Designed with aerodynamics at its core, the TMR01 is built to be a fast and sleek ride. But how does it hold up in action? 220 finds out.
The aero road bike has been making a real push for our attention in the last decade, giving birth to a fresh market where triathletes no longer need to choose between a traditional road bike and a TT machine. BMC has been tinkering under the hood of their aero bikes for some time now, but it was Cervelo that was one of the first major companies to introduce us to the aerodynamic road bike hybrid with the Soloist frameset. After the flood gates were opened, every manufacturer and their dog was pushing to craft an aero roadie of their own.
For BMC’s part, it was the Timemachine TM01 time-trial bike that became the platform and inspiration for the development of the TMR01. Claimed by BMC to be the fastest bike on earth and carrying many Ironman champions on its back, it was clear the TM01 had some solid roots from which to grow. In 2012 the TMR01 was unveiled, and it aspired to be the perfect match for sprinters at the finish line, rouleurs that keep the pressure on all day and Olympic-distance triathletes pushing away from the competition before the run. From what we experienced, that pretty much hits the nail on the head.
When you’re coming to the end of your bike leg you don’t always need to dig into the depths of your pain cave to gain that final burst of speed – some machines, like the TMR01, do the work for you with each and every pedal stroke. We may not have raced this beast yet, but we did take it onto the flats, rolling hills and corners of our local roads to see if this puppy was everything that was promised.
BMC have come a long way from their humble beginnings, but one thing that has never changed is their pedigree. They’ve always endeavoured to deliver some serious machines that get the job done no matter what. The TMR01 is not the lightest rig, but it’s up there as one of the most aero roadies in the bunch.
The frame remains responsive and stiff throughout thanks to its high-modulus carbon build. The beautiful front end is kept clean and sleek with integrated brake callipers and near-invisible cabling. Meanwhile, the rear calliper is kept snugly out of the way underneath the bottom bracket.
It’s clear the TMR01 was inspired by the TM01. They both feature the aero design that helps improve stiffness under power, but in the TMR01 this has been built upon with the addition of a raised rim on the sides of the tube, which creates a much smoother airflow.
BMC offer the completed Shimano Ultegra version, or you can purchase the frame by itself: both worthy options for different budgets and riding styles. Everything in the frame is what you expect from a top-end performance bike with its full carbon frame coming in at roughly 1,100g.
Nearly all the cables in the mechanical transmission are hidden in the clever integration system. The seatpost is where things get creative.A sneaky wedge is tucked away in the top tube, an effective solution for keeping the post in place. The seatpost itself is a little steeper than expected for a road bike and the seat tube angle is at an equally obscure 74 degrees. However, BMC has balanced this by offering three setback options, with the maximum the same as a standard post.
It’s the speed and power of the TMR01 that catches most people off guard. Effortlessly gliding past other riders, tackling tight bends with precise handling and braking power all work to instil confidence. Whether you’re using this machine for training or racing, it’s certainly powerful enough to get the job done. The frame is one of the stiffest we’ve ever ridden and even on the climbs we never found ourselves wanting more out of the bike. Both in and out of the saddle we pushed harder than we would most bikes and always felt in control – something not all tri bikes can offer.
At top speeds the TMR01 enters a magic moment where it requires considerably less effort to keep it rolling, and while sprinting it remained sturdy and powerful, making us feel like we could power on for much longer. As mentioned, the handling boosts confidence so you can go even harder and take corners tighter. The mechanical transmission gave us no problems and performed near perfectly to give us the maximum efficiency out on the ride.
This well-designed aero roadie makes for a great addition to any cyclist’s or triathlete’s garage. The extremely stiff bottom bracket is a credit to the designers and engineers, who have delivered an impressively smooth ride. Every effort has been made to cut through the air in true aero fashion. Its striking and clean lines make for a stylish geometric shape that not only looks sharp but also helps you slip through the wind like a bullet. Meanwhile, it remains comfy on the tuchus on long rides.
Overall, BMC have impressed us across the board, offering a fast, comfortable and beautiful bike with excellent versatility. Whether you plan on using the TMR01 for road racing, triathlons or just a casual weekend ride, BMC has delivered a capable and powerful ride for any day on the road.
BMC Timemachine TMR0 $7,799
SIZE TESTED 56cm
FRAME AND FORK:
Sizes available: 48/51/54/56/58/61
Frame: Timemachine TMR01
Fork: Aero 01 Premium Carbon, Hinge-design, Vmax Aero technology
Wheelset: DT Swiss R46C Hybrid
Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport 2, 700x25C
Chainwheel: Shimano Ultegra, 53-39T
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra, 11-28T
Derailleurs: Shimano Ultegra
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
Handlebar: BMC RDB 02
Stem: BMC RSM 02
Saddle: Fizik Arione R7 Manganese
Seatpost: Vmax Aero Post, 01 Premium Carbon, P2P and SubA Technology
Brakes: Vmax Aero Integrated Design
Hubs: DT Swiss R46C Hybrid