BMC Fourstroke FS01 – Final Review: c_g
It has been this May, when we went to the premier of the BMC Fourstroke FS01 29″er. As you can read in the premier post (here) this 100 mm full suspension bike is filled to the brim with the latest technologies and as you can read in our first impression post (here) – It also has been a great bike to ride. Then we requested a Fourstroke FS01 (just like the one ridden, but in size Med) for a full review which we have been riding since early November. To recapture my impressions of these rides go here. As announced there, the last weeks on the bike have been done with two alternating front forks.
First it has been the MAGURA TS8R which we also have had on test (here). Here it was less the bike, but more the fork, that I wanted to investigate how it would do on a XC full suspension bike. With the same 100 mm of travel and axle to crown length it had no effect on the bike´s geometry. But it did turn the BMC FS01 into a dedicated XC bike, with notably less small bump sensitivity. The front to back balance was best preserved when setting the rear shock to the platform activated „trail“ mode. Speaking of the FS01, well it did rather well with this significantly different fork from the stock FOX F32, which in itself clearly shows the universal nature of the BMC FS01.
The other phase was going in the opposite direction. I wanted to see how much trail potential lay within the FS01 platform – particularly because BMC is offering the Fourstroke FS02 (carbon main frame, alloy rear triangle) in a version called Trailcrew, which comes with a 120mm Fox fork. So we mounted a longer FOX F32 Talas fork to see how that would ride. My initial impression when riding it was that of a slightly slower handling and calmer bike, The climb-ability and efficiency did suffer a tiny bit, but in no way as much as the rough stuff and downhill performance soared. To my positive surprise the 100 mm travel on the rear managed to feel rather balanced with the superb front. By my experiences I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a 120 mm fork on the Fourstroke 29″er for those single track warriors riding in constantly challenging terrain. For my terrain and riding, I would likely favor to have an adjustable travel fork and get the best of both worlds, but it is good to know the Fourstroke´s handling and performance won´t be upset with a longer fork – it will only change its character.
Concluding the final stages I feel the FS01 is an admirably versatile bike, being able to perform well with such a variety of different front shocks. Something I have only seen in one other bike so far – the ROCKY MOUNTAIN Element 970 RSL BC Edition (here ).
Not much of a surprise – the components on my test bike (which is the top of the line XTR, EASTON package) equally gave no reason to complain (well, I didn´t like the saddle, but hey I hardly ever like a FIZIK saddle on a test bike ). Particularly the quiet SHADOW Plus rear derailleur and the super controllable XTR Brakes stuck out to us.
VERDICT: When it comes to summarizing my time on the BMC Fourstroke, I have a really hard time finding any fault at all. There is not one single detail of the frame that is not designed and executed to maximize performance and versatility – stiffness and precision are top notch, the tire clearance is ample for any XC and trail tire, the APS suspension is efficient and capable of anything from XC race to All-Mountain riding – up and down, the geometry and handling are well balanced, agile and fun (and without any peculiarities), the frame weight (about 2070 g incl. shock and hardware) are State-Of-The-Art, and by being dropper post and chain guide compatible it is ready to become a true trail bike … everything is there and turns this bike into a near perfect XC/Endurance bike, that performs really well on rougher trails, too.
While being a highly efficient XC bike in its core, the testing has shown that it does not shy away from being ridden very aggressively as well. Indeed it does rather well with a longer travel fork as well.
Yes, perfection can cost you an arm and a leg, but luckily you can find the same traits and performance level (only at a slightly higher weight level) in the Fourstroke FS02 and FS03 bikes as well (carbon main frame and alloy rear triangle for the FS02 and all alloy frame for the FS03).