First Look: 2014 BMC Trailfox TF01 29 - The Swiss Army Knife Just Got a Bigger Blade 15

<b>What has BMC been up to lately? It's time to pull back the sheet to find out...</b>

<b>Introducing the all-new 2014 BMC Trailfox TF01 29, a long travel 29er with an attitude. In previous years the BMC Trailfox’s "do-anything, go-anywhere versatility" has been likened to that of the Swiss Army Knife. This year it gets a bigger blade.</b>

<b>In a time when nearly every company is jumping on the 650B/27.5-inch wheel bandwagon, BMC jumped straight to 29, eliminating the previous 26-inch model in the process.</b>

<b>It wasn't without a lot of testing, though. BMC fabricated dozens of test mules, including 650B models, but in the end the 29 won out based on the clock.</b>

<b>Sporting 150mm (5.9-inches) of travel, the TF01 29 is aimed squarely at the heart of the Enduro race scene, and has been proven by the BMC Trailcrew at the Enduro World Series.</b>

<b>For BMC, this is the ultimate race weapon. Long, low, and slack, it packs a punch. The full carbon TF01 frame weighs 2,490 grams. That's 40 grams less less than its predecessor.</b>

<b>Out back, 150mm of travel is delivered via BMC's APS suspension system - a Virtual Pivot design that's progressive with strong anti-squat characteristics. FOX's new Float X shock complements the bike well.</b>

<b>As with all BMC bikes, there's a convenient sag indicator to get you on the trail quickly.</b>

<b>BMC resolved the long chainstay dilemma in part by slackening the seat tube angle and moving it forward, but the effective angle remains near the same.</b>

<b>In combination with a unique front derailleur mount (shown here covered), the result is a 435mm (17.1-inch) chainstay length. That's at least 5mm shorter than the vast majority of comparable rides.</b>

<b>Internal cable routing enters through custom ports and follows the downtube.</b>

<b>Stealth routing is a highlight many will appreciate.</b>

<b>Injection molded chainstay and downtube guards help protect the investment.</b>

<b>With 45mm more standover, the looks and maneuverability of the new Trailfox have been improved. There's still enough room for a water bottle as well.</b>

<b>The headtube height has been greatly reduced too, which was key to achieving a balanced ride with the 29-inch platform.</b>

<b>Tobias Woggon leans the Trailfox over, big wheels and all.</b>

<b>A 12x142mm rear axle keeps things stiff out back.</b>

<b>The Post Mount disc brake features replaceable threaded inserts and can fit up to 203mm rotors.</b>

<b>Compared to the 2013 Trailfox, the 2014 model has been lengthened substantially, bringing it up to speed with modern geometries.</b>

<b>55mm stems and 750mm wide bars are found across the line. Short and wide, just they way we like it.</b>

<b>An integrated chain management system gives an extra sense of security, regardless of whether the bike is XX1 equipped or not. An optional ISCG mount allows a standard chain guide to be easily mounted.</b>

<b>A BB90 press fit bottom bracket completes the package.</b>

<b>So what's the biggest advantage? BMC says it's flat out speed.</b>

<b>The Trailfox 29 will be available in late 2013. Check out <b><a href="http://www.bmc-racing.com">www.bmc-racing.com</a></b> for more details.</b>

Not afraid to stand apart from the crowd, BMC skipped over the 650B craze when crafting their latest and greatest mountain bike to date - the all-new long travel Trailfox TF01 29. We met up with BMC R&D specialist Guillaume Farin for a run down of everything special about the new ride.


Having tested multiple wheel sizes and geometry configurations against the clock, the company landed on a 150mm travel 29er with relaxed angles and a surprisingly short rear end. BMC touts "good stability, incredible rollover, unprecedented agility, and phenomenal grip" as the main ride characteristics of the Trailfox.


The Trailfox line includes the full carbon TF01, as well as the carbon front/aluminum rear TF02 and full aluminum TF03. Complete prices range from $11,999 for the decked out TF01 XTR build to $3,999 for the more affordable TF03, with weights ranging from 26.9 to 31.3-pounds (12.2 to 14.2kg), respectively. For more information, cruise over to www.bmc-racing.com.



Photos by BMC and Brandon Turman
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15 comments
  • lev

    11/6/2013 3:07 AM

    I like the colour

  • Craw

    11/5/2013 9:23 AM

    Oh hey look, tall people not welcome. It's funny because 29ers are ideal for tall people.

  • bturman

    11/5/2013 9:42 AM

    Not welcome? How so? The seat tube length and reach should accommodate tall riders just fine. BMC says the Large is good for someone up to 6'5" (195cm).

  • Craw

    11/5/2013 9:46 AM

    I'm 6'6". That large will be nearly long enough but insufficient stack. I never understand why bike companies feel the need to make the front end as low as possible for the larger sizes - taller riders need higher bars. That being said that's a pretty large large but not large enough.

  • kramerica5000

    11/5/2013 9:20 AM

    They show you the stats that back up their argument, so they leave out some important ones like acceleration. As someone who's done a few enduro races, I can tell you that it's the sprints between corners where you make up time, and a 26" wheel is always going to give you better acceleration, allowing you to get back up to speed quicker and with less energy (which is why Clementz and Graves are not at a disadvantage on their 26" bikes). So with a smaller wheel you might be a little slower in certain situations, but you'll be able to recover your speed more quickly. This is where the distinction between expert and beginner/intermediate riders come in. If you're not an incredibly strong rider like Clementz or Graves you're not going to have the energy to sprint out of every corner, thus the conservation of speed you get with bigger wheels probably will give you a faster time.

  • hurricanejoel

    11/5/2013 8:20 AM

    Horses for courses. Looks good.

  • JCL

    11/5/2013 8:19 AM

    It isn't just about the wheels kids.

    Sick bike. Although I think they're completely wrong about rear centre length/grip.

  • JMHV

    11/5/2013 7:37 AM

    Otis - depends on the corner. 29 is faster in many cornering situations especially flat turns with bad traction. Where it suffers is linking tight turns or burms where you woud normally generate exit speed on a smaller wheel - where the speed with which you can flick the bigger wheels side to side is hampered.

    Testing a bike isn't the same as learning to ride it. A lot of our handling skills are so ingrained that it can take weeks to figure out the different style needed to push a bigger wheel to the max.

    Not currently on a 29 but have ridden them for years and they DO work. But I completely agree that publishing "tests" is just asking to look stupid.

  • Mr. P

    11/5/2013 7:34 AM

    103%!

  • megrpirate

    11/5/2013 3:38 AM

    im sick of these "test results". Didn't Giant just claim the opposite and due to it not being the flavour of the month nobody is claiming a 26" advantage unless you ride a pump track.

    Show us the test with live timing, where's the science.
    Wait that wouldn't sell 29ers would it!

  • gotdurt

    11/4/2013 7:37 PM

    Having tested/demoed countless 29ers over the past few years, I call BS, especially on agility.

  • shredder

    11/5/2013 6:12 AM

    Yeah, those "test results" are complete rubbish. 29 inch wheels are 100% not more agile.... as a matter of fact they absolutely slow me down in tight slow-speed areas.

  • bjenson

    11/5/2013 9:48 AM

    ever put a timer on it? where'd they claim to be more agile?

    shredder: bmc's findings back up your statement about tight slow-speed areas. check the pumptrack style trail results. doubt they'd build a bike that was slower if speed was their concern especially after testing all of them. i like how it's broken down by type of terrain. more "science" than we've seen elsewhere.

    435mm stays is impressive. that's only 5mm longer than the enduro 29.

  • Otis Walker

    11/4/2013 7:17 PM

    I refuse to believe that a 29er is better in cornering. Doesn't add up

  • wakaba123

    11/7/2013 4:13 AM

    Yep, that list is an insult to intellect :-(