Visually, the BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE leaves no doubt that it wants to go fast everywhere. The fully integrated design indicates good aerodynamics and the shallow rims suggest that the bike climbs fast. Will this impression be confirmed in comparison with the four fastest race bikes of the 2021 season?
Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best race bike of 2021 – 5 high-end models on test
The BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE sits between the Timemachine Road on the aero side and the Roadmachine on the endurance side in the BMC portfolio. And between these two, it spreads itself extremely wide: with excellent vibration damping, it displays near to all-road qualities, while its aerodynamics rival the Timemachine Road in terms of efficiency on the flats. This makes it BMC’s most versatile road bike. Our test bike comes with a wireless SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset with 48/35 t chainrings and a 10–28 t cassette. This gives the gearing closely spaced ratios, especially in the high gears, always letting you find a comfortable cadence. However, for demanding climbs, a slightly easier gear or stronger legs don’t hurt. The shifting performance is as quick as usual and the hydraulic disc brakes with 160 mm rotors at the front and rear are beyond reproach. The bike doesn’t currently come with a power meter, though BMC have recognised that this is a no-go at this price and will remedy this for the next generation.
First-class aerodynamics for high speed and the best vibration damping for rough roads – the Teammachine SLR01 ONE is the most versatile bike in the BMC portfolio.
BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE 2021
Seatpost Teammachine 01 Premium Carbon D-Shape 15 mm
Brakes SRAM RED eTap AXS HRD 160/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM RED eTap AXS GS-RED-E-B1 2 x 12
Stem ICS Carbon 110 mm
Handlebar ICS Carbon 420 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss PRC 1100 DICUT Mon Chasseral
Tires Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 27 mm
Size 47 51 54 56 58 61
Weight 6.86 kg
one-piece ICS carbon cockpit
Aerocore bottle cage
lightweight climbing wheels
stealth dropout design
700 x 25C Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tires are mounted on DT Swiss PRC 1100 DICUT Mon Chasseral wheels, which are the shallowest in the test field with a depth of 24 mm. The tires measure 27 mm wide and provide first-class vibration damping. A particular highlight of the BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE is its one-piece ICS carbon cockpit. Together with the Wilier Filante SLR cockpit, it constitutes the cleanest and tidiest solution in this test. The stem is 110 mm long and the handlebar 420 mm wide. In size 56, our test bike weighs 6.86 kg and will change hands for € 10,999.
|Seat tube||423 mm||468 mm||504 mm||524 mm||545 mm||574 mm|
|Top tube||517 mm||534 mm||549 mm||559 mm||574 mm||589 mm|
|Head tube||110 mm||130 mm||145 mm||165 mm||184 mm||210 mm|
|Chainstays||410 mm||410 mm||410 mm||410 mm||410 mm||410 mm|
|BB Drop||69 mm||69 mm||69 mm||69 mm||69 mm||69 mm|
|Wheelbase||968 mm||986 mm||989 mm||1,000 mm||1,015 mm||1,030 mm|
|Reach||367 mm||377 mm||386 mm||392 mm||401 mm||409 mm|
|Stack||506 mm||530 mm||550 mm||565 mm||584 mm||608 mm|
In terms of speed, the BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE is a paradox. With the 24 mm deep DT Swiss PRC 1100 DICUT Mon Chasseral wheels, we would have expected particularly good performance on the uphills and in return would have countenanced losses on high-speed sections. However, the opposite is the case: despite the shallow rims, the bike is the second-fastest bike after the Tarmac on flat and undulating terrain. This indicates excellent aerodynamics for the frameset, including the ICS carbon cockpit, and is underlined by aero details like the stealth dropout design. Added to this are the fast-rolling Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tires. With deeper aero wheels, the BMC would become a real aero weapon. On the other hand, its climbing abilities, while far from bad, rank at the bottom of this very strong test field. An easier gear would help with riding efficiency at low speeds.
On the downhills, the bike is back on track and convinces with great braking and cornering grip. Solely the loud whirring of the tires when leaning the bike over can be a little unsettling initially. That said, over time the sound becomes an audible marker of how close you are to the limit. The extrapolated 150 km test route with almost 2,000 m of climbing was covered at an average speed of 26.1 km/h and took 5 h 44 m 48 s to complete.
When it comes to handling and comfort, the Teammachine surprises with a remarkable balancing act: no other bike in the test is so smooth, only to turn into a corner so mercilessly. Experienced riders will love this schism but for the inexperienced, it could lead to tricky moments. There is also a balancing act when it comes to comfort: in terms of vibration damping, the BMC is at the top of the field, together with the SCOTT, and even smaller impacts are noticeably damped. The cockpit, seat post and especially the tires do a great job here. On the other hand, there is a racing stiffness to the bike that converts every watt into propulsion. In turn, larger impacts are transmitted to the contact points just as directly as its competitors. Apart from the well-known rattling of the SRAM shifters, the Teammachine is also extremely quiet. In addition to the excellent braking performance, two other factors contribute to the high sense of security for experienced riders on the bike: the lowest sensitivity to crosswinds in the test and its balanced, tenacious grip on the road.
Tuning tips: a 33 t cassette could make long and steep climbs a little more pleasant | deeper aero wheels would catapult the bike from very strong to outstanding when it comes to efficiency on the flat | fit a power meter
A strong second place for the BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE! On the test track, it stays closest on the heels of the S-Works Tarmac SL7 and convinces with its combination of race performance and the best comfort in the test field. Experienced racers will celebrate the combination of stoic stability and maximum directness, while newcomers may quickly be overwhelmed by its directness. Nevertheless, the BMC is one of the most versatile bikes in this test!
- low susceptibility to crosswinds
- rides very fast on the flats despite the shallow wheels
- great balance between racing stiffness and comfort
- combination of smoothness and directness
- falls short of our expectations on the hills
- rattling SRAM shift levers
- no power meter installed
You can find out more about at bmc-switzerland.com
The test field
Get an overview of the grouptest here: The best race bike of 2021 – 5 high-end models on test
All bikes in test: BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONE | SCOTT Addict RC Pro (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 (Click for review) | Trek Émonda SLR 9 eTap (Click for review) | Wilier Filante SLR Astana-Premier Tech Team Edition (Click for review)
This is where you eat up the miles, setting a quick pace for a long time. Anything that is pan flat or includes short punchy climbs or slightly longer ones, albeit with limited elevation gain, falls into this category. If you want to be fast here, you need a bike that offers excellent aerodynamics and maximum efficiency – from 15 km/h on level ground, air resistance is the greatest force a cyclist needs to overcome. On the other hand, weight is comparatively insignificant, with no need to constantly change speed or fight earth’s gravity. However, the most aerodynamic package is no use if the rider ruins everything – after all, they are responsible for 75 % of the total drag on a bike. To blossom fully in this terrain, a bike needs to do well when it comes to ergonomics and comfort so that the rider can maintain a low and aerodynamic riding position for a long time. On top of aerodynamics, rolling resistance, comfort and smoothness play a key role. Thus, tire dimensions and pressure should be adjusted to suit the surface for maximum speed. A nervous bike will tire you out faster, because it requires constant work to hold your line.↩
The steeper the hill, the more significant weight becomes. That’s because as your speed drops on ever steeper climbs, air resistance decreases too, meaning that gravity becomes an ever-larger proportion of the force acting against your progress. Stiffness in the right places, together with a sensibly chosen gear ratio, ensure maximum climbing efficiency. A good climbing bike delivers low weight and gearing that lets you maintain a smooth and comfortable cadence. However, it also takes aerodynamics into account, given that there’s usually a descent after every mountain – what good is the best time on the mountain if your whole advantage is wiped out by poor aerodynamics on the downhill?↩
Descending a mountain quickly is possibly the most demanding task for both rider and bike. The steeper and more winding the descent, the greater the handling skills of the rider need to be and the larger the demands on the bike itself. A good downhill bike combines aerodynamics with balanced handling. It should be agile and yet offer sufficient security to master fast changes of direction and stay safely on track at high speeds. It needs to deliver the highest precision to hit your chosen line exactly and steer quickly without excessive input required. If you ride fast, you need good anchors too: powerful brakes that are easy to modulate are fundamental on every good downhill bike. To put that braking power on the ground, tires with good grip are needed and they’re just as indispensable for fast cornering. In addition to the tires, the frame itself helps generate grip through corners. If it’s stiff as a board, it can’t build up much grip before being shaken up by the smallest bumps. An appropriate amount of flex ensures optimum grip in bends, but it’s a narrow margin before the bike simply becomes spongy and imprecise.↩
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words: Photos: Valentin Rühl