Bike Test: BMC Roadmachine 01 Three

The Swiss Brand That Keeps on Ticking

Endurance is the BMC Roadmachine 01 Three’s Game

When we think of Switzerland, we of course think of the cheese, but also the famed Matterhorn, fancy chocolates and watches,  big-mountain skiing and guys walking around in lederhosen. Thanks to the BMC bike brand, we also think about cycling. Originally known as the Bike Manufacturing Company when founded in 1986, BMC Switzerland became the brand’s official appellation in 1994. 

Melding the country’s renowned topography and refined engineering is what has led the brand’s focus on high-tech, high-performance bicycles, which of course has led to plenty of racing success, including Tour de France and World Championship titles. 

The updated Roadmachine is their version of an endurance bike that seeks to balance weight, stiffness and compliance to create an enduring ride experience. The Roadmachine family consists of two shared frame levels, with the high-end 01 group home to four models and the 02 line made up of three models. The 01 Three is the third model down from the top. 

THE FRAME

With the new Roadmachine, BMC hopes to further evolve the category by combining a (claimed) frame weight of 895 grams with refined geometry to reach a wider swath of riders. The carbon frameset uses what they call TCC (Tuned Compliance Concept) with shapes and layups that are meant to optimize comfort while increasing stiffness throughout. The fork uses a specific brake adapter that maintains the fork’s shaping and symmetry. As the trend of wider wheels and tires continues to grow, there is now room for up to 33mm of rubber.

“The updated Roadmachine is BMC’s version of an endurance bike that seeks to balance weight, stiffness and compliance to create an enduring ride experience.” 

The head tube has been lengthened with the elimination of the recessed headset bearings, and our size-56 frame measures in at 18.1cm. The wheelbase is 100.8cm with 41cm chainstays for a sporty endurance experience. 

There is a PF86 bottom bracket, and the frame and fork are drilled for flat-mount disc calipers with 12mm thru-axles and full internal routing of all the cables. The carbon steerer tube is rectangular in shape to allow the hydraulic brake lines to run internally alongside and internal of the headset spacers from the base of the stem.

THE PARTS

Our Roadmachine 01 Three came equipped with the new SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset. BMC offers the 01 in four builds, ranging between $7299 to $10,999, as well as a frameset for $4399. Since the bike is built for all-day comfort and tested in the mountains, it’s no surprise that BMC chose the 46/33 crankset matched to the 10-33 cassette offering a 1:1 ratio. The 46×10 top gear offers slightly more gear inches than a traditional 50×11 combination.

Thanks to the internal routing and innovative cockpit design, the BMC Roadmachine has clean lines.

The flat-mount brakes calipers are matched to center-lock 160mm rotors. A pair of tubeless-ready DT Swiss ERC 1400 Spline 47 Carbon wheels keep things rolling with a 19mm internal width, 27mm external width and a depth of 47mm. The 28mm Vittoria Corsa Control tires that came mounted were not tubeless-ready. 

For the cockpit, BMC relied on a house-brand alloy stem matched with their ICS carbon bar, which allows for the hidden cable routing (the 02 bikes use a traditional bar/stem combo with external routing).The seatpost and seat tube are now of a D-shape design, and the supplied carbon post has a 15mm offset. To hold the new post in place is an integrated wedge that can be accessed under the junction of the top tube and seat tube. To finish out the build is a Fizik Aliante R5 Kium saddle.

THE RIDE

The Roadmachine is categorized as an endurance bike, and that’s suiting because we could ride it all day. This doesn’t mean it’s under-gunned in the performance category, though. The bottom bracket is stiff while standing under hard efforts. In the saddle the bike provides a noticeably supple ride. The large 28mm tires help keep the road feedback at bay and contact patch large. Cornering is predictable, and the bike has a very stable feel.

In the saddle or out of it, the bike offers a very natural response to efforts, and testers commented on how easy it was to adapt to. At 18.1cm the head tube is fairly long on our size 56, plus the added spacers to make room for the completely hidden brake lines so the front end feels tall. Most testers didn’t notice the taller position after only a few minutes on the bike and commented on how responsive it was.

THE VERDICT

While the build is spot-on, the integrated brake lines make it hard to adjust your stack without cutting brake lines and bleeding the system. Once set up to your liking, it’s all worth it because the look is amazing, and there is no need for oversized spacers and steerer stops. 

Visually, the Roadmachine is a striking bike, and it was on the receiving end of plenty of compliments out on the road. The lines are distinct with no externally run cables or brake lines to interrupt the aesthetic; it’s no wonder people were drawn to it. The bike rides amazing, and the added compliance from the new D-shaped post means you can log as many miles as you want. Performance was not overlooked, and BMC has done a great job at maintaining stiffness in critical areas without hindering the ride experience.

PUNCH LINES

• Performance and comfort

• Hidden brake lines are a love/hate relationship

• A stock build that we approve of

STATS

Price: $7699

Weight: 17.48 pounds

Sizes: 47cm, 51cm, 54cm, 56cm (tested), 58cm, 61cm

www.bmc-switzerland.com

THE GEAR

Helmet: Lazer Bullet 2.0           

Jersey: Pedal Mafia Pro    

Bib: Pedal Mafia Pro Carbon             

Shoes: Shimano S-Phyre     

Socks: Pedal Mafia Pro     

Glasses: Oakley Sutro 

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