At € 5,799, the COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM is by far the most affordable bike on test. What compromises does the low price tag bring with it on the trail, or is it possible to be frugal and cool?

Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our latest print edition. The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.

COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM | Shimano STEPS E8000/504 Wh | 170/160 mm (f/r) | 23.77 kg (size L)
€ 5,799 | manufacturer website

With a performance-oriented eMTB for under € 6000, the manufacturer has to make compromises in the spec, right? Wrong! The COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM is perfectly specced for aggressive trail riding. The RockShox suspension consisting of a Lyrik Ultimate fork and Super Deluxe Ultimate shock delivers 170 mm travel up front and 160 mm at the rear.

Components, weight and technical details of the COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM

No compromises have been made with the brakes and tires either, and the bike comes equipped with a set of SRAM CODE RSC brakes and Schwalbe Magic Mary 29” tire with the robust Super Gravity casing. For the drivetrain, Commencal went for a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, which is a bit heavier but provides the same shifting performance as the more expensive options from SRAM. Likewise, COMMENCAL dispense with bling-bling cockpit components and rely instead on sturdy aluminium parts from their in-house brand Alpha. In contrast to the spec, the finishing quality on the aluminium frame of the 23.77 kg META POWER 29 TEAM shows evidence of the budgetary constraints. Although the frame is as robust as you'd expect, the finish of the welds and the paint quality can't compete with the significantly more expensive bikes in the field. The Shimano Steps E8000 motor and internal 504 Wh battery have been nicely integrated into the bike, except for the weird placement of the power switch on the left side of the down tube.

Nothing done by half measures
The Schwalbe Magic Mary tires come with the puncture-resistant Super Gravity casing on the front and rear. That’s perfectly suited to the Meta Power, which loves to answer the call of gravity.
Looks matter
At first, we thought that we would switch the META POWER on and off with our knees. Fortunately, the position of the power switch on the side of the down tube is only visually disturbing.

COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020

€ 5,799

Specifications

Motor Shimano STEPS E8000 70Nm
Battery Shimano STEPS BT-E8035 504Wh
Display Shimano STEPS E8000
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2 170 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate 160 mm
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV INTEGRA 125 - 175 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem RIDE ALPHA Freeride 50 mm
Handlebar RIDE ALPHA Aluminium 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss H1700 SPLINE 29"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 23.77 kg
Perm. total weight 144 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 120 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features


Not standard
The shifting on our test bike was taken care of by a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain. However, the production models will feature a GX Eagle drivetrain, adding a bit of weight but maintaining the same shifting performance.
Well silenced
The chainstay protector is made of super-soft plastic and generously dimensioned. All you can hear on the descents are the cables at the cockpit.
Well hidden
The speed sensor is integrated into the brake calliper mount and very well protected.

Geometry and size of the COMMENCAL

The best word to describe the geometry of the META POWER 29 is balanced. The Andoran brand combine the generous reach of 475 mm with a tall stack height of 640 mm and balance it out with relatively long 453 mm chainstays. Speed junkies and beginners should be equally happy here.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 415 mm 440 mm 465 mm 495 mm
Top Tube 573 mm 595 mm 622 mm 648 mm
Head tube 120 mm 125 mm 130 mm 135 mm
Head angle 65.0° 65.0° 65.0° 65.0°
Seat angle 77.0° 77.0° 77.0° 77.0°
Chainstays 453 mm 453 mm 453 mm 453 mm
BB Drop 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm 20 mm
Wheelbase 1,224 mm 1,246 mm 1,273 mm 1,300 mm
Reach 430 mm 450 mm 475 mm 500 mm
Stack 610 mm 615 mm 619 mm 624 mm
Helmet Fox Dropframe | Jersey ION Scrub Amp 3/4 Tee | Shorts ION Scrub Amp | Knee pads ION K-Traze Amp | Shoes ION Rascal

The COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM on the trail

Descending is in the genes of every COMMENCAL and it’s the same for the META POWER 29 TEAM. Nevertheless, it’s also capable of mastering even the most technical climbs with ease and composure. Like a monster truck, you head straight for obstacles and simply roll over them. Thanks to its ample ground clearance, the cranks hardly ever hit anything, no matter how rocky the terrain. The grippy rear tire and suspension also generate plenty of traction to transfer the power of the motor to the ground.

With tears of joy in your eyes after a descent on the META POWER 29 TEAM, you’ll no longer see the poor quality finish of the frame.

On the descents, the Commencal Meta Power 29 is just as much of a monster truck. There is no drop too high, no jump too big and no roots too gnarly. The faster you go, the better the suspension is at ironing out any irregularities. Together with the grippy tires and the powerful brakes, you feel confident and indestructible aboard the Meta despite its rather conservative geometry. Even when cornering or on flat terrain, it remains superbly balanced and provides all the grip you’ll ever need on both wheels. The tires stick to the ground and the Meta Power 29 team needs a lot of encouragement to get airborne if there’s no lip at hand. The suspension and somewhat heavy front end require a lot of power if you want to play around or pump the bike. But the standout feature of the COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM is that it’s always composed and predictable, whether you’re blasting down the hill or slowly rolling over obstacles. If 500 Wh is enough battery capacity or if you’re happy to carry a spare and if you can do some basic bike assembly yourself – Commencal is a direct to consumer brand – and your budget is limited to € 6,000, you’ll be very well-advised to consider the COMMENCAL!

Tuning tip: tidy up the cockpit to reduce the noise of the cables

Riding Characteristics

7

Agility

  1. sluggish
  2. playful

Stability

  1. nervous
  2. stable

Handling

  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top

Application

Forest road

1

Flow trail uphill

2

Flow trail downhill

3

Technical single trail uphill

4

Technical single trail downhill

5

Downhill tracks

6

Conclusion

While the COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM might keep a close eye on the purse strings there is nothing stingy about its performance. The Andorran direct to consumer brand has created a very capable eMTB without frills that can take on any terrain out of the box. Beginners riding in less extreme terrain will benefit as much from its composure as those with a need for speed. With its coherent overall package, outstanding performance and huge versatility, the META POWER 29 TEAM secures our coveted Best Value Tip.

Tops

  • unbeatable value for money
  • clever and robust spec
  • excellent suspension and easy set-up

Flops

  • poor finishing quality on the frame
  • dropper post is difficult to operate

You can find out more about the COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM at commencal-store.de.

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020| CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race


It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann