In the short week between Flanders and Paris-Roubaix BMC launched a brand new road platform to the world’s cycling press on the Belgian cobbles. Heralded by many as their ‘Classics bike’ – the much-revered and iconic Spring Classics series of 1-day races take place on notoriously tough terrain, testing both rider and bike to the limits, the Granfondo GF01 promises to be BMC’s ‘Gran Turismo’ of road cycling, offering performance and comfort over long distances. Let’s take a closer look…
The bike will spearhead BMC’s endurance series of models, sitting alongside the ever-expanding aero series and existing race series offerings – primarily designed to cater for needs of long distance riders – those whose main aim is to rack up serious mileage in comfort as opposed to crossing the finish line first. Proportionally taller headtube, shorter (sloping) toptube and slacker headtube angle will also appeal to those riders looking for a ‘sportive’ fit.
That said, a 3rd place Paris-Roubaix podium finish on its inaugural outing at the hands of Alessandro Ballan is not at all bad and underlines the performance credentials! BMC are the only bike manufacture to title sponsor a UCI ProTour team, suffice to say with this sort of talent and feedback on tap the team played an important part in the development of GF01.
TCC evolved – TCC (Tuned Compliance Concept) was first introduced on the Teammachine SLR01 (seatstay, fork and seatpost) and is based on is based on a careful selection of materials and shapes in order to optimize the vertical compliance without compromising the lateral stiffness. This is evolved on the GF01 with the addition of ‘angle compliance’ – It is common knowledge that a straight tube is very stiff under compression. In order to make the structure more flexible we need to induce bending in the element (this is evident on the lower fork legs, upper seatstay/seattube junction, dropouts and seatpost on the GF01).
Kicked out lower fork legs not only induce an element of flexibility and comfort they also provide increased rake – combined with the longer chainstay length this gives the GF01 a nice stable, confidence-inspiring wheelbase.
Massive crosssection downtube, headtube and chainstay tube profiles help form an incredibly stiff and solid base, maximizing lateral and torsional stiffness (in layman’s terms this means ultra-efficient power transfer all the way from the pedals to the tyre). This is then countered with the reduced cross-section elements of seatstays, fork legs and long, skinny 27.2mm seatpost – all designed to bring an element of comfort and compliance to the overall ride.
The new GF01 frameset sports a lot of neat tech like the integrated chain catcher (a direct request from the team) which is designed to prevent the chain jumping/dropping from the inner ring and chewing up your nice carbon fibre BB shell (handy for both Belgian cobblestones and UK potholes we’re guessing). Also shown is the Shimano BB86 Press-Fit BB shell.
Electronic and conventional cable shifting routing options, done neatly, on the same frame?! Not possible I hear you say. Well, BMC have got it covered – introducing DTi (Dual Transmission Integration). A neat cable stop that combines internal Di2/electronic routing options alongside a conventional cable option.
At sub 1kg (995g) for a 54cm frame (less 380g fork) the GF01 is certainly no porker and should keep even the most fussy of weight weenies happy. We think the minimal weight penalty is a small price to pay for the increased comfort (BMC claim the GF01 is 40% more compliant than Teammachine SLR01). BMC are quoting a 54cm bike built up with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and Easton EA90 wheels tips the scales at an all up weight of 7.38kg (16.2lb). Very respectable.