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First look at BMC's all-new race bike with disc brakes

This is the brand new BMC Teammachine SLR01, fully updated for 2018 and available, for the first time, with disc brakes. This model costs £4,450 and comes with a full Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset with hydraulic disc brakes and DT Swiss wheels. Here’s a first look at it before it gets the full review treatment.

- BMC launches new Teammachine with rim or disc brakes

BMC SLR01 - head tube badge.jpg

BMC SLR01 - head tube badge.jpg

Announced last year, the updated Teammachine still retains the defining aesthetic of the previous model, with its gargantuan down tube and dropped seat stays, but the once distinctive lugs have been further softened and diluted. Which is a shame.  road.cc last tested the Teammachine SLR01 in 2013, and you can refresh your memory on that review here.

BMC SLR01 - seat tube junction.jpg

BMC SLR01 - seat tube junction.jpg

But the big news at the launch was the addition of a disc brake version. It’s another disc-equipped race bike you can add to what is a growing list, along with the likes of the Emonda, Propel, TCR Advanced, Dogma F10 and other top-flight race bikes now offered with disc brakes.

Thanks to BMC’s in-house computer modelling capabilities, the new disc frame weighs a respectable 815g, just 25g heavier than the rim brake version. There are 12mm thru-axles and flat mount brake callipers, as have rapidly become standard on all new road bikes. But BMC hasn't followed the normal path when it came to designing the disc fork. The bolts actually thread through the fork from the front, which does away with the small adapter that is usually required to fit the calliper to the fork and saves weight. We’ve only seen this on a couple of other bikes, most notably the Open UPPER. Will it become more common? Dunno, we'll have to wait and see. 

- 12 of 2018’s hottest disc brake-equipped race bikes

BMC SLR01 - stem.jpg

BMC SLR01 - stem.jpg

That’s not the only attention to detail that helps this bike stand out, there’s more. BMC has designed its own stem and a special steerer tube to allow the hydraulic hoses to be routed directly into the frame. Only the gear cables on this bike are left outside the frame but chose an electronic groupset and those cables can be hidden inside as well. Those gear cables are routed inside a single port at the top of the downtube, another increasingly common design on modern road bikes.

Internal hydraulic brake hose routing on the new BMC TeamMachine SLR01

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You can see how the steerer tube differs from a conventional one in our Instagram video above. 

This sort of integration is something we expect to see a lot more on disc brake road bikes in the future. Specialized took a similar approach with its Venge ViAS Disc, so to Colnago and its new C64 Disc. Other details new on this bike include the D-shaped tube post to help improve seated comfort, and the non-common internal seatclamp, accessed underneath the top tube.

BMC SLR01 - drivetrain.jpg

BMC SLR01 - drivetrain.jpg

This £4,450 model has been decked out with the latest Shimano Ultegra R8000 mechanical groupset with hydraulic disc brakes. A 52/36t chainset points at this bikes intention but an 11-30t cassette offers plenty of range for tackling hilly terrain. And as you can see from the photo above, the new BMC makes use of Shimano’s direct-mount rear mech design, the latest import from the mountain bike world. I don't think we've seen this on a road bike in the office yet.

BMC SLR01 - front diec.jpg

BMC SLR01 - front diec.jpg

The funky RT800 Ice Tech Freeza disc brake rotors are inspired by the ones first seen on Dura-Ace, their design intended to reduce heat buildup. BMC opts for a 160mm front and 140mm rear rotor combination. BMC has then specced DT Swiss PR 1600 Spline db 23 wheels shod with 25mm Vittoria Corsa tyres. Finishing kit comprises a Fizik Antares R5 saddle with BMC’s own carbon fibre seatpost with 15mm of setback.

BMC SLR01 - rim.jpg

BMC SLR01 - rim.jpg

Along with BMC’s own aluminium stem we’ve already mentioned, BMC has fitted its own handlebar. It’s an aluminium design with a compact bend and ergonomic top shape.

This is a 56cm size and it weighs 7.7kg (16.97lb).

More at www.evanscycles.com

- 12 of 2018’s hottest disc brake-equipped race bikes

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.