BMC Trailfox 01 review

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£2999

BMC Trailfox 01

BikeRadar verdict

75.0 out of 5 stars

"A unique, fast, superbly built but costly alternative to the mainstream options"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8.00am By

Better known for its race-winning road bikes, BMC has incorporated its best frame configuration ideas into a range of virtual pivot, floating linkage mountain bikes that can tame the toughest trails. The Trailfox is unusually edgy for a 140mm travel bike and a lot of fun to ride. While it feels like a fast cross-country bike, it allows the sort of ‘throw caution to the wind’ riding that is usually reserved for heavier duty machines.

Ride & handling: Fast and frisky

The Trailfox 01 is remarkably well behaved on high-speed cross-country trails, and can take serious abuse on rock-strewn downhills. The rocker-activated floating pivot chassis has a stiff tracking feel due to the short, stiff linkages between the mainframe and link-free rear subframe. 

The virtual pivot suspension configuration is super-plush over small bumps but stable when subjected to steady pedal loads on climbs. Braking and steady pedalling forces are almost isolated from the suspension motion, but if you shift around on the bike or have a punchy pedalling style you may need to use the ProPedal feature on the Fox shock on climbs. Steepish geometry can make for nervous handling at times.

The striking ‘single bone’ rear triangle configuration: the striking ‘single bone’ rear triangle configuration

Frame: Painstaking attention to detail

BMC stands for Bicycle Manufacturing Company, a strangely orthodox name for a company making radically unorthodox frames. Every section of the Trailfox’s triple-butted Integrated Skeleton frame has been created to regulate the flow of ride pressures between them. 

The most unusual features include a thoughtfully sculpted and very stiff ‘single bone’ rear triangle configuration, the fat flare-reinforced head tube, lightweight shell-constructed shock rocker and spoon-shaped seatpost quick release. 

The tube profiles boast almost every hydroformed shape imaginable, while the full width of the distinctive bottom bracket shell is forged into the tube joins to maximise stiffness. The rear brake has post mounts and Initial Load Indicator lines let you fine tune suspension sag. There’s 140mm of travel here, compared to 120mm on the Trailfox 02 and 03.

Cables disappear inside the trailfox’s integrated skeleton: cables disappear inside the trailfox’s integrated skeleton

Equipment: Fox suspension, XT drivetrain and DT Swiss wheels

BMC is offering the Trailfox 01 as a frame or a complete bike. The full package comes with a Fox RP2 shock and a Talas 100/120/140mm through-axle fork, Shimano Deore XT crankset, gears and brakes, and a set of DT Swiss X1800 wheels. Finishing parts are BMC’s own.

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Specification

Name:
TRAILFOX 01 (09)
Brand:
Bmc
Price:
£2999

Available Colours:
Grey
Available Sizes:
L M S XL
Brakes:
XT
Chain:
XT
Cranks:
XT
Fork:
Talas through-axle, 100/120/140mm travel
Frame Material:
Integrated Skeleton Concept
Front Tyre Size:
26x2.3
Handlebar:
Race
Head Angle:
68
Rear Derailleur:
XT
Rear Shock:
RP2 140mm travel
Rear Tyre Size:
26x2.3
Rims:
X1800
Saddle:
Race
Seat Angle:
73
Seatpost:
Race
Shifters:
XT
Stem:
Race
Year:
2009
Weight (lb):
28.5
Bottom Bracket Height (in):
13.5
Chainstays (in):
16.75
Seat Tube (in):
19.5
Top Tube (in):
24
Wheelbase (in):
43.75

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