Friday, January 04, 2008

Commencal Meta 5 Team VIP

Hey guys, remember me?! Last time you saw me was in Scotland moping around on either a spangly new Merlin Dual or a Trek Liquid 55 full susser right? Well, truth be told, I love my Liquid but over the years I've noticed the rest of you keep getting yourself tricked up with lighter, nimbler, fancier all-mountain rigs and I was feeling a bit left out on the old Trek. So I've been on the look-out for a sensible upgrade for quite some time - a replacement frame (since the kit on the Liquid is fairly high-spec and a lot of it quite new).

So over the past months I've had a casual search going on eBay to spot myself a new frame. A few options were on the books, one of which was a Commencal Meta 5 frame. Lo and behold, what popped up just before christmas but a sweet 2006 Meta 5 VIP frame, brand new, warrantied and to be cleared out of a shops stocklist prior to the new year and the new season's must-haves (a monocoque-style, single swing-arm instead of the braced version on this and previous models).

Surprised at winning the auction and snatching what I think is bargain of the year, I also chuckled when I recently got my lovely new Rock Shox Revelation 426 Air fork from our buddy in Montana, Chad, and didn't get hit for any import duty or VAT on it either! I love this fork, having one on the Merlin Dual. It's simple mechanics and basic feature list make for a good weight and a beautiful, plush, liquid action. A gorgeous fork, so I plumped for another one for the Liquid. Since the frame has shown up, it's going into the Commencal instead.

Most of the kit from the Trek has transplanted across, including the SRAM X9 gearkit, Shimano drivetrain, Hayes HFX Mag stoppers and the usual Bontrager finishing kit and my wheelset options. I put a new BB cups in while it was all apart, new cables and a new (shorter) Hope stem. In order to sell the old frame and fork complete, I'll put a new Hope headset into the Commencal and a new seatpost is needed due to the narrower diameter of the Commencal seat tube (27.2mm). That in turn meant another clamp - again, a matching Hope number.

One thing is for sure, the Commencal frame has a lovely build quality to it. Cable runs are on the underside of the down tube, and the frame has a no-frills makeup - simple and effective, and light-weight with it. Since this is last year's model it comes with an RP3 instead of the newer RP23, but we can't have it all I guess :-). The frame is painted with what looks a long-lasting, thick coat of off-white while the rear suspension frame is in black (possibly powder-coat). Sealed bearings in the rear and a nice chain strip on the right-hand leg finish off the French flair.

The front dérailleur needed changing for a top-mount XT item rather than the bottom-mount type I had before, which was unfortunate but hey-ho. Otherwise everything else has dropped on without need for change. She now needs testing in anger but a quick pedal around the garden has shown it to be much, much plusher than my old Trek and also a much more compact, comfortable geometry/cockpit too.


Farqui said...

She looks very nice mister and will all your former Trek's "bling" she's off to a good start. The fact she's been such a deal just ice's her "whiteness" ;-)

That RP3 is sure to feel a plusher than the Manitou and it's certainly going to be easier to set-up.

Now go get her dirty 'cos I'm keen to hear how one of these linkage swing arm rigs goes out on the trail.

Dan Howell said...

I wonder whether the bushes in the Trek need breaking apart and lubing/replacing (will split them while it's apart and check them), or whether it was just an aspect of the parallelogram-style setup, that it wasn't as 'plush'.

Out to run the dog 'round the local walks this morning ;)

Farqui said...

Hmmm, unbolting one end of the shock and cycling the rear dropouts should tell ya's if the bearings are right. But if you've the time to inspect the bearings then go ahead - I've no idea how difficult they are to get at.

Let us know how the pooch chase goes B)

Dan Howell said...

1. Muddy
2. I've been out of the saddle for too long!
3. Plush, boingy and lovely :)

dahnhilla said...

I've been after the 4x version of that for a while... watch this space!

DHPro said...

That looks fantastic. Ive just got one of these as a frame only of ebay. Any idea what size bb, and rear hub size it takes? 135mm QR, 150mm bolt or QR? Any help appreciated as I didn't get any documentation with the frame

dahnhilla said...

Rear spacing is standard MTB 135mm and QR.

It's only the Meta 4x that runs a 12mm back end.