Photos by Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics

The Commencal Meta Power TR is one of the latest additions to a brand that has been delivering direct to consumer shred sleds for the better part of a decade. Commencal Bikes have provided some of the best bang for the buck around and we were excited to see how the new Meta Power TR would stack up. We’d spent time on their older Meta Power, which we reviewed a while back, but this shorter travel Trail eMTB promised a slightly more versatile feel on a variety of trails. For our 2021 eMTB Shootout we put the Commencal eBike to the test in our Trail category, 150mm or less of rear wheel travel, and are excited to share the results.

Stay tuned to the site and our YouTube channel as we work our way through all twelve bikes until our Grand Finale video and feature, where we name our top picks.

Commencal Bikes designed the Meta Power TR 29 to be all things on all trails. It is aggressive enough to hang in the steeps and chutes thanks to a wheelbase of 1,279mm, reach of 485mm, and a head tube angle of 64.5 degrees. At the same time, Commencal wanted it to be agile enough to climb back up the same trails and gave it a seat tube angle of 77.5 degrees and 453mm chainstays with a powerful Shimano EP8 drive unit.

The Signature Edition we received came spec’d with a 150mm Fox Factory eMTB fork and a Fox DPX2 Factory rear shock, packing 140mm of rear travel. Brakes and drivetrain come in the form of Shimano XT, with 203mm rotors for plenty of heat dissipation and stopping power while the shifting and power transfer have performed flawlessly for months of riding.

2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Signature Review

The cockpit consists of Commencal’s in-house brand, Ride Alpha, which provided no-nonsense 780mm bars with a 20mm rise, and a 50mm stem. Commencal delivered with DT Swiss H1700 rims and 350 hubs, which are some of our favorite aluminum wheels. A Fox Transfer Factory post with 175mm of travel rounds out the build.

The Meta Power TR boasts the new Shimano EP8 motor with a 630Wh battery. We feel that this is the best combination the EP8 system comes with, since it packs enough power for all day missions but is light enough to not feel like a boat anchor on the trail.

Suspension kinematics are controlled by a custom four-bar linkage that has an adjustable geometry chip to lower the bottom bracket, rake the headtube angle, and lengthen the already long wheelbase for ultra-stable descents. Commencal’s goal was to strike the perfect balance of downhill performance and climbing stability, so they gave the Meta Power TR a high amount of anti-squat and a healthy dose of progression at the end of the curve.

2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Geometry
2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Signature Action

It was hard not to grin as we pulled the polished aluminum Meta Power TR Signature out of the box and noticed how well the finish paired with Fox Factory Kashima stanchions. This is one good looking bike. Initially, we were concerned with the finish, assuming cleaning and rubbing would cause micro scratches. Thankfully after a few days the finish blended in well and looked even better. There is no worrying about paint chips and or rubbing on this frame.

The first rides aboard the Commencal Meta were at home in Oregon and we quickly acclimated to the bike before taking it down to St. George, Utah for the Shootout. We quickly noticed the EP8’s increased power and more natural delivery compared to the STEPS E8000 unit on the older Meta Power. Along with the increased torque, the range increased and we really liked being able to get more laps in. The Meta Power TR utilizes an internal battery and mounts the motor system low to keep the weight as low as possible on the bike. Coupled with the long wheelbase, this gives the rider huge amounts of climbing grip and practically zero front wheel lift in even the steepest climbs. The low slung center of gravity also provides loads of cornering grip and stability at speed. However, this bike can also falter slightly due to that same long wheelbase. If you live in an area with tight corners and switchbacks, it can take some extra effort to get the 1,279mm wheelbase to come around. Likewise, it’s not the easiest eBike to manual in our shootout and when combined with the 485mm reach, our testers were yanking a bit harder to pick the Meta Power’s front end up off the ground.

2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Signature Action

While some eMTB manufactures seem to skimp on suspension to cut costs, the $7,199.00 Meta TR Signature goes all out with Fox Factory dampers front and rear. That spec truly helps the bike realize its full potential. Initially we found the suspension a bit soft and ended up putting 250psi in the rear shock with wide open compression to soften up the off the top compliance. Next we added a few volume reduction spacers to increase the ramp up, and were stoked to feel the bike settle into the mid travel, still but have enough in reserve for repeated hits in rock gardens or big drops. The rear suspension design is good off the top and felt bottomless as it handled terrain some of our 160mm+ travel bikes were getting bucked on. Commencal has always done a good job tuning their four-bar suspension design, and this bike is no exception.

The drivetrain is also another area where the high-end spec is welcome. Shimano HYPERGLIDE+ allows the rider to apply full pedal force through up and down shifts, which gives a distinct advantage on eBikes, especially when tackling technical terrain. The system was both reliable and durable during our testing and served as the perfect complement to the power delivery of the EP8 motor. A rather noteworthy critique of this bike however was the drag when coasting. We conducted several tests with many other bikes and regularly found that the Meta Power TR would decelerate quickest. It seemed as though there was more drag on the drive unit than other EP8 bikes. We’ve reached out and are waiting on final word from Shimano on whether or not there could be inconsistencies or a reason for this, and will report back with an update.

2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Signature Action

The $7,200 price tag may not be the ideal vision of a “budget-friendly consumer direct bike” but this model comes along with a top tier suspension and the rock-solid performance of Shimano XT brakes and drivetrain, along with a bomber wheelset.  After hammering on the wheels in some of the roughest terrain St. George has to offer, we had zero loose spokes or rim damage despite several audible strikes. Commencal do offer more affordable versions of the Meta Power TR and if you’re looking to spend around $5,500, you’ve got a couple options. We didn’t have any complaints about the price to performance level on the Meta Power TR and while we’d always love to see bike prices come down, the spec on this model isn’t out of line by any means.

2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Signature Action

The Wolf’s Last Word

Overall, the Commencal Meta Power TR really does do all things on all trails. It is definitely geared towards the more aggressive rider or those who have fast, more open trails opposed to those who spend their time navigating slower tech. We were impressed with the bike’s ability to hang in terrain way above its class and stay stable at high speed. However, those attributes come at the price of agility in tight corners, tighter technical terrain and on twisty, techy climbs. The 485mm reach was 10mm longer than some of our testers would have liked, but gave our taller testers (above 6ft) comfort and confidence on high speed descents. We think a few volume spacers are required for heavier or more aggressive riders to get the rear shock to feel perfect, but once you get it dialed, this bike is ready to charge. Overall the Meta Power TR is a fun and capable bike that loves going fast and charging rough terrain. 

Price: $7,199
Weight: 53 lbs
Website: Commencalusa.com


Frame: Alloy 6066, 140mm
Fork: Fox 36 Factory E-Bike Grip 2| 150mm
Shock: Fox DPX2 Factory

Motor: Shimano DU-EP800 | 250 W, 85 Nm
Battery: Shimano BT-E8036 | 630wh
Display: Shimano SC-EM800

Brakes: Shimano XT 4-Piston | 203mm Rotors
Shifter: Shimano XT 12spd
Headset: ACROS ZS56 / ZS66
Handlebar: Ride Alpha R20 E-Bike | 780mm, 20mm Rise
Stem: Ride Alpha Freeride | 50mm
Saddle: WTB Silverado
Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory | 175mm (Large)

Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Rims: DT Swiss H1700
Front tire: Schwalbe Magic Mary 29 x 2.6″
Rear tire: Schwalbe Big Betty 29 x 2.6″

Cranks: SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon DUB 32t
Chain Guide: Ride Alpha EP8
Shimano XT 12spd 10-51t
Derailleur: Shimano XT 12spd
Chain: Shimano XT 12spd

2021 eMTB Shootout: Commencal Meta Power TR 29 Signature Action

We Dig

Polished aluminum finish
Wants to be pushed
Adjustable Geo
Hard Charging DH capability

We Don’t

Needs Volume Reducers
A bit long for everyday climbing and tight trails


Catalyst Distribution
Schwalbe Tires
Smith Optics


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