Out With The Bayonet: BMC Timemachine ROAD 01
From Issue 85
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Aero road is no longer a novelty. It’s a mature category, and many brands like BMC are on their second iteration of aero road. These are the bikes we expect to see under the sprinters and leadout trains of the UCI WorldTour. With BMC’s move to Dimension Data, Mark Cavendish, Mark Renshaw, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Valgren and Bernhard Eisel now rely on the Swiss bikes as they produce enough wattage to power the city of Oudenaarde. Will they rely on the new Timemachine ROAD 01?
The exotic bayonet-inspired front end of the original Timemachine ROAD is gone, but in its place is a sexy, integrated front end, which sets not just the bike’s first aero impression but also telegraphs its entire raison d’être: integration. While it shares a profile similar to other aero bikes—dropped stays, integrated bar and stem, truncated airfoils—it does it with an eye on the real world. The Aero Module is the conversation starter and integrates water bottles and flat-repair storage with the frame. The ICSintegrated front end is actually a two-piece bar and stem, allowing for more fit options, with much of the adjustability possible without cutting hydraulic hoses. Which brings us to another point: the bike is disc only. To our knowledge, Cavendish has never raced a disc-brake bike. Will the Timemachine ROAD be his first?
There is no question the bike is quick, even without the storage pod, which has to be removed to make it UCI legal. Roll up to 50 kph and it wants to stay there with shocking ease. The 62mm DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT wheels help no doubt, as does the aero module, making what are usually aero liabilities—water and storage—into aero benefits. We did, however, need to tape the storage compartment closed to prevent the door from popping off.
BMC’s TCC (Tuned Compliance Concept) is as effective as ever, creating the same balanced ride we love in the SLR01, which makes the Timemachine ROAD one of the most pleasant aero road bikes for long miles. It’s very stiff through the bottom bracket, making it climb better than most aero bikes as well. As any sprinter knows, the faster you go the more the atmosphere tries to hold you back, and for many sprinters the Timemachine ROAD will be a huge ally. We do feel that bigger sprinters may require more stiffness than the bike’s front end can provide. Of course, the fast boys of Dimension Data will answer that questions better than we can. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and DT Swiss ARC 1100 DICUT wheels; $12,999; bmc-switzerland.com