Shimano has upgraded their 105 group to eleven-speed. That’s the cherry on top of this impressive BMC Teammachine SLR02 105 Bike. 105 5800 got the makeover that Ultegra 6800 got last year. Namely, everything has been improved to follow the design improvements that debuted with Dura-Ace 9000.
The levers have improved ergonomics for comfort, faster action for shifting, better modulation for braking. The brake calipers have the new dual-pivot design, which helps with that modulation as well as makes for improved action on wide rims and improved clearance for wide tires. The front derailleur has a longer lever-arm for faster, lighter shifting. And the rear derailleur’s parallelogram has been widened for faster shifting. Of course, the crank itself has changed to the four-arm design and the 110mm spider that allows you to choose standard, compact, or semi-compact chain rings. BMC equips this bike with 52/36 rings and an 11-28 cassette, so you’ll never be for want of the right gear.
The wheels are Shimano’s WH-RS11 hoops. When you take a look, you can see how they were derived from the Dura-Ace clinchers that birthed them. Everything looks the same, and the designs are nearly identical: 24mm tall rims, 16 radial front spokes, 24 two-cross rear, straight-pull spokes, and wide flanges. The difference is in materials: heavier rims, heavier spokes, heavier hub shell. The benefit to you is improved durability. They still run on Shimano’s legendary angular contact bearings for low friction and long life.
The components are an impossible-to-beat value, and they bring the SLR02 frameset into a price point that is downright sexy. The SLR02 itself is an incredible value, being that it is an improvement over the Tour-winning SLR01 from 2011, it shares a geometry that has been racking up victories at the WorldTour, it has design input from the current SLR01, and it’s fabricated from lower-modulus carbon-fiber, yet still retains the stiffness of the SLR01, and it is priced much, much lower.
BMC wanted the SLR02 to be available to a wide range of riders, so they simplified the design a bit. Instead of using their proprietary multi-shape seat post, they run a round seat tube at the top and insert a round 27.2mm carbon-fiber BMC compliance post. This 18mm offset post still has some fore-aft give built in and is made to work in conjunction with the thin seat stays and radically tapered fork. The fork starts up at the steerer as a 1 1/8″ diameter, builds up to a 1 1/2″ diameter at the crown for lateral rigidity, is paired with a chunky crown to further the steering precision, and then tapers down the blades to the tips for vertical compliance. The shaped down tube, which gets larger as it descends to the bottom bracket finishes at the BB86 bottom bracket shell, a design which not only saves weight, but allows BMC to attach the chain stays to the frame wider apart for better bracing, and shape the seat tube wider for greater rigidity at the bottom bracket.
The BMC Teammachine SLR02 105 Bike gets you into a fast place. All you need to do is supply the legs and lungs.