BMC Fourstroke FS01 29
Price: $6,500
Weight: 23.8 pounds

By Ryan Labar

Nearly all of the testers who swung a leg over the BMC Fourstroke FS01 29 felt that it was the best-pedaling and best-tracking of the full-suspension
cross-country bikes in this category.

The rear suspension uses BMC's Advanced Pivot System linkage, which is efficient while pedaling, yet surprisingly active when the trail gets bumpy. Combine this with the FS01's stiff and light carbon frame and you have one of the fastest bikes on the trail, period.

The FS01's geometry is set somewhere between 'trail' and 'cross-country,' making it eager to rally through corners and manual through whoops when the track points down. Where other cross-country bikes might start feeling sketchy, this bike just wants to go faster.

Our testers admired the parts choice on the X0 model of the FS01. It comes loaded with Fox suspension, Easton bars, stem, seatpost and wheels and, as the name suggests, a full SRAM X0 drivetrain including the Type 2 rear derailleur We also like that the frame features a 142×12 through-axle rear dropout and is designed around the use of a shorter stem and wider bars.

But we did have one problem with the FS01: It broke.

The rear triangle cracked at the lower pivot, while climbing, during one of our photo shoots. The photo below shows the damage.

Here's the crack in question. BMC's official statement is below. We've ordered up another one of these and will be testing it throughout the season on the technical singletrack of the East Coast. Stay tuned for more.

According to BMC, this was the first frame that had failed in such a manner. Had this happened to a consumer, the frame would be fully covered under warranty. BMC offers a three-year warranty, which can be bumped up to five years if you register your new bike with BMC within 30 days of purchase.

We sent the frame back and BMC had this to say:
“The frame has been returned to Switzerland for analysis, but our mountain bike product manager, Matthias Schmid, confirmed that no issues such as this have been reported. In fact, that section has been in production for three years, and used on the BMC TF01, which is our all-mountain and enduro bike.”

“As part of its development and testing, the FS01 was raced by the BMC Mountain Bike Team during the latter half of the 2012 season with no compromises. The FS01 has passed all of BMC’s strict internal and external testing protocols, so we’ll have to await final word from Switzerland before we can make an informed assessment.”

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