Revamped BMC Teammachine ALR promises carbon performance on aluminum budgets

Don’t miss out on the latest CyclingTips updates.

0
Jump To Comments

BMC has replaced its existing Teammachine ALR aluminum road racing platform with an all-new frameset designed to more closely mimic the performance, look, and feel of its more expensive Teammachine SLR cousin. Lighter, sleeker, and more comfortable than before, the Teammachine ALR may be dubbed as a “gateway model” for more expensive versions in the BMC lineup, but many buyers will likely call it good right there.

BMC is once again using hydroformed tubing for the Teammachine ALR, although the newly refined triple-butted wall thicknesses help bring the claimed weight down to 1,190g for a painted 54cm rim-brake model — 60g lighter than before. BMC has moved to size-specific tubing this time around, too, for what should be a more consistent ride quality across the size range.

Bike companies often try to get their aluminum frames to mimic the performance of carbon fiber frames in one way or another. In the case of the Teammachine ALR, BMC says the new model is most like the upper-end Teammachines in terms of ride comfort. Bottom bracket and rear triangle stiffness are supposedly nearly identical as well, but the front triangle is said to be 7% less rigid in terms of torsion.

That ride quality should be consistently smooth, too. The dropped seatstay configuration carries over, but the stays are now flattened horizontally, and the proprietary carbon fiber seatpost gains a new D-shaped profile. Combined with the new all-carbon fork, BMC claims the Teammachine ALR’s ride comfort is now on-par with the Teammachine SLR (which is already widely regarded for its unusual cushiness).

The new Teammachine ALR is also said to get a boost in efficiency, with rear triangle and bottom bracket stiffness measurements that are supposedly identical to the Teammachine SLR. The carbon frame still is said to have a 7% advantage in front triangle torsional rigidity, however, which may be noticeable when climbing or sprinting out of the saddle, or even when just snaking the bike through faster corners.

Both the down tube and seat tube take on a wide and rounded rectangular profile down by the bottom bracket to keep the frame from swaying under power. Also note how the internally routed cables exit just ahead of the bottom bracket shell.

Other changes include a neatly hidden internal wedge-type seatpost binder, internal cable routing, and the addition of a disc-brake version with flat-mount caliper interfaces and 12mm thru-axles at both ends (claimed weight for the disc-brake frameset is 1,250g). Carrying over from the previous version are the threaded bottom bracket shell and slight head tube extensions relative to the more aggressive Teammachine SLR.

BMC will offer the updated Teammachine ALR in three complete builds: the Teammachine ALR Disc One with Shimano’s hydraulic disc-brake 105 groupset for US$2,200 / €2,000; the Teammachine ALR One with the standard rim-brake Shimano 105 groupset for US$1,600 / €1,500; and the Teammachine ALR Two with Shimano Tiagra for US$1,400 / €1,300. Australian and European Union prices are to be confirmed.

All of the new bikes will begin arriving in shops around September. More information can be found at bmc-switzerland.com.

Editors' Picks