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.
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’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).
For more information visit www.bmc-switzerland.com.