BMC Roadmachine 02 One ReviewJanuary 22, 2019
- Climbing machine
- Updated design
- Reasonable cost
- Transmits road noise
- Di2 headaches
- Saddle not comfy
Quality is on full display on the Roadmaster 02 One straight out of the box. An elegantly designed frame with reasonable weight, Di2 full integration with controls/charging in the downtube and quality wheels. Building the bike up, and taking it out for a test spin, and the quality remains the primary hallmark. A few challenges with the Di2 setup present themselves immediately, and then we are on the bike. Initial impressions are of a rider’s bike, readily accessible and comfortable with an emphasis on function.
A well-balanced ride with a bias towards endurance and climbing captures the essence of the BMC. Road noise does effectively make its way up to the rider on the Roadmaster, more so than any other bike in the test group, however, this barely detracts from the overall ride quality. The BMC’s TCC 02 Carbon, Angle Compliance Technology in the frame and 02 Carbon disk specific fork both seek to serve as suspension by providing some dampening may or may not be effective at curbing small vibrations, but it did soften larger blows, and definitely provides a refined and refreshing bike. Not the stiffest bike in the mix, compliance, and comfort are hallmarks of the Roadmachine which was created to conquer the toughest of European classic races which often feature cobblestones (pavé).
Shimano Ultegra R8000 cranks for the platform provide stiffness where it counts. Some energy stealing compliance in the frame was evident on the out of the saddle’s efforts, less on the climb, more on the sprint or max effort on the flat. At 18+ lbs, the Roadmachine is not the lightest bike we tested. Where the BMC shines is during long days in the saddle, which is arguably what the Roadmachine 02 One is designed for protecting the rider from the energy-sapping road noise while still maintaining that all important connection to the ground.
BMC’s Roadmachine 02 One is a pleasure to climb on, largely owing to its gearing and position. The 50/34 front chainrings on the Shimano Ultegra cranks and Shimano 11/32 cassette makes for some comfortable climbing gear(s). Powerful combo with the climbing oriented set up that finds you somewhat upright and more comfortable than a more race-oriented road bike. There is some movement detectable in the frame on the hardest efforts, for example drilling the inside of a switchback, but within the range of expected on an endurance machine.
The Roadmachine awakens on the downhill. Fast with a racing ski downhill quality- carving turns. The moderate stiffness of the frame in concert with the not too aggressive stance creates a downhill shredding weapon. Shimano Ultegra SM-RT800 (160/140 rotor size) brakes are fantastic, offering relentless braking, no fade, and low noise. The Roadmachine offers lots of “whoa” to go with the ample “go”!
Components: Drivetrain, Shifting, and Brakes
I am a big fan of Di2 when it is properly set up, charged and operating. The shifting is quick, the lever placement intuitive, and the ability to drop or climb the stack with a single finger touch is amazing as an experience that should be enjoyed by all. Our experience on the Di2 was unfortunately not what we wished for. Our Shimano Di2 was acting up with a seeming loose connection, though we could never find it. When it did work, we had the predictable quiet shifting that Di2 is known for, lightweight performance and outstanding overall. Then it would turn off leaving us totally stranded in whatever gear we happened to be in when it stops working. Understanding this is a risk with electronic shifting, which is arguably similar to a cable breaking, however, we have had more issues with electronic shifting than with analog shifting.
Discus C35 Pro aluminum alloy wheels spun on 3T hubs with straight lacing are a quality wheelset providing a mix of durability and reasonable weight. We enjoyed the strength of the wheels that are built to endure even gravel riding and light touring, they performed well in windy conditions though they do have aero qualities and hidden nipples, minimizing the wind shear pushing the wheels around. Through axles, being the new normal are appreciated (expected?) and add to the overall rigidity of the wheelset.
For an endurance-oriented rider, the BMC Roadmachine 02 One presents a good value. Considering the Di2 group, riders looking to go long will want to consider the BMC.
Seth Portner has been riding and racing mountain bikes since the late 1990s, specializing in XC, marathon and ultra-marathon events. He also enjoys regular multi-day road tours, and is an accomplished ultrarunner and XC skier. Seth, his wife and their daughter all split their time between Lyons and Winter Park.