We considered the release of the first-generation BMC Roadmachine for the 2017 model year to be a revelation amongst endurance bikes. It had probably a broader appeal than any endurance road bike before it: not as upright as the bikes with stack numbers that were taller than a two-story house, but much more comfortable than a usual hard-edged racer. The 2020 BMC Roadmachine road bike isn’t far removed from the original formula, but a refinement of the Swiss brand’s “One-Bike Collection” ethos.
The “One-Bike Collection” ethos is some pretty thick marketing for what equates to a comfortable all-arounder. As before, you’ll find BMC’s ICS cockpit with stealth cable routing. It’s one of the best examples of an integrated cockpit on the market; the combination of a regular handlebar with external cable routing that flows through a cover beneath the stem, split headset spacers and a flattened steer tube show impressive attention to detail that is reflected through the rest of the bike.
Like before, you’ll find a seat tube cutout and D-shaped carbon seatpost, semi-aero tubing, and an available integrated Garmin/GoPro/accessory mount that attaches to the stem. There is also an interchangeable plate on the downtube that allows for electronic and mechanical drivetrain swaps, BMC’s handy integrated cylindrical chain catcher, and a choice of high and low stack headset top caps to adjust stack and reach measurements. Smart design done right the first time doesn’t need to change.
Above else, the Roadmachine is about refinement. Perhaps the biggest change is an update to fit up to a 33c tire in the name of expanding the Roadmachine’s overall capability. Everything else is about refinement: there is a new asymmetric fork to increase strength on the disc brake side to put it in line with the rest of the BMC road bike line. You’ll also find tapered chainstays and seatstays that are 10 mm lower along the seat tube.
There are a few additions to the mix as well. BMC have doubled down on their ICS cockpit fit with the addition of 0-degree rise stems in an impressive 55-100 mm range. This complements the 90-130 mm -12-degree stem options, which combined effectively doubles the fitting range on each frame size, according to BMC. They’ve also added a bento box mount on the top tube like many of the gravel bikes on the market, and the option for a proprietary bolt-on rear fender off the top of the seatpost.
The Roadmachine has a good thing going in regards to geometry, though that too has seen some small changes. Stack numbers see the largest changes in the three largest sizes in an effort to make the stack and reach progression more natural across the size range, though each size receives just a touch more stack than the previous generation.
All said and done, BMC claims that this elongation contributes to a 20% increase in front end stiffness. The reworked seatpost, rear end, and fork combine to make for a 25% increase in compliance, and the bottom bracket sees a 5% bump in torsional stiffness too. A 54 cm frame weighs in at just 895 grams, making this one of the lightest all-around road bikes on the market.
What makes the Roadmachine so appealing, not only to us but to the myriad of road riders who happily ride Roadmachines from our shop, is its broad appeal. It’s truly a modern road bike, one that serves riders who ride tons appreciate zippiness and neutral handling, but don’t want the hard edges of a race road bike. The new bike is just as good as, if not better than, the previous Roadmachine, but it expands tire clearance and possibilities for what a Sunday morning ride can consist of. BMC could’ve changed the Roadmachine formula, but they didn’t need to. There’s a lot to like here, and we are sure that plenty of people will feel just like we do.
The 2020 BMC Roadmachine road bike is available in two frame models, the 01 and 02. O1 bikes features a complete ICS integrated stem and high modulus carbon to keep weight down. 02 bikes use a standard stem and handlebar interface and slightly heavier frame, but maintain the same geometry and largely the same performance of its pricier sibling.