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Don’t call it a mountain bike: 2022 BMC URS LT gravel bike gets front suspension

Matthew Loveridge
25 Sep 2021

Swiss brand launches ‘fully micro-suspended’ gravel bike with SRAM eTap AXS mullet gearing

Arriving hot on the heels of the gravel-adjacent Roadmachine X, the 2022 BMC URS LT is a pure gravel bike with coil-sprung front suspension and a squishy elastomer at the rear. The URS LT – LT stands for ‘long travel’ – features a full-carbon frameset and will come in a choice of 1× SRAM eTap AXS mullet builds, where road shifters are matched to Eagle AXS mountain bike rear derailleurs and cassettes.

The SRAM Rival eTap AXS-based build will cost €5,999 while the Force model is €7,999. Both are available to buy immediately, with UK pricing to be confirmed.

2022 BMC URS LT: ‘Fully micro-suspended’

With 20mm of coil-sprung suspension built into the steerer, and 10mm of rear wheel travel courtesy of an elastomer at the rear, BMC describes the URS LT as ‘fully micro-suspended’, rather than full-suspension.

The fork arrangement is strongly reminiscent of Cannondale’s Headshok system, with the visible part of the suspension sitting below the headtube.

The coil shock comes from suspension specialist Hiride and offers 20mm of travel, with a hydraulic damper to keep things under control. BMC is offering three different spring weights to accommodate a range of rider weights and riding styles.

The back end features the same ‘softail’-style system employed on the original URS, with an elastomer interrupting the dropped seatstays to offer a claimed 10mm of rear wheel travel.

With top tube mounts for a bag or other accessories, built-in protection on the fork dropouts, downtube and chainstays, dropper compatibility, support for dynamo lights, and clearance for 700×45mm tyres, the URS LT is designed to be a full-fledged gravel and adventure machine, one that edges dangerously close to cross-country mountain bike territory, but doesn’t succumb to flat bars.

It looks set to take on the likes of the Specialized Diverge – which uses the Future Shock steerer-based suspension system and also offers 20mm of front travel – and joins a small but fast-growing list of gravel bikes with bouncy bits.

The geometry is progressive too, with some of the longest reach figures we’ve seen in this segment, matched to correspondingly short stems. A medium bike, for example, has 415mm of reach and a 70mm stem, which should contribute to easier going manners on the trail compared to more road bike-esque designs. 

It’s notable that despite the recent launch of SRAM’s gravel-specific XPLR components, BMC has gone even more off-road with the gearing, with huge 10-52 mountain bike cassettes and 38-tooth chainrings on both standard builds. Incidentally, the frame supports 1× only, unlike the Roadmachine X.

BMC URS LT pricing and specs

BMC URS LT One

  • Groupset: SRAM Force 1 AXS / SRAM X01 Eagle AXS
  • Wheels: CRD-400 carbon tubeless
  • Price: €7,999

BMC URS LT Two

  • Groupset: SRAM Rival eTap AXS / SRAM GX Eagle AXS
  • Wheels: DT Swiss G1800 aluminium
  • Price: €5,999