Honestly, this long travel 29er from BMC was not the most well-liked bike at this year’s Bible of Bike Tests in Sedona, Arizona. It looks beautiful and is spec’d brilliantly, but the TrailFox seemed to be able to do only one thing well. Or perhaps is would be better suited in different terrain.
BMC TRAILFOX TF01 29
Direct Link: bmc-racing.com/us-en/bikes/mountainbike/platform/allmountain/trailfox/tf01/xx-1_trailcrew/
Final Take: A long-travel wagon-wheeler that loves long rides high in the mountains and rock garden desserts.
One hundred and fifty-millimeter-travel 29ers make for big bikes, and the BMC TF01 29 is no exception. This was my first thought after boarding the beast. My sentiment was confirmed when chatting with the other testers.
Although we’ve never piloted a monster truck, the feeling can’t be far off from riding the TF01 29. It’ll jump a set of 20 cars no problem, but making that turn at the end of the run can prove difficult. I felt invincible aboard the BMC until I needed it to change directions, at which point I felt, well, slightly less so.
Part of the problem was that our test loop in Sedona may not have been just right for the bike. There was no place to really open it up. The loop consisted mostly of steep, punchy climbs and descents, low-speed technical maneuvers and tight corners. This bike would be much more at home stretching its legs on big-mountain terrain high in the Rockies or the Alps.
The rear suspension is very active when the shock is left open, which feels good on descents but definitely requires the need to flip the shock to Trail or Climb when going uphill.
We didn’t have much at all to complain about when it came to the parts spec of the TF01 29. It includes DT Swiss Spline One wheels, XX1 drivetrain and a Fox Float-X shock and Float 34 fork, both with Kashima coating and CTD Trail Adjust, all mated to a full carbon frame. The entry-level TF03 29, with alloy frame and durable Shimano SLX can be purchased for $4,000.
BMC has done a great job with the industrial design. The full carbon frame looks downright sexy, but as my girlfriend is well aware, looks aren’t everything. The TF01 29 is a perfectly good bike, we expect a $9,000 bike to absolutely blow our doors off, and this big-wheeled monster truck fell a bit short of that. –Ryan Palmer