The BMC URS LT ONE is a gravel bike with a small amount of suspension travel that wants to be ready for big adventures. Our group test of 18 of the best gravel bikes of the year discovers whether this can make it the pioneer of suspended gravel bikes and the optimal gravel all-rounder.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best gravel bike 2022 – 19 models on test

BMC URS LT ONE | 20 mm (f) | 9.52 kg in size L | Manufacturer’s website

In a way, the BMC URS LT ONE is an old acquaintance, previously featuring in our concept comparison between gravel and mountain bikes (read article here). There we described the bike as the specialist amongst all-rounders – a great candidate for this gravel bike group test, with a spec that also raises anticipation and expectation.

The URS LT ONE uses the same frame as the URS 01 but with the MTT suspension fork. This consists of a steel spring and hydraulic damper in the steerer tube that is supposed to respond sensitively to the vibrations and small impacts typical of gravel. Three different spring stiffnesses and three different preload spacers are available for the HiRide system. A spacer is required to adjust the sag i.e. compression under body weight, to around 5 mm. This leaves approximately 12 mm travel minus the upper and lower end stops. The lockout knob is located at the upper end of the steerer tube. Changing the stem is possible but requires options that will fit a 1 ¼” steerer. At the rear, a compliant rear triangle provides 10 mm of travel thanks to a tailored carbon construction and elastomer insert. Our size L test bike weighs 9.52 kg and costs € 7,999.

Violence required
The seat post clamp is nicely integrated but even after loosening the bolt, it can only be dislodged and loosened with a strong blow to the saddle. Thanks to an optional insert, a 27.2 mm dropper post can also be mounted.
Prepared for anything
Being compatible with a hub dynamo the BMC URS LT ONE takes another step towards being the ultimate all-round carefree package and is made for long tours where you might face anything.
Turn it up (or down)
The HiRide fork can be adjusted and locked out with the dial. However, the differences with the intermediate steps are hardly noticeable.


€ 7,999


Fork BMC Micro Travel Technology Suspension Fork 20 mm
Seatpost BMC URS 01 Premium Carbon D-Shaped
Brakes SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 180/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Force eTap AXS mit X01 Eagle AXS-Schaltwerk 1x12
Stem BMC MSM02 80 mm
Handlebar Easton EA70 AX 440 mm
Wheelset CRD-400 SL Carbon
Tires WTB Raddler 700 x 40C

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 9.52 kg

Specific Features

full-suspension gravel bike with 20 mm travel up front and 10 mm at the rear
compatible with mudguards, a rack and up to 4 bottle cages
internal dynamo routing
180 mm rotor up front

More is more
Like the 3T, the BMC URS LT ONE has a mullet drivetrain – the largest 52 t sprocket here has two more teeth, giving it 20% more range. Steep? So what?
Gravel fully? Gravel fully!
The BMC URS LT ONE’s suspension might not look like that of a mountain bike, but vibrations and undulating compressions are noticeably reduced.
Could be tight
Officially, the BMC URS LT ONE can take up to 700 x 45C tires. However, the 700 x 40C WTB Raddler tires don’t leave much room to spare.

The BMC URS LT ONE stands out from the crowd: its colour and design language are unique, plus it has full suspension. More of that please!

In addition to the suspension components, a Force-level SRAM mullet drivetrain combines Force cranks and shifters with an X01 Eagle AXS rear derailleur and a SRAM XG-1275 Eagle cassette with 520% range. The 38 t chainring isn’t quite as well suited to high speeds on the flats as the larger one on the 3T Exploro Ultra and the steps in the gears are a little too large for asphalt. Nonetheless, the gearing offers significantly more reserves, especially on steep ramps and with luggage. The 700 x 40C WTB Raddler tires mounted on CRD-400 SL carbon wheels deliver first-class traction in a range of scenarios, whether it’s uphill or when braking and cornering on loose ground. That’s a real bonus to security.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 431 mm 459 mm 492 mm 527 mm
Top tube 557 mm 578 mm 591 mm 612 mm
Head tube 113 mm 146 mm 172 mm 207 mm
Head angle 70.0° 70.0° 70.0° 70.0°
Seat angle 74.0° 74.0° 74.0° 74.0°
Chainstays 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm 425 mm
BB Drop 69 mm 69 mm 69 mm 69 mm
Wheelbase 1,041 mm 1,064 mm 1,081 mm 1,105 mm
Reach 403 mm 415 mm 419 mm 429 mm
Stack 538 mm 569 mm 603 mm 641 mm
Helmet POC Octal X MIPS | Glasses POC Elicit Clarity
Jacket Pas Normal Studios Escapism Performance Fleece Vest
Jersey Pas Normal Studios Escapism Wool Jersey
Pants Pas Normal Studios Escapism Bibs | Shoes Five Ten Freerider Pro

As usual, the SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD brakes deliver steadfast braking, which is boosted over the competition thanks to the large 180 mm rotor at the front. The generous flare and excellent ergonomics of the 440 mm Easton EA70 AX bars help keep everything under control, particularly when in the drops. However, the width can also exacerbate some vague handling, contributing to a clumsy feel when riding slowly in the saddle. Other than that, the URS LT ONE shines with its stoic straight-line stability, which makes fast straights and long, open corners a real pleasure. However, it lacks the necessary agility for tight corners and quick changes of direction.

The acceleration of the bike matches this character. While the bike gets moving willingly enough not to fall too far behind the best performer in the test and, likewise, is efficient enough to spare your muscles during long days in the saddle, it can’t come close to the merciless acceleration of an S-Works Crux or the efficient rolling of the Ridley Kanzo Fast. In part, this is due to the WTB tires which provide some of the best grip and traction, but sacrifice rolling resistance as a result. Unfortunately, they are a limiting factor both when it comes to high speed and very rough terrain. The tread isn’t aggressive enough for the latter and the frame offers no space for wider tires that could noticeably expand the range of uses of the bike.

Tuning tip: the BMC URS LT ONE knows what it is and that’s a good thing. Use the dynamo hub integration, fit a light and go on an adventure.

The suspension on the BMC improves traction and, above all, delivers a higher level of comfort. It reliably absorbs or reduces vibrations and isolated larger impacts. That said, when it comes to multiple larger hits at high speeds, the system quickly reaches its limits, doesn’t rebound quickly enough and ends up feeling like a conventional gravel bike with a rigid fork. While bottom outs are caught softly by an elastomer when the fork compresses, when rebounding, the hard end stop is clearly audible which can be unsettling. The system’s lockout works perfectly, but the intermediate steps provide little to no difference in feel.

Overall, we remain convinced that the BMC URS LT ONE is a specialist among all-rounders. The bike’s combination of handling, comfort and efficiency fit together very well. This makes it a great all-rounder that is well-suited to long and extended tours on forest paths, trails and gravel tracks of all kinds – even better if you head out on a bikepacking trip. In the end, the WTB tires limit the range of uses at both ends of the spectrum and, together with the limited tire clearances, hold the URS LT ONE back from winning the test.

Riding Characteristics



  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Fun factor

  1. boring
  2. lively


  1. firm
  2. comfortable

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Technical Data


Size: S M L XL
Weight: 9.52 kg
Price: € 7,999

Indended Use

Smooth tarmac 1
Allroad/Gravel 2
Everyday/Commuting 3

BMC URS LT ONE conclusion

The BMC URS LT ONE is made for extended touring and bikepacking, where comfort and a good time take precedence over absolute efficiency and razor-sharp handling. If you cruise along at 30 km/h and carve your way through open corners on gravel, a fat grin is inevitable. The only issue: there are bikes that are just a touch better when it comes to all-round riding, leaving the BMC URS LT ONE as a runner up.


  • wide gear range and intuitive shifting logic
  • powerful brakes with 180 mm rotor up front
  • full-suspension design with minimal maintenance and a clean look
  • high level of integration


  • limited tire clearances limit range of applications
  • harsh topping out of fork when HiRide system rebounds

You can find out more about at

The testfield

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best gravel bike 2022 – 19 models on test

All bikes on review: 3T Exploro Ultra (Click for review) | BMC URS LT ONE | Cannondale SuperSix EVO SE (Click for review) | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension (Click for review) | Cervélo Áspero GRX Di2 (Click for review) | CUBE Nuroad C:62 SLT (Click for review) | Curve Kevin of Steel III (Click for review) | Falkenjagd Aristos R (Click for review) | Felt Breed 20 (Click for review) | FOCUS ATLAS 6.8 (Click for review) | GIANT Revolt Advanced 0 (Click for review) | OPEN WI.DE. (Click for review) | Ridley Kanzo Fast (Click for review) | ROSE BACKROAD EKAR LTD (Click for review) | SCOTT Addict Gravel Tuned (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Crux (Click for review) | Stelbel Nina XCr (Click for review) | Storck GRIX.2 Platinum (Click for review) | Wilier Rave SLR (Click for review)

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: Benjamin Topf, Peter Walker