Cross-country racing legend, Julien Absalon, had never raced a full-suspension bike in competition. Leading up to the 2014 UCI World Cup XCO race in Hafjell, Norway, he was convinced to ride the Fourstroke FS01. That decision paid off as he took home the gold by a fair margin over powerhouse, Nino Schurter (also riding a full-suspension bike).
As these two riders duked it out for the better part of the race, the commentators noted the proliferation of full-suspension bikes at the World Cup level and how the hardtail may just be dead. While some will dispute that, I’m a believer — even at the highest level of the sport. So, that said, 100mm travel full-suspension 29ers are clearly the mainstay of XC tracks worldwide, so let’s have a look at the newly-crowned World Cup championship bike.
Pick Your Flavor: XTR or XX1
For 2015, BMC will offer the FS01 in two flavors: Shimano XTR or SRAM XX1. Each will be kitted out with Fox suspension and a smattering of carbon components that tip the scales at 23 lbs and 22.3 lbs, respectively. For my liking, the XX1 is the obvious choice — and it’s nearly a full pound lighter. I find it refreshing that BMC and other manufacturers are offering their bikes in top-end SRAM and Shimano bits. Aficionados will no longer have to sacrifice build quality just to get their drivetrain of choice.
The heart of the FS01, and all BMC full-suspension models is the APS (Advanced Pivot System) suspension design. This dual-pivot design is similar to the VPP, DW-Link, CVA Suspension and others in that it has two small pivoting linkages — one at the shock and the other behind the bottom bracket. This suspension design offers excellent compliance on large and small hits while remaining active and efficient on climbs.
At 100mm travel, the FS01 sits squarely in the XC race category, but aims to excel in marathon and trail situations where comfort and stability are also revered. Below you’ll find a handful of specs.
- APS suspension design with 100mm travel
- Full-carbon frame set with 3 year warranty
- 12×142 rear axle
- Post-mount rear brakes with removable plugs (love this)
- Available with Shimano XTR or SRAM XX1 builds
- Weight: 23 or 22.3 lbs, respectively
- MSRP: $10,999 (official price TBA)
If you’re still a full-suspension doubter, after taking the 2014 UCI World Cup XCO championships, the BMC Fourstroke FS01 should help you cast those doubts aside and go fully.