BMC Trailfox 01 review

|

£2999

BMC Trailfox 01

BikeRadar verdict

80.0 out of 5 stars

"Light, confident, well balanced and sweetly detailed prestige trail bike"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 7.00am By

BMC's cross-country orientated Fourstroke really impressed us, so we jumped at the chance of a sneak preview of BMC’s longer travel Trailfox. Sound ride and sweet detailing makes this Swiss missile an equally aspirational alternative all-rounder.

Ride & handling: friendly, forgiving & quick

Besides the opulent build quality, the rapid edge to the ride is what makes the Trailfox stand out on the trail. Despite chunky tyres and a weight that’s respectable but not remarkable for a 120mm (4.72in) bike, it felt responsive to whatever power you put in. There’s a bit more wallow and more rhythm-interrupting kick-downs on rocky climbs compared to similar twin-link systems, but cornering and braking traction are excellent.

Steering inputs are translated accurately and instantly through the combination of a light touch wide bar and medium stem combo, and a speed steady 69 degree head angle. 

The relatively short 23.2in top tube on the 19 gives an easily manoeuvrable, compact feel. Next year’s models will also feature a shortened chainstay set-up to snap the back end round a bit faster, too.

Typically for a lightweight trail bike, there’s a bit of sideways twang and chatter from the narrow bearings/subframe terminals and slim carbon sections. It’s only noticeable as smear when you’re cross cutting off-cambers or getting sideways through corners or under braking, though.

It’s certainly not enough to disturb the friendly and forgiving overall balance of the bike. The short top tube might choke some heavy breathers, but you’ll definitely be more confident about pushing your limits than you would be on a longer stretch, shorter travel race ship.

Frame: stand out from the crowd

BMC already have an excellent reputation for innovation on the road, and their mountain bikes have some impressive ‘stand out from the crowd’ tweaks. Open CNC-machined keystone sections at the seat cluster and bottom bracket combine with subtly shaped main tubes for a definite premium feel. The deep chainstays are topped by a full one-piece carbon fibre seat/frontstay section. The dropouts and 3D VPS linkages are also crisply machined with smart logo engraving on the latter.

Prettiness comes at some practical cost though. The open seat section is vulnerable to dirt and moisture and the wraparound seat collar is a bugger to flip open by hand. That said, the 2.25in tyres have reasonable clearance at the back.

Equipment: practical stuff

The TF01 comes with various special equipment options and our sample ticked every bling box available, making the £3,000 tag seem perfectly reasonable. It’s all practical stuff, and we’ve certainly no complaints in terms of performance. Also, while the TALAS fork is heavier than a fixed 120mm unit, 20mm travel adjust either way is handy for challenging descents and climbs.

What's the score with BikeRadar reviews? You can find a full explanation of our ratings here.

User Comments

Submit Your Review:

Specification

Name:
Trailfox 01 (08)
Brand:
Bmc
Price:
£2999

Bottom Bracket:
Ceramic
Brakes:
Juicy 7 hydraulic disc 185/160mm rotors
Cassette:
SRAM
Cranks:
K Force Light
Fork:
32 Talas RL 100/120/140mm
Frame Material:
7005 Alu mainframe, semi-carbon rear triangle
Front Derailleur:
X.0
Front Hub:
XT
Handlebar:
EA70 Carbon low rise
Head Angle:
69
Rear Derailleur:
X.0
Rear Hub:
XT
Rear Shock:
190 120mm travel
Rims:
X430
Saddle:
Gobi X M
Seat Angle:
72.5
Seatpost:
EA70
Shifters:
X.0
Stem:
EA70
Available Colours:
Polished
Available Sizes:
17 Inches 19 Inches 21 Inches 23 Inches
Front Tyre:
Nobby Nic
Front Tyre Size:
26x2.25
Rear Tyre:
Nobby Nic
Rear Tyre Size:
26x2.25
Year:
2008

Latest questions

Related links