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BMC launches new lightweight performance-orientated endurance bike

Swiss bike brand BMC has unveiled an all-new endurance disc road bike that is aimed at cyclists who, in the company’s own words, want it all.

It’s a lightweight performance-orientated endurance bike. The frame is lighter than the existing Granfondo and features disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles, and borrows integration and hidden cabling previously only seen on aerodynamic road bikes like the Trek Madone and Specialized Venge.

- Buyer's guide: 2016 sportive and endurance road bikes

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At a glance

  • 3 levels of carbon and aluminium frames
  • Adjustable endurance geometry
  • Integrated stem and internal routing
  • 12mm thru-axles f+r
  • Flat Mount disc mounts
  • 30mm tyres (32mm on the alloy frame)
  • Mudguard mounts (on two cheaper models)
  • Six frame sizes
  • Priced from £1,649

The Roadmachine is intended to be a “more performance-orientated endurance product than anything before,” says BMC’s Stefan Christ, so it’ll sit alongside, rather than replace, the existing GranFondo, a very popular bike in the endurance market.

Extra frame stiffness and seated compliance

The Roadmachine makes use of the Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC) and Angle Compliance Technologies (ACT) used on other models in the company’s range.

To develop this new bike, BMC put its Impec Lab in Switzerland to work on this new model, with the key TCC and ACT technologies evolved and refined to create a claimed improvement in front-to-back stiffness, greater rear-triangle stiffness and extra compliance from a D-shaped seatpost.

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The frame is available in two grades of carbon fibre and one aluminium option. Maximum tyre width is 30mm on the carbon Roadmachine, and 32mm on the aluminium version, with the tyre width decreasing by 2mm when mudguards are fitted. Only the mid-range carbon Roadmachine 02 accepts mudguards, however, while the aluminium Roadmachine 03 takes mudguards and a rack.

Concealed cables and brake hoses

In a nod towards aerodynamics (though it’s not an aero endurance bike as such) BMC has developed the new ICStem with cables and hoses routed inside it. You could say this is a solution to decreasing drag, but BMC simply says it’s driven by a desire for a tidy aesthetic.

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To route the cable and wires through the stem and into the frame, BMC has developed a new ICFork, with two flat sides on the steerer tube that provides space for the cables and hoses to be routed directly into the frame. The new ICStem is available in five lengths from 90 to 130mm.

This is only a feature on the top-end Roadmachine 01,  the lower models use regular cable routing, routed internally via a port in the top of the down tube. There are some other clear aerodynamic nods, such as the seat tube being curved around the rear wheel, and the internal seat clamp.

Customisable fit

A neat feature of the new bike is a solution to providing a greater range of easily adjustable stack heights. Endurance bikes are well known for having higher front-ends with taller head tubes, but not everyone wants a higher handlebar position. 

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To keep everyone happy, BMC has developed Dual-Stack, a replaceable spacer, and cone that fits below the stem and contains the upper headset bearing. It allows the height of the front-end to be adapted for each rider. 

In the lowest of the two settings, the Roadmachine closely mimics the TeamMachine race bike, while in the higher setting, it is closer to the Granfondo. It’s only available on the two carbon fibre models, though.

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Let’s give you some numbers. The 56cm size has a stack of 574 or 590mm and reach of 388 or 393. The other geometry numbers include the 72-degree head angle, seat angle of 74.2-degrees and a 1008mm wheelbase. These are similar numbers to other popular road bikes in the endurance category.

Disc brakes and 12mm thru-axles 

Yes, BMC has used 12mm thru-axles at both ends on the new Roadmachine, with 100mm front axle spacing and 142mm rear, something that is rapidly becoming standard on all new disc road bikes. 

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The DT thru-axle lever is removable and can be stored in a jersey pocket or saddle bag says BMC, but why you’d want to do that and run the risk of losing the lever is beyond us. Best leave it attached to the axles we think.

BMC is using the popular Flat Mount system for attaching the brake calipers to the frame. It’s almost a standard now, with Shimano and SRAM both providing Flat Mount disc calipers that are smaller and neater than the previous Post Mount varieties. 

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For fixing the caliper to the fork, BMC has developed an adapter that mounts the flat mount caliper to the fork leg and allows easy swapping between 140 and 160mm rotor sizes.

Carbon and aluminium models

The new Roadmachine range will consist of eight bikes using three versions of the frame. The Roadmachine 01 and Roadmachine 02 are both made from carbon fibre, the latter utilising a “more economical full-carbon” laminate. Propping up the range is an aluminium version, the Roadmachine 03.

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The Roadmachine 01 frame weight is bang in the middle of the top-end Teammachine race bike (790g) and Granfondo (1,050g) with a claimed weight of 930g. 

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Only Shimano builds are being offered, with the Roadmachine 01 coming with a choice of Dura-Ace Di2, Ultegra Di2, and mechanical Ultegra. You can also buy the frameset.  

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The Roadmachine 02 is offered with Ultegra Di2, Ultegra mechanical and 105. The Roadmachine 03 is yours with either 105 or Tiagra. 

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Customers will have a choice of six sizes (47 to 61cm), and BMC says its retailers will have an improved online tool for determining the correct size, based on the popular stack and reach measurements. 

Prices

  • RM01 DA – £8799
  • RM01 Ult Di2 – £5799
  • RM01 Ult – £4099
  • RM01 Frame – £2899
  • RM02 Ult Di2 – £4099
  • RM02 Ult – £3099
  • RM02 105 – £2499
  • RM03 105 – £1799
  • RM03 Tia – £1649

More at www.bmc-switzerland.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.