SPEEDFOX TRAILCREW 02 TEST

January 3, 2017
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SPEEDFOX TRAILCREW 02

Not Your Average BMC

 

m1bmc1The Switzerland-based company known as BMC has a reputation for making exceptionally fast race bikes aimed towards winning UCI World Cups and Olympic medals. The proof is in the pudding. Simply take a peak into Julien Absalon’s award closet. The BMC team rider has won two Olympic gold medals, along with over 30 World Cups during his cross-country mountain biking career. BMC is obviously no stranger to building wicked-fast and efficient race machines; however, its Trailcrew lineup takes on a wildly different attitude. The Speedfox Trailcrew is an all-out, aggressive trailbike. BMC set out to prove that it, too, can make a playful, trail-ready machine that doesn’t require a rider to slip into a tight-fitting Lycra suit. So, we grabbed our kneepads, put on our baggy clothes and took the new BMC to the trails.

WHO IS IT MADE FOR?

m1bmc5Purpose-built: The Speedfox Trailcrew was purpose-built to get rad on the trails. Its wide bars and short stem provide its rider with great control, and its geometry is playful and fun.

The Speedfox Trailcrew sets itself apart from BMC’s other lineup by offering plush suspension and a playful geometry. The bike pairs wide handlebars with a short stem, and wide rims with beefy tires, to allow riders to get the most out of their hard-earned descents. The Trailcrew is made for riders who enjoy flying through berms, catching some hang time and blasting their way down epic singletrack. This isn’t your average BMC; it’s a trail-shredding machine.

WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?

m1bmc6Internal routing: BMC used well-routed internal cables to give the Speedfox Trailcrew a clean and streamlined look. This BMC also features a large removable cable port in front of the bottom bracket to provide mechanics with easy access.

BMC designed the Speedfox 02 Trailcrew around a carbon front triangle and an aluminum rear triangle, sporting 150 millimeters of Advanced Pivot System (APS) suspension. BMC’s APS suspension is well proven aboard its other bikes; however, some tweaks were made to this version to achieve the Trailcrew’s ability to shred. The Speedfox Trailcrew’s geometry features some aggressive numbers, such as a 66.5-degree head tube angle, along with short 16.9-inch chainstays. Overall, this BMC is a no-compromise, trail-ready design.

WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?

m1bmc3Shimano 11-speed: Our BMC came equipped with an XT 11-speed drivetrain, featuring an 11-42 tooth cassette, and was paired with a Race Face Turbine crankset. Altogether, our drivetrain worked flawlessly and provided our testers with a nice range of gears.

The Speedfox Trailcrew comes equipped with 27.5-inch wheels wrapped with one of the MBA crew’s favorite tires—the Maxxis High Roller IIs. The Trailcrew also received a RockShox Pike fork along with a Cane Creek DB Inline shock. Other standout features of this BMC include the Shimano 11-speed XT drivetrain and XT brakes, with a huge 203-millimeter front rotor and a 180 rear rotor. BMC also spec’d a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post on this bike that varies in length according to frame size. Extra-small frames have 100 millimeters of drop, small frames have 125, and medium through extra-large frames have 150 millimeters of dropper-post travel.

HOW DOES IT PERFORM?

Setting Sag:

m1bmc4Trail-ready: BMC is known for making fast cross-country rigs with pinner tires and short-travel forks; however, the Speedfox Trailcrew sets itself apart with its beefy Maxxis tires and long-travel RockShox Pike.

Our BMC’s RockShox Pike fork took very little time to get just right. We adjusted the sag to 30 percent and spedup the rebound a few clicks past center. The rear end of our BMC proved to be a little more time-consuming. Cane Creek’s DB Inline shock has many adjustments, including high- and low-speed rebound and high- and low-speed compression. We centered the knobs and then turned the low-speed compression up two clicks to aid pedaling efficiency. Riders should keep a multi-tool handy on the trails for making further adjustments.

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Moving Out:

BMC’s Speedfox Trailcrew has a natural trailbike fit with its long reach, short stem and wide handlebars. Its 150 millimeters of travel provided a plush ride, and its slack head tube offered great stability at high speeds. The BMC’s short chainstays gave it a lively attitude, and its 150-millimeter-travel dropper post gave our testers the ability to get low and aggressive out on the trails.

Climbing:

m1bmc9Cross-country inspiration: BMC’s APS suspension was developed for their cross-country race rigs, and although the Trailcrew was built to have a plush ride, it still climbs with great efficiency.

BMC’s APS suspension, coupled with a DB Inline shock, offered a great pedaling platform that held traction well and allowed our testers to leave the shock in the open position. Climbing in or out of the saddle caused very little suspension movement and rewarded the rider with forward momentum. The BMC’s slack head tube angle gave the front wheel sort of a floppy feel during slow technical climbs, but that is to be expected from a more aggressive bike. The Trailcrew is far from a cross-country race rig, but it’s clear that BMC took some time to put a little pep in its step.

Cornering:

m1bmc11Lay it over: The Trailcrew is no stranger to flowy berms or switchback turns. The DB Inline shock held the bike’s suspension in a sweet spot when pushing hard through corners, and the Maxxis tires hooked up really well on loose over-hardpacked trails.

The Speedfox Trailcrew offered a sporty feel when blasting through corners, thanks to its ground-hugging Maxxis tires and aggressive geometry. The highly adjustable Cane Creek shock increased cornering traction due to its separately controlled high- and low-speed rebound, keeping the bike high in its travel through fast berms and rewarding riders with fast exit speeds and a lively pop out of corners. The BMC’s wide, 780-millimeter handlebars also boosted confidence when pushing hard through a turn.

Descending:

m1bmc10Taking the leap: Our BMC inspired confidence on every part of the trail, including the jump lines. The Trailcrew had a nice balanced feel when airborne, and its suspension soaked up the landings well.

The Speedfox Trailcrew sports a much more aggressive geometry than the cross-country race rockets BMC is known for building. The Trailcrew has a slack 66.5-degree head tube angle, lengthened top tube, short chainstays and a 150-millimeter dropper post. All of these things, combined with 150 millimeters of suspension travel, gave this BMC a get-out-of-my-way attitude. The Trailcrew could easily be called the “Trailslayer,” as this bike has an aggressive plan to get down the mountains quickly.

Braking:

m1bmc7Big stopping power: BMC spec’d oversized rotors with Shimano’s XT brakes to help bring this steed to a stop.

BMC knew this bike would be ridden fast, so the engineers went ahead and put a large 203-millimeter brake rotor up front and a 180-millimeter rotor in the rear. These rotors are grabbed by Shimano XT calipers and are controlled by ergonomic and adjustable XT levers. The BMC’s suspension handled the braking power well, and the Maxxis tires easily clawed their way into the dirt.

TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?

Considering the loose and sandy conditions of our local trails, for us, lower tire pressures were a major upgrade. To do this, we converted our bike to a tubeless setup so we wouldn’t run the risk of a pinch flat. A pair of tubeless valves and sealant was all we needed. We also advise spending quality time getting to know the bike’s suspension knobs. The BMC’s performance could be greatly enhanced or hindered with just a few turns of the dials.

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BUYING ADVICE

The Speedfox Trailcrew is proof that BMC can make fun and playful bikes that aren’t only built for laps around a racecourse. The Trailcrew sports an aggressive trailbike geometry, along with plush suspension and a cockpit built around having fun. It’s nothing like the cross-country rig that put Absalon on the podium so many times, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t lightning fast. Its focus is just different. The Trailcrew looks to fly down mountains, launch the tires off the ground and make even the most stoic rider smile. It’s simply a fun trailbike geared towards weekend warriors, after-work riders or anyone who just wants to go fast.

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