‘A true allrounder and a bike that will not only get you from A to B, but then on to C, D & E as well.’
That’s how BMC sum up the sky blue beauty we’ve recently been putting through its paces. And they’re spot on! A fun, rewarding and inspiring bike to ride, as the weeks ticked by we dreaded the inevitable “we need it back” call from BMC.
The Swiss brand’s successor to the popular GF01, the Roadmachine X definitely picks up where that award-winning endurance platform left off.
Starting up front, the bike is delivered with WTB 32mm tyres on BMC’s in-house CRD 321 carbon wheels. There’s good news and bad news here, first to the wheels (Clincher Road Discs), and they are top class, particularly given the price point of the overall bike – $8,499. The wheels are 35mm deep with a 28mm outer width and 21mm inner. While ideally we would have liked to see them 3 or 4mm wider internally, they are tubeless-ready, ride very well and pack a respectable weight of 1580g.
And that bad news? In our opinion the 32mm WTB tyres let the build down. Yes, they did the job and no, didn’t puncture during testing, but they lacked feel, comfort and ‘souplesse’ of many other latter day tyres. Our tip – buy the bike, upgrade the tyres, and transform the ride.
Talking tyres and fork / rear triangle real estate, there’s plenty of available space. BMC recommend up to 33mm of rubber with the RMX – with the 21mm internal width of the wheels you should be able to quite easily fit 34mm and possibly even some 35s. In more of a pure road mood? We enjoyed a ride with 30mm Schwalbes, and it would absolutely hum with 28mm Pro Ones.
Next to the front fork and stealth fighter-looking geometry and angles, the ‘X’ has a bold, purposeful, practical and modern look. We like the grey-painted inset on the side of the fork, the 72 degree head angle, and the abrupt aesthetics of the trailing angle.
Tested in the ‘One’ model, our review bike had BMC’s RAB 02 Alloy Ergo 42cm handlebar. Finished in a neat and stealthy matt black, the bar weighed 325g and proved to be comfortable and perfectly suited to the build.
The bar is secured to the stem via a very neat two-bolt bracket system – this looks great, was simple to adjust and is an impressive inclusion. The bike is also shipped with a handy stem insert that allows the rider to fit a GoPro style bracket or other accessory mount. Yes, it’s the little things that often make a difference.
To the stem itself, and this is where things get very interesting. In a collaboration with RedShift, the BMC-branded ICS MTT suspension stem offers up to 20mm of cushioned up/down movement. This is tunable thanks to several interchangeable (and coloured) elastomers that allow the rider to soften or firm up the ride.
How does the springy stem feel? Well at factory settings it’s not as bouncy as you may think – you really have to push on the bars to see the movement. But bike riding is surprisingly harsh, and particularly on the wrists on rough roads!
During testing the absorption and comfort qualities were obvious. The stem has a claimed weight of 330g, around twice the weight of a standard stem. But, in our opinion, that extra 150 or so grams is a small price to pay for the comfort and benefits of this impressive inclusion.
The frameset alone weighs 900 grams and is a (very similar) variant of the Roadmachine 01. It features BMC’s same premium carbon as its siblings, and boils down to being an extension of the Roadmachine range. Similar to the aggressively styled fork, the frameset has all sorts of angles going on and looks both fabulous and futuristic.
“… not designed for pure climbing or pure gravel, but the Roadmachine X seems very happy to cover multiple roles very capably…”
A D-shaped oval front, flat backed seatpost is used, it has a standard angle of 74.2-degrees along with a neat rubber cover to conceal the tensioner. No annoying seatpost slippage occurred during the test – in fact the whole rig remained as tight as a drum during our two months with the bike.
Gearing and groupset wise, and BMC have fitted the RMX range with a 1x 44T chainring and wide-spaced SRAM 10-44T cassettes. Using the bike on road, smooth trails and light gravel, the ease and efficiency of the 1x shone through. At no time were we wishing for higher or lower gearing, the simple system performed admirably and offered correct cadence for all occasions.
The groupo is SRAM’s XPLR gravel-specific offering, and that in itself shows BMC’s reasoning behind the RMX. It’s not quite a quiver killer, not designed for pure climbing or pure gravel, but the Roadmachine X seems very happy to cover multiple roles very capably. We particularly enjoyed various mixed-surface rides that took in road, footpath, bike path, trails and light gravel.
Comfort For Days
True to its aforementioned GF01 roots, the geometry is neither race nor upright, but a comfortable and efficient mix of the two. After one particularly memorable Saturday morning ride, the bike felt like it just wanted to keep on rolling. Taking the cue, we diverted left while heading home and added an extra 20 or so kilometres to the ride. Despite the extra climbing, and building heat, it was a memorable extension to the ride … the Roadmachine X is the type of bike we’d very happily pedal all day.
A true all-roader and all-rounder, the Roadmachine X wouldn’t be out of place in a bunch ride, light gravel ride, or weekend esplanade cruise with the kids. With clean and stylish lines and geometry it’s modern, on trend and looks great.
Paint, graphics and logos were superb, we particularly like the look of the bike in the blue colour. The downtube decals are simple, subtle, stylish. No brashness or boldness needed here – the Roadmachine X lets its all-round abilities do the talking. The paintwork is superb and looks particularly good in bright sunlight! It certainly is an eye-catching bike with a top-quality finish.
Value For Money
At the RRP of $8,499, and fitted with carbon wheels, a very impressive frame, the suspension stem and SRAM AXS groupset, the value stacks up. With many retail bike outlets overstocked these days, we’d suggest shopping around – you may even find it cheaper!
This bike is a lot of fun and a pleasure to ride. It’s incredibly versatile and we found it particularly convenient and capable when riding heavy-trafficked urban areas. The ability to bunnyhop the bitumen and power across parks, to tear along trails then pop back onto paths – the bike opens up opportunities and loves to be ridden.
More at your local BMC dealer.