BMC Speedfox 01

BMC Speedfox 01

Words by Nic Hall | Photos By Samson Hatae & Drew Rohde

Swiss bicycle manufacturer BMC has been at the forefront of bike design since 1994. Early on, they were putting bikes under the fastest riders on the road, pioneering unique designs that helped them stay on the top step. In 2007, they stepped into the mountain bike scene and soon after, had an XC World Championship title under their belt with the help of Julien Absalon. BMC believes in the do it yourself motto, with design, prototyping, testing and a full R&D lab all under their roof in Grenchen, Switzerland. We’ve spent lots of time aboard various Trailfox and eBikes from BMC, but were excited to throw a leg over the type of bike they’re more known for, pinner XC and trail bikes. The Speedfox 01, showed up on our doorstep as we were leaving for a backcountry trip to Idaho.

BMC Speedfox 01

The Lab

The moment I grabbed the bike, I could tell the Speedfox 01 was light. It tips the scales at just 26.4lbs, with pedals. With 130mm front travel and 120mm rear, that is a feat in itself, but the real performance is hidden throughout the bike. The linkage is hidden right above the bottom bracket with a neat cover that reduces contamination and debris accumulation. Cables are internally routed with integrated guide tubes to prevent rattle. The most impressive feature however, is what BMC calls Trailsync. It is an integrated dropper that also actuates the rear shock lever. The system is completely mechanical and works effortlessly. When your seatpost is dropped, the shock is wide open. Lift the post to a middle/climb position and the shock stiffens up all the way to the fully extended post height, offering the most pedaling platform possible.

Geometry is on par with a 450mm reach, 68-degree head tube, 445mm chainstays, and 74 degree seat angle. The design numbers may not be radically biased to one direction or another, but they leave the bike in a sweet spot for a balance of pedaling efficiency without robbing you of all your downhill confidence. Standover is impressively low and the whole bike seems to be built around the bottom bracket. As a result, it definitely rides beyond what the numbers would indicate.

BMC Speedfox 01

It’s nice to see a blend on the build spec that shows the engineers were looking for maximum performance at a competitive price. The fork is a Rock Shox Pike RC while the rear shock is a Fox Float DPS Performance Elite, Evol with remote lockout. BMC employs their APS or Advanced Pivot System suspension design.

Drivetrain duties are handled by a SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 while stopping duties are covered by Shimano XT brakes and they both worked without issue. I didn’t love the grips however and swapped them out with the 760mm bars, as I prefer a 775mm bar. The wheelset is a DT Swiss Spline One setup wrapped in Forekaster tires from Maxxis. They were definitely fast rolling and excelled in certain conditions but left testers wanting a bit more traction in some terrain.

BMC Speedfox 01

The Dirt

There is no denying this bike is a sibling to full on XC World Cup race bikes. It is impressively light and climbs like a raged ape. Riding position is perfectly centered while climbing, making every pedal stroke translate directly into forward momentum, even on out of the saddle efforts. I am sure some of this efficiency is due to the pedal platform, but with a system that is so effortless, why not take advantage of dynamic shock valving. While most of the Loam Wolf crew is made of degenerate downhillers and freeriders, I was known to smuggle a few grapes back in the day. The Speedfox brings me right back to those days of rocketing up climbs, feeling the breeze on my lycra shorts. However there’s one big difference: this bike actually descends with confidence.

Nothing beats a few days in a bike park to really test the downhill capability of a bike, and the Speedfox spent a good amount of time at Silver Mountain Resort with us this past summer. You may be asking yourself why we’d take a 120/130 XC machine to a bike park. Quite frankly, it’s because we can. Just a few short years ago that would have been bordering on suicidal, but with the advancements in bikes these days, a bike like the Speedfox 01 can actually hang in a bike park, granted we were much more comfortable on BMC’s Trailfox. But it was a real testament to this bike that we could send it down black diamond DH runs and not have to get off and walk down.

BMC Speedfox 01

Silver Mountain has a nice blend of machine-built flow, technical downhill, and smooth, fast singletrack. The only change we made for the park was wider tires with a bit more sidewall support, but we otherwise proceeded to smash a 120mm trail bike down some fairly gnarly trails. By no means was the bike meant for that kind of riding, but it held its own. The rear end had some chatter in the high frequency ranges. Of course it also didn’t soak up the big hits like the longer travel bikes we brought, but was impressive for what it is. Once I caught back up to the other testers in the flowy singletrack, the Speedfox proved its name and picked up speed with every pump and turn and I quickly dropped the bigger bikes with ease. This is where the Speedfox excels.

I had few complaints with the Speedfox but two things stood out. The integrated dropper post prevents the post from dropping fully into the frame. It also requires some cutting of the post to finely tune your saddle height/drop range. Second, the bike is so light in the rear end, that we had to take special precautions when jumping. The light rear end would lift and cause the front end to drop, so we had to slow down the rebound a touch and weight the bike intentionally off the lip. Initially, this proved unsettling, but after a few laps on the bike, I was able to tune it out. It eventually became something we liked about the bike, as the slightest body influence would move the bike anywhere you wanted it to go.

BMC Speedfox 01

The Wolf’s Last Word

If you live to ride fast, both up and down the mountain and your riding style isn’t that of an aspiring Red Bull Rampage athlete, the Speedfox is a lot of damn fun! For it’s intended discipline, it is a stiff, playful and confident machine. Is the Speedfox really a quiver killer like the BMC website claims? Well, it depends on what you ride and where you are. To us a quiver killer bike would do everything from tackle DH-bike worthy descents to pedal efficiently enough to ride all-day epics. But if you’re quiver consists of a rigid SS, a 100mm XC race bike and a 140mm trail, then it very well could be.

For Bend, Oregon, parts of Southern California, the Midwest and flowy trails with short technical sections, the Speedfox 01 is very capable and a rocket ship under power! The Speedfox is ready for all day epics with some tech, all the way down to smooth singletrack. If you are a recovering lycra weirdo that still dabbles in picklejuice and powerbars…this may be a good way to hide your XC roots with a stable trail machine, while still being able to drop your buddies on the climb. The BMC Speedfox is an exercise in focused trail performance and redefining what an XC bike is capable of.

Price: $6,499
Weight: 26.4 lbs (with Pedals)

BMC Speedfox 01

Frame: Carbon; 120mm
Fork: RockShox Pike RC; 130mm
Shock: Fox Float DPS, Performance Elite, Evol, Remote; 120mm

Brakes: Shimano XT
Handlebar: BMC MRB 02; 760mm
Headset: Sealed
Saddle: WTB Silverado Team
Seatpost: BMC Trailsync; 100mm
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle; 12s
Stem: BMC AMSM 02

Hubs: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline ONE, Centerlock
Rims: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline ONE 30
Tires: Maxxis Forekaster EXO, 29×2.35

Bottom Bracket: Truvativ
Cassette: SRAM XG 1275; 10-50T
Cranks: Truvativ Stylo Carbon, 30T
Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle; 12s

We Dig

Light Weight
Efficiency- Dropper Connected to Remote Lockout
Build Spec

We Don’t

Dropper Post Travel and Adjustability

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