BMC SLR02 Review

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BMC SLR02 Review

THE BMC TEAMMACHINE SLR02 IS AN AFFORDABLE WAY TO HAVE A BIKE LIKE TEJAY VAN GARDEREN.

2016 Buyer’s Guide: The BMC Teammachine SLR02 Is Brilliant

The bright-blue tubes aren’t the only things about this affordable road bike that dazzle

BY LOUIS MAZZANTE - Bicycling Magazine MARCH 1, 2016

Maybe you’ve experienced this on a ride: Your legs are rising and falling in accord, just fast enough that when you look down between them to the rushing blacktop, their edges are smoothed by the movement. The sensation is disorienting and alluring, because what you see—what you feel—is speed, as if you had just hit fast forward on your ride. I do this sometimes just for kicks, each instance a thrilling reminder that 35 mph is, when attained on a bike, damn fast.

During the several weeks I rode BMC’s SLR02, I did this more often than usual: I did it while climbing over scattershot gravel early one foggy fall morning on Bieber Road; while pedaling hard up the left-hander that leads into the steepest grades of Sweetwood; while weaving between leaves on a nearly empty bike path alongside Bushkill Creek. I did it because it was fun, and riding this bike made me happy. I have felt it on other bikes, but it was heightened here, because the contrast seemed greater: The SLR felt so calm and easy-handling otherwise that looking down at the road rushing beneath my frame was one of the best ways to get a clear sense of how fast I was actually going.

 

BMC clearly designed the SLR02 for speed. It borrows heavily from the company’s top-of-the-line SLR01 race bike, which Tejay van Garderenand his BMC teammates rode in the Tour de France. While the bikes have nearly identical geometry, they use different frame construction: To keep costs lower, the 02 uses heavier carbon and resin, and a less-intricate layup. The 02 also has aluminum dropouts, whereas the 01 uses carbon ones. The differences add up to about 200 grams—the premium model frame weighs 790 grams with paint and hardware; the SLR02 weighs 990.

Despite the more economical materials, the 02 had an energetic yet pleasing ride. “BMC wanted the same levels of stiffness and compliance in the frame as the SLR01,” said Peter Nicholson, a company spokesperson. In racy situations it was my legs and not the bike holding me back. When I poured my energy into the cranks, pedaling furiously (but not at all smoothly) to challenge a town-line sprint, the bike felt steady and composed, accelerating efficiently (though not as quickly as some lighter bikes).

Compared to some other BMC models, this one felt easier to turn, and more lively. I appreciated this quality while crouching into a tuck on a straight descent and while sawing the bike back and forth climbing a double-digit grade at a single-digit speed. Given the stout frame tubes, I was surprised by how much road shock the frame absorbed. Even with narrow 23mm Continental tires, the bike rolled smoothly across dirt and gravel roads, and took some of the sting out when I slammed into potholes. 

When I rode with others, the SLR02 never left me wanting for more bike even though it was often the least-expensive one in the group (sometimes by several thousand dollars). Given its price, I was surprised to see that it had a full Shimano 105 group and RS11 wheels, which is rare. Many similarly priced bikes come with off-brand wheels, cranks, and brakes, many of which are a step down in quality from the Shimano parts on the BMC. The brakes, especially, felt smooth, consistent, and reliable—though not remarkably powerful—which is better than most at this price.

Some riders, especially those who stick to flat or rolling roads, might question the massive 32-tooth cog on the rear cassette because it creates larger-than-normal gaps between the gears. That can make it harder to find the right gear in certain situations. Because I was riding mostly for fun, and not racing, I didn’t find the gaps troublesome, and appreciated the extra-low gear on energy-zapping climbs.

To make the SLR02 even more enjoyable on long rides, I’d replace the thin bar tape and narrow tires. A thicker or lightly padded tape would reduce the buzz coming through the bar and going to a good 25mm tirewould likely add another degree of comfort. Those are both easy and relatively inexpensive changes. One thing I absolutely would not change is the color. The bright blue is a departure for BMC, which previously offered white and red as its boldest color options. But the break from conservative paint suits this model, adding style and a pop of energy. It’s one more reason I kept looking down as I pedaled—because, hot damn, those oversize brilliant blue frame tubes looked stunning when the sun lit up their edges.

With the SLR02, BMC pulled off something special: It made a not-crazy-expensive carbon bike with a complete Shimano 105 group that is comfortable and incredibly exciting to ride. You might not notice it at first, but a quick look at the pavement rushing beneath your wheels will confirm that this the SLR02 can move in a way that won’t stop delighting you.

What You Need to Know

  • Has a full Shimano 105 group, including brakes, cranks, and chain
  • Yes, the bright-blue paint does make the bike seem lighter and faster!
  • The 32-tooth large rear cog means you can spin up hills with less effort (though not faster)
  • Nearly identical geometry to the SLR01 that Tejay van Garderen rides
  • Comes with 23mm tires, but has clearance for up to 28s.

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Our Top 10 MTB Race Tips

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Our Top 10 MTB Race Tips

With Joberg2C and Sani2C fast approaching, here are our Top 10 tips for you:

Top Tip #1: Accurate bike setup for optimal performance and injury free racing.

So many of us underestimate the power that accompanies an efficient bike setup. Ensure that you are 100% comfortable for those long hours in the saddle and engaging the correct muscles for maximum power output and performance. 

Clayton Blackler from Cycle Symmetry is someone we work closely with and is highly recommended by many, give him a call on 083 227 0429, you will not be disappointed.

Top Tip #2: Topped up sealant.

Make sure that you have sufficient sealant and tyres that are not worn.

Top Tip #3: Check your brake pads.

Top Tip #4: Bike Travel.

If your bike needs to be transported to a location before a race, ensure that it is boxed correctly and when reassembling your bike, ensure that your headset, seat post, pedals and wheels are tight.

Top Tip #5: Nutrition on point.

Fueling your body correctly is crucial. We recommend that you never try anything new on race day. Any nutrition should be tested on training rides leading up to the event AND do not forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Before the race, during and after. 

Top Tip #6: Love your bum. Invest in a good chamois cream.

Top Tip #7: Invest in a decent chain lubricant.

Nothing is quite as annoying as a noisy chain. We all know that sound... Lets spare our race partner the torture. Help? Well we personally recommend the Muc - Off product range.

Top Tip #8: Issues on the race route?

It is important to know how to deal with common issues that may occur during the race, especially tubeless repairs and reconnecting chains. If you are unsure, please don't hesitate to pop into our store and our mechanics will happily show you a few helpful tricks.

Top Tip #9: Necessary spares.

Yes, it would be ideal to take everything but being on a bike, racing down some technical single track doesn't quite allow for that so we recommend a multitool, tubeless repair kit, bombs, chain breaker and speed links. 

Top Tip #10: Have fun and remember "the why."

We all have our "why" factor - whether its for a good time, to experience beautiful scenery, for pure enjoyment with friends, for fitness, to lose weight, to do it for those who aren't able, for charity, for someone that has inspired you, for someone who challenged you, to push your limits, to achieve a podium, or to win... Remember your "why" and may it motivate you to have the most enjoyable and amazing race ever. 

Written by: Lauren Bezuidenhout

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Dezzi Crit #4 Awesome results for our ccGALLERY Athletes

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Dezzi Crit #4 Awesome results for our ccGALLERY Athletes

Well done to our ccGallery cycles athletes who competed at this weekends fourth and final Chainworx Dezzi KZN crit series! Jaco Pelser and Shalltin Beneke finished Second and Third in the u23 age category, and Robert du Preez placed first in the Elite category and third overall! a great effort by our athletes!

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SWISS, PREMIUM, PERFORMANCE – BMC RELEASE THEIR 2016 MOUNTAIN BIKE LINEUP

As a company well known for its thirst for innovative design, BMC have just announced their most progressive line of mountain bikes yet. Of course the Swiss brand has been on quite the roll lately, having debuted the new Team Elite softail race bike as well the 650b Speedfox Trailcrew already this year. Looking to build upon that momentum, the 2016 model year signals a subtle change in direction for BMC, with bold colours and refined build kits highlighting their willingness to listen to rider demands. This year you’ll find BMC releasing new sport hardtails, an updated Trailfox long-travel 29er, and a plethora of new spec options for the existing Fourstroke and Speedfox lines. So read on for our first look of the 2016 BMC mountain bike range…

 

While BMC may have generated plenty of interest with the release of their new 650b Speedfox Trailcrew, don’t for a second think that the Swiss brand has turned its attention away from the big wheels. Far from it in fact, as the Trailfox is still very much their Enduro race team’s weapon of choice. And so the 150mm travel Trailfox is back with a vengeance for 2016, complete with a new suspension package that sees all 3 models impressively utilizing a Cane Creek DB Inline rear shock and a RockShox PIKE fork. This means that every Trailfox rider is getting the same adjustments and suspension performance regardless of whether they choose the entry-point Trailfox 03 X1, or the full-noise Trailfox 01 XX-1. Further spec highlights that will please the masses include Shimano hydraulic disc brakes across the board, as well as tubeless compatible wheels and dropper posts throughout.

 

Otherwise the same geometry and APS suspension design carry over. According to BMC, the twin-link APS system uses “low suspension ratio for improved control, well-tuned progressivity for added comfort, and anti-squat properties to boost pedaling efficiency.” It’s a well proven design for BMC, having been utilized on their full suspension line for the better part of a decade. On the Trailfox, the APS linkage delivers 150mm of rear wheel travel that, along with the fat 29er rubber, is ideally suited to the gnarly high-speed terrain one might face during an Enduro World Series round. In fact, the new Trailfox was recently debuted during the Samoens EWS round in France, where it was ridden at full throttle by the BMC Factory Trailcrew Team.

 

But while BMC’s Enduro team may prefer the rock-gobbling abilities of the Trailfox 29er, the Swiss brand has been well aware of consumer demands for a 27.5″ version. And so back in early June this year, BMC released their very first Goldilocks model, called the Speedfox Trailcrew. Using 150mm of travel front and rear, the Speedfox Trailcrew is perfectly equipped to tackle the same type of riding as the Trailfox 29er, but in a package that’s designed to offer a more animated ride. According to BMC, “the Speedfox ‘Trailcrew’ attitude is all about play and having fun on two wheels, forcing BMC’s status-quo of performance and speed to take a vacation.”


There will be 2 models available for 2016. The Speedfox Trailcrew 02 makes use of a carbon front triangle that’s paired to an alloy one-piece sub-frame, with a Cane Creek DB Inline shock controlling the 150mm of rear travel. Both models get a RockShox PIKE up front, but the cheaper Speedfox Trailcrew 03 gets a Fox Float EVOL shock out back along with an alloy front triangle to bring the price down. Both bikes get 2.4″ rubber, dropper posts, 750mm wide handlebars, and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear. Key features include removable ISCG chainguide tabs, a 142x12mm rear thru-axle, and neat internal cable routing. In terms of geometry, the 27.5″ Speedfox Trailcrew runs a 66.5-degree head angle to keep the front centre long, while the 428mm chainstays are the shortest in the BMC full suspension line.


Cane Creek’s DB Inline rear shock is proving to be a popular spec option for 2016 trail bikes. Offering a more compact design than the traditional piggyback design, the DB Inline combines a large volume air spring with independent control of High/Low speed compression and rebound damping.


Companies such as BMC are getting better at managing internal cable routing, with sleek bolt-on ports allowing for easier entry and exit points for shift cables and hydraulic brake and dropper post hoses.


The standard Speedfox carries over for 2016, though an updated suspension spec looks set to turn this 130mm travel 29er into a more capable trail bike. Across the board you’ll find both the carbon and alloy models gifted with the excellent 34 Series fork from Fox Racing Shox. Going to the larger 34mm stanchions provides a much needed boost in front-end steering precision for long-travel 29ers, and with Fox having dropped a ton of weight out of the new 34 chassis, it’s proving to be a very popular choice this season. BMC frames are well known for their high quality construction and lateral stiffness, so the addition of the 34 FLOAT fork should unlock the true potential of the Speedfox frame.


To match the 34 fork up front, you’ll see the new Fox Float DPS rear shock out back controlling the Speedfox’ 130mm of rear travel. Aiming to maintain the same suspension characteristics throughout the range, BMC have specified Fox’s new Evol air can, which uses an enlarged negative air spring to help boost starting-stroke sensitivity and maintain a more linear feel throughout. Otherwise the overall chassis remains the same, with the top-of-the-line Speedfox 01 utilising a full-carbon frameset. The middle-of-the-road Speedfox 02 subs in an alloy rear triangle, while the entry-point Speedfox 03 (pictured above) goes for alloy both front and rear. Geometry also remains unchanged, with a 68.5-degree head angle paired with roomy top tube lengths across the board to keep the wheelbase long and stable. A steep 74-degree seat angle aims to position the rider further in between the two wheels for a neutral climbing position when the saddle is at full height.


Who says 29er carbon hardtails can’t fly?

At the pointier end of the spectrum, BMC have been enjoying stellar results on the XC race circuit following the debut of their brand-new Teamelite soft-tail. For those looking for more real-world proof of this success, just ask Julien Absalon, who recently notched up his 30th World Cup win aboard the Teamelite 01. As a company with deep roots in the faster side of road racing and XC competition, the Teamelite is BMC’s best example of what their engineers can deliver when they’re let loose on designing a single-purpose race rig. We’ve already gone into detail about the development of the new Teamelite 01 frameset and its Micro Travel Technology (MTT), which is helping to deliver more compliance for riders still wanting the flat-out efficiency and lightweight that only a hardtail can truly deliver. But we can tell you that new for the 2016 model year will be a Teamelite 02 frameset, which mirrors the carbon frame on the Teamelite 01, just without the MTT design.


The softtail is back! Delivering 15mm of vertical ‘compliance’, the MTT junction on BMC’s Team Elite 29er hardtail is designed to take the sting out of the bumps for those riders who prefer light weight and flat-out efficiency over a full-suspension design.


There will be three spec options available with the top-end Teamelite 01 frameset, including this Di2 XTR model that comes complete with the same 2×11 drivetrain being used by Shimano’s sponsored World Cup athletes. BMC will be offering the Teamelite 01 in five frame sizes, with the X-Small size offering an additional 8cm of standover clearance compared to the smallest frame size from last year. Geometry follows the companies ‘Big Wheel Concept’ (BWC) that they’ve been refining over the past few years. This evolution sees the new 29er soft tail running a lower bottom bracket height, shorter chainstay length, and roomier top tubes across the size range that are paired with shorter stems to help quicken up the steering at slower speeds.


If you love the idea of the Teamelite 01 frame but you’re on a budget, the Teamelite 03 frame offers you the same World Cup winning geometry in a lightweight alloy frame that helps to bring the price down. Geometry is shared with the top-tier carbon model, and oversized hydroformed alloy tubing aims to mimic the same stiffness and handling attributes of its more expensive siblings. The Teamelite 03 comes equipped with a 100mm travel RockShox Solo Air XC30 fork, Shimano Deore/SLX running gear, DT Swiss wheels and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.

Lastly, but certainly not least, the new 100mm Fourstroke  will be available in 4 models for 2016. The Fourstroke 01 (pictured above) runs a full carbon frame with your choice of SRAM XX-1 or Shimano Di2 drivetrain options. The Fourstroke 02 subs in an alloy rear triangle and offers SLX or XT spec options at a more accessible pricepoint. Like the Speedfox and Trailfox models, the Fourstroke runs the company’s twin-link APS suspension design, but with a heavier bias towards pedaling efficiency. The Fourstroke is designed to be the XC racers choice for when the course is looking particularly nasty. Probably the best example of its ideal application would have to be last year’s UCI XCO World Championships, where Absalon piloted his Fourstroke to a momentous victory.

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BMC

Michael Sommer from BMC Switzerland and Herman Bekker from BMC SA came to visit our shop yesterday with some new and exciting products for 2015. 

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KTM Celebrates 50 years

KTM Brand History - in 1934 Hans Trunkenpolz opens a repair workshop in Mattighofen Austria and in 1951 builds his first motorcycle.

In 1953 the company is officially known as KTM “Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen” after company founders Hans Trunkenpolz and Ernst Kronreif and the Austrian location: Mattighofen, where Hans Trunkenpolz began and the manufacturing plant was built and still is.

In 1964 KTM starts with bicycle production and since then has gone to produce over 4 million bicycles worldwide. In 1992 KTM split into 4 different companies, KTM Bicycles LTD, KTM Sportmotorcycles LTD, KTM Radiator LTD and KTM Tools LTD.

 

Recent achievements:

·         In 2005 KTM celebrates its first WorldCup Victory for Yader Zoli

·         In September 2007 the KTM Renegade Prestige (Model 2008) won the Eurobike Design Award

·         2008 September; the KTM Lycan 1.0 (Model 2009) won Eurobike Design Award

·         In 2010 KTM enters the South African market & in 2011 KTM brings out their 1st 29er, The Race 1.29

·         2010: Founding of KTM Asia

·         2011 KTM produces first downhill e-bike

·         2012 –eShopper wins Euro Bike Design Award

For a full view on KTM’s history visit www.ktm-bicycles.at

KTM believes in producing quality products through testing at their high end R & D department.

KTM Bicycles South Africa is celebrating the 50th Birthday by given back to the consumers with a 15% discount on all KTM bicycles over the period 15 February to 30 March 2014. While stock lasts, limited quantities are available.

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ccGALLERY are proud to partner with Momsen Bikes

Created, designed and refined in South Africa, MOMSEN BIKES represent the culmination of experience and knowledge gained from designing bikes for over 15 years. Momsen is known for its budget-consciousness, but also produces top-end race machines which secured a top 10 overall finish in the 2012 ABSA Cape Epic as well as four Masters Category stage wins. Momsen made us see another side to the South African brand.

Created, designed and refined in South Africa, MOMSEN BIKES represent the culmination of experience and knowledge gained from designing bikes for over 15 years. Momsen is known for its budget-consciousness, but also produces top-end race machines which secured a top 10 overall finish in the 2012 ABSA Cape Epic as well as four Masters Category stage wins. Momsen made us see another side to the South African brand.

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