Road Gear

Reviewed: BMC Teammachine SLR02

The Teammachine is made for the way most of us ride: Lots of long, sometimes fast miles, with the occasional race thrown in.

Lab: 19.4/20 (.28mm BB deflection; .61mm head tube deflection)
Build: 10.5/15
Comfort: 11.4/15
Value: 13.6/15
Handling: 10.5/15
Pedaling Response: 12.1/15
Aesthetics: 4.0/5

Overall: 81.5/100

The Teammachine is made for the way most of us ride: Lots of long, sometimes fast miles for fun and fitness, with the occasional race thrown in. There isn’t a lot of wow to the SLR02, but this carbon bike is a remarkable value and offers an acceptably comfortable ride.

It can be a bit harsh in the rear end, perhaps due to the oversized chain stays, but that same harshness likely leads to plentiful stiffness for sprints and holding an easy line through sweeping corners. You’ll enjoy it in races thanks to the unyielding bottom bracket (only 0.28 millimeters of deflection here; compare that to Trek’s Madone, with 0.41 millimeters of deflection) that adds a firm pedaling platform, along with a rigid head tube for stable high-speed steering. It’s no twitchy race bike, so weaving through the peloton might not be its forté, but it will hold its own on the final sprint to the stop sign on the group ride.

BMC wisely spec’d the SLR02 with an 11-32 cassette and 50/34 chainring combo that makes long days in the mountains more accessible for the weekend warrior. And the Shimano 105 drivetrain, while not a glamorous choice, keeps the price tag low and will work reliably, season after season. Shimano’s RS11 wheels are pretty heavy, but they’re rugged enough to last a long time at a very economical price. Upgrade these to something stiffer and lighter like Campagnolo’s Shamal Mille or Ultra wheels and you’ll notice a big difference in handling.

Consider it your everyday training bike and you’ll love it; take it to a Tuesday night crit, and you’ll likely want something with more responsive steering. If you’re looking to own one bike without spending your kid’s college fund, the SLR02 is worth a look.

Price: $2,600
Component Highlights: Shimano 105 drivetrain with 50/34 crankset and 11-32 cassette; Shimano 105 brakes; Shimano RS11 wheels
Weight: 17.84 pounds (size 57cm)