Recently I have found my favourite bike! The SLR01 is the clear winner. And that colour! Very un-BMC and I love it! I have had amazing fortune to ride most brands and models going around at the moment, and although one of the things I often say is there really are very few ‘bad’ bikes to ride out there in the market at the moment, there is certainly an opportunity to have a favourite.
Just like most cars released today have the standard features such as an engine, seats, power steering, cruise control, power windows and bluetooth, which all combined, makes up a car, which means they are all fundamentally the same, it’s the nuance differences – the unique performance characteristics, and most importantly, the way it makes you feel where things start to get a little bit separated, and where people relate to and understand why there are different price points. BMC market themselves as the cycling equivalent to the Audi brand, and after riding them, it makes sense.
I am not a racer. I have absolutely never been ‘pro’ and I would hardly even be able to look at myself in the mirror without smiling if I tried to tell myself I am an athlete. I do however fit perfectly into the biggest (and still growing) category of cyclist over the past 3-5 years, which is a social and fitness rider. I ride a bike every day. I love seeing my friends in the morning and sometimes I have internal conflict as to whether I should ‘do some more kays’ or just head back to the coffee shop. I do get competitive on Strava, but have no KOMs for any of my rides, sadly! But!, I do ride enough to feel the differences of a bike and I absolutely know what I like and what I am proud of. The burnt orange (some say red) BMC SLR01 is it for me. I love it. I am a better and faster rider on it, and it is unbelievably comfortable. The comfort and compliance BMC have been able to build into the SLR01, compared even to the SLR02, which is also a phenomenally fast bike, is noticeable and worth the extra money. Things like the D-Shaped seat post, and improved proprietary carbon layup isn’t just a marketing hype; it’s a thing and it works magnificently.
There’s a sales tool that BMC supply their retailers showing SLR01 carbon layup and ‘all others’. The SLR01 sales tool is 25% the width and weight of the other tool, but substantially stiffer. Manipulating the two in your hand is an experience and understanding that is worth the trip into Graceville Bike Company or your local Bike shop to check out.
Comparing the bike to two of my more recent bikes – the Wilier Zero7 and the SL4 S-Works Tarmac: the Wilier, in my opinion was a piece of artwork. It was beautiful and quite a capable and quick bike, without being blisteringly fast. The Tarmac is on par with the SLR but has a liveliness which is exciting and even endearing but not a security and a ‘Swissness’ to it that the BMC gives its rider. I can’t tell you how impressed I am of the SLR01. If you’re in the market for your new bike, do some research, chat to your local store, or better yet, ride one. It will be your next bike without a doubt.