Swiss company BMC certainly produce some distinctive bikes. We took the lower specced version of their 140mm all-mountain machine, the Trailfox, out onto the hills to see if it lived up to the promise of its name.
As you’d expect for a 140mm travel bike, it’s not the fastest uphill. Still, it’s perfectly reserved as long as you don’t ask too much of it – getting out of the saddle to climb is a big no-no but sit and spin and it will treat you kindly all the way to the top.
BMC’s APS linkage system should glue the rear wheel nicely to the ground too, but we found it skipped and slipped when faced with steps, though softer tyres might help.
Turn it into the first bend over the top for the fun to begin – 68°/73° angles are spot on for carving tight turns, and as our test version measured in with a 67° head angle things got even more interesting as the pace hotted up.
The Trailfox dishes out the sort of fun that seems like a guilty pleasure to cross-country riders – simply sit on it, do very little and engage glee as it rolls over everything in its path with apparently little effort and without being the slightest bit scary.
A more aggressive rider will get more out of it but you really do have to work quite hard to get it to display more refined behaviour; it’s a total bruiser of a bike and its bulk is awkward to shift around on the trail if you’re used to a lighter ride.
We also found the Shimano Deore brakes underpowered despite sporting 180mm rotors front and rear; not ideal on a bike that will happily steamroll a small truck if given its head.