New BMC Kaius is a race-tuned gravel bike with a 910g frame and aerodynamic tube shapes

Swiss brand's new gravel racer borrows tech from its road bikes but uses an 'unprecedented' carbon lay-up for speed and comfort over rough terrain

BMC's new gravel race bike, the Kaius
(Image credit: BMC)

BMC has launched the Kaius 01, a carbon gravel race bike with the emphasis very much on the race.

To create a performance-driven bike for gravel racing, BMC has designed a lightweight frame - it has a claimed weight of 910g - with aero tube shapes not too dissimilar from those used on its popular Roadmachine (opens in new tab)road bike. Naturally, the tyre clearance is more generous, with the narrow dropped stays accommodating rubber up to 44mm in width.

BMC Kaius 01 gravel race bike

(Image credit: BMC)

However, while the bike’s silhouette may look familiar, BMC says the carbon lay-up used for the Kaius is “unprecedented”. To handle the rigours of gravel races over a variety of surfaces, it opted for a lay-up that blends strength, stiffness and compliance, while still managing to keep the overall weight down. The complete module for the Kaius ONE, including frame and forks, seatpost and cockpit, has a claimed weight of just 1.785kg.

BMC's Kaius 01 gravel race bike in action

(Image credit: BMC)

Frame areas exposed to what BMC calls “rocks and shocks”, such as the lower down tube, have been beefed up to offer greater protection, while areas such as the bottom bracket use high-module fibres to create the required stiffness for efficient power transfer. The lay-up is also designed to add compliance where it’s needed - a crucial component for gravel races which can last many hours. 

This blend of attributes results in a bike that BMC claims is “tuned to the gravel wavelength to harness the precision and performance of our leading road technologies whilst ensuring front-end stability at speed and high traction on loose surfaces.”

BMC says the Kaius 01 was built to be fast, and with this aim in mind, it boasts an integrated ICS Carbon Aero Cockpit. Like the ICS cockpit featured on its road bikes it hides the cables and hoses from the wind to help created a “reduced frontal section”. However, being a gravel race bike, the bar shape features a narrow 360mm top width and a 12.5 degree flare. This combination should allow for both an aerodynamically favoured position when riding on the tops and additional control when in the drops.

BMC's Kaius 01 has an integrated aero cockpit

(Image credit: BMC)

The bike’s aerodynamics are enhanced further, BMC says, thanks to the addition of its Aerocore design, which neatly integrates the bottle cages into the frame, presumably to help reduce drag.

BMC Kaius 01 gravel race bike

(Image credit: BMC)

As for the geometry, BMC says it’s again tuned the numbers for speed. This equates to a longer reach, which moves the front wheel forward for better stability and traction, balanced with a shorter stem to keep the handling responsive. The Kaius 01 is offered across six frame sizes, from a 47cm to a 61cm. A quick look at the geometry chart shows that a 54cm has a wheelbase of 1015mm, a headtube angle of 72 degrees and a stack height of 550mm. All these confirm BMC’s desire to create a fast and agile race bike; in fact they are similar numbers to many road bikes, indicating that the Kaius could be well equipped to handle some additional duties on the road.

However, despite this focus on speed, the Kaius is designed to be versatile enough to handle much rougher terrain - it’s dropper post ready and can be used with BMC’s MTT suspension stem. To add to its versatility it can also be run with both a 1x and 2x drivetrain.

BMC's Kaius gravel bike in action

(Image credit: BMC)

The Kaius 01 is offered in three models, the ONE, TWO and THREE. 

ONE is the top-tier offering and features SRAM’s Red eTap AXS groupset, Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels and an ICS Carbon Aero cockpit. It retails for £11,350 / $11,999.

TWO comes equipped with SRAM Force eTap AXS, Zipp 303S wheels and a BMC RCBO1 carbon bar and ICS2 stem. It retails for £8,350 / $8,999.

THREE uses SRAM’s Rival eTap AXS groupset, CRD-400 wheels and the BMC RCBO1 and ICS2 stem. It retails for £5,699 / $5,999.

For more information visit bmc-switzerland.com (opens in new tab)

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