Andorran bike manufacturer COMMENCAL has long established itself in the racing world, securing countless podiums both in the Enduro World Series and DH World Cup with their own factory team. With the META POWER SX, COMMENCAL’s factory team now wants to shake up the eMTB racing scene too. We took a closer look at the race bike of Alex Rudeau, the multiple French enduro champion.
Just before the second race day of the E-Tour du Mont Blanc 2023 kicked off, we had the opportunity to take a close look at French enduro rider Alex Rudeau‘s COMMENCAL META POWER SX race bike.
In August, the fifth edition of the E-Tour du Mont Blanc took place as part of the Verbier E-Bike Festival. Riders had to cover a distance of 140 km over two days, with over 9,000 m altitude gain and almost 11,000 m of descents. In this year’s edition, a total of 23 men’s teams and 7 women’s teams signed up for the race. The riders’ field included a few amateurs, many pros and ex-pros as well as a few UCI World Champions.
Alex Rudeau – Profi-Enduro-Racer
Alex races the UCI Enduro World Cup for the COMMENCAL Enduro Project. This year, he took third place in the Leogang/Salzburgerland race and second place in the following stage in Val di Fassa/Trentino. He also races E-Enduro from time to time, taking victory in the EWS-E race (now the UCI E-EDR World Cup) in Valberg/France in 2022.
The bike you can’t buy!
“Pimp my bike” is the first thing that springs to mind when you look at Alex’s META POWER SX, because it’s totally different from the production bike. We took a closer look at some of the interesting differences.
The Bosch Performance Line CX Race is based on the conventional CX model but relies on different software, which has an additional support level called Race that is even more powerful than Turbo mode. Furthermore, the Race addition weighs approximately 150 g less. Torque still tops out at 85 Nm, but the maximum pedal assistance jumps from 340 to 400%. Read our in-depth review of Bosch’s Race motor to find out what it’s capable of.
While the COMMENCAL META POWER SX was designed specifically as a mullet bike with a 29″ wheel at the front and smaller 27.5″ wheel at the rear, Alex swears by thoroughbred 29ers, which is why COMMENCAL’s engineers developed a custom linkage that allows Alex to run his favourite wheel configuration. That said, the swingarm remained untouched, so the rear tire clearance is a little on the snug side.
“I love 29ers! They’re just grippier and more efficient overall, providing the ideal conditions to ride faster, both up and downhill.” – Alex Rudeau
Tour de Mont Blanc – The race
Advertised as the “The best e-Bike race worldwide”, the fifth edition of the E-Tour du Mont Blanc took place in mid-August as part of the Verbier E-Bike Festival, which was organised by the E-Bike World Tour.
After the race, we asked Alex if he rode mainly in Race mode, which is the most popular choice amongst its competitors: “I used Race mode on all of the climbs and eMTB on descents, because Race mode is too abrupt here, causing the bike to pull away underneath you on steep terrain and tight switchbacks.”
Alex used Race mode on the climbs.
This was the first time Alex took part in the E-Tour du Mont Blanc race, which, in his own words, was probably the toughest mountain biking experience he’s ever had in his life, but at the same time the most gratifying one. On one hand, he absolutely loved ebiking on unknown Alpine terrain with breath-taking landscapes and majestic views as a background and, on the other, he had to battle with countless technical, exhausting climbs, endless descents and the stress of having to manage the battery charge while at the same time trying to avoiding mechanical breakdowns, which all made for a very tough race, both physically and mentally! When racing in these conditions, team spirit is everything. After leading the race for 6 stages, Alex and his teammate Louis were forced to slow their pace, which was mainly due to the scorching heat causing mechanical and physical problems. Despite all the hardships, they managed to make it to the finish line in one piece, which made them both incredibly happy!
We keep Alex Rudeau our fingers crossed and wish him the best luck for future races. You can follow Alex on his Instagram account alexrudeau .
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Words: Manne Schmitt Photos: Manne Schmitt