This year the 2020 BMC International Bike Launch was Moncantinni in Italy held over 3 days.  BMC has not been in the New Zealand market for over 2 years now but we can officially say it is back and it is better than ever.

A bit of history about BMC firstly, BMC was first introduced to the market in In 1986 by American Bob Bigelow.  Andy Rihs took over BMC in 2000 with the vision of building a carbon production facility in Grenchen, Switzerland to produce the ‘Porsche of race bikes’.  BMC now has 120 staff and 3 global offices and work with some of the world’s leading distributors to make sure their products are reaching every part of the world and all markets.

David Zurcher is the CEO in charge of steering the ship in the correct direction and by all accounts listening to what is happening to BMC on a global stage, he is doing a very good job of it.  They’re experiencing growth in most markets and becoming a more diverse brand by offering a bigger range of bicycles; without losing what they are known for with their rich history of technology and pushing the boundaries.  They were the first brand to use drop seat stays and D shaped seat tubes which have now become the norm through the world’s biggest brands.

When we received the invite to attend the show on behalf of Spoken Cycles it was a great chance to learn about the brand, the staff and I walked away thinking this brand is on a great upward trajectory which I am looking forward to watching them grow.

Having the assistance of some of the world’s best riders in Team Dimension Data, Cadel Evans and Fabian Cancellara must help with verification that you are on the correct path when building bikes. I had the pleasure of riding with Cadel on a few occasions and this was a theme he was keen to push.

Cadel still looks like a Tour-winning rider, lean, fit and doing it easy.  He was our ride leader for the 3 days, taking 2 groups out a day, making sure everyone was safe on roads he was very familiar with; and also pointing out the features of all the bikes as we road and what we should be looking for in the difference of the bicycles.

Also having the chance to ride with Cadel gave you an insight to the man himself and what he is up to now, it would be fair to say he hasn’t slowed down.  A new child, events around the world and an ambassador for BMC, and helping Dimension Data . . . . fair to say life keeps him on his toes but talking to him also made me realise that he knows he is very fortunate to be in the position he is in.

BMC, he said, believed in him when other teams would not. He signed for BMC just days before his win at the 2009 World Championship in Mendrisio, Switzerland and he suggests that finally having the backing of a team that was 110% behind him was the catalyst for releasing the pressure and taking one of the biggest wins of his career.

The goal of travelling to Italy was to see the new 2020 range of bicycles, ride them, learn more about what goes into them and BMC DNA. It was evident walking in BMC is a big brand and they are one to watch in my opinion in the coming years. A fantastic range on bikes, some of the world’s best technology and some new graphics that really make the range stand apart from what they have done in the past. It was going to be an exciting few days.

Just days before arriving BMC launched a new bicycle (or relaunched) call the Roadmachine.

Excitement was high as this platform was a consistent performer throughout most markets in the world. Reviews on this bike were on point straight away, making a great bike better is always hard but BMC truly felt like that had done this.

The lower seat stays, smaller chain, forks and seat stays added compliance while stiffing up the front end of the bicycle; making for a sensational ride with no compromise.  You now have the ability to run 33c tyres in the bike so this could become your everything bike.

The great thing was riding bikes back to back on the same road you were really able to tell the difference between the models and potentially the customer that would purchase them.  At 895g for the frame, this is a bike that has been made to be ridden and ridden fast!

We had a walk through of the range from Stefan at BMC, touching on the new models and why they brought them to market.  You can tell straight away everything here happens for a reason. They had snippets of their tech lab here also, where they have two which sounds like mad scientists working away on new products and ideas.  Stefan said “about 5% of those ideas probably make it to market and that would be generous”.  But that is what sets this company apart, trying to find better ways of making the end user want to ride the bike.

In the last few years there has been a major shift from the road industry moving to rim brakes.  BMC has embraced this idea and it is evident in the range. Trying to follow Cadel down a 30min descent I was grateful that I had them on not rim brakes. It does make me wonder where we will be in years from now?  How will you make a bike that much better than they are today?

Where to from now for BMC?  Well I guess watch this space as it is going to be an exciting month with new products at Tour de France and new 2020 bikes to bring to the market.


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