Commencal's commendable enduro offering, the Meta AM is aggressive and determined. It begs for big lines. Cool-headed and confident through straight up chunder, the Meta AM offers serious descending skills at a remarkable price point. This business-minded aluminum shred-sled becomes more and more comfortable as you build speed. Climbing is reasonable for such a burly descender, but it prefers a seated and relaxed pace. Standing up on the cranks to power up steep pitches results in substantial energy-zapping pedal feedback. Make no mistake, the Meta AM is certainly not the kind of bike that begs to be popped and manualed all over the trail. It prefers high speed plowing through nasty rock gardens. An impressive $3,349 price tag gets you a SRAM GX 1x11, RockShox Lyrik fork and SRAM Guide brakes. The downside for this sensibly priced shredder? This is not the kind of all-mountain/enduro bike that you are going to want to power uphill all day long in the backcountry.
This bike is certainly capable on gnarly, steep, unadulterated enduro terrain. Riders who heavily favor downhill performance over pedaling efficiency will be right at home on the Meta AM. However, the Santa Cruz Nomad 2018 is our top-of-the-line test bike for this skillset for a similar cost. Those seeking balanced climbing and descending performance should check out the sporty Commencal Meta TR 4.2