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BMC Roadmachine 01 Three review

17 Mar 2021
Verdict:

An impressively compliant longer-distance ride enhanced by a quality spec

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£6,900
For 
Comfortable ride • Excellent components
Against 
Expensive

The endurance-focussed BMC Roadmachine comes in three flavours and a range of build options. The Roadmachine 01 gets BMC’s higher spec carbon and an integrated cockpit, whereas the standard Roadmachine comes with the same frameset but a different fork and cockpit with non-integrated cabling to the bars and stem.

Finally, there’s the Roadmachine X with an alloy frame, big tyres and a single ring groupset, designed to take you to those places less trodden off-road.

 

The breadth of frameset and spec options allows BMC to offer the Roadmachine at prices from £10,000 all the way down to £1,900, with the Roadmachine 01 Three tested coming towards the top end of that range.

The Roadmachine offers the wide clearances you’d expect in a modern endurance-focussed road bike, along with compliance features like lowered seatstays and a D-shaped carbon seatpost. That makes for a lot of comfort on UK roads and I was happy going for the long haul over the typical mixed bag of UK road surfaces.

 

The frame design uses the most forgiving, endurance version of what BMC calls its Tuned Compliance Concept. It’s not something unique to BMC; the mix of stiff down tube, chunky bottom bracket and skinny, dropped seatstays are features found on many bikes. But BMC has implemented it well in the Roadmachine, for a comfortable but fast ride.

Buy the BMC Roadmachine 01 Three from Tredz now

BMC has also catered for long distance riders with a pair of bolts on the front of the top tube, so you can kit the Roadmachine out with a feed box for extra carrying capacity.

 

The reach is shorter and the stack taller than on BMC’s more race-oriented Teammachine so you sit more upright, again a typical endurance feature.

The Roadmachine 01 gets BMC’s integrated cockpit, with a carbon bar and alloy stem combination that routes the brake hoses internally into the frame, for a neat look to the front end. There’s more adjustability than with a single piece item, which is a useful feature in an endurance bike.

The brake hoses run through a groove on the underside of the bars, with a short exposed section where they curve into the underside of the stem. Here they’re covered by a screw-on plate, from where they run down either side of the steerer tube and into the head tube.

 

There’s a series of split spacers that make for easy bar height adjustment without having to remove the brake hoses. For more fine-tuning of position, BMC sells its stem in eight lengths and two angles, so there’s loads of adjustability for the fussy rider.

The stem’s bar clamp hides the clamping bolts on its underside adding to the clean look. There’s a built-in out-front Garmin mount included too.

Buy the BMC Roadmachine 01 Three from Tredz now

The slightly teardrop-shaped bar profile is comfortable and being made of carbon, there’s extra vibration damping over an alloy handlebar.

I like the clean lines and sharp angles of BMC’s bikes. Along with the tidy cockpit, they give the Roadmachine 01 a pared down, purposeful look.

 

An impressive spec

That there’s no need to route cables through the frame is thanks to the Roadmachine 01 Three’s Sram Force eTap AXS wireless electronic groupset. It’s an impressive bit of kit, which I’ll be reviewing in more detail next month.

Suffice to say it suits the Roadmachine really well. There’s a huge range of gearing thanks to the 10-36 cassette paired with the 46/33 tooth chainrings. That gives a sub-1:1 lowest ratio that meant I could spin my way up whatever gradients faced me at the end of a ride.

The highest ratio is comparable to a 50x11 with a conventional compact groupset. Spread over 12 sprockets rather than 11, there’s plenty of scope to find the right gearing for any terrain.

The Force HRD hydraulic disc brakes are a good match for an endurance bike too, with ample stopping power and good fine modulation from the 160mm rotors. Along with the grippy tyres I was never in any doubt that I could stop or slow down adequately.

 

It’s the same groupset and ratios that you find on the Roadmachine One, although that bike’s lower spec carbon and less flashy components drop the price to £4,700. It gives more gear range than the Sram Red eTap AXS groupset fitted to the range-topping Roadmachine 01 One.

Buy the BMC Roadmachine 01 Three from Tredz now

It’s not just the drivetrain that’s well chosen. BMC has specced Zipp 303 S carbon wheels as well. They again suit the bike well. They’re tubeless ready – in fact Zipp says they’re tubeless only.

With their really wide rims, 27mm externally, 23mm internally, Zipp says that they’re designed to run optimally with 28mm tyres. With that extra rim width, as you’d expect the fitted Vittoria Corsa Control tyres sit significantly wider than their nominal width, coming out closer to 30mm.

 

Zipp recommends a tyre pressure of around 60psi for a 70kg rider, so you get a lot of comfort and suppression of road vibration and the 45mm rim depth adds an aero advantage without too much twitchiness in crosswinds. It’s a setup that just feels a notch faster than average and rewards your extra effort.

The Vittoria Corsa Control tyres feel rapid too, although their longitudinal grooves did tend to pick up road debris, leading to a couple of rapid stops to remove stones before they could work their way further into the tyre.

 

I wasn’t particularly enamoured of the Fizik Argo Tempo saddle though. It’s a bit wide and flat for me with a large cut-out and started to feel uncomfortable after a few hours’ riding.

Buy the BMC Roadmachine 01 Three from Tredz now

Saddle choice is very personal, but I’d have preferred a longer, narrower design. The D-shaped carbon seatpost – a BMC speciality found on many of its bikes – did a good job of ironing out the road though.

 

A lot of cash for an endurance bike

All the top drawer kit and the quality build of the Teammachine 01 Three are great to find and hard to fault. But they do lead to a pretty hefty price tag. At almost £7,000, the BMC is definitely in the premium category.

You get the ride quality and fast, responsive ride feel that might justify that amount of outlay, along with the prestige and race pedigree of the Swiss bike brand.

But the Roadmachine is in rarified company for an endurance ride and I’d be inclined to look at the similarly priced Teammachine SLR 01 Three for a more race-orientated bike at its price.

Spec

Frame Roadmachine 01 Premium Carbon
Fork Roadmachine 01 Premium Carbon
Groupset Sram Force eTap AXS
Brakes Sram Force HRD hydraulic disc
Chainset Sram Force 46/33T
Cassette Sram Force 10-36
Bars BMC RCB01 Carbon
Stem BMC ICS 01
Seatpost 01 Premium Carbon
Saddle Fizik Argo Tempo R5
Wheels Zipp 303 S-Series
Tyres Vittoria Corsa Control TLR, 28mm
Weight 7.97kg
Contact www.bmc-switzerland.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

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