The disc ver­sion han­dles even bet­ter, is more sta­ble, and is even faster

Cyclist - - Bikes -

dropped the po­si­tion of the seatstays yet fur­ther while adding a hid­den clamp on the un­der­side of the top tube, ex­pos­ing an ex­tra 20% of the seat­post to flex. So it’s a case of job-well-done back­slap­ping all round, then? Not quite.

Twin iden­tity

It has be­come an aw­ful cliché, but to go fast you need to be able to stop. On a twisty road or de­scent a bike is re­ally only as fast as its brakes are ef­fec­tive, and in this as­pect the Team­ma­chine suf­fers. The brakes are di­rect mount, but since Sram doesn’t make di­rect mount cal­lipers, and never the com­peti­tors’ groupsets shall meet, BMC has specced TRP cal­lipers. Sadly they’re just not as good as Shi­mano’s al­ter­na­tive, with a large amount of vis­i­ble flex in the arms. And to make mat­ters worse, the DT Swiss wheels’ brak­ing sur­face is not the best. As such, I would rec­om­mend any­one buy­ing the SLR01 should con­sider get­ting hold of some al­ter­na­tive cal­lipers. Or, even bet­ter, look into the disc ver­sion of the Team­ma­chine.

In all other re­spects the SLR01 Disc is iden­ti­cal, as BMC wanted its pros to be able to swap be­tween disc and rim brake bikes with­out notic­ing a change in fit and han­dling. But its ace is with­out doubt those discs. Brak­ing on the disc ver­sion is su­pe­rior to this one in every way, and the knock-on ef­fect is a bike that han­dles even bet­ter, is even more as­sured and sta­ble, and is even faster. It is hands down a bet­ter bike, which is say­ing some­thing, as this one is very, very good.

It’s a shame that Sram doesn’t pro­vide any di­rect­mount stop­ping power. Per­haps one day it will. But un­til then, and at the risk of be­ing de­cried as a hea­then, I’d look to spec some Dura-ace di­rect-mount cal­lipers if Sram etap is your thing. Or look at the Dura-ace Di2, Mavic Cos­mic-wheeled ver­sion of this bike. Or just pre­pare your­self for the oc­ca­sional bit of whiteknuckle brak­ing.

CHAIN­STAYS The frame­set is su­perbly stiff and re­spon­sive, re­act­ing to the small­est of ped­alling in­puts or shifts in body­weight. Key to this is asym­met­ric chain­stays, where the non-drive­side is chunkier and po­si­tioned some­what lower than the drive­side to bet­ter cope with the tor­sional forces as­so­ci­ated with ped­alling.

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