Modern endurance bikes should take their cues from the BMC Roadmachine 01. And, some manufacturers have done just that by putting it in their crosshairs as they have introduced new models. With that, I can attest that all the attention is warranted as the Roadmachine 01 delivers one of the most refined rides in the endurance category and represents what a modern road bike should be.
BMC Roadmachine 01 Features:
- TCC 01 Premium Carbon layup with Angle Compliance Technology
- Includes standard and tall topcaps and spacers
- Integrated seat clamp with D-shaped seatpost
- 12mm thru axles front-and-rear
- Flat mount standard brake mounts
- 30mm tire clearance
- Fully-integrated cables and stem for a streamlined look
- Frame weight: 920 grams (54cm, stated)
- Weight: 15.4 lbs complete (actual, Zipp 303 Tubeless with RT25 tires)
Going fully-custom with the Roadmachine 01
While BMC does offer an eTap build, my test bike is fully-custom. The SRAM Red eTap HRD groupset was built up and ridden primarily with a set of the new Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubeless Disc Brake wheels for the utmost in versatility and overall performance. Initially, I installed a set of Easton EC90 SLX bars, but switched to ENVE Compact road bars near the end of the review — both in 44cm aboard a 56cm silver red frame.
With the Roadmachine 01, proper fit is key to determining the right spacers to use. Since the stem and spacers are proprietary, once that choice is made, there’s not much wiggle room to change things up. I had the folks at Contender Bicycles here in Salt Lake City perform the build. With my Retul measurements, they delivered a perfect fit. The only niggle is that they used the low-profile top cap with three spacers instead of the taller cap with a single spacer. Performance and fit has been superb, but aesthetically, the taller topcap might look a little sleeker.
Again, when building up an 01, work with your shop and fitter to ensure you have the right fit because at this point — even with eTap — I’d have to disconnect the hydraulic lines and bleed the entire system just to make a change. That’s a a hard pass for now.
Everything tucks neatly inside the stem and steerer cavity with the only exposed cables being a couple of inches from where the tape ends and the lines tuck under the stem. The overall look is sleek and streamlined and makes traditional cable routing look clumsy. But, again, any maintenance can be a bit of a chore.
Speaking of maintenance, I did disassemble the stem during the test because I developed a slight squeak. A bit of carbon paste on both sides of the two outer shims and it has gone away.
A season-full of riding
The Roadmachine 01 has seen the bulk of my miles this season and has overlapped or followed a number of bikes in the process (Trek Domane SLR Disc, BH G7 Disc, Focus Paralane, Fezzari Fore CR5, Factor O2 Disc, Ridley Fenix SLX and Cannondale Synapse). Throughout those miles, each of those bikes were compared to the Roadmachine 01 and, without question, I always loved hopping back aboard the BMC. There’s something special about this bike that just feels natural and comfortable.
The usual test terrain always includes hefty amounts of climbing with several ascents and descents of the Alpine Loop in both directions — including an epic day that added a ride up South Fork Canyon as well. I called it the Two Cheeseburger Ride because that’s what I deserved (and got) afterwards. The wheelset for this ride was the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Tubeless, set up with Zipp Tangente Course R28 tires.
A few weeks later, I tackled most of that same loop, but with Zipp 30 Course wheels mounted to Specialized Roubaix 23/25 tires. My goal was to see how alloy wheels and narrower tires (running tubeless) might affect performance. The bike felt just a bit snappier and a touch less compliant, but the differences were very subtle — the chassis deserves credit here since it delivers such a smooth ride. The resulting times with the alloy wheels and narrower tires were incrementally faster and just about a minute faster on the 8.7 mile 2641 ft ascent of the Alpine Loop from the Sundance side. The wheels may not be the only factor, but that’s what the tale of the tape showed.
Flatter or rolling terrain is another area where the Roadmachine delights. Flat-out efforts on undulating terrain were always rewarded with stability and a predictable ride. I’ve been handily crushing many of my flat-terrain best times as I can comfortably sink into the drops and just hammer. It’s hard not to giggle inside when I’m cranking out the miles on this beauty.
Comfort in spades (but it’s no La-Z-Boy)
Just where does all that comfort come from without any fancy doodads, suspension or inserts? All I can say is BMC engineers know their stuff because the Roadmachine hides its comfort well. The only visible clues are the D-shaped seatpost and dropped seatstays that allow the seat tube to flex. Compared to the Trek Domane SLR in its softest setting, the Roadmachine feels just as good or better in my book.
A big part of the comfort story is the ability to run 30mm tires (some have squeezed 32’s). Varying tire widths and pressures (even going tubeless) will yield significant comfort. Honestly, I’ve been more than satisfied with the performance of Zipp’s Tangente Speed RT25 tires running tubeless at 80/85 psi. front/rear. At my 170 lb rider weight, those pressures have been superb across all road surfaces.
Both the front and rear of the bike deliver quality comfort here. With some bikes, there is a disparity between them, but I have found nothing of the sort here. The Roadmachine 01 is an equal-opportunity bike as small bumps are handily muted both front and rear.
All this comfort doesn’t detract from laying down power when the time comes. Standing efforts (climbs or sprints) are met with solid acceleration. It doesn’t quite have the zip that you’ll find on something like the Teammachine SLR01, but it’s darn close.
Handling and such
Many endurance bikes lack the responsiveness of race machines — as they should. This means that sometimes we’re left wanting just a touch more playfulness out of these bikes. The Roadmachine 01’s angles don’t match those of the racy Teammachine, but do feel quite quick and responsive on the road. Line adjustments, tight corners, high-speed arcs, etc. are all natural and fun.
Again, most endurance bikes excel at stability on high-speed descents. This stability is welcomed by those of us who lack the desire (or skills) to handle a race bike at 45+ mph. After many high-speed mountain descents, I’ve found the Roadmachine to be a ton of fun, but at the highest of straightline speeds, it can become just a touch of a wanderer. It’s not enough to cause issues, but it does happen.
Custom finishing kit
My custom build is similar to the Roadmachine 01 Two build you can get off-the-shelf from your local BMC dealer. At $9499, it’s a pretty penny, but there’s nothing more you could ask for in an all-day, all-road crusher.
Matched up with eTap, the Roadmachine 01 just plain looks amazing. The lack of visible wires and cables really makes this bike sing. And, SRAM Red eTap HRD is my favorite electronic drivetrain on the market — no question.
I’ve had both the Easton EC90 SLX and ENVE Compact Road Bar aboard the bike for testing. Both are great, but the ENVE is one of the finest bars I’ve tested and can’t say enough about the feel and performance it provides.
Additionally, I’ve had the Roadmachine 01 set up with a variety of Zipp wheels from the 30 Course to the 454 NSW Disc rocketships. Any of these wheels allow the bike to shine, but if you’re dead-set on unlocking superbike status, be sure to get a set of hoops.
The only downer that I’ve experienced is the flat mount adapter for the front caliper is slightly off spec for SRAM Red brakes. It’s odd, I know, but with the provided adapter, the rotors touched the inside of the caliper. I had to place a couple of washers in there to space it out while (still) waiting for the arrival of a proper adapter. Complete eTap bikes (I’m told) from BMC will come properly equipped, but if you are building it up from a frameset, double-check the clearance — particularly under heavy braking.
UPDATE 7/13/2018: After more rides and high-speed descents, I figured out the minor wandering issue at high-speeds and found it to be mostly due to arm fatigue at the end of long rides and long descents. Also, BMC sent the proper front disc adapter and everything has been trouble-free since then. And, most importantly, this bike remains my absolute favorite bike in the stable.
- Owns all types of roads
- Very comfortable without gimmicks
- Ample tire clearance for the intended purpose
- Superb handling — just how a modern “endurance” bike should feel
- Integrated stem and cable routing really looks beautiful
- Integrated stem is a hassle for the home mechanic
- Flat mount adapter for front fork is off spec for SRAM Red (replacement came and fixed the problem)
The Bottom Line: BMC Roadmachine 01 eTap
Where do I start? I absolutely love this bike. I rode the Roadmachine 02 last year and tabbed it as my bike of the year and the 01 is definitely my bike of the year this year. The BMC Roadmachine 01 feels nimble underfoot, climbs well, descends with precision and responds in spades. On top of all that, it delivers a smooth ride and clearance for wider tires to cushion the ride even more.
Buy Now: Find one at your local BMC dealer
With a slew of other bikes coming and going throughout the year, the BMC Roadmachine 01 was always a joy to hop on. Every bike was compared to this one and after every ride, I had a hard time wiping the smile off my face. This is a refined bike that checks all the boxes for an all-day, all-terrain crusher. This is the endurance bike that steals the other endurance bike's lunches and thumps them on the playground.
Great review, great bike. As I mentioned in another comment, I own an RM01 with UDi2. The ride is superb and I think the handling is plenty nimble for anything short of crits. Its interesting that you’ve experienced some high speed wandering. I’ve done several 45 mph descents and the bike feels dead stable to me. It might be a size-specific issue, as I’m on a 58 with a 120 stem.
Yeah, the stem length may have something to do with it. I’m running a 100mm stem, but the fit I’ve got is identical to every other bike I’ve got. The Cannondale Synapse doesn’t exhibit that at all and it’s got an ultra-short 90mm stem (stock build, the way 56cm’s come).
I have seen a couple of other reviews comment about it too. Again, I only notice it on high-speed straight stuff when I’m going mach schnell. Other than that, it devours curvy mountain descents with gusto.
Glad you love yours too! Such a great bike.
I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on this bike compared to the Synapse… I have local Cannondale dealers but no BMC shop nearby and am shopping in this category. Cheers!
Hey Aaron. Sorry for the delay!
I’m still mid-test on the Synapse, but it’s gonna be a good one and will give the Roadmachine a run for the money. I have both side-by side and really enjoy them both. For me, the Roadmachine is a touch snappier and is admittedly sexier. But, the Synapse is a great bike with gobs of comfort and handles really well (e.g. it’s no slouch).
No worries, sounds great! And sounds like I won’t be missing out on much if I end up going with the Synapse. Can’t wait to see the full review!
Hi Jason, would you please tell me, what size of seatpost of rm01, and what is the minimum insertion in frameset.
on site says 310mm, but I find it very small.
I’m sorry for the delay. I haven’t had a chance to pull min out and measure it just yet. Have you found an answer already?
Hi Jason! Great bike and a great review – it had such an influence on me that I went ahead and bought one. I too went for a custom build (I am putting the bike together as I write this). Could you please share a pic of the spacers you used for the caliper, as I guess I will need spacers too (I just can’t get the front caliper aligned). Also – do you have any idea about the torque needed to fasten the calipers – I received mixed replies – from 6 to 10N/m. Once again – thanks for the great review!
I’m not 100% sure on the bolt tightness, but I can check. I just got the proper adapter from BMC to swap mine out, but in the interim I just used double washers from a bottle cage bolt.
Glad you like yours. What a ride!!
Hey Jason, I’m considering having Contender build one of these for me. I ride the same roads as you, lot of Alpine and Guardsman. How does it rate as a climber? Did you find it heavy? What sort of wheel depth you think is right around here for a small rider (5’7” <140 lbs).
I still am enamored by this bike and have found it to be such a fun all-rounder that I have a tough time wiping the grin off my face after every ride. I will say that it does yield a touch to the SLR01 or other climbing bikes. It’s not quite as zippy in that regard.
Rolling terrain is beyond fun with this one as it can simply power through anything. I’ve had this kitted out with Zipp 30 Course, Zipp 303 and Zipp 454 NSW’s and for my height and weight (5’11” / 170 lbs), I have felt best with the NSW’s actually. But, I’d say a 35-40mm deep rim is where I’d recommend.
Should you be more into climbing, a set of 30mm deep wheels would be spectacular.
You’ll love how fun this bike is to ride — everywhere.
Jason, you couldn’t more right about the front caliper mount. I am so glad I found your post. I own last year’s BMC01 ultegra and when converting to etap. I had the most difficult time with the calipers and rotors.
My LBS convinced me to run 140mm rotors up front to avoid the rub issue and that worked. However, I am selling myself short by not using the etap 160mm only to find out there’s a proprietary bmc caliper mount to remedy the issue. In conjunction, my friend said a couple of washers in each mount hole would provide the clearance needed. It worked great, but I’m still going to buy the proper mount.
The etap rear brake system also has very tight tolerances. Their 160mm rotor nearly touches the chainstay and runs the risk of being bent if the wheel regularly remounted. Do you know if there’s a bmc specific caliper mount for that?
I’m not exactly sure why the eTap HRD calipers have tighter clearance, but I’m glad that there is a solution (though not super straightforward). I haven’t notice the tight clearance in the back, but that’s pretty common among disc frames. Just make sure you don’t get heavy-handed when changing wheels.
And yeah, I did also go the washer route until the new mount arrived.
One of the downsides of some of the disc brake models still l is they were built around 140mm rotors because Shimano said that was OK. They may very well be just fine under most conditions, but having a 160mm up front is absolutely a necessity here in Utah with all the long descents I do.
Bottom line… glad you love your Roadmachine and glad you also made the leap to eTap. It’s a bonkers-awesome combo!
Deciding on BMC Roadmachine vs Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod ’18.
Any additional thoughts comparing??
6’4″, 180 lbs, like to climb in hilly granfondos in US and especially in Alps, Dolomites, Pyrennes …..
Have 2014 Synapse Hi-mod rim brake Red with Envy 4.5 SES, like it a lot , but sounds like both of these are stiffer, racier frames PLUS benefits of discs for all-weather performance.
Scott… you’re comparing a couple of awesome bikes that are like splitting hairs between the two. They are both flat-out awesome bikes, but I give the nod to the Roadmachine if you’re looking for just a touch more refinement overall. It is just a touch smoother and therefore feels like a hammer on flat and rolling terrain.
The Synapse feels snappy and is unflappable at speed. It’s almost as responsive as the SuperSix, but with a geometry that fits normal folks like you and I.
You can’t go wrong with either, but the Roadmachine is a little more refined and a touch smoother of a ride. Its handling is a little more responsive as well. However, while the integrated cockpit looks awesome, I’m a bit frustrated by it now that I want to tweak it out a bit.
Clear as mud? Well, they are both great bikes, but personally I give the slight nod to the Roadmachine.
I have an RM01 built with eTap too, with enve 4.5ARs . I LOVE the bike except for one thing. The cockpit creaks. My LBS and I have tried so many things over the last year with no permanent success. BMC even warrantied my frameset to see if that was the issue, but it wasn’t.
I see you mentioned you had a similar issue and solved it with friction paste (which I tried after reading your review). It helped for a couple rides but came back. Did yours ever come back? Any advice?
Hey Paul… sorry for the delay. Yes, I did have some initial creaking, but I put carbon paste on both wedges and stem and it has since disappeared. Sorry about the issues you’ve seen.
That’s one of the negatives with these integrated stems — there are more pieces to consider when troubleshooting these issues. I sure hope you can isolate it and glad you love the bike still!
Thx for the reply. I’ll give it one last good try. Otherwise, I’ll need to sell the frameset and move on. Fingers crossed! ?
I am going through the same creaking process with a brand new RM 02. Did you managed to solve the issue and how? I tried everything, regreased, torque everything to specs and still I get the creaking whenever I distribute my weight on either sides of the handlebar (e.g. out of saddle when climbing, while sprinting or starting from a stand still position at a red light). I used Muc-off BioGrease , which probably is not the right one, as Jason mentions carbon paste. I will do this as a last resort, but if you have any tips please jump in, I really need some help into making this go away, as it drives me crazy.
George: Bring it back to your LBS, amigo! They should take care of it.
But, using actual carbon paste on and around the wedges and steerer solved it for me. I’ve got FinishLine carbon paste that I used. I’m sure that should solve it.
Thanks for the fast reeponse. One question though, what do you mean by wedges? My fork is round, for RM2 model, so in s not square on the sides, and therefore if you are meaning those wedges which sit between the stem body and the fork, then I do not have those. Or do you mean the 2-part plastic spacers? So far I am exchanging emails with my LBS (150KM apart) and he’s trying to be helpful and give me advice, also checking ghe front thru axle, torwue, grease etc… I admit I dif nit use carbon paste(fiber grip) between stem and handlebar as both my handlebar and stem are aluminum. I will have maybe to apply more grease (I use muc-off biogrease which is for headsets, bewrings, bolts etc). I also went now for 5.4Nm on the 2 bolts connecting the stem plate/clamp to the stem body (I guess this 0.4Nm should still be no problem as both parts, stem and handlebar are alu, please correct me if I’m wrong). Also many thanks to Paul (I answered you privately on the forum). I reslly hope I can solve this as soon as possible as it drives me mad :)))). If not I ll have to drive to my LBS and hope he can fix it.
In my experience, it took my LBS almost a year and a half to fix the problem with no success. I’m not trying to be negative, but they literally tried everything (and so did I). I bought a new ICStem (and got a shorter one for fit), got a new frameset from BMC. Tried all combos of friction paste and always used torque wrench.
It’s finally creak-free for the last 3 weeks after the last LBS visit. What happened? Two changes and I don’t know which did it.
1) I noticed that the o ring was missing inside the bmc headset cone (didn’t know there was supposed to be one there but I was just looking to see if there was anything ‘wrong’ with the low one compared to the original high one that was sitting in my parts bin). I had the low version put on pretty soon after I got the bike in spring 2017 (they all come stock with the high version). Not sure if it ever had the o ring in the groove, or if it got lost during a rebuild with the new frameset that bmc sent me trying to fix the problem last winter. The LBS took the o ring from my high headset cone and put it in the low headset cone. They told me this didn’t fix the problem, and so they did step 2 below (I still think it may have helped it though).
2) the other thing the mechanic did was apply a grease (need to confirm what kind) in the contact points of the puzzle piece stem face plate. Just between the stem parts, not touching the bars.
Other than that, he used grease for bolts and friction paste for contact points between bars and stem … but I had been doing that since the start.
One other point: when tightening the two stem face plate bolts with the torque wrench, go slow and alternate between the two a little at a time to get both to a proper 5Nn (you might be already doing this).
Hope that helps.
Hi Jason, I previously had a Roadmachine 02 with the Ultegra Di2 groupset. I have visited your page here a few times and also love the Roadmachine, so I decided to upgrade to an 01 with the Sram eTap HRD groupset. Unfortunately the frame I purchased did not come with any caliper mounting plate on the front fork so I will need to order one. Do you know if there is a specific part number for the Sram HRD specific caliper mounting plate? Thank you.
The package that my replacement mounting bracket came in has the following UPC:
Roadmachine Front Brake Adapter
160mm 2017 – 0340 – 10 Black Ano
Good luck and enjoy the new eTap Roadmachine — such a killer bike!
Thanks Jason. Appreciate the assistance! Can’t wait to have her built!
was searching online on the difference between the roadmachine 01 and 02 and came across your site. great read and thanks for sharing your insights. i’m also about to embark on this trip but would like to hear your views on this. i’m torn between roadmachine 01, roadmachine 02 or wilier cento 10 ndr? all these bikes available at a lbs nearby.
i) the roadmachine 01 comes it at a premium price of usd3800 for frame module only
ii) the roadmachine 02 is complete bike with shimano 105 and mavic alloy wheels for usd2200
iii) the wilier cento 10 ndr at usd2200 also for frame module.
that’s a big price difference between the 01 and 02. is the 01 that much better to justify the price difference?
i’ve read in some forum somewhere that the wilier cento 10 ndr is more comfortable than the roadmachine 01 but can the wilier match it in other departments like responsiveness, climbing, handling etc.?
appreciate your advice. thank you so much.
Hard to say, but I was very impressed with the Roadmachine 02 for the money. And, you get a regular cockpit for easier upgrades in the future. I know that the RM02 for 2019 goes with the integrated stem for a cleaner look. The RM01 is an amazing machine that’s super-capable and remains one of my top 2-3 favorite bikes of all time. It is snappier than the RM02 and cleaner with that ICS cockpit, but justifying the price is really something you’ll have to come to grips with. Is it worth the extra $$? If you can afford it, for sure. But, if the RM02 fits your budget, you can get some pretty nice wheels and cockpit upgrades that will make the RM02 sing.
Or, if you’re getting a 2019, that Roadmachine 02 One with Ultegra Di2 is about all you’d ever want at $4999.
On the Wilier side, I’ve not ridden that particular bike, but it is intended to be on par with the Roadmachine in many ways. It’s one that I really want to swing a leg over. The only thing that hangs me up on that bike is the funky rim/disc combo that they went with. Who in the world is going to set that bike up with rim brakes? Why would you ever do that? I guess some purists will scoff that discs still, but won’t they hate the fact that there are flat mounts and other accommodations for discs as they revel in their brake calipers. Running discs on that frame does leave caliper brake artifacts (direct-mount tabs).
I’m guessing that Wilier will drop the rim brake support in a future version of that bike, but that’s something you’d have to live with. And, at $2200, that’s a pretty stellar price and a steep discount off retail if you can get it. I hope that helps.
Thanks very much for your reply.
One last question.
Of the two BMCs which do you feel is the more comfortable one because they both have different carbon lay ups. Or can you feel the difference at all?
I honestly couldn’t tell the difference in comfort. I did have the 01 for longer and had a variety of tires and tire widths on it, but I think comfort will be about the same. The 01 is a little lighter and zippier, but those differences can be erased with faster/lighter wheels.
thanks very much for getting back Jason.
yes, it has put some perspective into my decision.
i’m not too bothered with the Wilier’s two brake system.
my bigger worry is the actiflex system that’s on the bike.
it’s a moving part and moving parts somehow has a tendency for failure ie nuts, bolts or the aluminium link eating into the carbon frame, or not being able to buy spares for the polymer in the future. i don’t know they’re just rants.
what are your thoughts?
Definitely a fair concern. Hopefully those inserts have a long lifespan, but who knows. Having an extra one that’s the durometer you prefer might be a good idea. It’s definitely a beautiful bike and I’ve heard lots of good things about it.
Wow, I’m having trouble getting my stock 01 two down to 17lbs in size 54. Is it all in the wheels?
What spec level is your 01? RM 01 One?
It’s the RM01 two model with the eTap. Should still be the lighter 01 line frameset.
Yes, it should be. Pretty much the same setup I had. I wish I still had it around to tell you what may be different. That weight was with the 303’s on there, which aren’t going to be 1.5 lbs lighter than what you have. Tires and wheels maybe? I’m at a loss.
But, even at 17 lbs, it’s a killer bike, no?
Oh absolutely! I’m coming from a 15lb older SLR, so I do feel the weight difference immediately but this is a whole different level of bike. Far more fun to ride and such much better handling and braking in my opinion.