Thankfully not all my days are spent in the office. Sometimes I get to do some pretty cool things as well. Just this last week BMC finally gave a press release on their new Time Machine Road platform. I say ‘finally’ because I had the opportunity to ride a TMR01 at their 2013 product launch in Lenzerheide a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been gagging to give it a mention and show off some pictures ever since. Doing the right thing and not breaking a press blackout is not always easy!
So what’s it all about? Well just take a step back first and look at it – this bike looks awesome!
Okay, so I should mention some of the performance benefits as for a MAMIL like myself this is the E-Type Jag of the bike world. All the technology trickles down, or should I say gushes across, from the Time Machine that Cadel Evans used to secure his 2011 Tour de France victory in the closing time trial, and Andreas Raelert used to set a new Ironman world record.
As you can see, the brakes are fully integrated (including the cable run in front of the head tube) as is the seat clamp. The main tubes and fork profile is a truncated aeroform with a tripwire at the leading edge – okay, imagine a teardrop with the trailing pointy end lopped off (this bit doesn’t do anything aerodynamically and just adds weight), and with a groove on both sides just back from the leading edge (this creates a ‘turbulent boundary layer’ which basically improves the airflow around the tube – same principle as dimples on golf balls).
So what’s it like to ride? Well for a start it’s the stiffest BMC road frame ever despite the narrower cross section, so when you stamp on the pedals it drives forward. This is no Gran Fondo – it is not designed to get you there in maximum comfort – it is designed to be ridden hard and at high speed. You will not feel the benefit plodding up your local hill at 10km/h but at 30 into a headwind you could save something like 20% on the drag caused by a standard bike. That’s the claim anyway. For a slightly older gent like myself, having a few laps round a lake at altitude, I would be a liar to state that I took the TMR01 anywhere near it’s designed operating limits when maxing out at about 60km/h, but I’d swear I could hear it willing me on – “scream if you want to go faster!”. In the end though I had to stop listening, pause for an ice cream in a crowded place, and initiate ‘what’s that stealth Batmobile?’ admiration mode – did I mention it looks awesome already……?
If you are a sprinter, Olympic distance tri-athlete or just love hooning around, TMR is in production and due before the end of the year. In the meantime, keep an eye out for them being ridden by the BMC Race Team, and a more in-depth review from ourselves and the magazines as soon as samples are available to play with properly.