130mm 29er draws on XC and enduro victories…
Despite its recent success on the enduro circuit, Swiss brand BMC is better known for its road and cross-country race bikes. Not that those don’t deserve praise- the company has had a Pro Tour presence since the Phonak days and is fresh off an XC world championship ride under Julien Absalon. But BMC hails from the land of big, beautiful mountains and knows how to have fun once the summit is reached.
Filling a Singletrack-sized gap in the range, the 2015 Speedfox sits between the 150mm Trailfox and the 100mm Fourstroke. The new model nearly splits the difference with 130mm travel front and rear and geometry that’s not overly committed to either ascending or descending.
In true Swiss fashion, the company has built the prototypes, run the tests, and crunched the data that they felt was needed to find the fastest wheel size. 29ers won the day and as a result you’re not likely to see them release any 650bs in the near future. In order to make the most of their chosen wheel size, BMC’s Big Wheel Concept combines really short chainstays (435mm in all sizes), long top tubes, short stems, and short head tubes (90-110mm) to keep the bikes more nimble and ‘normal feeling’ than past 29er experiences might suggest.
Built with a straight XT group and DT Swiss Spline 2 wheels, the Speedfox SF02 caught our eye for being a a no-nonsense trail bike. The carbon front end and aluminium rear keep weight reasonable (28lb claimed) without the cost of a full-carbon chassis. An internally-routed Reverb Stealth dropper and BMC’s optional chain device complete the £3,150 package and leave virtually no (defensible) space for nitpicking.
In the UK, Speedfox models can be had from £2,300 for an all-aluminium XT/SLX build to a £5,700/$9,000 full carbon, full-XTR model. (Other markets start with a $2,600 Deore build.) There’s even an X0 2×10 model in the range for… someone. If it manages to pedal even a little bit better than the Trailfox while requiring less commitment to make the most of, the Speedfox could be an excellent ‘bit of this, bit of that’ choice.
While in the booth, we couldn’t help but fall a little bit in love with this GranFondo GF02 disc road bike. Featuring a compliant alloy frame, loads of tyre clearance, and an amazing combination of lime green paint and reflective black decals, the GF02 could make for a capable commuter, tourer, or dirt road rambler.
Retail for the GF02, with a Shimano 105, mechanical disc, and DT Swiss wheelset build is £1,800/$2,600
BMC is distributed in the UK by Evans Cycles, in the US through their own office.