BMC Trailfox 01 review

Pricey Swiss precision

Our rating 
3.8 out of 5 star rating 3.8
GBP £2,999.00 RRP | USD $4,505.00

Our review

A unique, fast, superbly built but costly alternative to the mainstream options
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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: the striking ‘single bone’ rear triangle configuration
Russell Burton

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: cables disappear inside the trailfox’s integrated skeleton
Russell Burton

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.

Product Specifications


Name TRAILFOX 01 (09)
Brand BMC

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