Commencal's redesigned Meta TR V4.2 Essential provides excellent performance at an impressive price point. This bike offers sporty handling and surgically attacks the trail. Despite the relaxed geometry and relative heft, climbing skills are impressive. Handling skills are razor sharp and are paired with a great pedal platform. Riders are inspired to keep cranking to build speed while exploring slick and sneaky lines. Downhill performance is impressive and the Meta TR can attack the trail with the confidence of a longer travel bike. Narrow tires keep this trail-slayer from reaching its full potential. The 2.25-inch rear tire has no place on a modern trail bike. Other than this poor choice of rubber, the Meta TR V4.2 Essential has a very impressive build kit at a magnificent $3,299 price tag. Fantastic all-around performance at a stellar price? We love it.
The Meta TR is a great option for the rider who wants a well-rounded trail bike and who doesn't feel the need to get too gnarly. Riders who appreciate the precision and quick-witted manners will love this stealthy rig. The Ibis Ripley has a similar lively personality with 29-inch wheels but is slightly less aggressive. The Santa Cruz Hightower charges downhill harder than the Meta TR and climbs better, but it costs more. Those looking for a purely gravity-focused bike on a budget should check out the gnar-slaying Commencal Meta AM 4.2.