It’s easy to fall prey to the long, low, and slack frame design craze that is changing how we look at modern mountain bike geometry. Too much reach and too slack of a headtube can cause a bike to be lethargic while turning. Too short of chainstays can create instability while climbing. Too much travel, and a bike can lose snappy acceleration AND have inefficient climbing ability. With that being said, a taste of these characteristics can transform a cross country mountain bike into something much more capable, tossable, and above all else, fun. This is exactly what BMC has done to their new Fourstroke; they’ve given it longer reach across all sizes, a slacker headtube, and more suspension travel. BMC has taken their creation and given it a new name: the 2019 BMC Agonist 02 TWO marathon mountain bike.
The BMC Agonist 02 shares it’s premium carbon frame with the top-level Agonist 01, but uses an alloy rear swingarm instead of carbon. Total frame/shock/hardware weight is still a svelte 2530g, an increase of 350g. 29er wheels are used across the size range to adhere to their Big Wheel Concept (BWC) for optimal nimbleness and rollover. The suspension is spec’d with 110mm travel, just enough to dampen out rocks and roots without sacrificing outright acceleration. The headtube is also made more slack than the Fourstroke by 1 degree (69.5º across the line), and toptube length has been lengthened in the name of stability. Further changes to BMC’s Advanced Pivot System (APS) placed the pivots further apart to create longer stroke, improving small bump compliance to keep the rear wheel in better contact with the ground, while making for optimal braking and pedaling efficiency.
The Agonist 02 packs plenty of smart details and design, some more noticeable than others. The rear shock is mounted such that the remote lockout cable is completely tucked away and isn’t noticeable. Well-engineered cable routing also allows for both 1x or 2x drivetrains or a dropper post if desired. The downtube and drive-side chainstay has composite protectors to help against abrasion. A mudflap neatly hides brake and shift housing, and protects the rear swingarm pivot from grime. BMC played the long game with the BMC Agonist 02 TWO, knowing that riders would want to use it regularly.
The BMC Agonist 02 TWO features BMC’s 02 Carbon frame and alloy rear triangle, and pairs it to a Fox Float 32 Performance fork, (110mm) a Fox Float DPS EVOL rear shock, (110mm) and a SRAM NX 1×11 drivetrain. Shimano Deore brakes keep the party under control, while Vittoria Barzo TR 29 x 2.25″ tires wrapped around a Shimano Deore/Alex MD25 wheelset keep up the speed. A Fizik Antares R7 saddle, and BMC alloy cockpit complete the package. Agonist 02 is available in four sizes (S-XL).
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