With the URS ONE, BMC present the first Gravel bike in the company’s history. Read on to find out whether they’ve been successful in bringing their carbon know-how to the world of Gravel.

BMC URS ONE | 8.32 kg in M | € 8,999

BMC has been hard at work, releasing one new model after the other. After announcing the Alpenchallenge AMP ROAD and the revised version of the Roadmachine in the last couple of weeks, they’ve now released details of the brand new URS – or Unrestricted. For the first Gravel bike in its portfolio, the Swiss brand seems to have gone all out, equipping it with almost all of the technologies featured on the rest of their most current models. So what happens when a brand like BMC is given a blank sheet of paper to design a Gravel bike?

The BMC URS in detaill

In order to meet the requirements of the demanding and multifaceted Gravel biker, BMC took their inspiration for the URS’ geometry from the mountain bike sector. Accordingly, they’ve paired longer reach figures with relatively short stems. The carbon frame has a reach of 415 mm in size M and comes with a 55 mm stem. While the head angle is at an extremely slack 70° to provide the necessary composure, the URS ONE, TWO and THREE models feature the ICS cockpit with integrated cable routing, as you’ll be familiar with from the Roadmachine. In addition to the shorter stem, the cockpit also comes with a flared handlebar for optimised off-road handling. The URS carbon fork features flat-mount brake calliper mounts for 160 mm rotors, offering clearance for up to 45 mm wide tires – same as the rear – and has internal cable routing for a hub dynamo. According to BMC, you could also fit a FOX 32 SC suspension fork without affecting the handling of the URS.

Internal cable routing for the brake as well as a hub dynamo, protectors and suspension fork compatibility: the front of the URS has a lot to offer.
Flat-Mount for 160 mm rotors …
… or 180 mm rotors with an adapter

For those who want to take the URS exploring, BMC have provided bosses for up to three bottle cages and additional attachment points for a bag on the top tube. The frame also comes stock with integrated protectors on the bottom of the forks, underneath the down tube and on the drive side chainstay, promising to keep everything looking spotless no matter how rough you treat it. The frameset is optimised exclusively for the use of 1x groupsets, though you’re free to choose between either electronic or mechanical alternatives. While the cables for electronic shifters are routed internally all the way, the cables of mechanical shifters enter the frame at the top of the down tube. In addition to BMC’s optional “D-Fender” mudguard that can be integrated into the seat post, the frame also offers additional mounting points for regular mudguards and racks.

You’ll immediately notice the abruptly cut off chainstays, but …
… the MTT system with 10 mm “travel” performed well in the test.

The MTT system, which is integrated between the chainstays and the seat tube, provides up to 10 mm “travel” and should provide some level of comfort. However, comfort is only a by-product of BMC’s so-called Micro Travel Technology. According to the developers, its primary function is to provide more traction on the rear wheel. The carbon layup of the D-shaped seat post has been redesigned to provide improved compliance and vibration damping. BMC also offer a clever insert that makes the inside of D-shaped seat tube compatible with conventional 27.2 mm seat posts. So, you have the option of fitting a dropper post should you wish. They’ve even provided for stealth dropper post cable routing. The URS will be available as of now in the following four configurations:

BMC URS ONE – Our test bike

BMC URS ONE | 8.32 kg in M | € 8,999

Drivetrain SRAM RED eTap AXS HRD, 1×12, 38 T
Cassette SRAM Eagle XG-1295, 10-50T
Brakes SRAM RED eTap AXS HRD with Centerline X rotors, 180/160 mm
Wheels DT Swiss GRC 1400 SPLINE DB 42, Thru-Axle
Tires WTB Resolute 700 x 42C
Seat post URS D-Shape Carbon, 15 mm offset
Handlebar Easton EC70 AX
Stem BMC ICS 01 with Garmin and GoPro mount
Weight 8.32 kg in M
Preis € 8,999
Verfügbare Size S, M, L, XL
Color Sand
Availability right now

BMC URS TWO

BMC URS TWO | 8.65 kg in M | € 5,999

Drivetrain Shimano GRX RX810, 1 x 11, 40T
Cassette Shimano Deore XT, 11-42T
Brakes Shimano GRX RX810 mit RT-MT800-Rotoren, 180/160 mm
Wheels DT Swiss GR 1600 SPLINE DB 25, Thru-Axle
Tires WTB Resolute 700 x 42C
Seat post URS D-Shape Carbon, 15 mm offset
Handlebar Easton EC70 AX
Stem BMC ICS 01 with Garmin and GoPro mount
Weight 8.65 kg in M
Preis € 5,999
Verfügbare Size S, M, L, XL
Color Red Amber
Availability right now

BMC URS THREE

BMC URS THREE | 8.81 kg in M | € 3,999

Drivetrain Shimano GRX RX600, 1 x 11, 40T
Cassette Shimano Deore SLX, 11-42T
Brakes Shimano GRX RX400 mit RT64-Rotoren, 180/160 mm
Wheels Mavic Allroad Disc, Thru-Axle
Tires WTB Resolute 700 x 42C
Seat post URS D-Shape Carbon, 15 mm offset
Handlebar Easton EC70 AX
Stem BMC ICS 01 with Garmin and GoPro mount
Weight 8.81 kg in M
Preis € 3,999
Verfügbare Size S, M, L, XL
Color Distant Blue
Availability right now

BMC URS FOUR

BMC URS FOUR | 9.09 kg in M | € 2,999

Drivetrain SRAM Apex, 1 x 11, 40T
Cassette SRAM Apex 1, PG-1130, 11-42T
Brakes SRAM Apex 1 HRD 180/160 mm
Wheels DT Swiss C1850 SPLINE DB 23, Thru-Axle
Tires WTB Resolute 700 x 42C
Seat post URS D-Shape Carbon, 15 mm offset
Handlebar Easton EC50 AX
Stem BMC MSM 02
Weight 9.09 kg in M
Preis € 2,999
Verfügbare Size S, M, L, XL
Color Cherry Red
Availability right now

BMC URS geometry

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° 70° 70° 70°
Seat angle 74° 74° 74° 74°
Chainstay 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

BMC URS ONE in review

At the first sight of the URS, you’ll be immediately struck by the glossy paintwork amongst the otherwise predominantly matte colour palette of BMC’s products. The minimalistic decals and the progressive design of the Gravel bike look great. However, the black covers on the abruptly cutoff chainstays don’t quite match the otherwise very high-quality finish. The lines on the URS reflect BMC’s idiosyncratic style and mirror elements of their existing models.

Getting on the pedals, the bike is quick to accelerate, responding fleet-footed to the input of the rider. The performance of the stiff DT Swiss GRC 1400 wheelset certainly plays a role here. Already when we reviewed the OPEN WI.DE., the SRAM eTap AXS combined with SRAM RED eTap shifters and a SRAM Eagle rear derailleur and cassette delivered a convincing performance across the board. Thanks to the massive 500% gear range, you’ll always find the right gear, whether you’re riding along flat terrain at over 40 km/h or up the steepest climbs with a gradient of over 20%. Of course, the gear jumps are much larger than with road specific drivetrains, but that never bothered us here. If you get tired of cranking the pedals you can simply go down a notch, ride 3 km/h slower and enjoy your surroundings. If for any reason you need to stop quickly, you can always rely on the SRAM brakes with 180/160mm rotors.

With fast direction changes and in tight corners, the BMC feels playful and direct, reacting to the rider’s input with immediacy. The flare on the Easton handlebar gives you extra stability in the drops, which is welcome at higher speeds. The lively character of the bike makes the front end tend to feel nervous when you’re at the limit. However, at more moderate speeds on compact gravel, the URS conveys a lot of confidence and stability. If you decide to head down a trail, you’ll quickly reach the limits of the very precise 700C wheels and the moderate volume of the WTB Resolute tires. Those who like to go beyond gravel roads should rather resort to a 650b wheelset and larger volume tires. The frame offers clearance for 650b tires with a width of up to 46 mm.

In terms of comfort, the URS delivered a convincing performance throughout. The compliance of the seat post, the MTT system and the volume of the tires work hand in hand to make the ride more comfortable. Here, the compliance of the front is on par with the rear and thus the overall comfort of the bike is nicely balanced. The very compact and comfortably upright riding position also makes for a relaxed time on the bike.

Conclusion

With the URS, BMC present a Gravel bike with a unique design and some clever features. The Swiss brand has put its know-how to good use in the Gravel scene and thus created a comfortable and lively bike that is fun to ride. If you’re looking for a highly comfortable Gravel bike with good all-round characteristics and you mainly ride on compact forest roads and gravel roads, you’ll find a well-rounded bike here.


For more information head to bmc-switzerland.com

We’re already looking forward to having the URS go up against its rivals in our big Gravel bike group test.

Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Benjamin Topf, BMC