In the US, every cyclist knows BMC as a creator of high-end triathlon and road bikes. But very few think of BMC as a creator of high-end performance mountain bikes. With its latest release, the Speedfox 01, BMC is poised to change that. It’s a 29’er with 130mm of travel in the front and rear that rides like a 27.-inch, 150mm trail bike — and that’s a good thing.
In the past year, a lot of people have soured on the traditional 29’er in the trail category; brands have fiddled with the long-travel 29’er to try to keep it relevant in the space, but the finished products tend to feel disjointed. With a 27.5+ bike, you can get the same amount of rolling momentum and still feel nimble thanks to the smaller rim size. The Speedfox, though, with its responsive, fast, supple handling, even on moderately large drops and jumps, proves the 29’er has its place.
Wheel Size: 29
Suspension Travel: 130mm front / 130mm rear
Frame Material: carbon
Test Location: GP enduro loop and XC test track
While long-travel 29’ers often suffer from poor pedaling efficiency, the Speedfox uses its APS rear suspension platform to make pedaling smooth and efficient over small bumps and on sustained climbs. The cockpit feels comfortable and is well balanced when you’re leaning over the bike in bermed corners and sitting back on fast descents. It’s easy to manual, especially for a 29’er, and has a playful feel to it overall.
The question, then, is whether or not this bike puts BMC on the map for high-performance mountain bikes. The answer is yes. It can step into the ring with any other trail 29’er and hold its own. It goes uphill as well as it goes down. It eats up and spits out any rocks and chunder that get in its way. It’s the mountain bike version of the Ford Raptor: built for speed and performance, on any surface.