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BMC’s New Team Elite 01 – Revolution or Regression?

BMC bikes, the Swiss manufacturer and sponsor of current UCI Mountain Bike World Champion, Julien Absalon have just released what they are calling a “racing evolution” with their recent launch of the 2016 BMC Team Elite 01.

Moots_X-Ybb-1
Moots 2015 Mooto X YYB

But is the new Team Elite 01 really an evolution? Essentially the bike is a “soft tail”, neither full suspension nor hard tail. Rather an elastomer based flex system they call MTT, or Micro Travel Technology, provides 15mm of “compliance” via three changeable elastomers. This is the same type of thing we’ve seen from a myriad of manufacturers over the years with Moots most likely leading the way with the YBB launched roughly 20 years ago.

Micro Travel seems a bit of an odd step from BMC as the motivation must have come from the fact Absalon’s only real competition for the past few years, Scott’s Nino Shurter, often rides a full suspension Scott Spark and has been known to gain significant time on descents over the arguably better climber, Absalon. So, why not develop a better/lighter full suspension bike rather than half-assing it with a soft tail?

Nino Schurter racing the Scott Spark.
Nino Schurter racing the Scott Spark.

BMC will argue weight savings and not needing the up to 120mm of travel seen in full suspention XC race bikes (MTT provides just 15mm). Also, we’re sure they want to do something different than the rest and…then there’s those pesky design patents. Maybe they can’t build the full suspension bike they want to at this time, so why not dust off soft tail tech. Hell, it was good enough for the 90’s.

We are teasing BMC a bit here. We have not ridden the bike and like most of their products it is probably very good. Yet, it does seem an odd direction to head considering the technology driven nature of the cycling industry.

We hope to get on the bike soon and get back to you with a more informed and complete review of the bike.

Statements from BMC press and their launch video below:

BMC_Team_Elite_01

The high-performance discipline of cross-country racing has become, quite literally, a race to the top. Grueling, all-out sprints to the finish are supported with bikes whose maximum efficiency and minimum weight ethos pay no heed to compliance – until now.

The Impec Lab has teamed up with the BMC Mountainbike Racing Team to create the new BMC Teamelite 01 – the world’s most technically-advanced hardtail mountainbike.

Concept

The 2016 BMC Teamelite 01 is the culmination of an evolution of race bike performance. Its unique combination of efficiency, traction, and fatigue-fighting compliance technology places it in a category of its very own, and raises the bar by setting new industry standards.

Compliant

The incredible carbon engineering advancement known as Micro Travel Technology (MTT) brings riders the perfect rear-end compliance for cross-country racing.

Lightweight

Winning a World Cup race is all about maximizing technical advantages and a 1-kg frame is where it all begins. Incredible innovations in carbon technology make this frame an industry, and race-leading machine.

Efficient

Cross-country racing demands maximal pedaling efficiency to power up climbs, and snappy handling to navigate the descents – with efficient power transfer to finish the sprint off without hesitation.

Speed

The fastest way around obstacles…simply roll over them! 29er wheels are the fastest wheel choice, without question. All of our race-bred XC bikes are armed with BWC geometry and 29er wheels.

Micro Travel Technology (MTT)

BMC’s Micro Travel Technology (MTT) is the evolution of several generations of advanced cross-country weaponry. With this new system, cross-country racers can ditch the common practice of manipulating tire pressure to gain more compliance for technical descents. MTT’s damping and additional frame compliance smoothes out the ride, letting riders apply more power to gain that elusive differentiator; speed.

The progressive composite engineers of the Impec Advanced R&D Lab spent two years developing and perfecting the function and performance of the system. Simply adding compliance to the rear end of the bike was not sufficient – but to do so without loss of drivetrain efficiency, torsional rigidity, or steering responsiveness was near rocket-science. The end results are icing on the cake; virtually no weight penalty and incredibly low maintenance. Micro-Travel Technology function is the result of the engineered performance of the chainstays and seatstays through complex carbon layups and the dual-guide, integrated XCell damper.

MORE on BMC’s Site HERE

 

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Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at dirtTRI.com. Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 15 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach.
Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments.
Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

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4 thoughts on “BMC’s New Team Elite 01 – Revolution or Regression?”

  1. The author must have missed the fact that last year Julien Absalon became world champion on a BMC fourstroke full suspension bike. And if I remember correctly, there were three team mates on the same bike in the top ten. Having ridden this bike it is a better hard tail, not a half assed full suspension bike.

    1. Jonas,
      Firstly, thanks for commenting, its always good to have feedback. Secondly, no need to be too formal, call me Jimmy.
      Ok, that said. Yes, Absalon did win Worlds on the Fourstroke, but only after losing the previous two rounds at Windham and Meribel to Schurter on a full suspension bike. Thus, supposedly causing him to use the fourstroke for Worlds, which seems to have pai off. That said, I have raced the fourstroke, it is a fine bike. But, the word is that Absalon doesn’t really like it and feels it is too heavy. I didn’t have the space to mention this in the article as it was just a commentary on the launch of the Team Elite 01.
      What we are trying to do at dirtTRI is to bring a bit of personality to gear reviews. Often they are all very similar and rather boring. Perhaps “half assed” is a bit over the top, but it was meant in jest. We do find it interesting though that BMC, who is often pushing the tech envelope has gone with a “soft tail” solution. In the past this failed because it greatly lacked lateral and torsional stiffness. Perhaps this has been fixed? We will try to get on the bike and share the findings.
      However, it would seem, by deductive reasoning, Absalon has seen the benefit of suspension in terms of his descending versus Schurter. But, he is still more concerned with the climb and thus weight. Therefore, the new Team Elite 01 seems to perfect solution. But, the other side of that, as we have seen in previous soft tails, is you might have a bike that doesn’t climb well, because of lateral/tortional flex, and doesn’t make up for it on the descent since you only have 15mm of travel and not “true” full suspension.
      All interesting questions I think. So, like I said, we will try to get on on and give you our impressions. Till then, thanks for reading dirtTRI and thanks for commenting.
      Jimmy Archer

  2. Jimmy,

    Glad you responded. I absolutely like personality in reviews, I just would hope it was more based on facts. Having had some insight (yes, I worked for BMC until last year, but actually I have no desire to defend them, I just would like people to know the facts), I can tell you your guessing about Julien Absalon is just not more than speculation. After joining the team he never rode the fourstroke until one week before the world championship. Actually, he did not even have one, because he was convinced a full suspension bike does not suit his riding style. So the hard part was getting him to try a full suspension bike (of course helped by the fact he lost twice to Nino), but once he rode it, he was convinced.

  3. Review on one I’ve had less than a year. And I can tell you, it’s disappointing! The cheap plastic cap covering the MTT’s twin sliders (marketing malarkey) just pops in. Well, seeing that it is a mountain bike, it just pops out. And what you’re left with is dirt and grime getting in, the thing squealing like a pig and not performing properly, so then you have to service the whole assembly and buy another cheap plastic piece from BMC for $20. There’s more… that lovely red paint, a small rock or stick came into contact with the down tube causing a chip… that’s normal enough, but what isn’t is the paint isn’t adhering, and now there’s a 2″ x 2″ area with paint flaking off. BMC warranty is over 6weeks in and still jerking me around. So…. do yourself a favor don’t get one of these.

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