BMC Roadmachine 01 Ultegra Di2 road bike

Though pitched as an endurance bike, BMC's Roadmachine gives you so much more

With a high-flying WorldTour team functioning as the highest of high-level test beds for its latest creative technology and thinking, it’s no wonder Swiss brand BMC felt well-positioned to create arguably one of the strongest all-round bikes on the market.

Primarily, it’s pitched towards the endurance market, although to say so and leave it there is a bit like pointing out that all deep section aero bike wheels are designed to make you go as fast as possible. Well, yes, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that.

You see, the Roadmachine isn’t just a bike to get you through long rides in comfort. It’s designed to do it with the speed of the Teammachine and the compliance of the Granfondo race bikes, condensed into the package we have before us. A true all-in-one road bike.

So how do they achieve this? Interestingly, not through new-fangled suspension appendages or space-age materials, but through clever manipulation of frame design. In effect, by stripping innovation back to the barebones of bike design (i.e. in the frame geometry and profile), BMC’s engineers have come up with the ‘Re-Tuned Compliance Concept’.

Of course, that sounds like typical marketing spiel, but here’s the thing: it’s not just that, because it works. At the heart of the frame is BMC’s top-tier 01 carbon layup, which means key power transfer areas are beefed up to take punishment as efficiently as possible, while points where wasted energy can be minimised, such as the seatstays, seattube and forks, are thinned and shaped to deaden tiring chatter from the road.

Key to this is the rear triangle, which while remaining compact to maintain responsiveness when power is laid down, is distinctively shaped to meter out road vibrations. With the seatstay junction made a third of the way down the seattube, it provides a distinctive and aggressive look, all the while actually providing the opposite in terms of ride quality. The term “buttery smooth” is often thrown about with abandon in the bike industry – but it’s genuinely appropriate, without the side effect of dulling the ride.

RCUK 100 2017, BMC Roadmachine RM01 road bike

Flared chainstays with asymmetric profiling help transfer and stabilise power distribution along the length of the drivetrain, and if you pay close attention it’s here you’ll spot future-proof cable routing points, making it easy to switch between electronic and mechanical should you wish to.

You’ll also note the native use of disc brakes throughout the entire Roadmachine range – not just on this, the flagship 01 frameset. While many brands concern themselves with adapting their rim brake machines into disc-toting versions, the Roadmachine is a ground-up rotor stopper, with a frame design that reflects it, including use of thru-axles rather than quick-releases. Despite this and the extra strengthening disc brake frames are supposed to require, a 54cm disc frame weighs just 920g.

RCUK 100 2017 BMC Roadmachine

The weight of the frame means the bike itself is responsive and ready to attack climbs, even with the penalty of physically carrying rotors. A look at the latest flagship Roadmachine, the One, complete with full Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 groupset shows BMC (and Shimano) can minimise this downside, but even here with Ultegra-spec rotors and calipers fitted it’s no hardship.

“Let there be light,” said God – although he might not have foreseen this interpretation.

Elsewhere in the mix, there’s a D-shaped carbon seatpost to further dampen road vibrations, with a Fizik Aliante R5 perched atop it, and an integrated cockpit that presents a clean profile to the wind, with internal routing for the front hydraulics.

RCUK 100 2017 BMC Roadmachine
RCUK 100 2017, BMC Roadmachine RM01 road bike

The Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain is an ideal foil for the Roadmachine 01 too – clear, crisp shifting is guaranteed, and with it carries the greatest indication of its endurance heart, with an enormous 11-32t cassette married to a compact 50-34t chainset. The result is a bike that can, quite literally, get you up practically any gradient of your choosing.

And, as the £5,799 price tag warrants, there’s very high quality rolling stock fitted in the form of 3T Discus C35 carbon clincher wheels.

BMC Roadmachine 01

Light, stiff and yet capable of complementing the frameset’s ability to iron out the worst the road can throw at you, the hoops are fitted as standard with race-ready Continental Grand Prix 4000 II 25c tyres, although you can easily fit 28c versions if a more supple ride is your preferred option. There’s no shortage of speed from those tyres, making them great all-rounders in their own right with premium carbon hubs keeping weight low.

All of this leads us to conclude BMC are on top of their game right now in the bike building business, and the Roadmachine is a first-class example of what’s possible with modern road bike design. An all-rounder that can turn its hand to anything.

[monetizer101 search=’BMC RoadMachine 01′ price=’5799′]


Selected for The RCUK 100 2017

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