OLIVERBURGESS--¼BMC XC ZOPEN BOX-RED

Advancements in carbon fiber technology have had a profound impact on bicycle frame design. They’re lighter, stronger, stiffer, and in some cases much more compliant. That last one comes as a number of companies look back to the early days of soft tail suspension design, but are doing so in a modern carbon fiber package. Both on the road and on the mountain, the concept of a soft tail frame has hung around for years with some bikes sticking around better than others (the Moots YBB comes to mind). Yet the idea still holds promise – just enough suspension performance to add compliance and aid in handling, all while retaining the sharpness of a hardtail.

While the idea is fairly common, how each company approaches the concept varies greatly from bike to bike. When it came time to redesign their Teamelite 01, BMC  used the opportunity to introduce their new Micro Travel Technology or MTT. Promising greater compliance through just 15mm of travel, the Teamelite 01 has a few other new additions as well…

BMC Teamelite micro suspension

Developed over the past two years with BMC’s Impec Lab in Grenchen, Switzerland, at the heart of MTT is their XCell Damper. Supported by dual guide pins that are accessed through the front of the seatstay and hidden under a molded cap, the damper appears to be a simple elastomer that compresses to allow for 15mm of travel. Available in 3 different damper densities, the frame can be tuned to different rider weights. The design of the damper claims to result in a seat stay that is still stiff laterally and torsionally, but is allowed to compress thanks to the carbon layup of the chainstays and seatstays.

OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE (12 of 68)

OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE (14 of 68) OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE (4 of 68)

Even with the XCell damper and MTT design, the full carbon frame has a claimed weight of 1,080g with all hardware. BMC points out that the technology allows for racers to base their tire pressures on what will be fastest for the course rather than reducing pressure to add compliance. After all, this is a true race bike for riders like Julien Absalon who are looking to gain seconds wherever possible.

teamelite-01_XX1_side

OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE-WHITE (5 of 9) OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE (30 of 68)

OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE-WHITE (8 of 9) OliverBurgess--¼BMC-TEAMELITE-WHITE-BG (24 of 24)

Elsewhere on the frame, the rear end gets upgraded to a 12 x 142mm thru axle rear dropout and a new DTI internal cable routing system adds compatibility for the latest drivetrains including Sideswing front derailleurs and Di2. When not using a front derailleur, a guide plate can be bolted to the FD mount which provides extra insurance against frame damage from dropped chains. Other details include a BB92 Shimano press fit bottom bracket, 1.5-1.125″ tapered headtube, and post mount disc tabs with 160mm max rotor size.

teamelite-01_XT_front

 

teamelite-01_XTR-Di2_side teamelite-01_XT_side

Available in 5 sizes (XS/S/M/L/XL), the XS size adds an additional 85mm of stand over clearance which should make shorter riders happy. Adhering to the BMC Big Wheel Concept, all 5 sizes roll on 29″ wheels. Sold in a frameset for $3,599, the Teamelite 01 will also be offered in the Teamelite 01 XTR Di2 ($10,599), XX1 ($6,599), and XT build for $4,599. Head over to BMC’s site for full specs and geometry info.

bmc-switzerland.com

30 COMMENTS

  1. i hope the TE02 doesn’t have this. cool idea but there is no way it retains stiffness as much as the old TE01. complete load of bull.

  2. @Collin your right. as much time they put into this design with a cost of $3600us. they should maybe googled “ProFlex”!

  3. @Greg Pinarello’s design was laughable. to ad tons of insult to it look where Wigg’s finished the race. Although he finished in comfort!.

  4. Why even bother with Hardtails anymore. FS bikes are so good now that there really is no reason not to use one. Absalon won XC worlds on a BMC FS01. Done and done, the end of the hardtail.

  5. Man what a clean design. This is awesome.

    Yeah Pinarello’s design looked like they said to the designers 2 weeks out from P.Roubaix “Right guys stop work, put down your pencils, we have run out of time. Whatever you’ve come up with, that’s what we will run with”.

  6. I like it but I’m a fan of hardtails. This is an xc race frame and really only requires travel for traction. This accomplishes that in a simple light manner.

    Myke – lateral stiffness was supposedly maintained via the metal sliders. Plus it’s been shown most comes from the chainstays.
    Collin – cold weather? The elastomer is easily changed, not to mention shocks suffer in cold weather too (air issues and oil viscosity affecting both spring and damping rates). But worst case, one just has a stiffer softail in the cold.

  7. Ha ha. Collin, your comments reminded me of days long past (94-95 I think?) when I had the pleasure of beta-testing Onza’s new clipless pedals – which used urethane “elastomers” in place of springs. If you adjusted them so that they were firm at the (morning) start of the ride, they’d be disconcertingly squishy by mid-ride, and a sticky-feeling bubblegum mess by the time you got to the fun downhills. They – of course – ignored testers’ feedback…

  8. I know it’s BMC’s style, but I can’t help but feel this would be a lot stronger (and better at dampening) if the seat stays joined at the top tube / seat tube junction.

  9. i’m just saving some bucks to order the superfly isospeed mid of this year, but i have to think again now. great job bmc!

  10. They put the internal cable routing right where the tire is going to spray the most dirt, under the downtube just behind the front tire. it doesn’t take a lot of research, just common sense to know that is the worst place to put that.

  11. As stated…way more stylish than the Italian Pinarello. I’d love to give this thing a try but I’d never buy one with BMCs crappy 3 year frame warranty. Hopefully they’ll license this out to other companies that will warranty their cracking frames for a more considerable amount of time. I’d love this on a mountain bike and even a road bike or gravel grinder

  12. Yeah, this idea was tried ages ago. There couldn’t possibly have been any advances in polymer science since then. Why bother?

    Seriously, it looks like a very good concept, but I gotta say OUCH at the frameset price!

  13. Instead of making a cheaper bike they could sell more of, and consequently develop a larger client base, we get this. And the bike industry wonders why it isn’t growing.

  14. Yet another softtail design just like has been done for decades with a pivot point in the worst possible location for pedaling. The only reason poor pedaling isn’t obvious is that the suspension is so ineffective to begin with. It will be great when manufacturers never duplicate this design again.

  15. Dear Bike Industry,

    I understand you’ve run out of ideas. But please stop rehashing old ones as new, especially the really bad ideas.

    Regards,

    been around this block and dumped it

  16. Nice, you’ve bought back memories of my KHS soft-tail. Nothing like riding everywhere and always feeling like the back tire is under inflated.

  17. Really?!? The great innovation out of the fabulous Impec Lab is really a rubber dumper?!? This is something that comes from the ’90s!

  18. so basically BMC decided that carbon was, lo and behold, uncomfortably stiff and crap to ride, so decided to basically go back to what a nice, light steel frame feels like…

  19. You don’t need a soft-tail frame, just get a titanium hardtail. Especial at that price, you could get a full custom Moots hardtail.

  20. I’m pretty sure riders don’t lower their tire pressure for comfort, why wouldn’t we be seeing riders with long travel bikes running 40 psi if that were the case?

  21. Only properly done “softtail” was the older Scalpels with the pivotless carbon chainstays. Then they went for more travel…

What do you think?