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BMC GranFondo GF01

BMC’s GranFondo GF01 is a bike designed for long rides on rough roads. A cursory glance speaks volumes — the frame and fork are nothing like anything BMC has produced, yet as a whole, it still carries a distinct BMC flavor in its dramatic tube shapes and seat cluster — the latter of which is about the only thing that looks even remotely like the BMC flagship race bike, the SLR01. BMC engineers have created zones in each tube (even the seatpost) where the material and shapes are carefully designed to provide a degree of compliance while maintaining the torsional and lateral stiffness you need for uncompromising performance and steering precision.

Our GF01 is equipped with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 drivetrain. The most obvious advantage to going electronic is that there are no cables. No cables = no friction. Also, the system makes fast shifts up or down the range, front and rear. Each shift is the same. Every time. And when you’re about to attack or simply following wheels over the top of a climb, you’ll appreciate the consistency. Better still, the shifting feel is much lighter. You can do it when you’re tired. You can do it with “weak” fingers. You don’t have to move your wrists or forearm. And by eliminating the cables and housing, you can kiss cable maintenance goodbye. Never again will your shifting performance degrade over time until you find yourself on a long ride, fumbling with your cable tension to quiet the racket emanating from your rear derailleur/cassette.

A clarifying note: At the time, we understood tire clearance to be 34mm. This is inaccurate. 28mm tires will work, and 32mm tires will clear the frame, but not the brakes.