BMC Roadmachine: the future of endurance road bikes?
Seemingly unwilling to categorise or label their new bike, BMC titled the Roadmachine launch as “the future of (endurance) road bikes”, with the word endurance almost greyed out. They’re also calling it “the one bike collection”, since the Roadmachine climbs, handles and descends well, and very quickly.
In recent years, the divergence of road bike niches hasn’t always helped the consumer who just wants a bike, maybe only one bike, to ride wherever they please. Along with type of tubing used, geometry used to be about the only defining factor of frames, back in the days of round steel. Alloy changed things with more tube profile options, but with carbon fibre, anything goes, and these days how a frame appears usually helps decide its designation.
Appearance plus overall weight are commonly used criteria when consumers are looking to buy a bike, so BMC wanted to know which were most important, and if a customer could only have one bike, what would it be like? Pulling together the results, the features mentioned seemed to describe a bike that the company didn’t yet offer – with attributes of several other bikes that they already did.
With endurance-style events becoming more common, and many riders riding further at a higher intensity, BMC felt that endurance probably isn’t the best description for this bike. Their solution is the Roadmachine: a fast bike with great fit, and a broad rider appeal that offers technically advanced high performance.
BMC Roadmachine weight
Roadmachine 01 Ultegra Di2 in Sunrise finish:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
BMC Roadmachine 01 Ultegra Di2 in Sunrise finish
Roadmachine sits in BMC’s range between the Teammachine and Granfondo, and so do all of its test figures, such as comparative frame weights :
Gran Fondo = 1050g
Teammachine = 790g
Roadmachine = 930g
BMC Roadmachine frame
Roadmachine 01 frameset in BMC Racing Team finish, which may yet appear in the pro peloton in 2016:Courtesy BMC
The new frame’s vertical compliance, bottom bracket stiffness and torsional stiffness results are all in between the figures for the other two models. The fork’s lateral rigidity matches Teammachine and its frontal stiffness is lower.
The frame design is sleek and integrated, but not considered aero. It does give more consideration to aerodynamics than the Granfondo though, as with the rear wheel tucked in and subtle hourglass head tube shaping, there’s some free speed to be had.
BMC Roadmachine range
Roadmachine 02 Ultegra Di2 in Yellow:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
BMC Roadmachine 02 Ultegra Di2 in yellow
The Roadmachine range has no additional acronym, and each model is referred to as simply Roadmachine 01, and so on. There are three models, 01 uses premium carbon, 02 has a cheaper full-carbon laminate 1100g frame, and Roadmachine 03 has a classy smooth weld aluminium frame with a full carbon fork. Each model is available in six sizes: 47cm, 51cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm and 61cm.
Ride quality is taken care of by BMC’s Tuned Compliance Concept – the fork’s profile is stepped, and Angle Compliance incites flex via a double kink in the beefed-up seat stays, one above the dropouts, and an outward kink below the seat tube. The seat tube also has a defined step where the rear wheel is tucked in, allowing it to flex in that area, and the D-profile Compliance Post effectively keeps road buzz from the rider.
Recognising the perceived need for endurance geometry bikes to have on average a 20mm taller head tube, which does put some potential consumers off, BMC developed their Dual Stack solution. Both the Roadmachine 01 and 02 include Dual Stack top cones, which contain the upper headset bearing, and are partially recessed in to the top tube, creating very clean lines.
BMC Roadmachine geometry and spec
Aluminium Roadmachine 03 105 in White Red:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
BMC Roadmachine 03 105 in White Red
The two cone heights and specific spacers available allow riders to replicate almost all stack and reach options for both the Teammachine and Granfondo. Stack and reach measurements for this model are taken to the top of the headset cone, and dealers will be able to enter a customer’s bar stack, reach and seat height in to BMC’s software to determine their ideal Roadmachine fit. This will allow the factory to send out new bikes with the steerer and hydraulic hoses cut to the correct length.
BMC’s ICS integrated cockpit system stem has a slick faceplate that accepts an optional out front Garmin and camera mount:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
BMC’s ICS Integrated Cockpit System
Maximising integration, the Roadmachine 01 comes with BMC’s ICS Integrated Cockpit System, comprising an alloy stem with slick faceplate, and removable lower cover, which hides the internally routed hydraulic brake hoses. The Di2 control box, where fitted, also clips on beneath the cover.
From below the faceplate fixing bolts can be seen, plus the covered entry for the hydraulic brake hoses:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
From below the faceplate fixing bolts can be seen
In order to route the hydraulic hoses internally from stem to rear dropout and fork leg, BMC patented a flat steerer, basically a round steerer tube with two parallel flat sides to go with the 01’s ICS stem. This allows the hydraulic hoses to sit alongside the flat sides and simply pass through the headset bearings. A pair of curved aluminium spacers are placed over the hoses to ensure the stem has sufficient clamping surface.
The stem’s faceplate can accommodate optional out-front computer and camera mounts too, and stems will be available five lengths from 90mm to 130mm. Final design, development and testing was carried out in the Impec R&D lab.
Roadmachine 01 and 02 models have wheels utilising this DT Swiss removable thru axle tool which can remain in place, or be carried elsewhere until needed:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
All three models have Shimano Flat Mount hydraulic calipers and 160mm front discs. BMC’s proprietary integrated adaptor fits flush with the fork leg on the Roadmachine 01 and 02, and permits either 140mm or 160mm rotors. Shimano’s own flat mount adaptor can be added to the rear to swap the standard 140mm rotors for 160mm on these models too. The 105-spec 02 and both 03 models come as standard with 160mm rotors front and rear, since their groupsets don’t offer a smaller rotor option.
The whole range shares 12mm thru axles, and the DT Swiss versions on the Roadmachine 01 and 02 come with a removable skewer lever that can be carried in a seat pack, a pocket, or left in place. A new top tube-accessed internal seat post clamp won’t drop in to the tube when the post’s removed either.
The head angle for the 01 and 02 is a slack 72 degrees, and 71.2 degrees on the two smallest sizes, each using a different fork to maximise toe clearance. The 03’s head angle is 71.5 degrees, and 70.5 for the two smallest frames. The wheelbase works out to be slightly longer than the Granfondo, measuring 1008mm for a 56cm frame.
Complete weight for the green Dura-Ace Di2 bike is claimed to be 7.3kg, making it among the lightest bikes available in its category.
Tyre clearance has been assessed as the actual space in the fork and stays, rather than published tyre widths, since a tyre’s ultimate width is very dependent on rim choice. For example, our test bike’s 28mm Continentals measured up as 28.6mm externally, and those on the Ultegra Di2 bikes came up as 29.6mm wide. But, the 01 has 30mm clearance, the 02 also 30mm, or 28mm with fenders fitted. The aluminium 03 accepts 32mm, or 30mm with 40mm wide fenders fitted.
An aluminium 03 frame with the optional fenders and rear rack fitted:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media
The BMC Roadmachine 03 comes with rear rack mounts
The 03 also has rear rack mounts, and with the additional clearance and lower price, moves in to a whole new area of ride possibilities. All bikes come with an integrated down tube mounted chain catcher.
There are eight models in all with a variety of frame colours, and all are in stock and on sale now.
BMC Roadmachine prices
BMC Roadmachine 01
Roadmachine 02 105 in Super Red:Robin Wilmott/Immediate Media