Monday, 26 March 2012

BMC Team Elite TE29

BMC Team Elite TE29 Hardtail

At first look the bike looked great. It had a sleek finish in white with black decals.
The 29er Big Wheel Concept is something I find a big advantage on long days and on rougher climbs. The main advantages of a 29er is how they roll on rougher terrain.
The first day out I took it fairly easy to get a feel for the bike. Climbing felt good with the stiff frame. The pedal strokes felt like all the energy was being transferred into turning the wheels. I have found on some other bikes a slight flex in the frame during pedal strokes. This felt like the energy was being wasted in turning the pedals. It may not be the case but it felt that way. No sign of that with the BMC.

The BMC 29er’s geometry is the result of countless test rides. We passed through several prototype stages before settling on this as the optimum configuration. The short 430 mm chain stays combined with the optimum bottom bracket height and a 70° steering angle guarantee secure handling on trails.

BMC motto - Style, Passion, Precision
The first bit of single track on the uphill section wasn’t the most technical. It gave me a chance to feel how the bike cornered on trails without the added technical aspect to the trail. The bike felt a bit slow on the corners on the way up. I would later realise that it was probably me just getting used to the balance of the bike. The first single track descent again felt like the bike was cornering slow and a bit top heavy. Braking into corners took me a bit of getting used to again. On my 26 I feel like I can hit the brakes and tip it in. On this first day I wasn’t as confident and seemed to do my braking way before the corner so I was able to turn. The more I rode the bike the better it felt.

As the week progressed and I got a better feel for the bike I started to push a bit harder on both the ups and downs. When you have the right balance for traction and cornering, climbing more technical single track was a lot more smooth. I was able to push the bike as hard if not harder on the climbs than I would on my 26.
The fact that this is a hardtail will definitely make a big difference to what I am used to but it does feel like a great climbing bike. I took the bike down some single track that I knew fairly well so I could push it on and feel how it handled. It was again towards the end of the week when I was better balanced on the bike I could ride it like a 26 on the descents.

ISC - Integrated Skeleton Concept
Tube junctions perfectly tailored to the distribution of forces. Cleverly selected skeletal reinforcement elements at the nodal points and the spread of the top tubedistribute the impacting forces perfectly

The 29 wheels roll well on rougher terrain on the descents and as a hardtail goes it definitely doesn’t bounce around as much as a 26 hardtail. Cornering hard on the BMC did however feel a bit less solid as climbing. There was definitely a feeling of movement in the rear probably from the wheel flex. The rear seemed to move quiet a bit when in the corners under pressure. I think with a better wheel set up this may solve this unwanted movement.
This bike has a very solid frame and you can feel this on the climbs. The geometry for descending feels good but the issue in the wheel flex was noticeable. I think for a less aggressive trail rider this bike would be perfect. The bike isn’t designed to be ridden as aggressive on a trail so this cant really be reviewed as a fault or issue.
It can handle technical descents but doesn’t feel great when you’re pushing hard on a descent. Possible upgrade on wheelset may help this if you are a more trail aggressive rider. If you aren’t then this is a very solid good all round bike. Personally I would spend the extra on the xo spec for that added quality finish and slightly lighter bike.

Full Bike Details: BMC TE29

Bike Supplied by BiciOci, Salt Girona

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