BMC's latest trail bike brings size-specific wheels, top level carbon construction - and a new level of integration to the trail bike world.
BMC have had a wave of new bike releases of late, from their TrailFox AMP e-MTB and Agonist long-legged XC bike, through to the new SpeedFox, which will land on Australia's shores. BMC are adamant that the true trail riding experience is about melding the bike, trail and rider into one state of flow. We agree, and BMC have found a unique way to put it into action.
The SpeedFox is a size-specific wheelsize trail bike with 130mm travel up front and 120mm out back, a super-versatile bike for today's purpose-built trails, and pretty handy for just about anything except repeated runs of the Cannonball or International runs in the Snowy Mountains.
The geometry hasn't changed too much, with a head angle of just under 69 degrees (depending on the frame size you're on), 51mm offset forks on the 29ers following BMC's Big Wheel Concept, steep seat angles to keep you over the front when climbing, and short stems and wide bars to keep your leverage spot on in fast AND tight terrain.
The standover height is improved, to make it easier to get on and off when challenging yourself on technical terrain. BMC's APS suspension has been tweaked to make sure the bike rides really well, but keeps you in complete control when descending. The link sits so neatly into the frame, and even has an integrated mud flap.
BMC have also built in guards for the swing arm and downtube, and the bike can be set up for a 2x11 or 1x drivetrain thanks to the ports and removebale mounts.
What BMC have come up with that is truly different is called TrailSync. It macthes the use of the dropper post with the compression damping of the rear shock - all from one small lever, and running internally. This means the dropper post is seamlessly integrated into the frame. Drop the post and the suspension is now fully open.
They played around with electronic options but the cable actuation worked the best, and kept the system super simple - which is good for any internal system.
This sounds perfect for bombing Swiss trails, but it will be interesting to see how it works in Australian trail riding conditions, where movements of the dropper post tend to be more subtle, and rought trails on the flat necessitate open suspension, but a seat height set for pedalling.
What really sets it apart, say the designers, is how the integration changes the ride. You don't need to think about two operations - just one. The system is internal, along with all cables and outers, so the lines of the bike are super clean.
All in all - it sounds like a really interesting system. But one we would want to get some proper trail time on before passing judgement. How much drop does the post have? Is it infintitely adjustable, and does it do the same to the compression? Who can service the system in Australia? The post seems to use a mast-topper like on an ISP bike, and the seat collar looks to be the only telescoping point - but it must house a seat height adjustment option as well.
This bike has only just been released and hopefully we can get our hands on one to answer our wuestions, and to find out if the BMC SpeedFox really does deliver - the concept sounds awesome!
Get more details from BMC's website.