By Stefan Abram
Roadmachine X ONE
If the profile of the carbon Roadmachine X bike strikes as a little familiar, that's because it is.
The geometry and tyre clearances are identical to those of the traditional, 'road-focused' Roadmachines – it's a spec change which is responsible for the added 'X'.
The tyres are 700x32c WTB Expanse – which is close to the maximum clearance of 33mm – and feature a slick centre tread with low profile shoulder knobs for a bit of extra grip when cornering on loose terrain. The wheels are the same CRD-321 hoops BMC specs on some of the road-specific Roadmachines and are tubeless ready with a 35mm depth.
Most significant, though, is the switch to 1x. SRAM's new XPLR drivetrain is spec'd on both the Roadmachine X ONE and the Roadmachine X TWO – with the latter getting Rival and the former being treated to the high-end Force components.
A 44t chainring is paired to a to a 10–44t cassette, giving a top gear that's a bit smaller than a 50x11 combination, while at the low end there is a 1:1 ratio.
It might be worth noting that the BMC Roadmachine 01 Three with new Shimano Ultegra does offer a 50x11 top gear and a 1:1 bottom gear – as well as four single tooth jumps compared to just one with XPLR. But, of course, it misses out on the shifting simplicity of 1x and the build comes in at a little under twice the price of the Rival equipped build.
If you want to delve a little deeper, we've reviewed the BMC Roadmachine 01 Four which has identical geometry, but a road groupset and tyres.
Sizes, prices and availability
Roadmachine X AL ONE
The aluminium version is a completely different bike.
Compared to the carbon Roadmachine X frames, clearance is upped from 33mm to 45mm in 700c, the head angle is raked out from 72 degrees to 70 and the chainstays are a full 25mm longer, at 435mm compared to 410mm.
Even compared to the previous aluminium Roadmachine X, the geometry is now much closer to that of a typical gravel bike than anything 'all-road' or a typical endurance bike. Previously the head angle was 71.5 degrees and the chainstays 420mm and the clearance sufficient for 36mm tyres (measured).
When it comes to the spec, it is important to point out that the "image is for illustration purposes only." This bike doesn't come with 11-speed SRAM shifters modified to work with a 12-speed Shimano mountain bike drivetrain.
Instead, what's being sold is Shimano GRX800 (which is mechanical Ultegra equivalent) with 46/30t chainrings and an 11–34t cassette. The wheels are the XRD-522 and these are shod with WTB Expanse 32mm tyres, just like the carbon Roadmachine X.
Pricing stands at €2,299 for the Roadmachine X AL ONE and it will be available from May 2022 in sizes: 7, 51, 54, 56, 58 and 61.
Starting off riding mountain bikes on the South Downs way, he soon made the switch the road cycling. Now, he’s come full circle and is back out on the trails, although the flat bars have been swapped for the curly ones of a gravel bike.
Always looking for the next challenge, he’s Everested in under 12 hours and ridden the South Downs Double in sub 20. Although dabbling in racing off-road, on-road and virtually, to date his only significant achievement has been winning the National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships in 2019.