BMC GranFondo GF02 Disc review

Smooth-cruising special with serious upgrade potential

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,159.00 RRP | USD $1,999.00

Our review

Sublimely smooth and with a great frame, but let down by mixed component performance
Buy if, You want a top quality, versatile machine with the potential for future upgrades
Pros: Buoyantly smooth, dynamic frame with fat-rubber versatility
Cons: Frame cost eats into the brake and gearing budget
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BMC always puts plenty of work into forming its frame tubes, so it’s no surprise that the GF02 is a study in sharp angles and thin-walled, oversized alloy tubing.

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Stylish shaping and functional details

Notable details include a faceted hexagonal top tube, massive square down tube, flat armpit brace, tapered rectangular chainstays with kick-up, boxy 3D dropouts and super-flat double-kinked seatstays.

The top tube is a striking hexagonal number
The top tube is a striking hexagonal number:
Immediate Media

The top tube is a striking hexagonal number

The full-carbon fork is shared with the premium BMC carbon GranFondo GF01 and has a distinctive shape that starts with a fat top then steps down dramatically at rim level to a narrower, tapering lower blade.

There’s a remarkable amount of practical detail in the frame for the price, too. Mudguard/fender and rack mounts are optional screw-in eyes and both front and rear brake cables are semi-internally routed. While the gear cables themselves are routed externally, the guides are removable if you upgrade to electronic shifting and the post-mount brakes are easy to adjust.

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The full carbon fork tapers dramatically at rim level:

The full carbon fork tapers dramatically at rim level

However, while the vivid block-yellow looks of the BMC might be unashamedly in your face, the actual ride quality couldn’t be more subtle. Even compared to the smoothest steel bikes, the BMC takes floated ride feel to the next level. It has a way of feeling effortless through the pedals that makes climbing or simply increasing your cruising pace a pleasure rather than a punishment.

Snappy yet forgiving character

It’s stiff enough to accelerate with enthusiasm despite the relatively heavy Shimano wheels, and it certainly feels every inch a thoroughbred road machine. But what’s really impressive is that it stays floated and forgiving even when riding over genuinely punishing bridleways, beating stiffer bikes here to a pulp and stalling them over staccato bumps.

That’s intentional too: BMC’s website hails the GF02 as being suited to trail and cyclocross alongside road and commuter use, and it’s far from an idle boast. Because the forgiveness comes from the frame rather than the tyres, you can keep the Continentals inflated enough to stop them spitting or flatting if you accidentally clobber something hard on your adventures.

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BMC says the gf02 is suited to trail, cyclocross, road and commuter use, and it’s no idle boast:

BMC says the GF02 is suited to trail, cyclocross, road and commuter use, and it’s no idle boast

That’s just as well too, as the Shimano brakes aren’t among the GF02’s strengths – even when properly set up. The brakes are easy to adjust for wheel rub, but there isn’t any easy way to adjust the cables as the pads wear, which is a real pain on longer, dirtier rides.

The super-long 120mm stem can also make the steering restrictively stubborn if you find yourself sliding, and need to make a snap reaction. There’s plenty of reach to let you run a shorter stem without feeling cramped, though, and the extra stretch was appreciated when it came to hauling hard along the road.

In fact, we were consistently surprised at the times we clocked on pure road sections on Continental’s wraparound file-tread tyres.

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No doubt switching to lighter wheels than the smooth-but-sturdy Shimano RX05s would boost acceleration, and while it feels great on the 32mm wide tyres it comes with, it would feel even smoother with something like Continental’s 35mm Cyclo Cross Speed tyres.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Granfondo GF02 Disc
Brand BMC

Available Sizes 48cm 51cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm
Rear Wheel Weight 2430
Wheelbase (cm) 101.5
Top Tube (cm) 56
Standover Height (cm) 81
Seat Tube (cm) 52
Chainstays (cm) 42
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28.5
Wheelset Shimano RX05
Weight (kg) 10.52
Trail 7.7
Stem BMC RST 3 120mm
Shifters Shimano Tiagra
Seatpost BMC RSP 3 27.2mm
Seat Angle 74
Saddle Selle Royal Saba
Rear Tyre 32mm Continental Sport Contact 2
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB500
Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Headset Type FSA
Head Angle 71
Handlebar BMC RDB 3 44cm
Front Wheel Weight 1850
Front Tyre 32mm Continental Sport Contact 2
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Frame Material TCC triple-butted aluminium
Fork Offset 4
Fork Compliance TCC full carbon disc
Cranks Shimano Tiagra FC-4700, 50/34t
Chain Shimano HG54
Cassette Shimano HG-500 10-speed, 11-34t
Brakes Shimano BR-517 mechanical discs, 160mm rotors
Frame size tested 56cm