Let’s face it: road bikes are dead. Over the past decade they’ve become specialists for many given purposes: aero, endurance, altitude… So now there is a specific bike for any specific riding situation. But is there still room for the road bike in its truest sense, ready to hit any road you face? The iconic Swiss manufacturer BMC have just launched the all-new BMC Roadmachine. We attended the press camp in Turino of this bike that sounds, looks and appears so simple. But the closer you look, the more special it seems.
BMC calls its new Roadmachine the “One-Bike Collection”. Hang on a sec….one bike as a complete collection? But before we all started arguing about what category it really fits into, we headed out for a test ride with Tour de France winner and former World Champion Cadel Evans.
Watch this video to find out why he chooses to spend the bulk of his time riding this new bike:
The core elements of the new Roadmachine are aesthetics, variability and performance
Aesthetics: The Roadmachine’s distinctive contours and clean look are immediately apparent. The proprietary stem plays a significant role here with internal cable routing making for a really clean and tidy cockpit. Although the Roadmachine’s streamlined design is evident, BMC do not want to call it aero, but sleek instead. We love that because it does not reduce the bike’s character to pure numbers and stats. Even though road bikes are a lot about performance there’s no need to give everything a purely technical reasoning.
Variability: The Roadmachine allows you to set up a riding position almost as aggressively as that of the Teammachine or as relaxed and even more upright than the Granfondo. This is made possible by both the ‘Dual-Stack’ option (using integrated spacers) as well as the ‘Integrated Cockpit Stem’, which comes in a choice of 5 sizes (90, 100, 110, 120, 130 mm). To determine the optimal riding position BMC dealers have access to an online configuration tool.
Performance: As standard, BMC employs 160 mm discs for reliable brake performance. The Tuned Compliant Concept is designed to ensure front-to-back comfort with the fork (TCC Core Stiffness) and the rear triangle (Angle Compliance) as compliant as possible and as stiff as necessary. A stiff bottom bracket, slimmer frame design (from a front-on view) and a low overall weight of 7.3 kg should make this bike just as fast and agile during acceleration as going uphill. Its somewhat longer geometry should also ensure stability and confidence at high speeds and downhill.
BMC Roadmachine: Geometry & Models
The Roadmachine family consists of three models: the Roadmachine 01 in Premium 01 Carbon, the Roadmachine 02 – a somewhat more economical variant using a carbon-laminate – and lastly the Roadmachine 03 with a smooth-welded, aluminium frame and a full carbon fork. Each model is available in six sizes: from 47 cm to 61 cm.
The BMC Roadmachine is available immediately from dealers. The top-of-the-range model we got to test weighs 7.3 kg.
So much for the theory then. What is the Roadmachine really capable of? We took it out on a 95 km/2,500 vertical meter test circuit around Turin, Italy.
First Ride: BMC Roadmachine
Prior to the launch we had to specify our preferred riding position in the form of bar stack and bar reach. The result was a perfectly fitted bike, as if made-to-order.
Before you even turn the first pedal the Roadmachine makes you feel right at home. Both the front and rear ends feel sufficiently comfortable to take the sting out of both the cobblestones in the center of historic Turin as well as the rough streets in the surrounding area. BMC’s tidy approach to the cables meant they’d avoided the annoying sound of cables clattering around inside the frame.
On our really hilly course the BMC quietly proved itself to be a pretty good climber – not least because of that stiff bottom bracket and its low 7.3 kg weight. Our test bike was a size 56 equipped with a 90mm stem.
This particular configuration impressed us with its direct handling and executed steering changes reliably and with precision. It started to rock a little over rough ground at high speeds, although it never felt unsteady.
The clean-looking, easy-to-maintain, and easily customisable cockpit solution is great. The dual-stack stem also allows for a tremendous range of adjustment for your riding position – from race to upright, everything is possible and without any of the bike’s aggressive optics coming off the rails.
The more time you spend with a good wine, the more you understand its complexity. That’s exactly how it is with the BMC Roadmachine. The more you get to know it, the more of its details you begin to appreciate. In this vein, it wasn’t until the end of our test day that we noticed subtle details such as the combined matt/satin finish on both the fork and frame.
So who is the Roadmachine targeting?
9,999 Euros is a pretty hefty tag for the top model we tested. The extensive adaptability – the prerequisite for which is a fitting session at the dealer – will make this bike attractive to a broad spectrum of enthusiasts and racers, who are looking for an exquisite cutting-edge road bike. The BMC Roadmachine is ready for long hours in the saddle or any Gran Fondo – however, if you’re looking for some adventure beyond paved roads then take a closer look at the cheaper models with more tire clearance. The Roadmachine 01 is definitely one thing: Say hello to the Swiss Army Knife of the streets. Versatile, agile and sharp…and pretty sexy!
For more information check bmc-switzerland.com!
Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: Robin Schmitt, Jérémie Reuiller - BMC