For a brand’s entry-level frame design to so closely mirror that of their flagship bike is rare, but BMC have always done things a little differently.
The distinctive frame shape with its three triangles, super-short seatstays and complex tube profiling has certainly proven itself in carbon: we’ve been hugely impressed with both the Tour-winning Teammachine and the excellent Racemachine.
The Streetracer has those distinctive looks along with a great overall package. Shimano Tiagra’s new incarnation in 10-speed not only offers an extra sprocket (and the availability of a SRAM Apex-combating 30-tooth rear sprocket), but also the potential to upgrade the drivetrain piece by piece as parts wear out, though it performs almost as well as 105 as it is.
The BMC also comes with Shimano’s solid and dependable R500 wheels shod with quality Continental Ultra Sport tyres; many £1,000 bikes skimp on the wheels and tyres so it’s great to see BMC haven’t downgraded here.
In carbon, the frame’s short seatstays allow the seat tube to flex, resulting in an amazing ability to dampen knocks and vibrations over rougher surfaces. This doesn’t affect the rear end under power as the tighter triangle and huge chainstays create a super-stiff triangle.
When translated into alloy, albeit lightweight and triple butted, the flex is far less apparent, not helped by the well made but basic Easton alloy seatpost. The rear end is still remarkably rigid, though, and handles sprinting efforts without drama or fuss.
Up front the head tube has a little more length (1cm) than a full-on race bike, while the top tube is similarly shorter. It’s not so upright as to dull speed potential and we never felt compromised by the handling.
The slightly taller front end is balanced by a straight fork and gives a snappy sharp turn. This is great for thrashing through traffic but stable enough to handle high speed cornering on fast descents, and still relaxed enough for big miles and long days in the saddle.
The Streetracer is aimed at beginners – if a £1,000 bike can be called a beginner’s bike! – and we like it a lot. It’s easy enough to handle but with the potential to grow with you as you get more confident. That it’s so well specced for the money only adds to its appeal.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.