BMC has unveiled a new gravel bike range called URS, short for 'Unrestricted', the brand's first entry into this sector. All of the bikes come with carbon-fibre frame/forks and are equipped with tubeless wheels and tyres.
"The off-road-ready URS features progressive geometry, sleek cockpit integration for a custom fit and an all-new gravel-tuned frame to deliver a compliant and adventure-ready ride," according to BMC.
"The groundbreaking Gravel+ specific geometry features a slack 70-degree head angle and combines a long reach with a super-short (55 or 70mm) Integrated Cockpit System stem [see below] for enhanced control and responsiveness on varying terrain."
Other brands certainly combine a long reach frame with a short stem on their gravel bikes; Merida does something similar, for example, with its Silex.
BMC says that in the development of the URS it focused on the demands of three key riding styles: the ambitious gravel racer; the high-mileage, backroad adventure rider; and the long-haul bikepacking cyclist.
"To meet such a wide range of rider demands, [we] developed Tuned Compliance Concept Gravel, which utilises a gravel-dedicated carbon frame and fork layup and proven D-Shaped seatpost, plus incorporates 10mm of seatstay-mounted MTT damping for optimum compliance and traction on rough terrain," says BMC.
You're going to want to know what MTT means, right? It stands for Micro Travel Technology and it's something that BMC has been using on mountain bikes for four years. It's an elastomer suspension system built into the wishbone section of the seatstays.
The frame and fork come with clearance for tyres up to 45mm wide and, like pretty much every other new gravel bike, take flat mount disc brakes. They're made for 1x drivetrains (theres no front derailleur mount).
BMC claims a frame weight of 1,050g (size medium) and a fork weight of 550g (uncut steerer).
"Additional subtle, yet super-functional features include hub dynamo cable routing, wide handlebar, three water bottle mounts, and the saddle-integrated Dfender, a lightweight and minimalist fender that mounts to the D-Shaped seatpost to help protect riders from mud and crud," says BMC. "Bikepackers and 'long-haulers' will appreciate the frame’s various fender, rack, and top-tube mount options, while 'hard-chargers' who push the limits of gravel bike capability will be pleased to know it’s compatible with Fox’s 32 SC SX suspension fork offering."
BMC’s Integrated Cockpit System (ICS) features a stem and a dedicated spacer system with interlocking elements to allow for easy adjustment without the need for stem removal or hose disconnection. It also provides a weatherproof location for electronic cables and hydraulic hoses.
• URS One: SRAM Red eTap/Eagle XX1 AXS drivetrain, wireless shifting, DT Swiss GRC 1400 Spline 42 DB wheelset
• URS Two: Shimano GRX Di2 drivetrain, electronic shifting, DT Swiss GR 1600 Spline 25 DB wheelset
• URS Three: Shimano GRX drivetrain, Mavic Allroad Disc wheelset
• URS Four: SRAM Apex 1 drivetrain, DT Swiss C1850 Spline 23 DB wheelset
We don't yet have UK prices.
For more info go to www.bmc-switzerland.com
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.