There was no doubt that an eMTB from the Swiss brand BMC would be neat and clean. But how will it ride?
When the BMC Trailfox AMP was released in 2017, it looked like the bike checked a lot of boxes for an all-mountain eMTB. It had 150mm of travel, a good suspension design that was optimised for heavier eMTBs, smart parts spec and a clean frame design that used an integrated, but not in-tube, battery with a Shimano STEPS drive unit.
Although we didn't see them in Australia for 2018, BMC Australia now import that Trailfox AMP in both the ONE and TWO models, at $9999 and $7999 respectively. They share the same frame that gives you 150mm of travel, matched with 150mm travel forks up front.
We've had the pleasure of riding and testing the BMC Trailfox AMP ONE for the past 6 weeks, having taken it to Tasmania before bringing it back to the mainland.
The carbon mainframe has let BMC move the battery into the downtube with a twin wall design. It's sleek, stiff, and a bit lighter too, meaning this bike sits at about 22.5kg. We really like the fact that the battery is concealed but you can actually still remove it if you need to travel on a plane.
The geometry is adapted for an eMTB, and lends itself towards what BMC do anyway with a longer reach and shorter back end. They have done that for years, and by utilising an eMTB specific tune of their APS system (meaning adjusting the pivot point locations) the bike not only descends with prowess, but according to our tester is the best climbing eMTB he has ever ridden. It's not just about having pedal assist afterall, you need the right mix of traction and torque, plus geometry so you're comfortable on the bike. The 74 degree seat angle is paired with a 66 degree head angle and 445mm chainstays. It creates a really balanced ride for getting back up after dropping down steep and gnarly trails.
The Fox 36 forks are matched with a DPX2 shock, and the Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain isn't going to skip a beat anytime soon. BMC continue their smart spec with the DT Swiss H1700 35 wheels, which have the DT Swiss Star Ratchet in a steel 22t drive ring, with hubs that have reinforced flanges, stronger spokes, and a 35mm inner rim width in a stronger rim - all eMTB specific stuff. The Maxxis Rekon 2.8" tyres are nice - although we also used the bike as a test bed for the all-new Schwalbe Eddy Current eMTB specific treads. If you like to ride hard - these need to be your next eMTB upgrade.
So far, the bike is winning a lot of praise from our tester, but stay tuned for his full review of the BMC Trailfox AMP ONE in AMB Issue #175, on sale on May 13th. If you never want to miss an issue, make sure you subscribe.