The TM01 was a part of Cadel Evans’s Tour de France triumph in 2011, so it’s been around a while – and has undeniable pedigree.
Highs: Well-proven frameset with superb handling, extreme cockpit adjustment
Lows: ‘Only’ Ultegra Di2, weighty RS31 wheelset
Buy if: You want a hugely capable time trial machine that excels over all distances
Key to the TM01 (and all time trial rigs, for that matter) is adjustability, and topping BMC’s hinge fork design is the integrated mount for the P2P (Position To Perform) modular stem.
With multiple flat or angled spacers, plus a flip-flop head, all of which are securely bolted together internally, dozens of reach and height positions are achievable. Behind is a plastic fairing that covers the cable entry point to the top tube, and there are multiple routing options.
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For super clean airflow, the front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs, with no protruding cable, and just the pads tasting the breeze. The rear brake is also integrated into the lower part of the chainstays, and shaped to blend in. Neither lack for feel or power, although, as ever, slick integration does mean rather more involved setup and maintenance.
Fizik’s Arione Tri2 saddle combines tons of length for position shifts with improved padding, and the seatpost’s sliding clamp allows for offsets between -21mm and +21mm. Profile’s Svet Zero bar combo offers lots of positional adjustment, including extension width, which isn’t always the case.
The front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs:
The front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs
As a test machine, our example had a less than ideal cable arrangement, but with a little attention, would be extremely neat, helped by Ultegra Di2’s slim wires. While the TM01 frameset is a premium priced item, this model cuts overall costs with a complete Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, which operates exactly like Dura-Ace (indeed the extension’s TT shifters are Dura-Ace items) but wears a few more grams.
There’s a 53/39 crankset, and the brake levers are alloy rather than carbon, but in terms of functionality, you’d be hard pressed to feel the difference.
Shimano’s RS31 alloy hoops don’t have the ultimate rigidity of a top end deep carbon wheel, but are pretty lively, and certainly accelerate rapidy. There’s little to worry about in blustery winds with relatively shallow rims, but equally they give away potential speed from reduced aerodynamic efficiency. If this is the frame package for you, either bank on using your exisiting fast wheels, or allow enough to add them to the budget.
The tm01’s ride quality is impressively refined: Robert Smith
Ride quality is impressively refined
Whereas Merida’s Warp has a full width bottom bracket shell, BMC goes with a 68mm wide affair, narrowing the attachment space for the chainstays, and eschewing asymmetry, Nevertheless, standing starts are still superbly swift, the main differences being the less dynamic wheelset and slightly less beefy BB.
Handling is road bike-like compared with some of its peers. Again, this is partly down to the normality of the wheelset, but also thanks to the stable front end that really builds instant confidence that the TM01 will follow the most intricate lines between potholes with no drama.
Treading the line between rigid tooth rattler and rice pudding superbly well, the TM01 has a refined ride quality that makes it ideal for lengthy efforts, without dulling its short sprint performance.