First Look: BMC Teamelite 01 “soft tail” hardtail

New 29er XC race bike has 15mm of rear end suspension

29er Cross Country
That's 15mm of ride smooth suspension right there.

That’s 15mm of ride smooth suspension right there (click to enlarge).

BMC is the latest bike maker to take a crack at perfecting the soft tail concept. The new BMC Teamelite 01 utilizes what the Swiss company calls Micro Travel Technology (MTT) and says it’s a new solution for rear-end compliance.

MTT provides 15mm of rear-end suspension via an elastomer insert that’s built into the seatstays. The end goal is to take a little sting out of rough trail, but not weigh down the bike with a traditional rear suspension set-up.

BMC calls it MTT. We'll call it yet another version of soft tail hardtail.

BMC calls it MTT. We’ll call it yet another version of soft tail hardtail (click to enlarge).

The basic notion of a soft tail design has been around for years, coming and going a few times. Now BMC is trying to revise the concept. Besides a little extra cush, the integrated “XCell” damper is claimed to enhance lateral and torsional frame stiffness. Advances in the carbon technology used for the seat and chainstays maintain pedaling efficiency and bottom bracket stiffness, adds BMC.

The whole idea came to life in BMC’s Impec Lab in Grenchen, Switzerland, where a team of composite engineers developed prototypes and then the final product. Testing was also done by the BMC MTB Racing Team, which is planning to use the new bike in the on-going race season.

The bike will come in four builds and be available as a frameset.

The bike will come in four builds and be available as a frameset (click to enlarge).

The bike’s rear end also gets updated with 142 thru-axle spacing. Claimed frame weight is 1,080 grams with hardware included. The 29er frame comes in five sizes (XS/S/M/L/XL) with an additional 85mm of clearance on the XS over the previous model year’s smallest size.

“To be honest, when I tried out the new MTT technology, I was anticipating a compromise,” says BMC Mountain Bike Racing Team rider Julien Absalon. “I’m convinced it climbs just as good as last year’s bike, with a little extra something for the down hills which we definitely need. I’m very happy to have this edge.”

Available models of the new Teamelite 01 will include Shimano XTR Di2 ($10,599), SRAM XX1 ($6,599), Shimano XT ($4,599), and frameset only ($3,599).

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About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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  • Vince says:

    $3600 Yikes. No Thanks.

  • Rob says:

    “the integrated “XCell” damper is claimed to enhance lateral and torsional frame stiffness”

    I’d almost be willing to accept “stiffness on par with a hard tail” but how do you “enhance stiffness” by adding a flexible component? I love the concept and design, but perhaps the Marketing team got a little excited with that statement.

  • DeeZee says:

    I would take a normal carbon frame, wide carbon rims with high volume tires of this $$$ frame

  • ziscwg says:

    What??? No dropper post standard???

  • Gator says:

    Price is crazy!!

  • anch says:

    damn black

  • Chris says:

    Review on one I’ve had less than a year. And I can tell you, it’s disappointing! The cheap plastic cap covering the MTT’s twin sliders (marketing malarkey) just pops in. Well, seeing that it is a mountain bike, it just pops out. And what you’re left with is dirt and grime getting in, the thing squealing like a pig and not performing properly, so then you have to service the whole assembly and buy another cheap plastic piece from BMC for $20. There’s more… that lovely red paint, a small rock or stick came into contact with the down tube causing a chip… that’s normal enough, but what isn’t is the paint isn’t adhering, and now there’s a 2″ x 2″ area with paint flaking off. BMC warranty is over 6weeks in and still jerking me around. So…. do yourself a favor don’t get one of these.

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