The Takeaway: The Twostroke 01 One is a high-value and high-performing carbon hardtail mountain bike.
- Premium carbon frame
- Good blend of budget and performance components
- Modern XC geometry
Weight: 21.6 lb. (XL)
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BMC has built its reputation on innovation, style, and premium bikes. Rarely has the Swiss brand scored high marks in the value department, instead trading heavily on the cachet of its name to command high prices. But the new Twostroke 01 One flips that script on its head.
This bike is a high-performance hardtail aimed squarely at value-minded riders. BMC cleverly orchestrated its combination of high-end and budget parts to retain the feel of a premium bike without commanding a commensurate price. Exhibit A: The frame is made with BMC’s premium carbon. It’s nothing new for the brand to use its best carbon on bikes that sit several rungs down on the product lineup. The Fourstroke 01 Three has exactly that, except in that case the high-end frame is balanced out by cheap parts and heavy wheels that overshadow the frame.
Performance and value aside, it wouldn’t be a BMC if there wasn’t also a heavy focus on aesthetics. Objectively speaking, looking fast doesn’t help you go fast, but it sure doesn’t hurt. The engineers took their design inspiration from the F-35 fighter jet, and that influence is most evident where the seat stays meet the top and seat tubes in a fashion that resembles the backswept wings of an airplane.
5 Things We Love About The BMC Twostroke 01 One
The sleek lines and blocky, geometric shapes continue with the flattened top tube and large, oversize downtube. The rear brake hose and shift cable tuck neatly inside the frame, and hidden inside the headtube is a fork stopper that protects the frame from damage by the fork in the event of a crash. As with the Teammachine SLR01 One, the D-shaped carbon seatpost on the Twostroke 01 One is intended to add vertical compliance. Given that shape, it may surprise you to learn that the Twostroke can, in fact, work with dropper posts—a shim inserted in the seat tube makes the bike compatible with 27.2mm internally routed dropper posts. That size limits your options, but we’d take bigger issue if the bike wasn’t compatible with any droppers.
BMC Twostroke 01 One Details
Wheel Size: 29 in.
Fork: 100mm RockShox SID Select
Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 Eagle
Cranks: 175mm SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon
Cassette: SRAM GX Eagle 10-52
Brakes: SRAM Level TLM
Wheels: DT Switt XR 1700
Tires: 2.25-in. Vittoria Barzo
Saddle: Fizik Antares R7
Seatpost: 01 Premium Carbon D-Shaped seat post
Handlebar: 760mm BMC MFB01 Carbon
Stem: BMC MSM01
Tire Clearance: 2.3 in.
The bike rolls on aluminum tubeless-ready DT Swiss hoops with 25mm-wide rims, and is hung with a combination of SRAM GX and X01 Eagle parts. The rear shifter is from the newly redesigned GX Eagle family, and the improved, smoother feel of the lever is apparent. It’s also helpful that it’s moving an X01 Eagle rear derailleur, yet another example of careful component selection to balance price and performance by BMC.
The 100mm RockShox SID Select is a mid-range fork that, although not as refined as its more expensive siblings, performs fantastically on both rough and rocky East Coast paths and smooth and fast flow trails.
Our Twostroke 01 One sits atop the Twostroke 01 family, and all bikes share the same premium carbon frame. Next in line is the Twostroke 01 Two. For $3,299, you get a complete SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain and a RockShox Reba RL fork. The Twotroke 01 Three has a combination of SRAM NX and GX Eagle parts, a RockShox Recon Silver RL fork, and will set you back $2,699. Last but not least is the Twostroke 01 Four ($2,199), with its RockShox Judy Silver TK fork and Shimano Deore drivetrain.
There are also two options with aluminum frames: the Twostroke AL One ($1,599) and the Twostroke AL Two ($1,199).
Modern XC Geometry
As you’d expect from a bike touting modern XC geometry, the Twostroke 01 One is longer, lower, and slacker than the Team Elite hardtail it replaces. A 67-degree head angle is more relaxed by half a degree than the laidback Specialized Epic, and you’d be forgiven for thinking such a slack front end would negatively affect low-speed handling. It doesn’t. Conversely, the 75-degree seat angle is very aggressive but goes a long way toward keeping weight over the back wheel on steep climbs.
In terms of fit, the Twostroke is on the longer side. Our XL test bike had 485mm of reach, 5mm more than the already long Specialized Epic Hardtail, and 25mm longer than the Cannondale F-Si. The 623mm stack height is 13mm lower than the former and 12mm lower than the latter.
A Hardtail For Purists And Newbies Alike
As brands update the geometry on XC bikes to be more in line with current trends in course design, I’ve begun to notice a shift in performance. In some cases, low-speed maneuverability seems to be a casualty of making a bike that can haul on rough, gnarly downhills. These bikes feel best at race speed but at times a little unwieldy when tackling the rocky backcountry-style trails that are common near our HQ in southeastern Pennsylvania. What struck me right away is how easy the Twostroke 01 One was to wrestle through those trails. Slow, tight, and technical presented no trouble at all, and the bike offered a level of compliance that’s uncommon on hardtails. It had a feeling similar to the Trek Procaliber 9.7, with its IsoSpeed decoupler, but without the slight bobbing sensation.
That’s perfectly in line with the goals BMC laid out when designing the Twostroke—comfort and compliance were as high on the list as performance. With that level of comfort (keep in mind this is a hardtail, so comfort is a relative term), there’s an edge that’s lost. The bike is as stiff and responsive to pedaling input as you can ask for from any carbon hardtail, but it’s far more subdued than the spunky Specialized Epic Hardtail Pro.
The Twostroke 01 One strikes a wonderful balance between performance for riders who like the feel of a hardtail—purists who appreciate that style of unfiltered riding—and those just dipping their toes into the XC waters.