Sad but true: the COMMENCAL META AM 29 2021 ended up last in our race bike group test. However, the result could have been very different as a second test on a different location has shown.

In our introduction of the fastest enduro race bike on test you can’t just find our most interesting findings and our overall conclusion, but a good view on all bikes tested.

Commencal META AM 29 | 170/160 mm | 16.08 kg in size L

What a hot looking bike! With its polished silver paintwork, low-slung top tube and complete FOX Factory suspension, the COMMENCAL META looks damn fast. Up front, you’ve got a FOX 38 GRIP2 fork and an X2 shock at the rear. Matching the suspension is a 170 mm Transfer dropper post, which requires a sleeve to fit in the oversized 34.9 mm seat tube.

For the cockpit and the wheels of our test bike, COMMENCAL chose to spec aluminium components. The DT Swiss EX1501 wheels are robust and proven and the Renthal cockpit is a perfect fit, both visually and functionally. Stopping the META are a pair of Shimano XT four-piston brakes and a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain takes care of the gears. You won’t find a chain guide or a bash guard on the bike but it’s compatible with both. A striking feature of the frame is the voluminous top tube under which the shock is located. Rounding off the package is a Schwalbe tire upgrade consisting of a Magic Mary up front and a Big Betty on the rear, both with the Super Gravity casing.

Heel contact
Our heels came into contact with the wide rear triangle. The pronounced seat stays also pushed into the calves of some of our test riders.
The FOX X2 shock is semi-integrated into the top tube. It looks fantastic but the edges on the underside of the tube are relatively sharp.
Direct mount for 200 mm
There is no adapter required on the rear end as the frame of the META AM is designed for 200 mm rotors. That’s how it should be!

Commencal META AM 29

€ 5,299


Fork FOX 38 Factory 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 160 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory mm170
Brakes Shimano XT 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 32 (10-50)
Stem Renthal Apex 45 mm
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar 780 mm
Wheelset DT SWISS EX 1501
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty 2.4"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 16.08 kg
Wheelsize 29"

Nicely silenced
The chainstay protector is made of very soft material. It effectively dampens any noises from the chain.
Space for a bottle
The META AM has enough space to accommodate a large water bottle. Brilliant
No problems
With the COMMENCAL, the cables are routed internally but they’re not clamped. Nonetheless, there was no annoying rattling to be heard on our test bikes.

Long at the front, short at the back – the geometry of the 2021 COMMENCAL META AM

The geometry of the new COMMENCAL META AM is radical even on paper. The 495 mm reach of the size large is long while the chainstay length is the exact opposite at just 433 mm! Combined with a slack 63.6° head angle, this results in an enormous wheelbase of 1,285 mm. The bottom bracket sits 21 mm lower than the axles and the 78.5° seat tube angle is pleasantly steep. Thanks to the short seat tubes (440 mm in size L) you’re able to fit a long travel dropper post.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 380 mm 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm
Top tube 573 mm 600 mm 626 mm 652 mm
Head tube 115 mm 120 mm 125 mm 130 mm
Head angle 63.6° 63.6° 63.6° 63.6°
Seat angle 78.5° 78.5° 78.5° 78.5°
Chainstays 433 mm 433 mm 433 mm 433 mm
BB Drop 21 mm 21 mm 21 mm 21 mm
Wheelbase 1,231 mm 1,258 mm 1,285 mm 1,312 mm
Reach 445 mm 470 mm 495 mm 520 mm
Stack 633 mm 638 mm 642 mm 647 mm
Helmet Troy Lee D4 | Goggles Smith Squad MTB | Jersey Troy Lee Sprint Jersey
Back protecion LEATT CHEST PROTECTOR 3DF AIRFIT | Shorts Troy Lee Sprint Shorts
Shoes FiveTen Kestrel | Knee protection Troy Lee RAID KNEE GUARD

The META AM is built for high-speed trails and impressed us with its extremely composed handling!

In L flop, in M top – the COMMENCAL META AM on the trail

The fact is that the size L META AM we received from COMMENCAL for testing was the slowest bike for all riders on the day of the test. We determined the reason for this relatively quickly: even our 187 cm tall test riders found the handling on our technical racing stage too unbalanced. Due to the long front centre in combination with the short 433 mm rear end, you have to actively shift your weight forwards to get enough traction on the front wheel. The COMMENCAL was slow, especially in sections where you have to carry your speed out of corners. In these situations, even the plush and supple suspension doesn’t help, though despite its sensitivity it still provides enough mid-stroke support. The FOX 38 up front is in a class of its own, outperforming all other forks in this test.

Downsizing isn’t just popular in the automobile industry. With the META AM, we also recommend going for the smaller size if you’re on the fence!

In size L, the META AM shows its strengths primarily on open, high-speed tracks, as confirmed by another test of the bike in the Innsbruck bike park in Austria. For comparison, COMMENCAL sent us a META AM in size M. It’s handling is much more balanced and good-natured. It’s more direct, you can ride it more actively and it carries more speed out of the corners. At the same time, the size M bike with its plush suspension is still composed and doesn’t get nervous in fast sections. The only annoying thing on both bikes is the wide rear end, with inevitable heel rub on the chainstays, and the rocker link that presses into your calves depending on your riding style. Due to the steep seat tube angle, we also recommend using as long a dropper post as possible, because even with the 170 mm dropper installed, the saddle still got in the way.

How does the COMMENCAL META AM compare to the competition?

The RAAW Madonna and the COMMENCAL META AM were the two longest bikes on test in Canazei. In a direct comparison, the RAAW is much more composed and balanced, without being more cumbersome. On the other hand, the size M COMMENCAL is much more agile and direct. It becomes very similar to the Lapierre but you’re more integrated on the COMMENCAL.

Differences from the standard bike

  • SRAM instead of Shimano drivetrain
  • Schwalbe Super Gravity tires instead of MAXXIS EXO
  • FOX Transfer 175 dropper post
  • Renthal cockpit


The new COMMENCAL META AM is a capable enduro bike that shows its best side on high-speed tracks. The large model with its long front triangle and super short rear end requires an extremely active riding style. If you find yourself choosing between two sizes, we wholeheartedly recommend sizing down.


  • capable suspension
  • fair price
  • excels on high-speed tracks and steep terrain


  • unbalanced handling in L and XL
  • tiring in tight sections
  • wide rear triangle gets in the way

More information:

The test field

A lot more mtbs, our findings and the trends for the upcoming saison can be found in our introduction of the fastest enduro race bike on test.

All bikes in test: Canyon Strive CFR Jack Moir Edition (Click for review) | Commencal META AM 29 | GT Force Carbon Pro Martin Maes Edition (Click for review) | Lapierre Spicy Team (Click for review) | Nukeproof Mega 290c RS Team Edition (Click for review) | Raaw Madonna V2 FOX Factory Custom (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Enduro Team Edition (Click for review) | Trek SLASH 9.9 2021 (Click for review) | Yeti SB150 Team (Click for review) | YT CAPRA Elite 29 (Click for review)

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