BMC’s TMR01 is derived from their TM01 time trial machine, but we opted to test its cafe run credentials, taking in sprints and rolling hills along the way.
Using the same geometry as the proven SLR01 Tour winner – Cadel Evans’ steed – the TMR01 is incredibly stable and planted. On the flat, just point it at the horizon and it eats up the road relentlessly, but the surprise comes in the corners, because it’s incredibly agile for a truly aero bike, with accurate tracking and well weighted steering.
After some enthusiastic group riding and even more enthusiastic cake eating, we took the scenic route home. BMC didn’t set out to make the lightest frame, but the most aerodynamic, responsive and adjustable frame of its type. Extra high-modulus carbon increases stiffness and BMC’s Sub A design concept reduces the frontal area, while the tubing’s Tripwire leading edge design and integrated brakes keep it slippery.
In practice, the frame is possibly the torsionally stiffest we’ve ridden, and very urgent, lapping up every village sign sprint and short climb blast without a hint of flex. Swooping down tight lanes between tall hedges, the handling gave immense confidence, and the incredible braking power that wouldn’t be out of place on a mountain bike was very reassuring.
Despite its ability to withstand endless big gear abuse, the BMC isn’t a harsh ride; it’s firm, of course, but up against our aluminium winter bike with training wheels it’s far more forgiving, and climbs and stops many times better.
In breezy conditions, we were surprised to find the BMC seemingly immune to changeable wind directions, even with deep Mavic wheels. The clever truncated aero section tubing presents far less surface area to crosswinds, and remains unerringly stable.
Despite the extra weight, electronic shifting seems perfect for a machine like this: almost all the cables – mechanical and electrical – can be hidden by BMC’s universal integration system and the clever head tube faring.
Shimano’s new internal Di2 battery is fitted inside the seatpost and can be charged in situ, the only drawback is the bulk of the Ultegra Di2 front mech.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.