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One bike, ten years of Teammachine technology
Over 4 generations and throughout a decade, the Teammachine has relied on innovative technology and teamwork to immortalise it in the peloton. But what goes into creating a race bike without compromise and one that is always a step ahead of the competitors?
In a sport where fractions of a second and millimetres make the difference between winning and losing, creating a bike that consistently outperforms the peloton takes innovation, meticulous attention to detail and the latest advancements in bike construction.
Fortunately, that’s the embodiment of all we do here at BMC.
Since its inception, the Teammachine has continually evolved to meet the primary needs of world-class cyclists – faster, more compliant, more efficient and now more aero. The bike has to support the riders, bringing them into the final kilometres, or onto the final climb, with as little fatigue as possible.
“In 2011 the bike truly won my sentiment as my main key to what was the most well-known victory of my competitive career. I still have a first generation SLR at home which I ride regularly even today. With the SLR, the longer and rougher the road, the better it was to ride” – Cadel Evans.
A decade of development
What follows is a behind-the-scenes look at the Teammachine’s decade-long journey of refinement and development. Based on data-driven design and performance insights, both our engineers and the bike itself have kept the riders’ needs at the forefront.
2010 1st Generation – The introduction of Tuned Compliance Concept
The original Teammachine brought a new mindset to cycling. Where once bike design focused exclusively on dialling in an unparalleled stiffness-to-weight ratio, our introduction of the Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC) added a new dimension to race bikes. As riders first and foremost, we strived to create something different; a more compliant bike that wouldn’t come with a performance compromise. As well as being the first brand to utilise dropped seat stays, the carbon fork and seatpost all underscored the bike’s exceptional compliance for all-day comfort, leaving riders fresher in those all-important final kilometres.
2014 2nd Generation – Data-driven design and computer simulation
The traditional way to design bikes went out the window when we succeeded in utilizing computer simulation software, ACE technology, to develop 34,000 prototypes of frame shapes in just one season and refine its carbon layup, unlocking a new way of thinking. An optimization process that was carried out simultaneously to break new ground, the Teammachine maintained its low weight and compliance with 40% improved stiffness.
“This was the lightest, most snappy accelerating bike I had ridden. It was the Teammachine that loved punching up short steep climbs, and carved corners with pinstripe precision.” – Cadel Evans
2017 3rd Generation – Designing for disc brakes and the introduction of complete integration
The emergence of disc brakes didn’t just increase braking performance for all riders, it gave us the chance to reimagine the Teammachine. Firstly, disc brake technology allowed us to design our industry leading Integrated Cockpit System, or ICS. No other bike available at the time had seen this level of cockpit integration. Secondly, we sought out a solution of how to integrate disc brakes whilst improving performance. Something that is now standard within the Teammachine line-up, disc brakes have changed the game.
With just a subtle change in the chainstays length to accommodate disc brakes, it made the bike so much more stable in high-speed corners.
2020 The latest generation of Teammachine – Adding aero to the ACE equation
Making it measurably faster: Instrumental in the success of its predecessor, we ramped up the ACE technology and transformed it into ACE+. An evolution based on learnings from the past decade, the PLUS signifies the aero aspect, allowing Teammachine riders to achieve even greater goals.
By optimising tube shapes, core centre stiffness, revising the carbon layup and utilizing a brand-new one-piece bar and stem cockpit, the bike that was already known for its responsiveness has an updated performance for 2020 and beyond. We reworked the fork and downtube, envisioning the bottle and downtube as one singular system with an innovative Aerocore bottle cage for an ultra-efficient wind-cheating profile. Our efforts to re-engineer the head, fork and steerer tubes results in increased torsional stiffness for holding your line and cornering with pin-sharp precision.
Talking in fractions of millimetres, grams and degrees might sound nominal, but these incremental refinements are all part of the Team, and our maniacal drive to improve.
“Testing with NTT Pro Cycling validated our simulations with the results. There’s a 3% drag reduction. Imagine you’re pushing 280 watts on the flat to go 40km/h; with the new SLR you’d only need to push 270 watts.”
THE FUTURE OF THE TEAMMACHINE
To elevate its race-day reliability, we went further, revising the Teammachine’s disc brake adaptability, ensured rub-free adjustment, utilized a stronger rear derailleur hanger, and increased tyre clearance. Together with all these improvements we were also able to shave a further 160g from the overall frame weight. It’s our way of making sure that you, the rider is in the best position possible, no matter what luck they’ve had, when it comes to those all-important final kilometres.
In a sport that never stops moving, you need to keep pushing your limits to make sure that you keep at the front of the pack. This holds true for both bike and rider. Over the past 10 years of refinements, the Teammachine has written history at the hands of some of the most iconic names within cycling. There is no roadbook for its future, other than our drive to keep improving, keep pushing, and stay at the front. Here is to the next decade of the Teammachine.