BMC granfondo GF01 review
Roadcycling.com reviews the BMC granfondo GF01 endurance road bike.
as well as steep climbs, I have embraced the concept. Knowing the course and the ascents, I was glad to have the option of lower gearing.
As mentioned earlier, a lower back injury, combined with the march of time, and a job that at times requires several hours sitting in front of a computer typing, has not done any favors for my body. My personal bikes are race-oriented with sharp handling. A slight movement of the hips turns my bike. The BMC GF 01 is forgiving. After a short incline through the start line to activate the timing chip, the group of a thousand riders descended a curvy road. Fortunately we had a police escort and were able to take both sides of the road.
While the BMC granfondo GF 01 didn’t have the feel of just flicking the bike left or right to enter the turn, it wasn’t slow-handling either. I was able to carve through the turns and pass slower, more tentatively descending riders. This was due in part to the beefier front end and wide fork blades. This combination makes the frontend stable and confidence inspiring.
As the miles clicked by we approached the first major climb of the day, a four-mile ascent of various steepness – nothing too extreme – but enough to test my fitness.
With the 50 tooth big chain ring and 27 tooth cog in the back I was able to stay in the bigger gear longer and keep my cadence at an easy 75 to 80 rpms. When the gradient kicked up and my cadence started to dip, I flicked the button on my shift levers and dropped the chain into the 34 tooth front ring – ahh ... relief.
I’ve found that I climb best when using a 75 to 80 rpms cadence range. A compact gearing allows for that easily on almost any terrain. The trade-off is top-end speed as the 50×12 is the biggest gear available – not exactly a ratio that could beat Mark Cavendish or anyone with fast twitch muscles.
While the longer wheelbase, taller headtube and relaxed angles took the stress off my body, the fi’zi:k Arione saddle created some soreness around the two hour mark. This is ironic because on my personal bike I use a fi’zi:k K1 – the carbon shell with very minimal gel padding model – with no issues. It goes to show that some aspects of a bike are completely personal.
While the BMC granfondo GF 01 is classified as a “endurance” model bike it does have road racing credentials. This model has seen the roads of Paris-Roubaix where Alessandro Ballan finished third. If you’re a rider looking to participate in the many gran fondo events that are popping up on the calendar or like to toe the line at road races the BMC granfondo GF 01 is a suitable choice. The design of the bike frame absorbs the road’s irregularities, yet the beefy bottom bracket and front end still give the GF 01 a stiff race bike feel.
Price: US$6,999 at Competitive