BMC Trailfox AMP

BMC Trailfox AMP

Words by Nic Hall & Drew Rohde | Photos by Jake Orness & Nic Hall

The BMC Trailfox AMP is one of the first eBikes that I’ve spent a dedicated amount of time on. My co-tester for this, Drew Rohde, has been riding a lot more eBikes lately and while we’ve been swapping different bikes around, I was excited to have a long term bike in my garage. I wanted to see just how often I’d opt to pull it out for a ride. Like many others, I was on the eBike hate train last year but have come to see their spot in the mountain bike lifestyle. They are not replacing pedal bikes, at least in my stable, but fill a unique spot as a range extender, trail building tool, recon rig or mid-week motivator. Over the last few months our testers have seen the Trailfox AMP make its way into the rotation. Based on BMC’s traditional pedal bike geometry, but with the addition of a 250-watt Shimano Steps motor and about 25 pounds.

BMC Trailfox AMP

The Lab

Sporting 160mm of front travel, 150mm of rear travel, the Trailfox AMP is BMC’s more aggressive eMTB. The 74-degree seat tube and 66-degree head tube angle keeps the bike balanced on climbs yet stable on descents. The chainstays are 445mm long and allow the bike to climb under power without lifting the front wheel when things get steep. I feel that the 469mm reach is a bit short for an aggressive trail bike but is adequate to get the job done.

Highlights of the build are an eBike specific tune on the Fox 36 and burly Magura MT5 200mm brakes that could bring any bike to a quick stop. The Steps drive system is coupled with an XT Di2 drivetrain. The rear shock is also tuned specifically for the weight of the bike but is somewhat disappointing, which we will cover later. The front triangle is carbon with an integrated Shimano battery and the rear is aluminum. DT Swiss rims and hubs are quick to engage and have held up to some serious abuse even at lower tire pressures. Tire spec is a Maxxis High Roller 27.5 x 2.8″ front and Rekon 27.5 x 2.8″ rear offer adequate grip in summer conditions but the rear could probably be upgraded as the season turns wet, or if you ride somewhere with lots of loose rock.

BMC Trailfox AMP

The motor is a Shimano Steps M8000 unit with 250 watts of power output and a top assist speed of 20mph. This is coupled with a 500-watt hour battery. In real world conditions, that translates to a range of about 30 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing in a Trail/Boost mode combo and 40 miles with 5,000 feet of climbing with an Eco/Trail mode combination. Rides dedicated to Eco mode would yield slightly more range as well. We have had no issues with battery degradation over the summer and the bike charges from empty in about four hours.

BMC Trailfox AMP

The Dirt

Riding an eBike is a bit different than a light trail slayer. It requires more of a moto riding style with your weight on the front during turns and off the rear when grip decreases in sand or deep dust. More hip input is required in general to get this heavier bike to respond. But, once it is moving, it holds speed well and flat sections of trail are a breeze with the pedal assist. Climbing is very natural on this bike, the AMP is one of the better climbing eBikes in our fleet. It does not lift when powering up climbs and the 27.5+ tires have loads of grip in technical climbs. If you can keep your legs spinning quick enough, this bike will climb near anything you point it at.

Glued to the ground is the reverberating characteristic of this bike. No matter the trail, conditions, the Trailfox AMP keeps its huge meats on the ground. This is a double-edged sword, grip is outstanding, and the bike has no issues when ridden hard on the front wheel in turns. But all that ground hugging grip limits liveliness and options for natural doubles and root gaps. As I mentioned before, the inline rear shock is a little under-gunned when things get spicy for extended descents. As the shock heats up, which happens relatively quickly with such a heavy bike, damping decreases and bottom-outs are common. No doubt as eBikes evolve, tunes and spec will improve and we hope that feedback like this will create better shocks for these bikes.

BMC Trailfox AMP

The Wolf’s Last Word

If you’re looking for a capable and well-rounded eBike, the BMC Speedfox AMP is definitely a bike we’d recommend. If we had to pick a downside it would be the lack of playfulness, which is mostly due to the weight. It is a brute of a bike but it makes up for it with sheer grip in almost every condition. We would really like to see how the bike does with a bigger shock that can handle extended descents.

The BMC Trailfox AMP is one of our favorite eBikes. It’s a bit more snappy and playful than the Commencal Meta Power, shorter and a better climber than the Mondraker eCrusher, but not nearly as playful or light as the Pivot Shuttle. Then again it’s also quite a bit cheaper than the Pivot, so there’s that to consider. The Trailfox AMP is a solid all around eBike that does a lot of things well.

Price: $7,499
Weight: 50.21 lbs

BMC Trailfox AMP

Frame: Carbon (F), Al-13 Triple-butted aluminum (R), integrated battery pack
Fork: Fox Float 36, Performance, GRIP, S-Ped, Boost (150mm)
Rear Shock: Fox Float DPS, Performance, Evol, (150mm)

Drive unit: Shimano STEPS MTB E-8000, 250W, 70Nm output
Battery pack: Shimano STEPS MTB E-8020, 500Wh, integrated
Control Switch: Shimano SW-E8000-L Firebolt

Shifter: Shimano XT
Brakes: Magura MT5 (200/200)
Handlebar: BMC MRB 02, 780mm
Stem: BMC AMSM 02
Seatpost: RaceFace Aeffect Dropper 150mm
Seat: WTB Volt Race

Hubs: DT Swiss H1700 Spline
Rims: DT Swiss H700 Spline 35
Tires: Maxxis HR II Exo 27,5×2,8 (F), Maxxis Rekon Silkworm 27,5×2,8 (R)

Chainwheel: Shimano FC-E8000, 34T
Cassette: Shimano SLX, 11-46T
Chain: Shimano CN-HG601
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT, Shadow Plus

We Dig

Mind Altering Grip
Range and Power
Climbing Performance

We Don’t

Rear Shock Heating Issues
Lack of Playfulness

Leave A Comment & Win Free Schwag

Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack