Today we are continuing our long term test of the BMC SLR01.
La Velocita’s Aaron Mulkearns gives us an insight into life with a SLR01 after 12 months and endless K’s in the saddle. Built by our good friends at Essendon Cyclery the ‘Mulkearns Edition’ SLR is simply an amazing piece of engineering.
Words - Aaron Mulkearns
I have had my BMC SLR01 almost 12 months… to say I have been impressed is a huge understatement. It is everything I had heard about and more.
I’ve had the pleasure of owning and riding many top end bikes, I’ve owned a Trek Madone 6.9 SL, an arm chair of a bike that also delivered round the clock performance. Also on the list is a Specialized S-WORKS tarmac SL3, stiff and highly aggressive, delivering top end power when you need it.
When it was time to move on, what I wanted was a combination of these two bikes. I think I’ve found it in the BMC SLR01.
Essendon Cyclery worked with me to put together a build that I would love riding that would also be a little different to the norm. The result was a red on black frame with SRAM Red 22 and a custom wheel set to match.
The BMC SLR01 is the head of the class in the BMC garage. Cadel, Philippe, Tee-Jay, Rohan Dennis, Sammy Sanchez all raced or still race on the SLR01. If that is not enough, this bike has a serious CV… Tour de France winner, two World Championships, Olympic Champion, National Champion and World Record Holder… what else needs to be said!
In the BMC I was looking for everything. Comfort so I could sit in the saddle for hours, super performance on tap when needed, lightweight for climbing, and the all critical looks.
I’ve found that the SLR01 has an ability to deliver power without question. It lets you turn it on like a tap. When you want acceleration it is there…. It’s almost like it is waiting for you to just say ‘GO!’.
I’ve loved using this ability to stir the pot on my morning bunch ‘hour of power’ in Melbourne’s North, any time, any opportunity, the BMC is there. Waiting. I believe it has an edge over many other bikes straight out of the box. It wants to be unleashed, it will reward you when you want that sudden burst of acceleration.
The bike just feels ready to transfer all the power I can put down, turing it to clean forward motion. Awesome..
This ability works so well with climbing. Whether in the saddle or standing putting down some watt bombs. Effort is transferred to the wheels for that confidence building forward momentum that kicks you forward. It is remarkable how it feels when on those long gradual climbs, finding a sweet spot and being able to deliver and maintain a continued effort.
In my position at La Velocita I get to jump from one bike to another often. Something that is noticeable about the SLR01’s frame is the efficient transfer of power. You almost feel like you don’t need to put the same effort in that you do on other bikes. It is a pleasure always getting back onto your own bike and even better when you know what your bike can do.
What goes up must come down, and the team at BMC have done their R&D in this department extremely well. To say it inspires confidence is an understatement. The SLR01 is super grounded and light but at the same time stiff and precise allowing you to shift your weight from side to side widening your centre of gravity to the road leaning into every corner.
Long technical descents where seconds can be key are where this bike thrives, allowing you to find your line through the apex and hit it. The stability and comfort abilities of this bike also make braking a controlled experience. There’s none of the skittish feeling you can sometimes get on super stiff and lightweight frames.
Moving onto comfort, we found that on long gravel rides, something I hate on a roadie, or pushing power output up on rough roads was actually maintainable and while the bike is stiff, it has flex in just the right places to take some of the bumps down a notch.
BMC has produced a stunning bike in the SLR01.
- 51cm Frame set
- Sram red 22 group-set and brakes
- 3T cockpit - stem and handlebars
- Prologo Zero II saddle in Nero Black
- Wheelset - by Essendon Cyclery - Alpha Kings - Alpha Rims with Chris King ceramic hubs in Pewter
- Cages - Carbon matte black Arundel bidden cages
- Pedals - Look Keo Blade 2 carbon Ti pedal
Weight - 6.3kg including pedals and cages.
I’m 169cm tall and have been fitted out with the 51cm frame which equates to a 53.5cm top tube.
The BMC SLR01 is available in - 48, 51, 54, 56, 58 and 61cm frames.
My build is a little different to the retail spec. However you are able to purchase a SRAM red build BMC slr01 which comes with a white on black frame for RRP$8,899
Since I’ve had the BMC SLR01 I have been more than impressed. It gets better and better each time I ride it. I might be biased but this is a damned good bike!!