BMC Teammachine T
52,000 iterations later, BMC presents the SLR01, its newest flagship racer
hat’s right. BMC engineers, with the help of some intellectual institution bods and a Swiss supercomputer, say they have gone through a mind-bending 52,000 virtual design iterations based around 247 parameters to create the company’s new standard bearer, the Teammachine SLR01.
Some people might find it suspicious that it took precisely 52,000 iterations (which would suggest this bike is therefore number 52,001), others will just marvel at a company that’s gone to such lengths. And indeed it had to. As BMC engineer Tobias Habegger puts it, ‘It’s hard to make the best better.’ That may sound like vacuous marketing guff, but I think it’s actually very true. The 2013 BMC Teammachine (the product of 34,000 iterations) remains one of the best race bikes I’ve ever ridden, and I know a lot of people who agree.
I stress the term race bike. That Teammachine was not one for the all-day cruiser or faint of heart. It was supremely stiff and just wanted to go. If there was a criticism, it was that the bike was a tad harsh. So could the new version somehow unite the holy trinity by adding comfort to the stiff-light mix?
The curious incident of the vacuum cleaner
Just to make sense of this supercomputer business first, another word from Habegger: ‘With our partners Ansys and Even – two of the world’s largest players in FEA [finite element analysis] – we developed an algorithm run by a supercomputer that creates and analyses virtual versions of the Teammachine. A regular computer would take five to 10 years to run similar virtualisations.’
BMC tells the computer what it wants and what the parameters are, and the computer spits out possible variants, which it then tests virtually using FEA, a system that simulates the stresses and strains on an object to help optimise that object’s shape and composition. Each piece of the Teammachine carbon jigsaw – and there are hundreds of sheets of prepreg carbon fibre involved – is
THE SPEC Model BMC Teammachine SLR01 Groupset Sram etap Deviations TRP T980 directmount brakes Wheels DT Swiss PRC 1400 Spline 35 Carbon Finishing kit 3T Ergonova Team bars, BMC RSM01 stem, BMC Teammachine SLR01 D seatpost, Fizik Antares R5 saddle Weight 6.87kg (56cm) Price £7,000 Contact evanscycles.com