Swiss bike innovator BMC calls its Teammachine model the “winningest bike” in the world and, with Tour de France, Olympic and World Championship victories to its name, it would be hard to argue.
However, the beauty of the Teammachine range isn’t just the highs it has reached, but also just how suitable it is for mere mortal leisure road riders. We look at a mid-range Teammachine model — the SLR02 Disc Two — to see how the current version of the Teammachine can tick all your road bike boxes, no matter what level you ride at.
Frame and fork
The Teammachine range includes two frame versions, the SLR01 and the SLR02. Both are made of premium lightweight carbon-fibre, although the SLR01 goes a small step further by using ultralight carbon. In both cases, the same frame design is used, and while at first glance it looks like the classic Teammachine shape, that belies some all-new technological innovations. The highlight of this is the application of ACE — Accelerated Composites Technology — where the engineers at BMC used a supercomputer to digitally simulate the effect of 34,000 different frame designs. That meant they could absolutely perfect the Teammachine before creating a physical mould.
It’s not just the fundamental frame shape and construction that has been looked at in-depth: there are a range of important details that contribute to the new Teammachine’s excellence. For example, BMC’s engineers have designed space for a Di2 junction box to sit out of sight within the frame should riders want electric shifting, and elements such as the integrated ‘No-Gap’ seatclamp ensure aesthetics are kept perfectly clean throughout. Finally, the full carbon fork offers secure handling upfront while maintaining the overall lean weight.
Moving away from the BMC tradition whereby the level of groupset used was mentioned in the model name, the 2018 range model iterations are simply known ‘One’, ‘Two’, ‘Three’, etc. But there is one clue in the name when it comes to spec: that word ‘Disc’. In this case, it’s a set of Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes, which complement the rest of the fantastic Shimano Ultegra groupset fitted. Di2 technology may still be highly-prized but it’s hard to find fault with mechanical gearsets as good as the Ultegra set-up: shifts are swift, smooth and ultra-reliable. Meanwhile, if discs aren’t your thing and you’d prefer rim brakes, BMC is also offering all its Teammachine models with traditional caliper brakes.
Wheels and tyres
A pair of Mavic Aksium Disc wheels with thru-axles are a fine and reassuringly secure way to start anybody’s enjoyment of the Teammachine. The stiffness this pairing provides means power transfer and bike control are never found wanting. The same can be said of the Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres, which at 25mm wide, offer just a little extra comfort over super-skinny rubber. It’s worth knowing that the new Teammachine SLR frame will accept tyres up to 28mm wide should you want to add even more cushioning.
BMC’s RAB02 ergo top shape, compact bend handlebar offers fine control but possibly more exciting for gadget fiends is the RSM01 stem with its integrated computer/GPS/camera mount. Another innovation is BMC’s D-shaped seatpost, which provides added compliance with reduced weight. As we mentioned above, the ‘No-Gap’ seatclamp is a further highlight and helps with ride quality as well as maintaining the clean looks. And even the cablestops have been redesigned — as ‘Dynamic Cablestops’ — for improved cable durability. One of the few areas that BMC hasn’t had a direct hand in is the Fizik Antares R7 manganese saddle, but few riders will find anything to complain about there.
BMC is not wrong when it says the Teammachine is built for racing, but we’d say it’s not only racers that would enjoy it. Part of the reason for that is, despite making no compromises in terms of performance, the Teammachine is still a fantastically compliant bike to ride. Add in the smooth dependability of the Ultegra gearset, disc brakes and Mavic wheels, and you have a product that lives up to its heritage without ever feeling alien to the type of ride experience ‘normal’ riders are looking for.
In fact, for a design that delivers incredible amounts of speed, power transfer and pinpoint control, it’s staggering just how easy it is to live with the Teammachine on a day-to-day level. You really don’t need to have the pain tolerances of pro riders to see the benefits. Has BMC created the ultimate example of a road bike that blends lightweight, stiffness, performance and compliance? We think it might just have.
Other options in the range
Entry-level: BMC Teammachine SLR02 Two
High-end: BMC Teammachine SLR01 Disc Team