Just in: BMC SLC01 Pro Machine
Weighing in at 7.07kg (15.6lb) for a 57cm bike (complete with pedals, and a bit of road grime) the SLC01 is a true lightweight and it's landed – gently – here at road.cc towers for us to have a play with. It's a thoroughbred too, having worn the colours of Astana and Phonak, and more recently the wildcard BMC team. So, what technology has the Swiss outfit been cramming into its race frame?
The frame is carbon, naturally, but more so than most. in fact, the only part of the entire frame that's made of metal is the bottom bracket thread. All the other frame parts – even the dropouts – are full carbon. That's not particularly noticeable at first glance; what is is the unusual seat tube/top tube junction. It's reminiscent of GT's triple triangle – albeit with more flowing lines – and BMC call it the Integrated Skeleton Concept, or ISC.
According to their website, ISC "permits good force distribution near the nodal points by using carefully selected reinforcing elements. Each tube transition can be perfectly adapted to the flow of forces". We're not entirely sure what this means, over and above the fact that they've designed the frame to cope well with, erm, being ridden. One thing the design does mean is that you need to be careful when tightening your seatbolts, as the full carbon clamp doesn't deal very well with being overtightened... and if you crack it there you won't get a warranty replacement, neither.
The Carbon in the frame is all unidirectional layers – there's no vanity weave on top – and makes use of Easton's Carbon Nano Tube technology. You can head to http://tinyurl.com/bbrxn4 for the science bit, but essentially the Carbon nanotubes are added to the resin between the fibres to strengthen the matrix: the nanotubes are, according to Easton, 17 times stronger than the fibres themselves.
Our bike is built up with ten speed Record and Easton components, including the feathery EC90 fork, wheelset (1170g a pair stated weight), seatpost and bars. Sensibly BMC have specced the Aluminium EA90 stem though. Don't get me started on the EC90 stem...
More from BMC at www.extrauk.co.uk/product/list/BMC/Framesets/