BMC Team­ma­chine T

52,000 it­er­a­tions later, BMC presents the SLR01, its new­est flag­ship racer

Cyclist - - Bikes -

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

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