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Lean and speedy BMC Roadmachine AMP is Swiss brand’s first ever e-road bike

The Roadmachine AMP features the world’s lightest drive unit and marks a new chapter for the Swiss brand

Emma Cole
28 Jun 2022

BMC today launches the Roadmachine AMP, the first electric road bike in the Swiss brand’s portfolio.

BMC says it carried over as much as possible from the original Roadmachine, so the AMP boasts the same geometry and same striking design, but with integrated e-assistance and what the brand says is the world’s most advanced drive unit.

In the past, e-bikes for BMC have been primarily MTB-focussed so venturing into the e-road space marks a new chapter for the brand.

Based in Grenchen, Switzerland, BMC first launched the Roadmachine in 2016 as a versatile endurance road bike, and the original Roadmachine X – an aluminium bike with a more explicitly all-road bent – appeared two years later.

The Roadmachine AMP is available in three models, Roadmachine One, Two and Three, which come with SRAM Force eTap, SRAM Rival eTap and Shimano 105 respectively.

Each model features the BMC premium carbon frameset and comes in six sizes (47-61). Prices range from £5,700 to £7,600.

A size 54 Roadmachine One weighs a claimed 11.8kg without pedals.

BMC Roadmachine AMP: Roadmachine geometry with a stealthy battery

The AMP’s geometry has been kept as close possible to the Roadmachine, and the frameset is very similar in appearance.

BMC says it wanted to carry over as many of the Roadmachine’s attributes as possible, and only change what was really necessary.

The main difference is in the down tube, which is bigger in order to house the battery, but impressively the increase is not substantial.

Reach and stack are 386mm and 562mm for a size 54 and head tube angles range from 71.2 to 72 degrees across the sizes. This closely mirrors the regular Roadmachine, which is known for its distance-friendly ride position and balanced handling.

The AMP comes with 28mm wide tyres and has clearance for up to 33mm.

While the frameset is much the same as the original Roadmachine, there are some limitations imposed on its componentry by going electric. Due to the Mahle X20 rear hub requiring specific rear dropouts, the Roadmachine AMP is not compatible with standard wheels.

Compliance, endurance-style

The AMP benefits from what BMC calls Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC) endurance. BMC says that this is the most capable version of its TCC technology and gives the ideal balance of comfort and performance.

According to BMC this is achieved using its Angle Compliance technology, whereby specific areas of the frame move in predefined patterns when subjected to vertical loads, generating amounts of vertical compliance without compromising lateral stiffness.

Evidence of this design is seen in components like the D-shape seatpost which was designed using the TCC endurance technology. It has a flat rear surface, which BMC says promotes flex. The endurance version of TCC offers the brand’s highest degree of vertical compliance.

The bike also uses from an integrated seatpost clamp hidden within the frame.

E-assisted with a Mahle drive unit

The AMP is powered by a Mahle X20 hub drive unit which is integrated into the rear wheel hub.

The X20 is claimed to be the lightest e-bike rear hub system currently on the market, weighing a claimed 3.2kg in total.

The Mahle drive unit provides 25Nm of assistance and the smart battery gives a range of up to 140km with 3000 meters of elevation, with a capacity of 350Wh.

In terms of how much the Mahle system helps riders pedal, Mahle says that the X20 offers a similar amount of torque to a 55Nm mid-drive system. The drive assist works up to the regulation maximum of 25kmh.

Of note is that the 350Wh battery can be swapped for a smaller 250Wh unit which would save a claimed 750g in weight.

There is also the option to purchase a 173Wh range extender, which weighs a claimed 1,100g. This connects to the bike via an extra cable and fits into a specific Mahle bottle cage.

The Mahle active battery charger can be fixed to the wall of a garage (which prevents you tripping over it) and there are LED lights which display charging information.

Another neat feature is the charger features a micro-USB port which allows you to update the bike's firmware if needed.

Integrated, minimalist e-interface

The drive-system interface is minimalistic and intuitive.

Integrated into the top tube, there is one button and four colours which indicate which mode the bike is in.

White means e-assistance is off, green is eco, orange, more and purple turbo. The bike flashes red to indicate any errors or low battery.

There is an app which allows you to see all the relevant data, such as battery life, distance travelled and speeds.

The software also links to Garmin and other GPS apps for when you want more information.

BMC Roadmachine AMP: First ride impressions

I got the opportunity to take the BMC Roadmachine Amp One on a four-hour test ride on a route that largely followed Stage 3 of the 2022 Tour de Suisse, which finished in Grenchen.

My overriding feeling after the ride is that this is a great e-road bike.

Most importantly, it rides like a normal road bike.

The AMP has a very comfortable natural bike feel and the weight distribution makes for excellent downhill handling.

It seems BMC’s attempt to stick close to the design of the regular Roadmachine has succeeded.

The drive unit doesn’t drag when riding above the assistance level (25kmh) and the design of the bike doesn’t scream electric bike.

It is subtle, it is fast, and it is stiff.

Navigating the electric Mahle system is simple, the colours make life very easy and the app integration was pretty seamless.

BMC says that the Roadmachine AMP is ‘a bike that reminds us that performance road riding and pedal-assistance can coexist without having to compromise’, and whilst I’d need some more time aboard it to be confident in my opinion, my first impressions suggest that I would agree.

BMC Roadmachine AMP specs, price and availability

The Roadmachine AMP is available in six sizes (47, 51, 54, 56, 58 and 61) and three models, originally named One, Two and Three.

The Roadmachine AMP One and Two are available from the 1st of July and the Roadmachine AMP Three is available from August 2022.

BMC Roadmachine AMP One

  • Frameset: Roadmachine AMP Premium Carbon with Tuned Compliance Concept Endurance
  • Groupset: SRAM Force eTap AXS
  • Availability: 1st July
  • Price: £7,600

BMC Roadmachine AMP Two

  • Frameset: Roadmachine AMP Premium Carbon with Tuned Compliance Concept Endurance
  • Groupset: SRAM Rival eTap AXS
  • Availability: 1st July
  • Price: £6,700

BMC Roadmachine AMP Three

  • Frameset: Roadmachine AMP Premium Carbon with Tuned Compliance Concept Endurance
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Availability: August 2022
  • Price: £5,700

Image credits: ILL PROD, Jérémie Reuiller

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