Sitting just below the professional level, but expensive SLR01, the BMC Teammachine SLR02 105 claims to offer similar performance at a more affordable price. We put it to the test.
The BMC Teammachine SLR02 105 is the little brother of the flagship SLR01, as used by the BMC pro team. BMC has used its own lightweight premium carbon for the SLR02 as opposed to the SLR01’s ultra lightweight premium version. There’s a difference in feel, but it’s slight. The lower price does not result in as big a weight penalty as you may think, with the SLR02 frame being around 160g heavier.
BMC has also tweaked the geometry: the SLR01 is available in size 56, with the equivalent SLR02 being a 57cm. The main difference here is the stack, with the SLR02 being roughly 1cm higher at the front end.
A complete Shimano 105 groupset, including the brakes, features a mid-compact 52/36 chainset and 11-28t rear cassette. Crucially, the rear mech on our test bike is short caged, so if you want anything over 30t, you will require a longer cage model. For versatility, we would have preferred to see this bike come with the longer cage as standard. Bars and stem are proprietary BMC, while the saddle is a Fizik Ardea.
The price paid for a quality frame and components is cheaper wheels. Shimano RS11s are solid and enjoyable to ride in this package, but there is no escaping that this bike is underequipped in this regard. The 23mm tyres were disappointing, too.
The BMC Teammachine SLR02 comes with fairly wide 44cm bars, a not great for getting through tight gaps in a bunch, but probably more comfortable if you’ve got wider shoulders.
The ride is superb. The SLR02 is a harmonious marriage of excitement and comfort, feeling perfectly balanced and poised to attack while darting through corners like it was on rails. This is in part down to the relatively short wheelbase (992mm). There was noticeable flex in the Shimano RS11 wheels and their weight can hamper acceleration, but they are still good enough for training rides and stand up well to rough roads.
For £1,900 you get a complete 105 groupset, including brakes, and a top quality frame that looks great.
The SLR02 loses marks on value with regards to its wheels and tyres. We would like to see a longer warranty, with the three years offered by BMC being round about average, but by no means exceptional
For more details visit the Evans website.
The BMC Teammachine SLR02 105 is a great bike that will not leave you dissatisfied. If you upgraded the wheels and tyres, this bike would be exceptional.