The BMC teammachine SLR01 bicycle? On a gadget site? Yes indeed. I prefer to cast my net wide looking for gadget-related articles, plus I have a very valid, very timely reason to look at a bike.
It’s July 2, and that means the 2011 Tour de France starts tonight. Right now actually, as I sit here writing they’ve been on the road for about an hour. In honour of the Tour de France, very possibly my favourite sports event*, for the next 3 weeks or so I’m going to write at least one post a day about something cycling-related.
And to start with, here is the BMC teammachine SLR01, ridden by the BMC Racing Team. Why did I start with this bike? Because Cadel Evans, the Aussie that placed second overall in the Tour in 2007 and 2008, and is best Australian chance to win the yellow jersey in this year’s Tour de France… well, this is the bike he’s riding.
The initials BMC stand for Bicycle Manufacturing Company, so as opposed to other Tour de France racing teams sponsored by telcos, banks, etc., this team very much has the road in its DNA. BMC is a Swiss company, based in the Jura mountains.
The BMC teammachine SLR01 sports a pure carbon frame with Weave Damping – in fact there’s a lot of carbon elsewhere on the bike too. Design, science and geometry is all set-up to produce a light, strong, responsive bike, and minimal vibration during braking. Cables are routed in such a way as to cut weight, and the 55cm model weighs in at around the 930 gram mark.
Cashed up and want to buy a BMC teammachine SLR01? Depending upon how you configure the BMC teammachine SLR01, you can pick one up for a price of between US$5200 and US$8200. The BMC team in the Tour will be riding on bikes using the Shimano Dura Ace 7970 Di2, which is of course the top of the line configuration.
I’ve not been lucky enough to ride a BMC teammachine SLR01**, but someone who has is Clive de Sousa of the Glory Cycles blog – here’s his review.
In the time trial stages of the race, they will instead hop on to the more specialised BMC timemachine TT01 bicycle, pictured below.
So come July 24, when the Tour de France rolls across the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, let’s hope it’s Cadel on the top position on the podium, having ridden 3,430.5 kilometres to victory.
UPDATE JULY 24, 2011: As it turns out, these were indeed the bikes that Cadel rode to victory in the 2011 Tour de France. Thirty years after the Australian rider Phil Anderson became the first non-European to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, Cadel Evans is the first Australian to win the race. Congratulations Cadel, congratulations Team BMC. A great ride, shrewd tactics, big heart, and a magnificent, historic victory!
The BMC SLR01 with the Tour de France win inspired paint job
*With the definite exception of 2005, my favourite sporting year, with premierships for the Wests Tigers in the NRL, the Sydney Swans in the AFL, and very nearly Eastwood getting up in the Shute Shield (Sydney rugby union comp).
**Call me BMC! I’m extremely open to giving a BMC teammachine SLR01 a trial, given that I’m doing the 100 km Brisbane to Gold Coast Ride this October.