The BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 is the first thoroughbred e-road bike from the Swiss manufacturer. It’s not only supposed to look like the original Roadmachine, but also ride like it. But does the integration of an electric motor really have no consequences for the handling and riding experience? We found out in our review.
BMC also recognise the signs of the times and not only know how to interpret them, but also implement them. With the Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023, the Swiss have launched their first road bike with an electric motor. Other manufacturers have executed this earlier, but BMC wanted to do everything right from the start with the Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023. According to their own statement, the electric twin should be as good to ride as the original BMC Roadmachine. A big goal that is definitely not easy to achieve. Or is it?
The motor of the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023: MAHLE X20
There are two different types of motor system currently used on e-road bikes. Some are mid-drive bikes with a motor in the bottom bracket, such as the TQ system on the Trek Domane+ SLR we reviewed recently, whereas others use a motor in the rear hub, as is the case with the BMR Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023. The X20 drive system from MAHLE supports the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE with up to 23 Nm torque, while the system weight is said to be only a mere 3.2 kg. They also offer a 172 Wh range extender, which fits into a special bottle cage for those looking to go further. According to MAHLE, it is currently the lightest ebike system on the market. Another special feature is that the entire drive system is fully integrated into the frame. This means that the battery is located in the carbon frame, as are the cabling and the control unit. Rear wheel removal is said to be particularly easy thanks to the integrated connector on the chainstay. This should make time-consuming fiddling with cables obsolete.
Not only is the integration smart, the battery itself is pretty smart too. With the help of the on-board computer, it learns from previous rides, using an algorithm to provide a personalised riding experience tailored to the rider’s needs. This should help to significantly increase battery life by allowing the artificial intelligence to provide as much or as little power as needed. The MAHLE X20 drive system also offers a smart connectivity solution: the “My SmartBike” app. This features some practical functions such asroute recording features, heart rate measurement (with the corresponding accessories) and also location tracking.
Features and design of the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023
TCC technology stands for Tuned Compliance Concept and aims to provide more comfort and long-range capability on the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023, increasing vertical compliance while maintaining lateral stiffness. The D-Shape seatpost also promises to provide more long-distance comfort thanks to its shape allowing a small amount of flex. However, since the tire width also has a decisive influence on comfort, tires up to a width of 33 mm fit in the frame – on our test bike though, the rather narrow 28 mm Vittoria Rubino Pro tires were used. We would have liked to have seen an upsizing to match the extra weight of the electrified Roadmachine.
In terms of design language, the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 takes a modern approach. Angular tubes and characteristically low seat stays define the overall appearance and ensure a cool look. BMC even speak of a “legendary silhouette”. Unfortunately, the integration of the cables seems rather half-hearted. At the front, the cable falls loosely into the fork and rubs against the frame, while further back it is awkwardly guided into the down tube. The coloured tan-wall tires also somehow don’t look very coherent with the paintwork of the frame. This applies to all three available paint finishes. The battery, on the other hand, is well integrated into the down tube. There, the proportions fit the rest of the frame and it is almost unnoticeable that it is an e-road bike. The decals also match perfectly.
Head to head – Roadmachine AMP ONE vs analogue Roadmachine
BMC set the tone itself when comparing Roadmachine AMP ONE with the unpowered Roadmachine variant. Both models should look and feel just the same when riding. At least in terms of looks, however, the battery cannot be completely hidden in a side-by-side comparison. The down tube of the Roadmachine AMP One is bulkier than on the unassisted version, which naturally lacks the controller embedded in the top tube too. Apart from that, however, the two bikes are actually quite similar in terms of design, tube shapes and cable routing. The maximum tire width of 33 mm is also the same on both Roadmachines and, in addition to the endurance orientation, aims to equip them for poor road surfaces and more. But this is only just enough, if at all, for the all-road bike category.
Did the battery also influence the geometry data of the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE? No, not in any way. The geometry is exactly the same. However, the battery and rear-wheel drive naturally have an impact on the weight and weight distribution – and thus on the handling, as you will read later on in the riding impression. Not even the identical geo-data can change that. The frame alone weighs 184 g more on the electronic Roadmachine AMP ONE in their 54 cm size. Overall, the weight of the two models differs by around 4.5 kg with the same configuration. There is also a large gap in the range of available equipment packages. There are three possible configurations for the Roadmachine AMP ONE series as opposed to 21 on the classic Roadmachine.
Equipment and geometry of the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023
The three equipment options come in increments of € 1,000 each. The entry level to the electric Roadmachine world is available with the BMC Roadmachine AMP THREE retailing at € 5,999. For that you get a mechanical Shimano 105 shifting system with hydraulic disc brakes and an aluminium wheelset. For € 1,000 more, the BMC Roadmachine AMP TWO is electronically shifted by the SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset and still has hydraulic brakes and aluminium rims. The top configuration variant which we tested retails at € 7,999 and offers better electronic shifting performance with the SRAM Force eTap AXS shifting system, hydraulic disc brakes and carbon wheels. Each configuration variant has its own colour scheme and is available in 6 frame sizes.
BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023
Motor MAHLE X20 23 Nm
Battery MAHLE iX350 350 Wh
Seatpost Roadmachine AMP Premium Carbon D-Shaped
Brakes SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 160/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Force eTap AXS 2 x 12
Stem BMC ICS1 110 mm
Handlebar BMC RAB 02 Ergo Top Shape with Compact Bend 420 mm
Wheelset CRD-321 Carbon Tubeless Ready
Tires Vittoria Rubino Pro 28 mm 700C
Cranks SRAM Force AXS 172,5 mm
Cassette SRAM Force XG-1270 11–36
Size 47 50 52 54 56 58 60 62
Weight 12,1 kg
BMC are not shy with superlatives when it comes to the geo of the Roadmachine AMP ONE, talking about a “famous geometry”. But famous for what? The data at least indicates a very balanced seating position with a stack to reach ratio of 1.50. The only thing that doesn’t really fit into the concept of an endurance bike is the sharply dropping -12.5˚ stem, which clearly shifts the riding position towards racing.
|Head tube angle
|Seat tube angle
The BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 first ride review
“The time has come to push the button” as the The Chemical Brothers sang in their super hit Galvanize, and this also applies to starting the drive of the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023. With a sustained push of a button on the top tube, the support is activated and displayed via a coloured LED bar. Four different colours represent four different support modes, increasing with each push of the button: white (no support), green, red and purple. The bar also shows the battery charge level. However, no more information is available from the control unit; for this, the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 must be connected to the “My SmartBike” app. According to the manufacturer, one battery charge should be enough for 140 km and up to 3,000 metres of altitude. In our case, however, we were already running low after 62 km and 1,750 metres of altitude with the highest support level and a test rider’s weight of around 80 kg. More of your own muscle power and a lower support level naturally give you more reach – but 140 km still seems quite ambitious.
The seating position feels very sporty right from the start. You have to reach quite far forward to reach the hoods. No chance for a real endurance feeling. Since the geometry data actually suggests a quite comfortable posture, the long reach must come from the stem, which is clearly sloping at -12.5°. This contradicts the classification as an Endurance bike, but also the concept of e-road bikes in general. Such a position is hardly suited for the majority of the target group – whether novices or experienced roadies who want a little tailwind on climbs. The rest of the handling is also no fun for (e)road bike beginners. The lively riding sensation you get with the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 is fun if you can handle it. The ebike reacts sensitively to external influences such as bad roads and brittle asphalt – wider and more voluminous tires would be an advantage, providing more confidence and, above all, more comfort. Despite the TCC technology, the frame offers little compliance and appears quite stiff.
Tuning tips: More upright stem for long-distance comfort & wider tires for more comfort
The support of the MAHLE X20 unit is very smooth. It intervenes less aggressively in the riding action than some of the larger, more powerful motors and thus provides smooth drive assistance in all levels. The only thing you have to get used to is the long overrun of the motor after you stop pedalling. The rear hub motor gives the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 an overall rear-heavy feel, which is particularly noticeable when changing direction quickly. But with familiarity you will be able to handle it better. On the other hand, removing the rear wheel in the event of a flat tire is no problem at all. The connection between the drive unit and the energy supply at the dropout is as simple and intuitive as it should be for a modern e-road bike. A plug-in contact on the hub is simply inserted into the matching connection on the frame. Easy peasy!
In fact, the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023 comes very close to its power-free counterpart in terms of looks, although the cable routing still doesn’t impress. As an endurance e-road bike for beginners or for long-distance fighters looking for “relief”, it unfortunately hardly wins any points. For this, it offers too little comfort, a too stretched seating position and too demanding handling. However, the BMC scores points for its well-integrated motor and easy rear wheel removal. Whether the dynamic and experienced target rider in need of an extra push actually exists, we can’t really say.
- Harmonious design language and proportions
- Easy rear wheel removal
- Smooth but powerful support from the MAHLE motor
- Cable routing
- Riding position is too stretched, tires too narrow - thus little comfort
- Colour combination of tan-wall tires and paintwork not quite coherent
For more information on the BMC Roadmachine AMP ONE 2023, visit bmc-switzerland.com.
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Words: Martin Staffa Photos: Mike Hunger