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Mountainbiking, Women & Lifestyle

Commencal Meta V4 Purple 2016- Review

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The Commencal Meta V4 Purple is my first full-suspension bike. This feels like an important step in my mountain bike education. I bought this bike in January 2016 from an amazing bike shop called Bikeactive. The guys know their stuff and answered all my questions before and after I decided to part with my cash. When buying my two wheels, they even threw in some beautiful purple Hope pedals to sweeten the deal.

After riding Mr Betty’s old hardtail for some time I felt like it is time to invest in a decent bike of my own. There is a moment where it doesn’t feel like you can progress until you purchase a ‘proper’ bike, but you still don’t quite feel ‘worthy’ of such a purchase.

Finding the right bike was a more difficult challenge than I imagined, until I saw the Commencal Meta V4 Purple. It was almost like meeting Mr Betty for the first time – I kept looking at pictures of ‘it’, reading about ‘it’ and hoping ‘it’ will finally be mine. After looking at the pictures of it for few weeks, particularly the promo article on Pinkbike I finally took the big leap in January and bought the Purple.

 

That is my beauty!

That is my beauty!

First things first, the Meta V4Purple was definitely over my budget, but after wrangling an amazing January discount I bought this beast for around £2300 which is even less than bought direct from the Commencal (and remember the free Hope pedals!) (3099€ – about 2400£). It is worth noting that Commencal have followed other European bike companies like YT and Canyon and have pulled their network of dealers in the UK and elsewhere, pushing customs to purchase direct via Commencal’s website. I am reliably informed that BikeActive are one of two bike shops in the UK able to continue selling to UK customers. Personally I preferred purchasing from a ‘real person’, and managed to secure a reasonable discount anyway.

The Purple is truly a powerful bike, and the 160mm travel Rockshox Pike might be a bit much for me at the moment, but I am definitely planning to grow in to this bike. The rear-shock Rockshox Monarch RC3 Debonair is very nifty and allows you to stiffen the compression, this definitely helps on the rough climbs.

When it comes to the sizing, it was perfect, though I must admit working out measurements with a tape measure felt very much like taking a chance when purchasing. As a short-legged human being (but the rest is normal I think – think reverse T-rex) this bike was a godsend. The stand-over height is quite low but the reach is not compromised (unlike the Giant Liv I tested out). The Meta Purple is slack and is as fast as it looks (even if I’m not!). The bike is very light, coming in at13.5 kg for the Commencal / Spank Components build.

The bike came in a big Commencal box and Bikeactive was so nice as to put it all together for me, all I had to do is fix my super wide, limited edition Spank bar to the stem and I was ready to go.

 

Commencal Meta v4 Purple in Swinley

Commencal Meta v4 Purple at Swinley

So far I’ve ridden ‘The Purple One’ at a variety of UK trail centres, Llandegla, Hamsterley, Lady Cannings Wood and Lee Quarry to name a few, and I have found that the bike is both the most comfortable and the fastest thing that I have ever ridden. The wider bars and slacker head angle allowed me more control when it gets difficult, and the Rockshox suspension at both ends gives me lots of easily tuned bounce on the rockier sections of the trails. The Maxxis Minion tyres whilst a little heavier than some of the ‘enduro’ offerings (Ardents) gripped me straight through the berms and put in a decent performance in the wet (which is all the time). Making use of the ‘on the go’ compression settings to stiffen up my bike suspension means none of the climbs seemed quite as difficult as they had on a hardtail (or by some miracle, my stamina is getting better?). The bike was definitely a confidence booster and I have not found its limit yet.

There are not many things I have changed on my bike, and I am planning to keep it that way. The Alpha Components (Commencal’s own brand) saddle is comfortable though I may look into a more ‘female friendly’ alternative in the future, my Hope pedals are far grippier than the initial reviews I read had suggested (though they are lethal on your shins) and the eThirteen TRS cranks work like a charm after an initial issue. The only two things I decided to change were my grips (ODI SDG ‘Lock Ons’) and I made the change to the Rockshox purple decals supplied by Commencal (as a default my bike came with white ones) – TIP: if you want to get the decals off your bike, try using your hairdryer to melt the glue. The decal will come off quick but be careful not to heat the fork or paintwork up too much.

To conclude, I love my bike! Commencal Meta V4 Purple is a great piece of kit and it is unstoppable on any British trails. It is fast, slack and the suspension is well-tuned to the point where it feels not too shabby on the climbs as well as on the descents and the Spank finishing kit suggests that ‘The Purple One’ is happy to be ridden hard and aggressively (just not by me!). All in all, it is a well-rounded Enduro bike.

 

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Specs:

FRAME2016 META AM 650b, Travel 150mm, 6066 Triple Butted hydroformed, Integrated Postmount, Top tube channel, integrated housing
SHOCKROCKSHOX Monarch Plus Debonnair RC3, 200x57mm, 3 position (Lock/Platform/Open)
FORKROCKSHOX Pike RC, 650b, Solo Air, Travel 160mm, 15mm tapered
HEADSETSemi integrated, tapered ZS44/56, 1.5 crown race, sealed bearing, alloy cups
STEMSPANK Oozy Trail, 50mm, 0° rise, Ø31,8mm, High Polish Black, custom Purple artwork
BARSPANK Oozy Trail, 760 mm, 30mm rise, high polish black, custom Purple artwork
GRIPSCOMMENCAL lock on, Ø32mm, soft compound
BRAKESSRAM Guide R 200mm/180mm, with matchmaker
SHIFTERSSRAM GX 1×11 speed
FRONT / REAR MECH – / SRAM GX 1×11 speed
BOTTOM BRACKETE13 TRS BB92 double sealed bearings
CRANKSETE13 TRS Single, ExaLite Alu w/APS – Black, Direct Guidering M N/W 32T. P3 Connect, 170mm on S/M, 175mm on L/XL
CHAINKMC X11L 11 speed
CASSETTESRAM XG1150 10-42 T
RIMSSPANK Oozy Trail 295, High Polish Black, Tubeless Ready, custom Purple artwork
HUBSRIDE ALPHA 32h, sealed bearing light version
SPOKESSpoke Stainless Steel 1,8mm black, Thread lock system – nipple brass 12mm black
TYRESMAXXIS Minion DHR II 2.3 front and rear. EXO, Dual compound, 60 Tpi. Tubeless Ready
SEATPOSTROCKSHOX Reverb Stealth, 125mm travel, Ø 31,6mm
SADDLERIDE ALPHA SuperLight foam, CrMo rails. Purple

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