Giro d'Italia

Giro Pro Bike: Johan Tschopp’s BMC Impec

Johan Tschopp's BMC Impec

Giro Pro Bike: Johan Tschopp's BMC Impec
BMC connects its tubes with injection-molded composite lugs, which the company calls its Shell Node Concept. Photo: Caley Fretz

BMC debuted its robot-built Impec nearly a year ago, and the bike was originally slated to be available this year. We even included it on our 2011 Buyers Guide cover.

It is built using unique manufacturing method, with BMC weaving all its own tubes in-house before putting them together using two clamshell half-lugs, also built in their home base of Switzerland. The degree of control over the entire process is almost unheard of in the cycling industry, where very few manufacturers produce their own carbon fiber and almost none build bikes in the same country they’re based in. Giant and Time are two notable exceptions.

But the Impec has yet to make it to market, and BMC even pulled most of their professional team riders off the bike this spring. At a recent BMC mountain bike launch, marketing manager Larissa Kleinmann explained that the company is still perfecting the resin needed for mass production, and that the bike should finally be available later this year.

For this year’s Giro there is an even split between team riders who are back on the Impec and those who have stuck with the Team Machine. Johann Tschopp, winner of stage 20 at the 2010 Giro with his old Bouygues Telecom squad, is one rider who will be putting the Impec through its paces for the next three weeks.

Giro Pro Bike: Johan Tschopp's BMC Impec
Johann Tschopp will be hoping to repeat his 2010 Giro stage win on his BMC Impec. Photo: Caley Fretz