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?
Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.
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.
COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020
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"
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
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.
|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|
|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|
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
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.
- unbeatable value for money
- clever and robust spec
- excellent suspension and easy set-up
- 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
Relaxed and comfortable riding on surfaced roads, both uphill and downhill.↩
Easy climbs up trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate incline.↩
Active and playful descents on easy trails with few obstacles, wide turns and a moderate slope.↩
Single-track climbs on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and occasionally extreme inclines.↩
Singletrack descents on challenging terrain. Loose ground, steps, roots, tight corners and small jumps as well as some very steep descents.↩
High speed descents on sometimes very rough trails with large jumps and obstacles that you can’t roll over.↩
The rating used for riding characteristics refers to the bikes in the group test and the current state of development of eMTBs. The best bikes managed to blend supposedly opposite riding characteristics, feeling both lively and stable at the same time. The handling describes the balance of the bike on downhill sections. The information regarding motor-power refers to the ride-feeling in the overall context of the bike and not exclusively to the motor – that’s why the same motor can present different values.↩
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Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann