BMC TM01 review

Tried and trusted TT champion

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The TM01 was a part of Cadel Evans’s Tour de France triumph in 2011, so it’s been around a while – and has undeniable pedigree.

    Key to the TM01 (and all time trial rigs, for that matter) is adjustability, and topping BMC’s hinge fork design is the integrated mount for the P2P (Position To Perform) modular stem.

    With multiple flat or angled spacers, plus a flip-flop head, all of which are securely bolted together internally, dozens of reach and height positions are achievable. Behind is a plastic fairing that covers the cable entry point to the top tube, and there are multiple routing options.

    Related: The best 2016 TT and triathlon bikes at Eurobike

    For super clean airflow, the front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs, with no protruding cable, and just the pads tasting the breeze. The rear brake is also integrated into the lower part of the chainstays, and shaped to blend in. Neither lack for feel or power, although, as ever, slick integration does mean rather more involved setup and maintenance.

    Fizik’s Arione Tri2 saddle combines tons of length for position shifts with improved padding, and the seatpost’s sliding clamp allows for offsets between -21mm and +21mm. Profile’s Svet Zero bar combo offers lots of positional adjustment, including extension width, which isn’t always the case.

    The front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs:
    The front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs:

    The front brake is fully integrated within the fork legs

    As a test machine, our example had a less than ideal cable arrangement, but with a little attention, would be extremely neat, helped by Ultegra Di2’s slim wires. While the TM01 frameset is a premium priced item, this model cuts overall costs with a complete Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, which operates exactly like Dura-Ace (indeed the extension’s TT shifters are Dura-Ace items) but wears a few more grams.

    There’s a 53/39 crankset, and the brake levers are alloy rather than carbon, but in terms of functionality, you’d be hard pressed to feel the difference.

    Shimano’s RS31 alloy hoops don’t have the ultimate rigidity of a top end deep carbon wheel, but are pretty lively, and certainly accelerate rapidy. There’s little to worry about in blustery winds with relatively shallow rims, but equally they give away potential speed from reduced aerodynamic efficiency. If this is the frame package for you, either bank on using your exisiting fast wheels, or allow enough to add them to the budget.

    Ride quality is impressively refined

    Whereas Merida’s Warp has a full width bottom bracket shell, BMC goes with a 68mm wide affair, narrowing the attachment space for the chainstays, and eschewing asymmetry, Nevertheless, standing starts are still superbly swift, the main differences being the less dynamic wheelset and slightly less beefy BB.

    Handling is road bike-like compared with some of its peers. Again, this is partly down to the normality of the wheelset, but also thanks to the stable front end that really builds instant confidence that the TM01 will follow the most intricate lines between potholes with no drama.

    Treading the line between rigid tooth rattler and rice pudding superbly well, the TM01 has a refined ride quality that makes it ideal for lengthy efforts, without dulling its short sprint performance.

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Robin Wilmott

    Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
    Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
    • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
    • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
    • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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