BMC adds 20mm of front suspension to new URS LT gravel bike

The march of suspension on gravel bikes continues

BMC URS LT hero

Suspension is one of this year’s key gravel bike trends and that’s showing no signs of slowing with the launch of the BMC URS LT.

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The latest addition to BMC’s gravel bike range adds suspension to the front of the bike, with a coil spring concealed in its head tube.

BMC launched the URS in 2019 (URS stands for ‘unrestricted’) and the LT here signifies ‘long travel’, with the fork offering 20mm of vertical travel.

That’s paired with the original frame’s 10mm of rear-end micro-suspension, which uses an elastomer insert in the top of the seatstays (a technology borrowed from BMC’s hardtail mountain bikes).

The URS LT joins an ever-lengthening list of gravel bikes with added front-end bump management – expect to see more following the launch of SRAM’s XPLR components and the RockShox Rudy gravel fork – and joins BMC’s roster of off-road drop-bar bikes.

In fact, it’s the second dirt-ready bike launched by the Swiss brand this week, joining the new, carbon fibre BMC Roadmachine X.

Gravel suspension gathers pace

Where the Roadmachine X is more of a gravel-adjacent, all-road bike, the URS is unashamedly a gravel bike. 

BMC has worked with suspension experts HiRide to develop the new suspension setup.

BMC says the coil spring inside the head tube, paired with a hydraulic damper, works better for gravel riding than other suspension options as the impacts are usually light, though apparently there’s still enough travel to deal with bigger hits.

BMC URS LT fork
The coil spring is housed within the bike’s head tube.

The suspension curve is optimised for gravel, according to BMC, and allows you to run your gravel setup with slightly higher tyre pressures, should you so wish, without being battered too much.

All told, the suspension reduces front-end vibration by up to 46 per cent, according to BMC’s tests. 

BMC says the suspension design is durable, lightweight and low maintenance. Unlike air springs, it doesn’t overheat, plus, says BMC, it doesn’t mar the bike’s aesthetics.

The system includes a lock-out and can be fine-tuned via three different stiffnesses of spring and preload spacers. The steerer also allows you to adjust the stack height by 4mm, so you can tweak your ride position.

For dawn to dusk rides and beyond, there’s scope for internal dynamo cable routing through the right fork leg.

All the gravel features

BMC URS LT frame
The elastomer inserts in the seatstays allow a further 10mm of compliance at the rear of the frame.

Like the original URS, the URS LT has a slack 70-degree head tube and long reach, paired with a short stem – a geometry inspired by BMC’s XC mountain bikes and common to many newer gravel bike frames.

BMC says this layout gives the bike stability at high speeds along with sharp steering when required.

There’s scope to fit gravel tyres up to 45mm wide, the usual array of mounting points for bikepacking bags and the option to fit mudguards front and rear (including BMC Dfender rear mudguard), as well as a rear rack.

BMC URS LT specs, prices and availability

The two spec options both include SRAM eTap AXS 12-speed 1x groupsets in a mullet configuration (pairing a road crankset with a mountain bike rear derailleur and cassette, for a wide range of gearing).

The higher-spec BMC URS LT One gets a Force/X01 Eagle drivetrain, while the Two gets a Rival/GX Eagle build.

Both feature a 38-tooth chainring paired with a 10-52t cassette. The One gets carbon wheels rather than alloy, but both have 40mm WTB Raddler tyres (the URS can take tyres up to 700c x 45mm).

What the URS LT doesn’t have, unlike some top-spec gravel bikes, is a dropper post as standard. Its D-shaped seatpost means the usual round models won’t fit, although the frame has internal cable routing for a dropper, so watch this space.

BMC has given prices in Euros only at launch. Other currencies to follow.

BMC URS LT One

BMC URS LT One
  • Frame: URS Premium Carbon with Micro Travel Technology
  • Fork: Premium Carbon with 20 mm Travel
  • Groupset: SRAM Force/X01 Eagle eTap AXS 12-speed
  • Gearing: 38t chainring, 10-52t cassette
  • Brakes: SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD
  • Wheels: BMC CRD-400 carbon, tubeless-ready
  • Tyres: WTB Raddler 40mm
  • Bar: Easton EA70 AX alloy
  • Stem: BMC MSM02
  • Saddle: WTB SL8 Medium titanium rail
  • Seatpost: URS 01 Premium Carbon zero offset
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Availability: Available now
  • Price: €7,999

BMC URS LT Two

BMC URS LT Two
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  • Frame: URS Premium Carbon with Micro Travel Technology
  • Fork: Premium Carbon with 20 mm Travel
  • Groupset: SRAM Rival/GX Eagle eTap AXS 12-speed
  • Gearing: 38t, 10-52t
  • Brakes: SRAM Rival eTap AXS HRD
  • Wheels: DT Swiss G1800 Spline alloy, tubeless-ready
  • Tyres: WTB Raddler 40mm
  • Bar: Easton EA70 AX alloy
  • Stem: BMC MSM02
  • Saddle: WTB SL8 Medium chromoly rail
  • Seatpost: URS 01 Premium Carbon zero offset
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Availability: Available now
  • Price: €5,999