Peloton Magazine got a sneak peek at the new 2014 BMC Team Machine. Here is their report:
If you’re just looking at the brand new 2014 BMC Team Machine SLR01, it may seem similar. You may have seen it crossing the finish line in first place at the Amgen Tour of California under Tejay van Garderen, and underneath Cadel Evans en route to third overall at the Giro d’Italia.
Following these debut performances, BMC officially revealed the redesigned Team Machine SLR01.
Let’s start with some of the numbers. The frame, in 54cm with paint and all hardware (seat post clamp, bottle cage bolts, derailleur hanger and cable guides) weighs only 790grams, 130grams less than the previous model. It wouldn’t be a bike launch if it wasn’t stiffer too, and it is, 25% more torsional stiffness across the entire bike and 10% more lateral stiffness out of the bottom bracket. Despite the fact that none of the pros asked for it and the previous SLR01 has a stellar reputation for comfort, the new bike has 10% more vertical compliance. Overall the bike sees a 50% improvement in stiffness to weight ratio over the 2012 SLR 01 – pretty astounding numbers.
The computer designed and engineer approved bike, while similar in look, shares not a single tube or piece of hardware with the previous bike. Asymmetric chain stays are used, skinny and tall for chain ring clearance on the drive side and wide and short on the non-drive side. The seat stays are slim, but triangular to reduce volume and weight. The down tube is massively oversized, literally as large as possible and still deliver clearance for your cranks and chain rings where it hits the press fit BB86 shell. The fork uses continuous fiber from blade to steerer tube, and does away with the need for a steel bottom bearing race – your bearing will sit right on the carbon.
While the computer had to create this design, BMC still had to manufacture it. The new version of the SLR01 uses 100 more sheets of carbon in the lay up process (2012 version used just under 300, new version uses 400). BMC has also begun using internal molds more carefully to control all of these layers, along with more precise cooling.
BMC has been working on this bike during the last two years to develop an ultralight all-around road frameset. Of course all bike companies are trying to boost performance, stiffness, and comfort, but it’s rare to find one that does all three so well. BMC developed their new bike-specific ACE Technology software system, which they claim to be unique in the industry — and that it will re-define the design process.
ACE (Accelerated Composites Evolution) Technology software works with hundreds of parameters, including frame tube shapes, materials, carbon layup, ergonomic dimensions and geometry. ACE enabled the engineers to make the tube lighter, despite it’s larger size. The head tube houses a tapered steer, 1.25 – 1.5 inches, but on the outside is a reverse taper, wider at the top but narrower at the bottom. BMC says that the software worked through 34,000 different design iterations through the year or so it took to arrive at the final SLR01 form.
The first 2014 Team Machines should be hitting retailers in July. If you’d like to pre-book yours, visit A Road Bike 4U in Irvine.
For even more detail on the new 2014 BMC Team Machine, visit the Peloton Magazine article.