Bike test 05: RIDE 73 – BMC teammachine ALR01
The least expensive of the five bikes on test in RIDE 73 is the aluminium-framed BMC. The TeamMachine ALR01 retails in Australia for $1,999.
This is a perfectly capable bike that was reviewed by Jack Lynch.
It is built with a mix of Shimano components and is an ideal beginner’s bike or an ideal commuting option… or even one that can, for example, be left on the Kickr.
BMC is a brand with a strong heritage of quality bikes and, at this price and with this spec, the ALR01 is a little bit of an anomaly. But many of the ideas conjured for the high-end bikes filter down into what is a good value proposition.
(For the full review, see p.210 of #RIDE73 – on sale now.)
Click the photo below to begin the slideshow of 24 photos of the BMC TeamMachine ALR01.
First Impressions: Rob talking about his first ride…
“Bike number three [for the day]… the teammachine ALR01 from BMC. I’ve gone from Campagnolo to SRAM and now Shimano and it’s funny, as soon as you touch the hoods you know which one it is and you shift accordingly. That made me grin when I rolled down the ramp and started going on this thing.
“How did I feel on an aluminium BMC? Ah, I think I felt like the guy who it’s actually aimed. I felt like a father who’d rather probably not spend so much money on a bike and instead maybe indulge the kids on their bikes, or have a holiday with the family… or maybe even the guy who has got a really nice BMC and then wants to keep one that has similar characteristics but [is] not quite as expensive – one that can be used in wet weather or on the commute.
“I think that’s what we’ve got to bear in mind when we’re thinking about this bike.
“BMC, we know, can make a fantastic looking bikes – fantastic riding bikes – and I’ve sat through enough presentations from Thomas McDaniel who is a brand representative. He explains that the idea of the tiered structure at BMC is to try and hold the characteristics through the line and try save a little bit of money here and there when required.
“They’re aiming for different sectors of the market and this one certainly feels different to the carbon-fibre ones – and it should: it is. It’s logical.
“It’s very, very robust. You feel a lot from this bike. To say that there’s ‘give’ is to lie. It’s solid in every sense of the word. At the same time, if I were to, for example, travelling and this bike was presented to me and I had the opportunity to go for a ride during a couple of weeks away for work, I’d be really happy because you can get on it and you’re comfortable and you know what it’s going to do.
“It’s reliable, it tracks around and it does the job.
“Yes, there are definitely things you could change if you wanted to make it a schmicko bike but that’s not the purpose of this one. It’s to try and hold a budget, keep people with a familiar setting – if they’re a BMC fan.
“I think the finish of it looks fantastic, it’s red – very red, and you can’t miss that. And to be honest it just feels like a bike in the price category that it is. I can’t say much more than that but I think that it’s clever for a brand like this to offer something like this because it works for the fan [of the brand], it gives the same ideals of what BMC stands by and I’m interested to see how the test comes up. I hope it is in context, and that is to say: praise where praise is due and if criticism is worthy let’s just be sure that we reiterate what the price bracket is.”
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The five test bikes in #RIDE73:
Trek Domane SLR 9 • Johnson Riddler AR • Gios Compact Pro • Liv Envie Advanced Pro 1 • BMC teammachine ALR01
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– Photos by Shane Lovejoy