BMC Shows Off New SLR01, Reveals ACE up their Sleeve
When it came time for BMC to revamp their pro-level race bike, the Teammachine SLR01, they faced a big challenge. The previous Teammachines have quite the pedigree of victories in the past decade, so in order to stand as the new flagship of the brand, the new SLR01 had to be something special. As more and more of the industry seems to be turning to FEA, rapid prototyping, and wind tunnel testing for taking designs to the next level, so too has BMC. Claiming an industry first, BMC replaced traditional prototyping with an all new Advanced Composites Evolution (ACE) computer modeling program that allowed for a staggering 34,000 possible frame configurations before the first prototype was made.
By focusing on the frame’s structure, tube cross sections, and carbon layup all in ACE’s modeling programs, BMC believes the new SLR01 is the result of a perfect combination of weight, stiffness and vertical compliance. A combination that will continue to lead their teams to victory.
More details, models, pricing, and availability next.
As a design process that is rapidly becoming more and more advance and prolific in the industry, FEM (Finite Element Method) or FEA (Finite Element Analysis) essentially uses super powerful computers to model real world interactions in computer modeling. FEA grew out of the aerospace industry due to the need for accurate stress analysis, but is now used in many industries for structural/stress analysis, fluid flow, heat transfer, electromagnetic fields, and more.
With ACE at BMC engineer’s fingertips, and the right know how, BMC was able to wade through 34,000 prototypes to get an accurate idea of how they would perform without ever leaving the virtual world. Of course, the technology is only as good as the engineers involved so it’s not a magic wand, though the resultant SLR01 makes it look like BMC knew what they were doing. As a result of the design process, the final SLR01 is 15% lighter than the 2013 SLR01, yet it is 25% stiffer. Stiff and light are great, but at the end of a grand tour stage compliance counts for something too which is why the SLR01 continues the use of BMC’s Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC). Introduced on the first generation Teammachine SLR01, TCC uses optimized tube shapes and carbon schedules to provide compliance while maintaining stiffness where needed. According to BMC’s numbers, the new SLR01 is more vertically compliant than the 2013 model, though not surprisingly still a ways off from their GF01 gran fondo bike.
Resulting from the prototyping and design of the bike, the SLR01 has asymmetrical chainstays, triangular seat stays, a D-shaped seat post, an oversized downtube, wider top tube, and a stepless steerer fork all designed to increase compliance and stiffness while keeping the design as light as possible.
That weight? The frame weighs 790g. When BMC lists the frame weight they go as far as specifying that measurement is for a painted 56cm frame with full hardware. The 1380g frameset weight includes seat post, headset, and fork. The weight is low enough that as with any tour level super light frameset, weight needs to be added to make the bikes UCI legal. We’ve seen any number of creative ways to make weight from alloy seatposts to weights glued to the down tube, but these added weight plates that fit neatly under the bottle cages are pretty trick.
Initially the Teammachine SLR01 will be offered in 4 complete models and a frameset. The Di2 is pictured first, with the specs following.
The Di2 SLR01 model will retail for $12,999.
Dura Ace is a few grand less at $9,999.
SRAM Red equipped models will retail for $7,999.
While likely the most popular model based on the stealth looks and price will be the $5,599 Ultegra Stealth. There will also be a frameset (frame, seatpost, clamp, headset, fork) offered for just $4,999.