We hear BMC dealers worldwide are going to converge on Switzerland very soon. That can only mean one thing: the BMC SLR 2018 range announcement is imminent. Here's what we expect.
Words and images - Mike Boudrie
BMC's current top of the range SLR01 has remained unchanged for the last three years. It's a brilliant bike... I'd know, I have one. The fantastic BMC Road Machine we reviewed last year is part of an all out move in the cycling world to disc brakes. We think that bike could give a few clues about what the SLR01 2018 will look like.
The Current SLR01
I love my SLR01. It's my do everything bike. Racing, crits, climbs, all day, multiway bike. It's one to rule them all... And it's continues to be the yardstick that I measure any bike against. Comfortable but stiff, looks great, suits most rides, light and killer fast when you need it to be.
Although it makes me sad to say this, I did feel a bit of bike envy when I saw pictures of the the current Road Machine pop up. It's a beautiful looking bike, and it's carrying disc brakes, something that some people can't live without today.
What I expect
So, back to the new SLR01... first up, I'm thinking the name will be gone. Perhaps a return to 'Race Machine', or 'SL Race' who knows? It will be the new big brother of the Road Machine, looking a bit the same but slimmer, more aggressive and lighter. I'm expecting that instantly recognisable BMC design to live on, but slightly changed. Braking? Well it's going to have to be available in a disc and rim brake version. The UCI is still arbitrarily flipping coins on the disc brake issue and it's too big a risk not to develop a rim brake version.
Colours... I'm thinking a few, I'd love to see a slightly obscene limited edition colour, maybe gold, or greens and brown alongside the black on black and traditional BMC corporate black, red and white. The Road Machine range had some fantastically distinctive colours - particularly the top end RM01. We'd love to see BMC go a little nuts on the colours. They've played it pretty safe so far with their racing flagship
I'm pretty sure it's going to look very very neat, and with your choice of Shimano's new Dura Ace R9170 or SRAM ETap and some fast wheels, it's going to give at least $15k (AUD) a nudge but make you the envy of the bunch.... your only problem will be that you won't be able to blame the bike if you drop off the pace. Check out the clean integration on the Road Machine above. Now imagine that junction box is tucked into the bar end like the DA9170 can. Clean. Svelte. Beautiful.
A mainstay of BMC is they always put great kit on their bike. Wheels, saddles, and tyres tend to come from external brands and show little mercy to your wallet. They favour high-end 3T handlebars, Fizik saddles, and Continental tyres. There's some racey looking DT Swiss wheels on the current RM01
It's going to be good.... When will they be here, based on current trends, I'm thinking Southern Hemisphere spring 2017. I'm very excited (and hope I'm right about this) and please BMC if you're reading this... send us one to review when they land in Australia!
Ride bikes. Go fast. Have fun.