First Look! BMC TeamElite TE01 29 Carbon 29er Hardtail
BMC started their 29er programe in 2012. Like several other brands, they took a wait and see approach before jumping into the big wheel party. The result was the alloy TE01 29, but almost immediately they wanted to do more.
With this new bike, they had three goals. Be fast, be efficient and be lightweight.
To tackle fast, they maximized the advantage of bike wheels by designing it to handle like a 26″ bike. This was done with short 429mm (16.8″) chainstays (tighter handling, snappy acceleration), a low bottom bracket (65mm drop, lower center of gravity and a feeling of being “in” the bike rather than on top of it), a somewhat slack 70º head angle (improved stability), and a low stack height by using short headtubes of just 90mm to 110mm depending on frame size (a comfortable yet aggressive fit).
Like the new GF01 road bike, it essentially splits the frame into two parts. The lower section for stiff power transfer and the upper half for compliance and comfort. It’s all part of their TCC (Tuned Compliance Concept), and it gives the rear axle about 20mm of movement under normal hard riding, but it’s designed to max out at 30mm of vertical deflection. The movement comes via flex in the seatstays, seat tube and top tube. To add a bit more compliance (read: comfort), they designed a lightweight (200g for zero offset) 27.2 seatpost that’s designed to flex slightly. This combo lets the frame absorb some of the bump without affecting rider position, and it keeps the frame tracking better when standing because it’s not just relying on seatpost flex for adding comfort.
The top tube gets quite narrow as it moves back.
Also like the GF01, it’s one of the stiffest bikes they’ve made. This was done partially by using a massive downtube and chainstays, but also new carbon layups and molding techniques.
Engineer Jonas Müller said as much attention was paid to the interior molds as to the exterior, yielding a perfectly smooth inner wall without wrinkles that could end up as stress risers. The frame is made of four monocoque pieces that are then bonded and wrapped together, and the whole thing is made of unidirectional carbon fiber.
The result is a 980g frame (medium, with hardware – bottle cage bolts, derailleur hanger, cable guides, seatpost clamp & chain keeper), which they claim is one of the lightest 29er hardtail frames available. It’s available in S, M and L, which BMC says accommodates riders from 5’4″ up to 6’5″.
A massive bottom bracket junction houses a PressFit 86 BB.
Note the metal chainsuck plate on the chainstay.
An adjustable chaincatcher is integrated into the frame will work with 2×10 or 3×10 cranksets.
The rear brake uses an integrated post mount with alloy inserts that are replaceable. It’s designed for 160mm or 180mm rotors. Sorry weight weenies, no 140mm on this bike.
Will come with SRAM X0 group (with X9 shifters), the new Fox 32 CTD FIT Float Factory Fork, Easton EC90 handlebar and EA70 XCT tubeless wheels and new Onza Canis ERA tubeless tires. MSRP is $5,499. Weight of the complete bike is claimed at 9.8kg (22.0 lbs).
It’ll ship with a 0mm offset seatpost, and 15mm and 30mm offset posts are available aftermarket.
The frame has been tasted in World Cup racing at Pietermaritzburg and Houffalize as well as the Cape Epic, with more than 8,000km of testing and 500km of racing under its belt. Their sponsored racer, Stephen Ettinger, is racing in his first year out of their U23 development team and was the top Pro American finisher at Houffalize aboard this bike.