Contender Ten Best of 2021: A Racy 2022 BMC Teammachine SLR01
The BMC road bike lineup is well-stocked. At one end is the BMC Roadmachine, a road bike that will please just about everyone. At the other end is the BMC Timemachine Road, an aero road rocket that looks straight out of Tron. What then, is the BMC Teammachine? We’ll call it how we see it: the Teammachine, and especially this custom Teammachine SLR01 Disc, is the goldilocks.
Historically, the BMC Teammachine hasn’t always been the bike that was just right. Tracing a line up to BMC’s dedicated road racing bikes, the Teammachine (and the models before it) had a penchant for going as fast as possible. Cadel Evans won the 2011 Tour de France on a Teammachine just a year after its inception. Greg Van Avermaat won the 2016 Olympics on a Teammachine, and along the way have been several monuments and World Championships won with the BMC Teammachine SLR. This performance was achieved through iterative testing; BMC claims they ran more than 30,000 iterations through their software of different carbon layups and frame shapes to optimize for low weight, high stiffness, and more recently aerodynamics. Iterative modeling like this might be par for the course today, but it certainly wasn’t upon the Teammachine’s initial inception.
If there was a weakness to the prior Teammachine, it was likely a sacrifice in comfort. Having a stiff-riding bike ten years ago was a sign of a fast bike, but as road bikes have developed, so too has the Teammachine. A recent win at the Paris-Roubaix shows that a focus on seated riding comfort paid dividends, allowing it to neatly thread the needle between all-out speed and legitimate riding smoothness. This isn’t like riding a cruiser, much less BMC’s URS gravel bike in riding comfort, but the small bumps and jarring sensations we called communicative before won’t make you hate riding your bike long distances.
The Teammachine itself doesn’t look all that different from its previous models, and for good reason: BMC thinks they nailed it from the start. This fourth-generation Teammachine SLR is a refinement upon refinements of the past. Most of them are go-faster tricks aimed at aerodynamics. You see it in the ICS carbon handlebar system, which like the Dogma F, is smoothed over and extremely aero-efficient. You see it in the tube shaping, which has subtly moved toward a truncated tube shape that aims to improve aerodynamics without making the bike heavier or less comfortable. You even see it in the fork blades, which were given what BMC calls their ‘stealth dropouts’. Here, the thru-axle threads into a nut inside of the fork (and frame out back, too) rather than being exposed to the elements. Even the Aerocore water bottle cages are specially designed for aerodynamics around water bottles, blending both seamlessly to the frame. Small potatoes, but when the Teammachine was already as good as it was before, not much needed to change.
Now to the build, which we would call flash casual. Mind you, there is a lot of flashiness going on here: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and ENVE 4.5 AR wheels are obviously eye-catching to the nerdy cyclists among us. But the blacked-out one-piece bar/stem doesn’t draw much attention to itself. The Quarq power meter is perfectly normal-looking too. And that blue - the semi-matte/satin finish that catches light nicely but still has a finish that looks contemporary. But outside of the customarily large BMC logo on the downtube, there’s little to queue bystanders in on just how nice of a bike this is. At least, until you get close to it and see the details.
We call this BMC Teammachine SLR01 just right. It is a thoroughbred race road bike, but positioning between endurance bikes and aero race bikes forced the Teammachine to develop appeal for just about everyone looking for something, fast, lightweight, and comfortable. Everyone wins as a result.
See the parts build and more photos of this BMC Teammachine SLR01 Disc custom build below.
|Frame||BMC Teammachine SLR 01 Disc - 2022 (56cm)|
|Fork||BMC Teammachine SLR 01 Disc - 2022 - 43mm offset|
|Groupset||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170|
|Crankset||Quarq DFour AXS DUB crank arms/Quarq DFour DUB Spindle for Shimano R9100 chainrings - 175m|
|Brakes||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 RT900 - 160mm Rotors F/R|
|Gearing||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 50-34t chainrings, Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 11-28T cassette|
|Wheelset||ENVE SES 4.5 AR Disc - ENVE Alloy CL hubs - S11|
|Tires||Pirelli P-Zero Velo 4S - 700c x 28mm|
|Handlebar||BMC ICS Aero Carbon One-Piece Handlebar/Stem - Stealth - 44cm|
|Stem||BMC ICS Aero Carbon One-Piece Handlebar/Stem - Stealth - 110mm|
|Seatpost||Teammachine 01 Premium Carbon-Shape Seatpost, 15mm offset|
|Saddle||Specialized S-Works Power - 143mm|
|Accessories||BMC Aerocore water bottle cages. 14.99 lbs complete|