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 | Born in 1996 | Nationality: French| Team: COMMENCAL Enduro Project | Height: 1.76 m | Weight: 70 kg | Frame size: S

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.

Flat pedals? Yes, that’s right! Alongside multiple DH world champion Sam Hill, Alex is one of the few pro riders not to use clipless pedals. If you still don’t know which pedals to choose, you might find your answer in our “Clipless or flat pedals – what beginners should know” article.
Alex Rudeau

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.

Alex with his race bike, which isn’t available for sale. The most important and obvious differences to the standard model are the Bosch CX Race motor, FOX suspension and the wheel size.
While some bike manufacturers still haven’t released a production bike with the Bosch Race motor, most race teams at the E-Tour du Mont Blanc relied on Bosch’s race-oriented drive system, including the COMMENCAL Enduro Project Team.

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.

Alex has shortened his RIDE ALPHA POWER e-bike handlebars from 780 mmm to 760 mm. They’re made of aluminium and have 27 mm rise.
The golden TRP brakes DH-R EVO are a real eye-catcher.
In Verbier, Alex ran 94 psi in his 170 mm FOX 38 FLOAT Factory fork. For the geeks out there who want to know more, he paired 2 tokens with the following settings: HSC 5 / LSC 11 / HSR 5 / LSR 14.
The FOX FLOAT X2 Factory shock controls 160 mm of travel at the rear. In Verbier, Alex used a pressure of 170 psi with 2 tokens and the following settings: HSC 4 / LSC 11 / HSR 5 / LSR 11). Refreshments are available from the FIDLOCK bott
…and also at the rear.
With his ebike, Alex attaches great importance to big brake rotors, using a massive 220 mm TRP disc at the front…
Alex combines 160 mm E*thirteen cranks and Crankbrothers Stamp 11 flat pedals in size S. If you’re interested in flat pedals you should read the pedal comparison test in our sister magazine ENDURO.
The FOX Transfer dropper post has 150 mm of travel.
Yes, Shimano and SRAM aren’t the only drivetrain manufacturers out there! Alex’s race bike comes equipped with a 12-speed TRP EVO rear derailleur and matching shifter, which are paired with a SRAM Eagle cassette.
For the wheels, Alex relies on a Crankbrothers Synthesis E-MTB carbon wheelset paired with Schwalbe Magic Mary tires, both in 29 x 2.4”, with the Super Downhill casing and Ultra Soft compound. In Verbier, Alex used a tire pressure of 21 psi at the front. As the Muc-Off valve suggests, Alex uses a tubeless setup, which is standard amongst pro riders. In our “How to set up the tires on your E-MTB” story we’ll show you all the tricks to convert your wheels to a tubeless setup.
Given the high risk of punctures on Verbier’s gnarly trails, Alex used a Tubolight EVO HD tire insert in the rear wheel, which he inflated to a pressure of 24 psi in this race. For more info about tire inserts, you can read “The best tire inserts for mountain biking” comparison test over at ENDURO.

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

Looks tight, is tight! Muddy trails are best avoided.
The raw alloy custom linkage stands out like a sore thumb, letting you know straight away that you aren’t looking at an off-the-peg META POWER SX.

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.

The first race day consisted of three timed stages. At two of the refuel stations, competitors were given 30 minutes to fill up their water bottles, have a quick snack and change their bike’s batteries.
Alex RUDEAU and Louis JEANDEL formed the COMMENCAL Enduro Project two-man team. After the first day of racing, they had a 39-second lead over the Lapierre factory team.
Alex with his team mate Louis Jeandel before the second stage of day one.

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.

Before the race, all motors were checked for the max. speed limit (25 km/h) and provided with a drive seal.
The second race day kicked off with a mass start, only this time at over 2300 m above sea level rather than in Verbier.
On the second day, racers had to cover a distance of almost 75 km, 59.34 km of which were at race pace spread over 4 stages.

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

About the author

Manne Schmitt

As the proud father of Robin and Max-Philip, Manne has been there from the start and is the wise elder of the editorial team. He won his first cycling race in elementary school at a school sports day. After less successful attempts at football, he found his passion for cycling via endurance racing in 1989! The world of racing still consumes him and no one in the team knows the EWS pros better than Manne. As a former head analyst of a state agency, he knows how to do proper research and finds exclusive news that no one else has. He supports his sons in day-to-day business dealings as the authorised signatory for 41 Publishing – viva la familia!