Issue #015 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine is now available here! Along with our big brakes group test and exciting travel stories, we’re also be presenting our XC bikes group test. We made a special trip to the USA in order to test the bikes under sunny California skies. Here’s a look at one of the bikes in the group test – the BMC Fourstroke FS02
The BMC Fourstroke is a proven, race-winning platform. In fact, Julien Absalon won the XC World Championship on it last year. So we know it’s fast but the question is, how much fun is it? It certainly looks the part; the sharp lines and cohesive graphics make it look fast standing still.
The FS02 model sits below the top-notch FS01, sacrificing the carbon rear triangle and the best components to fit into our price limit. Travel is 100 mm front and rear, but the 29″ wheels and APS suspension should make good use of it.
Suspension is handled by FOX Evolution shock and fork, bringing the price to € 3,600, which is fairly reasonable considering the high-end nature of the brand. However, other bikes in this comparison feature higher-end suspension so it will be interesting to see how it matches up!
The front end is quite obviously low and long, on the XC side of things for sure. We can expect efficient climbing and an aggressive seating position.
Tires are the Onza Canis 2.25″. We’ve never tried them so it’s difficult to say how it will affect the character of the bike. Interestingly, it is one of our heavier bikes in the test, even without a dropper post.
See how the quick and efficient Fourstroke stacks up against the more downhill-oriented rivals in Issue #015!
About the test
Our request to the manufacturers was simple: send us a fast, light and potent XC bike for maximum fun on the fast, flowing southern California trails.
We let the manufacturers decide for themselves which exact models, wheel sizes and suspension-travel range this actually meant. The only fixed criteria was the price limit of € 5.500.
The test field: BMC Fourstroke FS02 | Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 2 | Felt Edict1 | Giant Anthem SX Advanced 27.5 | Ibis Ripley | Marin Rift Zone 8 | Trek Fuel EX 9.8 27.5
The bike makers were also allowed to improve the downhill performance of their bikes by making small spec changes, just like bike shops often do. This includes changes to the cockpit, tyres and retrofitting a dropper seatpost.
The test team, made up of ENDURO editors Robin Schmitt, Joe Parkin and several other experienced test riders carefully examined the bikes over multiple days. The team established the strengths and weaknesses of each model, and discussed in depth the verdict of every bike.
Words: Tyler Malcomson Photos: Abner Kingman
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