Words and photos by Eric McKeegan
Commencal Meta Am
Hot on the heels of last year’s redesigned Supreme DH, the Megavalanche-winning Meta 6 gets a makeover too. The result is the Meta AM. Taking lessons learned from the Supreme’s new linkage, the Meta gets longer, lower and slacker. The pivots have been moved to work in harmony with double cranksets.
Evoc is a German company starting to import bags into North America. I’m a bit of a bag geek and these packs were pushing my buttons. The travel case is well thought out. Only the pedals, handlebar and wheels need to come off. There are plenty of straps, foam blocks and rigid plastic to keep your bike safe from the airport luggage goons.
Evoc also makes hydration packs and I was pretty smitten with the Freeride line up, available in 16, 20, and 30-liter sizes, and in three torso lengths. Evoc incorporates a CE-approved spine protector into the pack, along with a neoprene waist belt that works like a mini kidney belt, keeping the bag cinched in place.
I first rode the new Element 29er in prototype form at Sea Otter this spring. Rocky had production models to show off at Crankworx. Pictured is the top of the line Element 970. It was the the middle of the line 950 that most interested me. Unfortunately, it was whisked away to a dealer event before I could get a picture. The 950 has a custom RockShox Revelation fork with a 120-95mm travel adjust, which I’m betting will make for a killer trail bike in full travel, and an XC ripper set up shorter.
SRAM had a new chain guide they developed with MRP for both double and single ring setups. The dual ring guide uses two separate toothed pulleys, one for each ring, to improve shifting and chain retention. There is also a DH-specific short cage X0 rear derailleur, designed to shift across tight ratio cassettes.
Suntour was showing off two new forks, an 80-120mm travel model with carbon lowers called the Axon, left, and an 80-120 travel 29er fork, the Epicon X-1, right. Both use a slick 15mm thru-axle set up called QLock, harder to explain than use. Might be the fastest thru-axle system on the market. The Axon already has 14 World Cup XC and dual slalom wins.