BMC Racing is a UCI WorldTour professional racing team, sponsored by Swiss-based bicycle manufacturer, BMC. The team is co-owned by Andy Riis, owner of BMC bicycles, and Jim Ochowicz, founder of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team.
BMC became active in the professional peloton in 2001 with the now-defunct Phonak Cycling Team. The original iteration of the Team Machine bike was in aluminum – nowadays there is not a single aluminum frame to be seen among the WorldTour teams – carbon fiber dominates. Richie Porte has been with BMC Racing since 2016, and is the favorite for overall honors at the 2017 Tour Down Under.
Click through to read about his 2017 Team Machine SLR01.
BMC used their in-house ACE system to develop the Team Machine SLR01 – “Accelerated Composites Evolution” technology. ACE allows the company to digitally simulate each stage and iteration of a new carbon frame. Virtual prototypes can be developed before the expensive task of cutting molds happens – thus, research and development happens in months, not years.
The SLR01 receives the “01” moniker from the company’s “01” grade of premium carbon fiber used in the frame’s construction.
Parts from Shimano and 3T adorn the team’s bikes. The 9170 series of Shimano’s electronic Di2 drivetrain should begin appearing on most team bikes in February 2017, but until that time, 9070 generation parts will have to do.
Richie prefers a 110mm stem with a small spacer above and below the stem, which provides a little flexibility for tuning handlebar height.
SRM provides the team’s power meters and PC8 head units are fitted to all of the team’s bikes.
The rear brake cable and Di2 electronic cable is neatly routed through the SLR01’s headtube. Team mechanics take the time to plan their bike builds carefully, evidenced by the heat shrink treatment to the brake cable and Di2 wire.
The SLR01’s unique top tube and seat stay junction provide a handy spot for the rear brake to cleanly exit the frame.
The race number may be empty in this photo, but during the 2017 Tour Down Under, Richie’s bike wears number 23.
The latest generation of SRM’s power meter is designed around Shimano’s 9000 series Dura-Ace crankset. The company claims a 3,000 hour run time between battery changes. Richie’s crankset measures 170mm in length.
SRM cadence sensor mounted to the non-drive side chainstay. The SLR’s chainstays feature an asymmetrical design.
BMC claim core frame stiffness is achieved using a BB86 bottom bracket with an extra-wide union at the intersection of the downtube, seat tube, and chainstays.
No nonsense Dura-Ace 9000 series pedals.
The Dura-Ace 9000 series rear derailleur may be on the way out, but this bit of kit is renown for its durability and reliability.
Richie’s bike sports an 11-28 Dura-Ace cassette.
Like the frameset, the fork is constructed from the same “01” level of carbon.
Shimano’s smooth stopping Dura-Ace 9000 series calipers bring Richie’s SLR01 to a halt.
The aero brake phase seems to have mostly passed for now in the professional peloton. But road disc brakes may be in everyone’s future…
BMC is one team who has switched tire suppliers for 2017. Vittoria provide the team with 700c x 25mm Corsa tubulars.
Saddle choice is personal – Richie chooses the carbon rail Fizik Arione.
Elite Custom RacePlus bottle cages and bidons.
The 2017 Tour Down Under has started with Stage One now complete. Fireworks are expected among the contenders for the overall in Stage Two. Will Richie Porte ride this bike to overall or a stage victory?
Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.