This article is part of the Mtbr’s Enduro Compare-O. See all the stories in this special section here–http://reviews.mtbr.com/category/enduro-compare-o-2014
BMC is known more for its exploits on the tarmac of the Tour de France than the rough trails of Downieville, but the Swiss bike manufacturer has put some real effort into the world of knobby tires the past couple years, boosting both its off-road team presence and product offerings.
Last year the company signed US enduro ace Aaron Bradford and German teammate Tobias Woggon to their newly-formed enduro squad, the BMC Trailcrew. The company then set both riders up on their latest trail slayer–the TrailFox TF01—which Bradford promptly piloted to a fourth place finish at the Winter Park, Colo. stop of the 2013 Enduro World Series.
Launched as a 26-inch aluminum bike with 120mm of travel in 2007, the TrailFox TF01’s evolution is emblematic of BMC’s transformation as a mountain bike maker. The 2014 version features all-carbon construction, 29-inch wheels and 150mm of travel—all the makings of a bona-fide all-mountain enduro race rig. At an as-tested price of $8,999, the TrailFox TF01 XX-1 Trailcrew was one of the spendiest bikes in the Enduro Compare-O.
Make no mistake, this is a no-compromise, battle-born race rig, and at a svelte 27.2 pounds without pedals, it’s also one of the lightest bikes in our test. One of the lightest bikes with one of the longest travel suspension designs; sounds like a very interesting combination.
Also very interesting is the short 435mm chainstay length with relaxed 67-degree head tube angle. Just sitting on the bike, the TrailFox TF01 has a comfortable cockpit feel like you are sitting inside the bike as opposed to on top of it – a common problem with most 29er designs. It feels and fits more like a 26-inch bike than a 29er. Needless to say, the TrailFox TF01 was one of the most anticipated rides in the Enduro Compare-O.
The internally routed cable guides are very clean, easy to access and efficient looking – quality you come to expect from the Swiss – with removable faceplates to minimize hassle and frustration when running full-length cables. A slick and handy sag indicator on the rear linkage helps make dialing in the BMC super easy.
The TrailFox TF01 uses BMC’s Advanced Pivot System (APS), employing two short links that connect the front triangle to the rear swing arm, and extract 150mm of rear wheel travel. A vertically mounted Fox Float X CTD rear shock takes up the damping duties, with settings for Climb, Trail and Descend in easy reach from the cockpit. A 150mm Fox 34 Float CTD up front has been a very solid fork in previous tests, and pairs well with the rear CTD shock. Both are shod in Fox’s smooth Kashima coating.
Considering this bike retails for almost as much as a new car, it goes without saying that our test ride is loaded with high-end componentry—SRAM XX1 drivetrain, SRAM XO Trail brakes, RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, BMC carbon bars, Easton Haven stem, Fizik Tundra 2 saddle and DT Swiss’ XM 1501 Spline ONE wheelset to name a few. Continental Mountain King and X-King 2.4-inch knobbies keep the rubber side down.
2014 BMC TrailFox TF01 XX-1 Trailcrew Key Specs
- Weight: 27.2 (size medium)
- Wheel Size: 29 inches
- Frame Material: Carbon fiber front and rear triangles
- Travel/Suspension: 150mm front/rear; Fox Float 34 CTD front; Fox Float X rear
- Drivetrain: SRAM XX-1 1×11; 28t chainring, 10-42 cassette
- Brakes: SRAM XO Trail; 200mm front, 180mm rear
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post
- Wheelset/Tires: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline ONE; Continental Mountain King and X-King 2.4 tubeless folding
- Bar/Stem: BMC 750mm carbon bar; Easton Haven stem
- Bottom Bracket Type: BB90 Shimano press fit
- Head Tube Angle: 67 degrees
- Seat Tube Angle: 74 degrees
- Chainstay Length: 435mm (17.1 inches)
- Bottom Bracket Height: n/a
- Bike MSRP: $8999
- Frame MSRP: $4,999
For more information visit http://www.bmc-racing.com/.
Read our Bottom Line Evaluation of the BMC TrailFox TF01 XX-1 Trailcrew here.
This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.