Extended Trial: BMC RoadMachine 2

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Marcus Leach recently covered nearly 1,000km aboard BMC’s latest RoadMachine Two – here’s what he thought of it.

The world is constantly changing and so is the range of bikes available to satisfy our endless desire to have “just one more noble steed”. Call me old but I remember when the choice was pretty simple: road bike or mountain bike. Now, however, when looking at road bikes you can choose from categories like aero, racing, climbing, time trial and endurance, and that’s before you even start on the sliding scale of costs in each category.

In a revised colorway and fitted with SRAM’s Force AXS electronic groupset, the MY22 Roadmachine combines proven performance with the latest drivetrain technology.

Maybe it’s down to my love of longer days in the saddle, or maybe it’s down to a desire for a more comfortable ride over the years, but the type of bike that has grown steadily on me in recent years is the so-called endurance bike. It’s the bikes, such as the BMC RoadMachine Two, that strive to strike the right balance between all-day comfort and all-out speed, which can, if done right, make for some seriously fun adventures.

Endurance bikes are, by their very nature, longer and slacker on the geometry front. This is where all-day comfort comes from – that and a less aggressive saddle that tends to be the hallmark of racing and aero bikes. But, as BMC likes to point out, their bikes – in addition to relaxed geometry – all feature what they call TCC (or Tuned Compliance Concept, to give it its full name), which allows them to achieve ` ‘optimized vertical and lateral compliance’. stiffness’ specific to each type of bike. Which, for the RoadMachine Two, translates to “the ultimate balance of comfort and performance for a ride that’s both forgiving and fast.”

Equipped with DT Swiss E1800 wheels, the bike performed well. That said, an upgrade to lightweight 35-40mm carbon hoops would significantly improve the ride.

But what does this actually mean for the end user? Simply that the RoadMachine’s carbon layup is engineered to smooth out even the roughest roads and optimize power transfer, two key factors for those looking to ride long. On top of that, a lowered seatstay improves vertical compliance and keeps the bike stiff during hard sustained exertions or when jumping out of the saddle for quick accelerations.

Having spent the best part of two weeks riding this bike in Mallorca, and in doing so covering over 1000km where road surfaces range from the sublime to the ridiculous, I can confidently say it does what it says , as far as offering comfort on all surfaces goes, although it’s still a bit difficult when the road really deteriorates.

However, given the build quality of the bike and the fact that it has 33mm tire clearance, there’s nothing stopping you from putting on a set of gravel tires and turning it into a bike that can pass seamlessly. between asphalt and gravel.

Located in the middle of the Roadmachine range, the model offers an impressive level of factory finish.

Likewise, it can be transformed into a faster road bike by easily dropping the stack to create a more aggressive riding position, this is where you’ll really notice its ability to handle fast, fast descents, of which there are there are plenty of them in Mallorca. One thing that doesn’t change as I get older is my desire to increase the climbs, and the RoadMachine Two doesn’t disappoint on that front.

The aforementioned lowered seatstay, combined with a tall downtube and oversized pressed bottom bracket, allows for maximum power transfer when you press down on the pedals, which once again reminds me why I prefer an all-rounder like this this to a lighter specialist. climbing bike, such as the Factor O2 VAM

It’s definitely a performance-oriented bike and a frame that handles a wide range of road surfaces with ease.

Although the RoadMachine Two isn’t BMC’s top-end model – there is a lighter 01 offering – for MY22 the bike is built with a SRAM Force AXS 12-speed groupset that offers classy looks and high performance. of range.

The same goes for the Force disc brakes on the DT Swiss E1800 wheels; they give you confidence that when you need to stop or drastically reduce speed when approaching a tight turn, you can do it. As for the wheels, they’re about as reliable as it gets in their price range, and befitting a bike built for longer days at top speed.

A smaller detail that I particularly like is the fact that the stem, which is part of an internal aluminum handlebar and stem combination, can be fitted with an optional head unit and camera mounts, allowing handlebars to remain uncluttered by various additional elements. rubber supports and straps. It’s just a small detail, but it’s important to keep the bike as sleek and clean as possible.

The bike comes with a compact 46/33T crankset and 10-36T cassette, which was ideal for the rolling hills and punchy climbs I rode it, terrain where I feel most comfortable. However, for those who want the bike to get closer to the racing end of the spectrum – which it could easily do with more aero wheels and a slammed stem – it would benefit from using a semi-crankset. compact.

The 2022 Roadmachine Two.

However, for my tastes and purposes, the standard setup was just about perfect – I long ago gave up ambitions of running and winning sprints, something else that seems to have come with my years of advancement . Give me long days in the saddle with leisurely coffee stops any day of the week, which this bike is just about perfect for, and it won’t break the bank either.

Performance

Does what it says on the box, offers total comfort with a healthy dose of speed to boot. Handles tighter technical descents with aplomb and has enough kick on the climbs to ensure you don’t get let down by pure climbers.

To finish

There’s nothing wrong with the new SRAM Force AXS groupset, which now comes standard on the bike. There are better wheelsets, but few in this price range, and ultimately the factory wheelset fits the bike perfectly, providing a reassuring level
of reliability.

Abstract

An honest, mid-range bike that confidently straddles the divide between race bike and endurance bike. Depending on what you’re looking for, a few simple tweaks here and there will push it one way or the other on this split, with no loss in performance or comfort.

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