BMC have put their flagship TeamMachine SLR01 on a diet ahead of the Tour de France, where Cadel Evans will eyeing up a podium spot, and shaved the weight down to 790g for a size 56cm. That's a reduction from about 950g of the previous frame. Despite the weight it has lost, BMC reckon they've improved the stiffness by a whopping 25%. It's not as if the previous frame was that flexy. Prices will start from £2,750 for the frame and £4,000 for a Shimano Ultegra model
Frameset weight, including the fork, headset, seatpost, derailleur hanger, cable guides and seat clamp is 1,380g. That makes a build that easily dips under the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit entirely possible with a Dura-Ace build. The days of needing exotic one-off machined parts to get such a light bike are firmly behind us; it’s now entirely possible with off-the-shelf components.
It's also getting harder for designers to trim weight off already very light frames, so BMC developed their own Accelerated Composites Evolution (ACE) Technology, computer modelling software that allowed them to very rapidly prototype the design of the frame.
The software is concerned with optimising the shape of every tube and junction and the layup of the carbon fibre. It allows the designers to model prototypes through the development phase and speed up the process, and should ensure they uncover every stone in the design process. BMC reckon they went through 34,000 possible designs before settling on this final one.
The new SLR01 retains the same proven geometry as the previous frame, and visually it has a very close resemblance. They’ve retained the Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC), found in the stays and seatpost, to deliver a reasonable level of comfort, as they recognise the importance of racers arriving as fresh as possible to the finish line. With this ACE software they’ve been able to hone TCC and make it, they claim, even more comfortable.
A noticeable change is the internal cable routing. BMC have designed the frame to work with mechanical and electronic groupsets, with small panels to conceal the cable or wire entry points. The top tube is wider than before, and the down tube is more oversized.
There’s a BB86 Shimano Press-Fit bottom bracket at the bottom of the down tube and the head tube is tapered, 1-1/8in to 1-1/4in, with a 340g fork slotting into it. Their own seatpost, a full carbon design, weighs 180g and is available in 15 or 30mm setback options. There are six sizes on offer from 48 to 61cm.
At launch they’ll be offering a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace, SRAM Red 22 and Ultegra builds. We’re awaiting confirmation of the UK prices.
SLR01 Shimano Dura Ace Di2 £8,500
SLR01 Shimano Dura Ace £6,000
SLR01 Sram Red £5,000
SLR01 Shimano Ultegra £4,000
SLR01 Frameset £2,750
More info at www.bmc-racing.com
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.