BMC Fourstroke 02 review

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£2499

BMC Fourtstroke 02

BikeRadar verdict

80.0 out of 5 stars

"A well-balanced, muscular trail bike that needs to lose some weight to be race fit"

Saturday, April 25, 2009 7.00am By

Swiss brand BMC are big on quality, as this impressively tight trail bike proves. With well-balanced race geometry and an outstandingly stiff chassis, the Fourstroke is a cracking short-travel trail bike, but it needs some serious weight loss to make it competitive.

Ride & handling: Stiff and accurate, but extra heft is noticeable on climbs

The Fourstroke's muscular framework delivers taut and controlled grip on the trail. The long-stroke shock and twin-linkage design balances bigger hit composure with consistent tactical traction and good power delivery.

Add the typically controlled Fox F100RL fork up front and you’ve got a very accurate, feedback-rich feel. A wider bar would make the sharp steering more reassuring in slippery situations, but overall handling balance is great.

Unfortunately this strength and muscular feel, plus the heavy finishing kit, have a major impact on overall weight. At 27.36lb (12.41kg) The BMC clocks in at well over 2lb heavier than the lightest bikes in this price range – which is definitely noticeable on the climbs and out of corners.

It’s relatively short too, which is good in technical sections but not when you’re crouched over trying to claw the top of a climb closer at the end of a long one.

Single piece wraparound rocker is another big factor in the fl ex free ride: single piece wraparound rocker is another big factor in the fl ex free ride

Frame: Tough and rigid, with excellent welding

It only has 100mm of travel, but this is a properly tough and rigid frame. The ring-reinforced head tube leads into a heavily shaped T-section top tube and geometric section down tube, with a curved reinforcing pipe in the armpit too.

A big externally ribbed and vertically pocketed wraparound rocker is backed up with a broad U-hoop seatstay brace. Y-forked front and machined dropouts triangulate the separate rear subframe, with a small H-linkage at the base completing the suspension circuit.

Welding is excellent throughout, with clean cable lines and a neat raised tab on the wraparound seat tube quick-release.

Equipment: Value-for-money kit, but lighter gear would help frame shine

Considering the frame quality, full Shimano XT and a Fox fork is reasonable value for money. Performance is technically excellent overall with ample control through the Servo Wave brakes and light feeling shifters.

DT wheels and Hutchinson tyres underline it with reliable mid-weight rolling stock. As we’ve already mentioned, the cost of the frame leads to some less than lightweight finishing kit, with seatpost and saddle alone weighing in at 610g.

A stiff rear subframe and xt kit make for a proper trail bike: a stiff rear subframe and xt kit make for a proper trail bike

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Specification

Name:
Fourstroke FS02 (09)
Brand:
Bmc
Price:
£2499

Available Colours:
Black/Green
Available Sizes:
L M S XL
Brakes:
XT HYDRAULIC DISC
Chain:
XT
Fork:
Rock Shox Reba SL, 100mm
Frame Material:
BMC iSC 100mm
Front Derailleur:
Shimano XT
Front Tyre:
Racing Ralph
Front Tyre Size:
26x2.25
Handlebar:
Scor Race 25in riser bar
Head Angle:
71
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano XT
Rear Shock:
RP2
Rear Tyre:
Racing Ralph
Rear Tyre Size:
26x2.25
Rims:
X1800
Saddle:
Race
Seat Angle:
73
Seatpost:
Scor Race
Shifters:
Shimano Deore XT
Stem:
Scor Race
Weight (kg):
12.41
Weight (lb):
27.36
Bottom Bracket Height (in):
13
Chainstays (in):
17.6
Seat Tube (in):
18.1
Standover Height (in):
30.7
Top Tube (in):
23.1
Wheelbase (in):
43.4

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