They say: “The Swiss army knife just got a longer blade”
Need to Know
- Enduro race weapon with 150mm travel
- Flyweight carbon TF01 and TF02 boast claimed weight of 27lb
- Some of the shortest head tubes on the market to keep front end height low
- Integrated down tube/chainstay protection, chain guide and sleek removable front mech mount
The first BMC to cross our path was, frankly, a bit of an ugly duckling. Quirky, angular tubing profiles and leftfield styling made for an awkward first impression. But once we’d got over our prejudices and actually swung a leg over the 2011 Trailfox we were hooked. It might not have been much of a looker, but the personality was infectious.
Well, it seems, fairy tales do come true, because that ugly duckling has grown into a beautiful swan; whatever your view on 29in wheels, we’re sure you’ll agree that the new Trailfox 29 is a gorgeous piece of carbon sculpture.
The bar height sits exceptionally low for a long-travel 29er thanks to that squat tapered head tube. A long, sloping top tube gives generous clearance while the clean down tube – helped by slick internal cable routing – gets purposeful underbelly protection. All the suspension components are clustered around the heart of the bike, creating an air of core stability and the angles of the short rear triangle feed perfectly into the mainframe to give a polished, holistic profile.
Handsome as it is, we’re equally excited by the Advanced Pivot System (APS) twin-link suspension design – mainly because there’s no seatstay bridge to batter into the seat tube oat full compression – and the thoroughly modern geometry. By that we mean long front ends, low bottom brackets and the ability to choose your frame size by how much stability you want, as well as how tall you are. We must also applaud the BMC boffins for ensuring enough front triangle real estate to accommodate a water bottle on all frame sizes and designing one of the slickest removable front derailleur mounts on the market.
BMC owners tend to have deep pockets, and exclusivity is still one of our main concerns with the new Trailfox range. The top end TF01 you see here won’t actually be available in the UK. In its place there will be the equally luxurious, and even better equipped, TF01 XX1 Trailcrew for six grand. At the other end of the scale there’s the all-alloy TF03 at £2,600; a bike that could give Specialized’s Enduro Comp 29 a run for its money and inject some healthy competition into the long travel 29er sector.