Launched in September 2022, BMC’s Kaius has arrived at BikeRadar HQ for testing.
It occupies the complete opposite end of the spectrum compared to the brand’s URS, which uses suspension and elastomers to offer a bump-taming ride.
Let’s take a closer look at this race-oriented gravel bike.
A Swiss frame approach
The Kaius takes clear inspiration from BMC’s road race bike, the Teammachine SLR01, sharing a visually similar sculpted head tube, oversized down tube and angular, dropped seatstays.
BMC says the Kaius uses high-modulus carbon in certain areas of the frame to achieve an equilibrium between stiffness, power transfer and minimal weight. The brand also says it has reinforced some areas of the Kaius’ frame to help it withstand tough off-road riding.
BMC claims a low 910g frame weight in a size 56cm, with the fork adding a further 400g.
The Kaius features the brand’s Aerocore bottle cages, also found on the Teammachine. These integrate into the down tube and seat tube, with the aim of smoothing airflow.
The stealth dropouts BMC introduced on the Teammachine carry over to the Kaius. This sees the thru-axle insert bonded in place. The insert isn’t visible from the outside face of the driveside chainstay or fork leg, resulting in a particularly clean aesthetic.
Like other bikes in BMC’s range, the Kaius sticks to a BB86 bottom bracket standard.
The Kaius has 700c gravel wheels and clearance for 44mm gravel bike tyres, which is similar to the 45mm tyre clearance of the Àspero 5 but not as generous as the 47mm tyre clearance of the S-Works Crux.
In a nod to versatility, the Kaius has top tube mounts for a bento box and can accept either 1x or 2x drivetrains.
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A clean front end
Unlike BMC’s road handlebars, the Kaius’ bar has 12.5-degree flare, which means it measures 36cm along the top and 42cm at the drops. The design’s narrow profile is said to improve aerodynamics and comfort.
A tasty spec list
Zipp’s 303 Firecrest wheels have proved a popular option on many gravel bikes recently, and they’re shod with Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H tyres.
The finishing kit comes courtesy of BMC, with the aforementioned bar-stem and a proprietary D-shaped seatpost. The saddle is a Fizik Vento Argo 00.
All-in, the bike weighs in at 7.71kg without pedals.
There are two other models in the range, — the Kaius 01 Two and 01 Three. The 01 Three is the entry-level Kaius, retailing for £5,699 / $5,999 / €5,499. It has a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset, using the 2x Wide variant, and BMC’s CRD-400 40mm wheels.