Five years ago there were road frames and time trial frames, no one had yet heard of the concept of the aero road bike. Today we see multiple manufacturers producing their versions of this concept (Trek Madone, Cervelo S5, Felt AR, Scott Foil) and we here at AG couldn’t be happier. For many triathletes owning both a road and TT bike is out of the question. At the same time, many races (SavageMan and Escape From Alcatraz to name two) have courses that lend no advantage to riding a TT bike. Yet with an aero road bike an athlete can wield a weapon that provides all the abilities they need; the aero advantages of a TT bike with the speed and cornering of a road bike. This becomes even more advantageous if the bike is equipped with DI2 and a pair of satellite shifters mounted on a set of clip on aero bars. With the introduction of the TMR01, BMC has staked its claim to the aero bike crown.
Recently BikeRadar published their review of the TMR01 calling it an “addictively fast and surgically precise machine”, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. What’s more impressive is that this review was based on standard road bike tests (climbing, accelerating, etc…) and not straight line cruising more applicable to TT machines. Additionally the review raved about its ability to handle cross winds (something few TT bikes can claim). All in all BikeRadar found this a bike to truly want.
In a previous first look article (here), BikeRadar dove deeper into what made the TMR01 stand out versus the rest of the BMC lineup. Designed similar to the TM01 (TT), the TMR01 makes use of aero shaping, however the shapes are slightly smaller and more truncated then found on its time trialing brother. But the bike is more than just aero shapes on a road frame. The bike has fully internal cable routing including the cabling to the brakes and similar to the TM01 the TMR has hidden those brakes both front and rear. The front accomplished via small V-brakes hidden behind a UCI legal cover. Al of these things makes the TMR01 a strong straight line racer but what really sets it apart is its geometry and stiffness, both of which make this bike a contender on any course and any road discipline.
The only detriment to the BMC is its price. You are not getting 2 bikes for the price of 1, more like the price of 1 and a half. When compared to similarly equipped Madones, Foils, and S5s the BMC is very much on the high side, about $2,000 more. But for that price you are getting a truly Tour level frame that has additional wind defeating tricks above and beyond the competition. We here at AG are extremely excited for an opportunity to ride this bike and see if its hype matches its price, but until then we will continues to look at the 2013 race calendar and see many places where 1 may be better than 2.