By Ryan LaBar
Just in time for Sea Otter, BMC launched its first carbon 29er hardtail. At first glance, it’s apparent that BMC’s new Teamelite TE01 29 is not a cookie-cutter carbon bike.
According to BMC, the TE01 29 was designed from the ground up to be a no-compromise racing machine that was “Fast, efficient and lightwight.”
The fast part of this concentrates on its geometry and 29-inch wheels. In general, BMC was not impressed with the average 29er race geometry in the industry, so it worked to create a “better” option. What it came up with was a bike with shorter chainstays, a slacker headtube angle, lower bottom bracket and a longer toptube (designed to be run with a short stem and wide bars). The chainstays are impressively short at 16.8 inches, the headtube angle is 70 degrees, the bottom-bracket drop is a low 2.6 inches and the toptube for the medium size is 24 inches long.
For efficiency, BMC designed the bike to be stiff at the headtube through the bottom bracket and chainstays, but also have a bit of vertically compliance to create a more comfortable ride that beats the rider up less.
While the fast and efficiency parts of this equation are potentially subjective, the weight is not. The TE01 29’s frame comes in at an impressively light 2.15 pounds with hardware. This, according to BMC, makes it one of the lightest, if not the lightest 29er frames on the market.
The TE01 29 has short chainstays that are designed to flex upward slightly to make for a more forgiving ride.
BMC put a lot of carbon material at the headtube to keep the bike stiff while keeping the stack height to a minimum. The stock stem is 70 millimeters long. This, to us, says that BMC has its finger on the pulse.
The bike uses a 27.2 seatpost that has a little compliance tuned into it, as well.
The most unique spec choice, at least for the US market, was the Onza Canis tires. Our past experiences on Onza’s tires has been good.
The 2013 model year (this one) TE01 29 complete bike will go for $5,500. The bike is equipped with a (mostly) SRAM X0 drivetrain and Easton bars, wheels and stem. It should be available near the end of May 2012.