The crew from BMC Switzerland has just announced a brand new carbon fibre 29in full suspension bike for the 2018 model range. Called the Agonist (appropriate for a race bike designed to cause pain and suffering), this new lightweight race machine looks to be a replacement for the existing Fourstroke. However, according to BMC, the Agonist will be an additional bike in the line, with slightly more travel than the XC-oriented Fourstroke at 110mm per end (the Fourstroke is 100mm per end), and slightly more relaxed geometry too.
As such, BMC is referring to it as an ‘Endurance XC’ bike, though given all the new technologies being debuted in its frame and the modernised geometry numbers, it looks to be a better bike in almost every way.
“In ancient Greece, ‘Agon’ was the belief that anything can be achieved through effort, healthy rivalry and noble competition. An Agonist pits force against force; competitor against rival and athlete against nature, in fierce competition, to achieve an ultimate goal. For riders who charge up fast, epic climbs and over traverses – but also want to have serious fun on the long descent back to civilization – we created the Agonist. Harmonizing two opposing capabilities, like the agonist and antagonist muscle groups, to work toward one purpose. The Agonist demands as much of itself as you do, and together…you are unstoppable.” – From BMC.
BMC Agonist Features
- Full carbon fibre frame
- 110mm rear travel travel
- APS virtual pivot suspension design
- Remote activated shock lockout w/internal cable routing
- 29in wheels
- 110mm travel fork
- 69.5° head angle
- 73.75° seat tube angle
- 445mm chainstay length
- 40mm BB drop
- PF92 bottom bracket
- DT Swiss RWS 148x12mm thru-axle
- Compatible with 1x and 2x drivetrains
- Integrated mudflap for lower linkage
- Internal cable routing w/moulded internal guide tubes
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
Using the same APS suspension design employed throughout the BMC full suspension line on models such as the Speedfox and Trailfox, the new Agonist uses two small linkages that abridge the one-piece carbon fibre swingarm to the monocoque carbon mainframe. Although the platform typically offers good pedal efficiency, according to BMC, the Agonist gets an ‘Endurance Tune’, which basically means it’s a little more supple and supportive than the suspension design used on the racier Fourstroke. The goal for BMC was to make this bike pedal well, but also suitably comfortable to ride for long-distance trail rides and marathon races.
The rear shock is a Metric Float DPS number from Fox, and it’s equipped with the new EVOL air can that helps to make the suspension feel smoother for the first 25% of the travel. What you may not be able to make out from a first glance at the Agonist is that BMC has integrated a remote lockout for the rear shock, which is cleverly tucked inside the frame’s downtube by inverting the rear shock body.
A cable runs from the handlebar remote and through the inside of the downtube, before it meets the head of the shock via a hidden port on the topside of the downtube. All the other cables also run internally through the frame, though BMC has gone to some lengths to keep everything snug and secure, as well as cleanly hidden. To do this, the engineers have moulded in carbon fibre tubes through the downtube that help to make routing significantly easier. The lower APS link also features internal routing to pass the rear derailleur and brake lines from the mainframe and through to the rear swingarm, so everything is hidden as cleanly as possible. It’s all very stealthy.
Speaking of cabling, the Agonist also has routing options for an internally routed dropper post, which appears to be the only thing lacking on the stock builds for the bikes BMC is currently showing. Given that the Agonist appears to be a little more capable than your average short-travel full suspension bike, that would seem like a straightforward spec choice to us.
We’re yet to confirm UK pricing and availability on the new BMC Agonist, but as soon as we get that information, we’ll update this article with all the necessary details.
In the meantime, you can check out the full spec list on the new Agonist at BMC-Switzerland.com