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Three years ago we got our hands on the BMC Roadmachine, an endurance-oriented bike with a sleek, highly integrated look that we were more used to finding on race- or aero-oriented road bikes. Overall, it was a great product, but even the best ones have room for improvement. A few years on, BMC has gone back to the drawing board, building on this already solid foundation, to deliver an anxiously awaited update.
Devised as a comfort-oriented counterpart to BMC’s flagship SLR01 road bike, the Roadmachine features something the Swiss brand calls TCC (Tuned Compliance Concept) Endurance technology. Designed to take the edge off of the roughest roads, TCC Endurance builds in compliance through a few key areas. Now seen on bikes of all sorts, dropped seatstays continue to be a part of the Roadmachine’s design, allowing for more vertical compliance, in addition to an added aerodynamic benefit. The fork also builds in vertical compliance, while being laterally stiff for high control over the front end. And the D-shaped seat post balances out the ride in the rear with more compliance through the saddle.
Further compliance has been added through the carbon layup. BMC claims that the latest version has a whopping 25-percent increase in vertical compliance. Meanwhile, a newly redesigned fork adds a stiffer ride experience and more precise handling to the front without detracting from the compliant ride of the rest of the bike. Elsewhere in the frame, torsional stiffness has been increased by a claimed 20 percent and bottom-bracket stiffness has improved by a still-significant 5 percent.
To keep a more consistent experience throughout the range, BMC has added more stack and dialed back on the reach for sizes 56 and above, keeping a more linear progression from the smallest sizes to the largest and a more comfortable fit at the larger end of the spectrum.
This latest update continues the bike’s sleek integration, while still remaining easy to adjust. All cables are routed internally, and BMC foregoes the integrated bar/stem for a more traditional, yet still refined and integrated cockpit. The ability to swap in a preferred stem is an appreciated bonus. In the rear, the D-shaped seat post is also nicely integrated with a hidden seat-post clamp, continuing the slick aesthetic.
Officially listed as 33c, the tire clearance is ample for a road bike, and we were even able to squeeze in a low-profile 35c tire. Combine high-volume tires with the frame’s endurance-carbon layup and geometry, and you have a bike ready to tackle more difficult terrain or just maximize comfort.
Outfitted with compact Ultegra Di2 gearing and DT Swiss ERC 1650 Spline db 47 wheels, the Roadmachine 01 Four we tested is the most attainable full build available of the top-end version of the Roadmachine, coming in at $7,299. Our size 56 sample weighed in at 17.67 pounds (8.01 kilograms) without pedals or cages.
We think BMC might have read our minds (or our review of the last Roadmachine), because this latest update brings improvements in all the right places. The first thing we noticed was the stiffer bottom bracket thanks to the refined BB shell—and in fact the entire bike was noticeably stiffer. And it also has become more comfortable vertically. There is definitely something to the Swiss Brand’s TCC Endurance Frame carbon layup.
The front end offers an improved experience as well. Thanks to a redesigned fork, the Roadmachine now brings more precise handling over technical terrain, letting us confidently bomb down descents and also enjoy mixed-surface riding. The front end feels more responsive, too, with quicker handling—without becoming twitchy.
This update shines bright across multiple fronts. Our overwhelming takeaway is that BMC took the race-bike feel and performance from its SLR01 and incorporated that into a sleek new Roadmachine with improved stiffness, handling, tire clearance and all-day comfort. We found many great parallels between the Roadmachine and the SLR01, with the larger tire volume and incredible comfort from the TCC Endurance Frame carbon layup reminding us that this is an enduranceoriented bike. And while it doesn’t quite have the road-to-gravel tire clearance we have seen in some competitors, its 33c clearance is generous nonetheless, making this a bike we can confidently reach for on mixed-surface rides.
$7,299; 17.67 lbs/8.01kg (w/o pedals or cages)
Shimano Ultegra Di2 (50/34 chainring, 11–32 cassette); BMC RAB 02 handlebar; BMC ICS 01 stem; BMC carbon seat post; fi’zi:k Aliante R5 Kium saddle; DT Swiss ERC 1650 Spline db 47 Carbon wheels; 28mm Vittoria Corsa Control tires.