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Aero e-bike with disc brakes and one-legged fork feature on BMC’s vision of the future

If there used to be one thing you could guarantee to see at Eurobike, it would be that somewhere in the vast expanse of the Friedrichshafen exhibition halls there would be at least one slightly bonkers concept bike, but the last few years have been oddly quiet on that front. Maybe everyone is too busy sticking disc brakes on their road bikes? BMC are bringing back the trend for futuristic concept bikes, with this mighty fine creation.

Is it a vision of the future? Is it how bikes might look if the UCI didn’t have such strict rules? Possibly one or both, or maybe the designers just had a bit too much spare time on their hands.

The bike was created in BMC’s Impec advanced research and development lab. Impec is the unique manufacturing process they’ve pioneered using robots, but haven’t really perfected enough for mass manufacturing of frames. So instead they’ve put it to use making this concept.

BMC weren’t giving many details away about the bike, leaving us to ponder what it might be. Aerodynamics have shaped most of the bike, especially the svelte one-piece integrated handlebar and stem with their own design brake levers and shifters. A computer head unit sits flush in the top of the handlebar and presumably controls the motor inside the frame.

The frame features a neatly concealed drivetrain and judging by that bulge around the bottom bracket it does look like it’s packing an electronic motor and battery. It’s disc-equipped too, which has allowed the designers to chop off half the fork and rear triangle and save a load of weight. Mad it looks, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen bicycle designers flirt with the idea of one-legged forks and a frame chopped in half.

Highly unlikely as it is to make it into production, it is conceivable that some of the ideas in this concept could be seen in future BMC road bikes in the future. Here’s hoping anyway.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

12 comments

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andyspaceman [244 posts] 1 year ago
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A computer head unit sits flush in the top of the handlebar and presumably controls the motor inside the frame. The frame features a neatly concealed drivetrain and judging by that bulge around the bottom bracket it does look like it’s packing an electronic motor and battery.

Could be, but an electronic motor feels incongruous on a bike like this to me. My money would be on an internal bb-mounted gearbox.

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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It's very...'angular'.

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stephen connor [39 posts] 1 year ago
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@andyspaceman my exact taughts when a saw this where internal bb gearbox as well.

Internal gear box like efneo.com or vyro.com unit with a belt drive possibly. Would be a great step forward for race bikes but the tech is still a fair way off in terms of component weight and gearing options. Removes alot of the the maintenance requirement of a standard drive train.

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jollygoodvelo [1422 posts] 1 year ago
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I've always thought that shaft-drive bikes were an underexplored idea. With a bike frame like that you could very easily have a gearbox at the BB end, a shaft running down the "chainstay" and Roberto's your Italian uncle.

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notfastenough [3685 posts] 1 year ago
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It would seem odd having motor assistance on a 'sporty' bike.

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kitkat [365 posts] 1 year ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

I've always thought that shaft-drive bikes were an underexplored idea. With a bike frame like that you could very easily have a gearbox at the BB end, a shaft running down the "chainstay" and Roberto's your Italian uncle.

My understanding is shaft drive is inefficient compared to the traditional bike chain which is ok for a motorbike but not for pedal power.

Maybe the UCI should mandate all pro bikes must use gearbox/shaftdrive configuration and drive change in new directions and freeing the rest of us from cleaning chains!

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severs1966 [345 posts] 1 year ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

... gearbox/shaftdrive configuration ... freeing the rest of us from cleaning chains!

The photo looks like it has a chaincase. Your bike would already be free of chain cleaning if you put one of those on.

//www.oldbike.eu/emancipation/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/1910_Raleigh_Emancipation_01.jpg)

progress!

//thebiketube.com/sites/all/files/blog-content-image/cannondaleonbike.jpg)

100 years separate these.

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ronin [264 posts] 1 year ago
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So, in the post apocalyptic/end of fosil fuel world StreetHawk will be on a push bike?

If it's so futuristic, why does it look so 80's?

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Binky [116 posts] 1 year ago
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Me thinks the designer has watched 'Tron' to many times  39

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Jammy [6 posts] 1 year ago
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Reminds me of the "Stealth" technology designed to evade radar  4

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rookybiker [40 posts] 1 year ago
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"It’s disc-equipped too, which has allowed the designers to chop off half the fork and rear triangle and save a load of weight"

1. You can in principle use any kind of brake with cantilevered wheels.

2. Single-sided forks and stays will in principle be heavier than double-sided ones. Any advantages lie elsewhere.

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fukawitribe [1750 posts] 1 year ago
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rookybiker wrote:

"It’s disc-equipped too, which has allowed the designers to chop off half the fork and rear triangle and save a load of weight"

1. You can in principle use any kind of brake with cantilevered wheels.

True - although it's easier to work with brake systems near the hub and fixed end.

rookybiker wrote:

2. Single-sided forks and stays will in principle be heavier than double-sided ones. Any advantages lie elsewhere.

Not necessarily, can do but depends on a bunch of stuff not least what loads you expect on the axle and what axle size. Clearly you'd want wider and thinner support structures to avoid pivoting too easily, but wider doesn't always mean heavier - witness frame tube technology over the years.