Review: BMC TeamMachine SLR01

By | October 14, 2013
Some color added to the TeamMachine SLR01

For those of you who did not get a chance to see my first review, here it is.  Review: BMC GranFondo GF01.  To summarize, I took advantage of a BMC demo day at Tacoma Bike.  I got to ride three bikes in a record breaking downpour.  I hate riding in the rain, but this was an opportunity not to be missed.  The first bike I rode was the BMC GranFondo GF01 the second is the subject of this review, the BMC TeamMachine SLR01.

The rain was steady while riding the GF01 when I returned to Tacoma Bike to pick up the SLR01, it had picked up a bit.  On the SLR I rode up and around the hills of Tacoma.  Since I had no computer, I can only estimate my distance at 10 miles.  The TeamMachine SLR01 was set up as follows:

  • Size: 58 cm
  • Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace
  • Derailleurs: Shimano Dura Ace
  • Cranks: Shimano Dura Ace
  • Wheels: Shimano Dura Ace
  • Seat: Fizik
  • Bar: 3T Ergosum
  • Stem: 3T Ergosum

Clearly with top of the line Shimano and 3T, this is a well equipped ride!  So what did I think?

Positives:

This bike is super stiff and feather lite.  As a result accelerations were super quick.  I really enjoyed climbing with those low spoke count Dura Ace Wheels.  This bike just begs you to go faster.  Handling, like the GF01 was very responsive, and yet not twitchy.  Too bad the rain did not let me push the handling a little bit more.  This bike is less built for comfort than racing as a result the ride was harsher than the GF01, however it was not bone jarring.  The ride was smoother than the  2014 Giant TCR Advanced SL-2 I rode at RAGBRAI.

Negatives:

16 spokes front 20 rear is too few for
heavy riders.

The TeamMachine SLR01 being built for speed has a low aero riding position.  My back let me know immediately that I would not be comfortable for long.  It felt low and kinked whenever I went to the drops.  I spent most of my time riding on the bar to straighten things out.  For me, this was the bike’s largest fault.  Like the GF01, the Dura Ace brakes experienced considerable chatter in wet conditions.  The Dura-Ace shifters were crisp, but felt odd compared with the 2003 Ultegra shifters on my bike.  Clearly I need to ride more components made within the past decade. 🙂  I am sure that the Dura Ace wheels are not up to the task of a heavy rider like me.  They spin up like a dream, but under hard acceleration, the front rim was all over the brake pads.  I am sure if I bought this bike, it would only be a matter of time before the wheels imploded.

I enjoyed my time on the BMC TeamMachine SLR01.  She was not the most comfortable, but made up for it with quick acceleration and  easy climbing.  If I were serious about purchasing a bike like this, I would do the following:  try riding a larger frame hoping it would take the kink out of my back and ditch the DuraAce wheels for something sturdier.

Stay tuned for one more BMC review!

My other Bike reviews are:
BMC GranFondo GF01
2014 Giant TCR Advanced SL-2 
Connandale Synapse

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