From mud and slop-fests in Scotland to never-ending Alpine descents via some beastly jumps on home trails, our long-term test bikes haven’t had it easy! They’ve stockpiled a ton of kilometres and even more vertical metres on some gnarly trails and lung-burningly tough races. Now that the new season has crept up on us, it’s time for the testers to slam down the lawful fist of justice on these bikes and reveal how their test bike fared, and whether it’s convinced them of its value.
Karls BMC Speedfox SF01
My garage already had a few types of bikes, but there’d always been a gap where a short-travel 29er fully should stand, so I didn’t have to think twice before accepting the BMC Speedfox as my long-term test bike.
With its 130 mm travel and chunky 29er wheels, it quickly became my go-to bike, regularly out on my home trails, and even joined me for a weeklong Transalp ride and the Sella Ronda Bike Marathon.
The Speedfox definitely isn’t as smooth as my enduro bike or as lively as my 9 kg hardtail, but it fills the niche between them and proved to be the ideal bike for my flowing home trails. For my height of 190 cm, I figured the best swap would be to get a longer stem (just by 20 mm) to give me a more stretched-out position that would be more sustainable on longer rides. All of the other parts were spot-on straight out of the box, and really well chosen. The Avid brakes struggled a bit on some of the long stages in the Alps, as their disc rotors were pushed to their limits (which is totally visible in their dark discolouration).
Switzerland’s BMC have teamed the beautiful frame with some really high-quality components, and I learned to appreciate the lightweight DT Swiss wheels just as much as I liked the SRAM XX1 shifters – although I did have to readjust the cable tension pretty regularly. The FOX suspension performed brilliantly with great responsiveness, but I felt that I got served a pretty hefty dose of feedback when it absorbed big hits. The bearings didn’t act up at all during the long-term test, there were no creaks or noises, and the paintwork has miraculously come away scratch-free. A pretty carefree bike, in fact!
Price: € 5,999
Weight: 12.6 kg
Travel: 130/130 mm
More info: BMC Website
Kms ridden: 3,464 km
Downhill metres: 115,000 m
Would I buy the BMC Speedfox SF01?
Hell, yes! I’m actually mulling over the idea right now. It’s the perfect addition to my other two bikes, and the brilliant spec and high-quality production are worth the pretty hefty price tag of € 5,999 – it’s a lot of bike for a lot of money.
Read more about the bike in Karls’s review of the BMC Speedfox SF01. To see the original condition of the bike, check out the First Look.
If you want to follow our long-term test crew, check the long-term test timeline.
Words: Karl Kaffenberger Photos: Robin Schmitt
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