How about that dropper eh?
How about that dropper eh?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll probably have noticed that trail bikes have been getting longer, lower and slacker for quite some time now. On the whole, that shift in geometry and sizing has been a positive one, but there’s a limit to how far you can go in one direction before you upset the balance of a bike and need to look at what’s happening at the opposite end.
And that’s exactly what BMC has done. With the new Speedfox, the Swiss Bicycle Manufacturing Company bucks the trend for increasingly short chainstays, to produce a bike that climbs better while offering a more balanced, stable ride on the descents. At 445mm, the chainstays on the BMC split the difference between extra long pioneering 29ers and the latest generation of big wheelers that are trying to mimic the ultra-short rear ends on 27.5in bikes.
In the same vein, BMC has reduced the amount of travel the 29er Speedfox delivers, chopping it back by 10mm to 120mm, to give a tighter more responsive ride. The head angle has been slackened by 0.25 degrees to 68.25, and that’s probably got more to do with the Speedfox sharing the same front end with BMC’s new Agonist marathon race bike than a true reflection of what the Speedfox is capable of. Like most modern trail bikes the seat angle is too slack, but the longer stays help compensate for this by keeping the front end from lifting when climbing.
It’s not the geometry on the new Speedfox that’s revolutionary though, it’s Trailcync… BMC’s new integrated dropper post that seamlessly toggles between shock settings as you change the saddle height.
Currently the Trailsync dropper post is only available on the carbon Speedfox bikes and it has three fixed positions. Full extension, 35mm drop or all the way down, the latter changes depending on the frame size.
By flipping the shock on its head and connecting the Fox remote lockout to the bottom of the seat post, the shock automatically locks out when you raise the saddle to full height. Drop the saddle height to cruse mode, or all the way down for descending, and the shock flips back to fully open.
It’s neat, and easy to use where the Maverick inspired handlebar remote lets you position the lever anywhere you want. Because the post is integrated with the frame and behaves like a single fork leg, albeit without the damping, you have to cut the seat post down to achieve the correct maximum saddle height. It’s pretty much set and forget though, and because the head of the post has 30mm of wiggle room you don’t need to be too precise. Also if you completely mess it up BMC has an aftermarket head with 60mm of adjustment that will get you out of a hole.
BMC claims that the only maintenance needed for the seat post is to clean of the wiper seal and add lube just like you would a fork leg. The post can also be easily removed for packing your bike and it’s a little bit lighter than a Fox Transfer or RockShox Reverb so there’s no weight penalty with the system.
Another big advantage is that it with a 1x drivetrain and a single under bar remote it really cleans up the cockpit. Best of all, you’re never going to drop into a descent and forget to open your shock again, because as soon as you drop your saddle height the rear suspension is already in the correct mode.