Beautiful Bicycle - A Sleek BMC Kaius

Beautiful Bicycle - A Sleek BMC Kaius

Written by Contender Bicycles, on March 17, 2023

We all love the BMC Kaius. Based on how often folks contact us about BMC’s latest gravel bike, that is. And there is good reason for that: the more folks ride gravel bikes, the more they realize they don’t necessarily need a Swiss Army knife-type of bike. Rather, they want the confidence that comes from wide tires and gravel bike geometry, the low weight and aero gains of the best road bikes, and none of the filler. Makes sense.

It also makes sense that this custom-built BMC Kaius gravel bike has this specific build. A 2x drivetrain, Princeton Carbon aero wheels, and a number of small notes make an excellent example of how most Kaius riders will want to set up their bike. 


Beautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - Side Profile

We’ve gone in-depth about the BMC Kaius previously, and there’s even a video review of the bike too. The gist of the Kaius gravel bike is this: aero efficiency and frame construction courtesy of the BMC Teammachine SLR road bike, just with more tire clearance. Most gravel rides consist of riding against the wind, and often alone or in small groups; Kaius is optimized specifically for that situation. The geometry isn’t tuned for bikepacking bags or tight, winding, singletrack, and that’s a-okay.

As a result of this singular optimization, the Kaius has a number of design features not found on other gravel bikes. Chief among those features is the controversial one-piece gravel handlebar. One-piece systems are growing increasingly common on high-end road bikes, but rarely seen on gravel bikes. What is unexpected is that this one-piece bar comes in just one particularly narrow width: a 36cm center-to-center width at the tops and the 12.5-degree flare increases the width to 420mm at the drops. That’s right: 47 cm Kaius bikes get the same bar width as massive 61 cm frames. 

Those narrow handlebars are a bold design choice, but it makes sense the more you look at the bike. Aero optimization is all over the Kaius. The seatpost clamp is hidden away. The bottle cages are molded around the frame to smooth airflow around water bottles. The cables are tucked away into the handlebar and stem for improved airflow. Even the thru axles received aero-centric attention, as the drive sides are completely covered up. 

Beautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - wheel and bar detail

This custom build doubles down on those aero intentions courtesy of Princeton Dual 5550 wheels. These wheels are the company’s dedicated all-road wheels with a whole lot of depth. The rims feature this sinusoidal or wave-type of rim depth that they say provides greater high-speed stability and crosswind handling. Plus, they're optimized specifically for wider tires. Whether or not Princeton’s claims of superior aero performance are true, there is no denying that they are distinctive. 

This build uses a SRAM RED AXS 2x drivetrain. 1x gearing is all the rage with gravel, and for good reason: it's simple. Click a button until you find a gear you want and you're done, no mental juggling required. However, a 2x drivetrain is undeniably good for covering long distances quickly, as the smaller cassettes mean smaller jumps between gears. If you’re sensitive to changes in cadence as well, a 2x drivetrain is the way to go. SRAM RED AXS is the brand’s best and lightest option.

Beautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - Handlebar Detail 1

Here’s the rest of the build as follows: 

Frameset BMC Kaius 01 54cm, white/black/turq
Groupset SRAM RED eTap AXS 2x; CeramicSpeed OSPW pulleys; CeramicSpeed Coated Road DUB bottom bracket
Gearing SRAM RED AXS Powermeter 46/33T chainrings, 172.5mm cranks; SRAM XG-1270 10-36t cassette
Wheelset Princeton Carbon Works Dual 5550, DT Swiss 180 EXP (disc brake, tubeless)
Tires Maxxis Rambler 700c x 40mm, 120 TPI
Handlebar ICS Carbon Aero One-Piece Bar/Stem - 36mm top/420mm bottom
Stem ICS Carbon Aero One-Piece Bar/Stem - 90 mm effective length
Handlebar Tape Ciclovation Advanced Leather Touch - Digital Texture Bar Tape
Saddle Fizik Vento Argo 00 - 140mm
Seatpost BMC Kaius, D-shaped
Accessories BMC Aerocore aero bottle cages, BMC Computer mount for ICS Carbon Aero Cockpit


Want a BMC Kaius gravel bike for yourself? Contact us to get started. 

Beautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - HeroBeautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - Saddle DetailBeautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - CeramicSpeedBeautiful Bicycle - BMC Kaius 01 Gravel Bike - Handlebar Detail 1


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