A real Swiss maestro at home in the Alps.
While riding on a trip in the Vaud Alps in Switzerland, it seemed fitting to take a Swiss bike. BMC are a typically Swiss company, engineering their bikes with a programme that allows rapid development of prototypes, then producing the prototypes in their Impec lab before testing the bikes in their ‘terrain lab’ - the quiet but demanding roads or trails of Switzerland.
The new Roadmachine was launched in 2016, with an unmistakable profile thanks to the variety of tube sizes, dropped seat stay height and integration of cables and hoses.
With much of the cycling world going adventure bike mad, the Roadmachine takes a suitably Swiss approach, building a high-performance bike for how the majority of us ride. It marries race performance and acceleration with frame design that allows compliance and clearance for fatter tyres. So while best-suited to tarmac, it’s comfortable on dirt roads and anything between the two.
A piece of art
The Roadmachine takes integration to another level – which you really notice at the front end of the bike. The hydraulic hoses for the brakes, and the Di2 cables for the Shimano Ultegra Di2 group set, run internally thanks to custom bars, stem, and spacers. It’s a clean look that would appeal not only to the aesthete but also assists with aerodynamics.
There’s more integration over the rest of the bike too, with a hidden seatpost clamp, integrated chain catcher, and very neat 12mm through-axles that have a removable handle so the axles sit flush with the frame or fork. The fork’s flat mount for the disc is integrated into the leg of the fork, for a truly neat look.
While I rode a 2017 model, the 2018 equivalent is the RM01 Three. It has the new Shimano Ultegra Di2 group with hydraulic brakes with 160/140mm rotors. Otherwise it remains the same besides the colours and a change of tyres.
Riding the Roadmachine
Designed as a bike to ride far and fast, one of the things that was immediately striking was the lively feel of the bike. Some endurance road bikes can feel sluggish, with longer wheelbases or overly upright positions. The RM01 maintains plenty of punch in the ride and is the stiffest bike of its kind under power that I have ridden.
With a combination of a huge downtube and substantial chainstays, 12mm through-axles and the 3T C35 wheels, the RM01 shot forward under effort. BMC have done a remarkable job using different grades and layups of carbon fibre to make the bike supple where it needs to be (seat stays and vertically in the fork) and rigid where it has to be.