Ridden and Reviewed: 2020 BMC Roadmachine 01

Written by Contender Bicycles, on March 03, 2021

There was a lot of buzz around the first generation BMC Roadmachine. It wasn’t quite an endurance road bike like the BMC Granfondo, at the same time the race road bike section was filled up by the BMC Teammachine and Timemachine Road. What was the Roadmachine then? It was a road bike for the masses, and as it turns out, one of our most popular road bikes in the shop.

The One Bike Collection

Geometry is an interesting point of the Roadmachine. Its reach and stack measurements size by size neatly skew the difference between a race road bike and a traditionally-upright endurance bike. If anything, reach measurements size by size are almost like that of the Teammachine, just with an additional 12 to 30 mm more stack comparatively. That means there is plenty of room to stretch out, and just enough leeway to be put in a more upright position. That just-right persona carries on to the rest of the bike’s geometry. The slightly longer 410 mm chainstays, slacker headtube, increased fork rake, and lower bottom bracket imbue the Roadmachine with a fair bit more stability than a race road bike might have. More on that later.

There’s clearance for a 33mm tire, cables are neatly tucked away on all Roadmachine 01 frames thanks to the ICS stem, and the downtube uses a modular cable stop that can hold a Shimano Di2 junction box. More info on the inner workings of the Roadmachine can be found in our First Look HERE.

Battle Testing

I’ll be honest: I’ve ridden the 2020 BMC Roadmachine 01 FOUR here in these photos exactly five times. Four times were me riding the bike from the shop to my house and back, but that fifth time I rode the bike in Lotoja. Its never a good idea to ride a bike you’ve never really ridden on a 200+ mile ride, but being the glutton for punishment I am I had to do it. 2020 BMC Roadmachine RM01 The first thing I noticed is how firm the bike is. Most endurance bikes have some level of marketing that takes the edge off bumps, makes steering easier, or reduces road vibration at the handlebar. The Roadmachine doesn’t really do any of that. BMC touts their Tuned Compliance Concept as an overarching idea but the bike rides with a firmness that belies said compliance. This isn’t a bad thing; some endurance bikes can feel mushy, while many race bikes can be brutally stiff.

Paired to the stock 28c Vittoria Corsa Control tires found here, the Roadmachine has a ride quality that I would consider just right: sporty and willing, but comfortable and smooth. 2020 BMC Roadmachine 01 Four Vittoria Tires - Contender Bicycles Here’s what I mean by just right: the descent after Lotoja’s first climb features ribbon-smooth tarmac and spots where I could easily get over 45 miles an hour, and the Roadmachine excelled there. Plenty of grip, a low bottom bracket, and a reasonably long front end mean the handling is very calm at speed. Maybe its less willing to turn in initially than the Teammachine, but the bike goes exactly where you want it without fuss. On that same smooth tarmac, the Roadmachine made good use of the angular, wide carbon tubing. There is good pedaling response under power, be it in short bursts or sustained efforts. 2020 BMC Roadmachine RM01 01 Four Detail Ten hours into riding Lotoja and we started to hit some rougher tarmac, riddled with cracks and holes, and the Roadmachine tracked straight without needing much input from the rider. Its easy to ride, and the more I rode the more I appreciated said ease. There may be more responsive bikes out there, but none of them ride with the level of smoothness that this does. This build is based around a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain. As you’d expect, Ultegra Di2 is seamless in function and contributes to the bike’s overall minimalist aesthetic. Di2 really begins to make sense on a long ride, where the easy click of a shifter saves precious energy compared to the traditional shifting motion. 2020 BMC Roadmachine 01 Four Ultegra Di2 Drivetrain - Contender Bicycles I received a ton of positive comments about the Roadmachine at Lotoja, and I think a lot of it had to do with the DT Swiss ERC 1650 Spline db 47 carbon wheels, which give the bike a good bit of presence. They’re hard to fault, with a good combination of reasonably low weight on climbs, good crosswind stability, and the durability of DT Swiss freehub design.

Is it the “One Bike Collection?”

BMC makes plenty of claims with the new Roadmachine but the overarching idea is that this is the “One Bike Collection.” It is hard not to fault the popularity of the bike, as it hits a just-right balance of smoothness, stiffness, and rideability. The Roadmachine does exactly what 95% of road cyclists want from their bike, with just enough of a performance edge to make the racer inside of me happy. With an ideal combination of good looks, smart integration, and balanced road manners, the Roadmachine lives up to its name as the “One Bike Collection.”

Have any questions about the 2020 BMC Roadmachine? Give us a call during business hours, or send us an email any time to info@contenderbicycles.com.


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