The Teammachine from BMC may not jump out at you when you first think of premium road bike all-rounders. However, with a rich history of success from Tour de France general classifications to Monument conquering victories, perhaps it should be more worthy of attention within this category.
We were lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to have a Teammachine SLR Two on test in the lead-up to our BMC Demo Day, hosted at Cycle Evolution, on Saturday 29th July. The Teammachine sits within what you could say is the middle of their road bike options, with the Roadmachine and Timemachine Road sitting on either side.
Geared towards lightweight all-out performance, the Teammachine SLR from BMC has a racing DNA yet is touted to still have the capability to produce a comfortable and compliant ride for longer days in the saddle. The Teammachine is split into two categories, with an SLR 01 premium price point and a more accessible SLR variant. We have on test the latter, which sees external brake hoses on show, a category 2 carbon fibre frame, alloy wheels (as standard), and a two-piece traditional handlebar and stem combination. The SLR 01 improves on all of those points, with an integrated cockpit design and premium SLR 01 frame technology as the highlights.
The original Teammachine created the blueprint for the modern road bike, with dropped seat stays and a slightly slopped top tube creating an aesthetic that is now commonplace at the top table of performance road bikes. For those reasons, it’s a bike I have long admired, so I was really excited to have the chance to put it through its paces on a few usual local loops to see how it stacks up.
The Teammachine is in the category of bike I prefer, having so far this year ridden the new SuperSix EVO From Cannondale and the TCR Advanced Pro from Giant. My daily ride is a Tarmac SL7, another bike that “does it all”, as Specialized themselves claim. Agile and nimble handling, with a nod to lightweight over out and out aerodynamics, this has always been the Teammachine’s pedigree.
After some usual tweaks to get the bike as close to my normal riding position as possible, I headed out on one of my favourite local loops close to the shop. Initially, the bike felt startingly short compared to what I expected but when looking back at the geometry data, the BMC sits 6mm shorter and 13mm taller than my usual ride which explains this obvious sensation. Having said this, the first few accelerations out of junctions felt firm and responsive, with direct power transfer to propel me forwards.
There are some great characteristics on this particular route that can certainly put a bike through its paces, testing its crosswind handling, sharp cornering, and testing how the bike holds speed over some up-and-down flowing roads. As the gusts blew along the reservoir (when does it not?), the Teammachine didn’t move an inch, immediately inspiring confidence in its stability and handling on exposed roads.
The Teammchine doesn’t necessarily have deeper tubes like its Timemachine Road sibling, but it still showed that the Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels adorning the bike were up to the task with their wide 23mm internal rim width, even at 58mm deep.
The shorter and steeper climbs on the route were what I was looking forward to testing the bike on the most. Sure enough, as we hit the Abberton Lumps, the Teammachine SLR Two lived up to its reputation. With a 48t chainring on the SRAM Force AXS groupset, I was able to keep in the big ring over these kickers and test the responsiveness of the bike. With a race-orientated wheelbase length of 986mm in the 51cm I was on, and short chainstays, the BMC came alive when pushing the power out of the saddle.
It felt sharp and floated up those kickers with ease, and gave you the encouragement to keep pushing as it was delivering everything you were providing it with.
In this configuration, the bike certainly doesn’t tip the scales as a genuine featherweight, coming in at 8.3kg (with pedals), a significant 1.5kg over the UCI weight limit. The SLR 01 version weighs in at 7.5kg, with its premium-level carbon making a clear difference.
Comfort is of utmost importance for a premium road bike characteristic these days, and I was incredibly impressed with how this bike transferred the less-than-ideal road surfaces we face as road cyclists. This can be thanks to the BMC Tuned Compliance Concept technology. Fine-tuning of the carbon layups, essential vertical frame, and seatpost flex, to improve traction and control, resulting in reduced muscle fatigue.
On the short run back through town I gave it a few more accelerations out of the corners, providing me with joy via its snappy response each time.
Overall, the BMC Teammachine SLR Two is certainly worth a seat at the top table of performance-orientated road bikes. It is also certainly worthy of your attention if you are in the market for a new road bike, focused on the thrill of performance in a race-orientated riding position.
- Out of the saddle excitement and exuberance, encouraging you to give more
- Beautiful blind drive-side dropouts, an aesthetic not yet conquered by any other brand
- Surprisingly comfortable and compliant, an impressive feat for a performance road bike
- On the heavy side for an out-of-the-box performance road bike
- Your position may need to be adjusted if you’re used to a more aggressive riding position
- Brake hoses on show, when current competitors complete portfolios have fully internal routing