Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ddave/Daahnhilla/Dangerous' 2008 Commencal Meta 4X VIP

On request of some pictures, just thought I’d write a “few” words about my little Frenchie… yeah that one with the nutbar attached to the bars and pedals!


Something I’ve been debating for a while – I love my Chameleon to bits, the aggressive handling really suits my riding style, I can rail it round berms, let it drift wide round the flat ones, and jump, drop and descend with utter confidence despite it’s uber rigid back end. That back end that accelerates at a snap. You may have read my earlier blog about the trusty steed – the handling is not suited to novices but loves to be pushed hard.

I guess I’m just getting softer now I’ve got a house and I’ve tied the know (yeah, I know excuses, excuses) but I just wanted something similar, but with a few inches of travel out back to soften the blow but still have aggressive handling, small frame and burly construction. Really it had to be a 4x frame – anything else with 4/5 inches of travel would have been a bit to weak for abuse. Trouble is they’re all about £1200 +

One night though, I spotted a 2007 Commencal Meta 4X going for a damned good discounted price. After a bit of ummming and aarrring and trawling the interweb for pictures to get an idea of what it’d look like, I hit the order button and went to bed.

Got home from work, signed on and found an email sitting there from the shop telling me that they’d sold the last one on Friday, but would I like to buy the ’08 one for the same… “What’s the difference between 07/08, then,” I asked. “Just the paint job,” they said. “I’ll have one then!”

The frame arrived quickly and well packaged (sorry no pics!), and I got straight to building the blighter. A quick comparison against the chameleon showed it to have a slightly shorter seat tube, but with a good reach (as per most 4X frames) a long seat post is all that’s needed for that.

The Build

The build consisted of everything transplanted straight from the Chameleon, with the only new bits being the seatpost (different dia.), grips and cables.

The Ride

This bike is one of those rare bikes where you get on it, pedal it down the hill, get it in the air, and it just fits. No funny quirks. Oh, and did mention the grip it has in corners? Well I haven’t found the limit of that grip yet, it just does not want to drift, and I haven’t had the balls to go any faster yet. It can get a bit slack up front with 140mm of travel, as it was only designed for 110mm, but not unreasonably so. I also got used to descending as fast as I used to on the Chameleon, if not faster with just over 4” of travel out front, I still picked the hardtail smooth lines, but had the back up when I balsed it up. The back end is nice and stiff (laterally) and is quite happy to be flicked out over hips and just for the hell of it. I found myself hipping over some of the corners on that first short downhill after the climb on Dalby Red, being amazed I’d pulled it off.

Overall, I’m very happy I with my additional 4” of skill adjustment.

Spec List

  • Frame: 2008 Commencal Meta 4x VIP
  • Fork: 2008 Rockshox Pike 454 Air Uturn – Rubbish these are being “binned” as soon as I’ve finished respraying my Marz All Mountains
  • Cockpit: Easton EA70 Midrise 3.18 Bars on Thomson X4 stem, Sunline grips
  • Drivetrain: X.0 Shifer, X.0 Medium cage rear mech, XT 11-34 cassette/HG50 12-23 cassette PC971 chain
  • Pedals/Cranks: CrankBros 50/50XX or Shimano M647’s rotating on new style Shimano XT cranks. TA Specialities 36th Chainring, all kept in check by an e-13 LG1 with a white TACO.
  • Wheels: Mavic EX721 and a spare set of XM819’s both sets on Hope Bulbs
  • Other: SDG I-beam seatpost/saddle, Chris King Headset, urm that’s it I think!


Dan Howell said...

Yay, c'est duex Frenchies dans l'equipe!

They're great, aren't they - let those yank-biased Turner bunch smirk and snigger all they want ;)

Farqui said...

I didn't get to ride with ya's over the wkend but the big grin on your chops kinda told me you were havin' fun on your squish :p

It's a beastie for sure and I suspect it's quite beefie compared to our Brummy's slimline Meta.

A shame about your Pike tho (leaking oil'n'air) 'cos they're typically 100% reliable. While it's off for repair you ought to get it Push'd :)

dahnhilla said...

Heheh, yeah it's quite a bit beefier, it's not exactly light!

Have to say, I've heard a lot of problems with Pikes - the same as mine, and as they are so new I'm not going to spend money on them to get them fixed!

Le Blaireau said...

Sweet ride, now all we need is the christening photo's of you taking this baby onto a bit-o-single