With the Fourstroke 01, BMC set out to make an uncompromising XC race machine. And “uncompromising” doesn’t mean what it used to. Racers can no longer afford to compromise DH capability when race courses increasingly feature DH consequences. Leading that trend is the growing “XCO” or Olympic-style XC racing, and not surprisingly it tends to get the most coverage these days. So, also not surprisingly, you’ll find the Fourstroke has a slack head angle (67.5 degrees), a long front end (465-millimeter reach on a large) and short chainstays (429 millimeters). Nonetheless, this is a race bike, and the included technology proves it.
Perhaps most exciting about the new Fourstroke 01 is the integrated XC dropper post. Yes, XC racers are beginning to use droppers. We wrote about why here. BMC’s new dropper system, coined Race Application Dropper (RAD), weighs a mere 345 grams and features a two-position adjustment. If you look closely, you’ll notice the seatpost isn’t quite round either. Instead it’s an elliptical shape which helps with strength while shaving weight. It has 80 millimeters of drop, which XC racers prefer over deeper trail-level droppers. Shallow drop posts don’t require riders to squat down as far to get the saddle out of the way, or to spend energy and concentration fine-tuning each drop. It gives them just enough to get it out of the way and then get back to business. There’s no hydraulic parts to speak of in the ultra-simple post, and that simplicity just makes it look good. Maybe that last one isn’t important for racing, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
The RAD system is exciting, and we expect to be seeing something like it on a lot more bikes in the future, but it isn’t the only thing this bike has going for it. Again, the new Fourstroke has pretty progressive geometry for a race rig. That’s helped along by the reduced-offset 100-millimeter 29er fork. And to make sure you can put power to the pedals, the seat angle is 75.5 degrees.
So basically BMC took the contemporary changes we’ve seen on many enduro bikes, and applied them to an XC machine. And it still only weighs 22 pounds on the top-end build. For a complete bike, with full suspension, dropper post, brakes, tires, everything… no pedals, probably, but still impressive.
The new Fourstroke 01 will be available in the U.S. in December, and will come in three different builds, or as a frameset with integrated dropper. Prices range from $6,500 to $11,000 or $4,300 for the frame. Learn more on the BMC website.