It would suit a really lean totally focussed XC rider best.
It's a good, fun bike, but like I said above, not strong or stiff enough for my type of riding. I weigh about 77kg/170lb so I'm not that heavy. The rear suspension was pretty ordinary in performance until I pulled it all apart, lubed it and put an aftermarket set of bushes in the main pivot. The pivot points were completely dry which I thought was not good enough considering that this was close to the top of the range for Commencal. After that work was done, and with a bit of shock tuning, it was much more satisfying to ride. It really pays to play around with the setting on your forks and shock, especially with the higher end stuff like on this bike which has quite a deal of adjustability. That's just a general point for all suspension bikes though. I snapped the rear swing arm on this about 2 weeks ago (as in, snapped clean through) but it is getting repaired for free and quite quickly too. The brakes are very good. This bike is a lighter version of the Meta - I think that in terms of what it is designed for, it's an excellent machine. It's quite a focussed bike, and best for a light rider who does a lot of xc and not much else. There's some pretty rough downhills in these parts and I don't think this bike is quite up to it, either in strength, stiffness or suspension travel. That said, on certain types of terrain it is great fun, and it is really light! For local Canberra riders who know the trails around here, I had the most fun on this bike (or was most satisfied with it) when doing the uphill climb on Stromlo, or riding Sparrow Hill. Not too rough, winding flowing and undulating singletrack where the light weight of the bike is a real advantage.