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Sea Otter 2011: New BMC Trailfox TF01 and 29er

By:
James Huang
Published:
April 17, 2011, 8:17 BST,
Updated:
April 17, 2011, 9:30 BST
Race:
US Pro XCT #3: Sea Otter Classic
BMC previewed an aluminum 29er prototype at Sea Otter. The hardtail will also be joined by a 29" 100mm-travel full-suspension platform, too.

BMC previewed an aluminum 29er prototype at Sea Otter. The hardtail will also be joined by a 29" 100mm-travel full-suspension platform, too.

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BMC bolsters its off-road range for 2012 with the introduction of the all-new Trailfox TF01, a full-carbon trail bike with 150mm of travel and a claimed frame weight of just 2.5kg (5.51lb) with a Fox Racing Shox RP23 rear shock and quick-release seatpost binder – 500g lighter than the alloy version.

BMC continues on with its proven APS dual-link rear suspension design, offering the same built-in anti-squat kinematics, smooth and progressive feel, and efficient pedaling manners as the current alloy Trailfox but now linked to Fox Racing Shox's revamped RP23 Adaptive Logic Boost Valve rear shock. Upper and lower forged aluminum links feature cartridge bearings all around (with the same size bearing throughout for easier service).

Technical features include a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube, post mount rear brake tabs (sized for 180mm rotors), 142x12mm thru-axle carbon rear dropouts, partially internal cable routing, stainless steel chainsuck guards, and a bolt-on carbon fiber plate to protect both the down tube and underlying derailleur and brake lines. Down below, a standard threaded bottom bracket maintains compatibility with most major cranksets.

The frame tubes themselves are very much in keeping with BMC's now-trademark forms, including a squared-off down tube and flared seat tube that make good use of the available room on the bottom bracket shell, a T-profile top tube, and the characteristic split top tube at the seat cluster. Refreshingly, the relatively open front triangle has enough room for a single water bottle cage, too.

Geometry has been altered relative to earlier Trailfox models with a longer top tube, shorter chain stays, and steeper 67.5° head tube angle for slightly quicker handling and enhanced maneuverability overall on technical terrain that reflects the frame's new "do all" intentions.

BMC will offer the new carbon Trailfox in two complete builds as well as a standalone frame beginning this July.

The no-holds-barred flagship will be dressed with a 2x10 Shimano XTR group, Easton Haven Carbon wheels, a Fox Racing Shox 32 TALAS FIT RLC 15QR fork, RockShox Reverb dropper seatpost, and fi'zi:k saddle. Claimed weight for the complete bike is an impressive 11.4kg (25.13lb) though it'll come with a heady price tag of around US$9,000.

The second-tier build will come with Shimano's new Deore XT group for a more reasonable US$6,700. Frameset pricing is yet to be determined.

BMC also previewed an aluminum 29er hardtail that will likely be shown in final form at Eurobike. Features include a kinked seat tube that allows for admirably tight 430mm chain stays, a notably short tapered head tube that should help riders attain proper bar height, and post mount rear brake tabs. Naturally, trademark BMC design cues are used as well such as the T-shaped top tube and unique seat cluster.

BMC North American brand manager Markus Eggimann provided no firm details as far as prices or claimed weights go but he did say the hardtail would soon be joined by a 100mm-travel cross-country full-suspension frame as well. BMC plans to offer two different build kits for each frame: one with SRAM X0 and the other with Shimano Deore.

 This article first appeared on Bikeradar.

For all of Cyclingnews's coverage from Sea Otter 2011, click here.

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