LA CLAYETTE, France, (VN) — Hidden amongst the BMC Racing squad’s regular fleet of glossy red and black BMC Team Machines at the damp and drizzling start of Wednesday’s Critérium du Dauphiné stage was an unfamiliar matte black model, standing out in its subtlety. The bike is a brand new, as-of-yet unreleased aerodynamic road frame from the Swiss manufacturer, bearing number 13, that of George Hincapie. The American rode the bike for its 40km of racing on Tuesday, but opted for his regular ride on Wednesday due to forecasted rain.
Most likely dubbed the Time Machine Road, a model that was approved by the UCI in mid-March and added to the governing body’s online approved frames list shortly thereafter, the frame is seeing its first race here at the Dauphiné. Currently, Hincapie is the only rider with access to it, but BMC head mechanic Ian Sherburne told VeloNews.com that the team would like to have more available before for the Tour de France. Whether that is possible depends simply on manufacturing and shipping logistics, he said.
Just as with Trek’s Madone 7 soft launch on Monday, details about the new rig were impossible to come by.
“I’m under strict instructions not to tell you much,” said Sherburne.
But there has been a visible effort to increase integration with an eye towards reducing aerodynamic drag. Notable features include a fully integrated front brake, a bottom bracket-mounted rear brake, aero tube shapes, and a hidden Di2 battery.
As the name suggests, a number of features found on the new frame appear to be borrowed directly from the Time Machine TM01 time trial frame, which debuted at the Dauphiné last year. According to Sherburne, the brakes are functionally the same as those used on the TM01; the bottom bracket area looks very similar as well, and the top tube uses the same, trademark BMC T-shape. The seat stays attach low on the seat tube just as they do on the TM01, and the chainstays are horizontal for most of their length before turning upwards sharply just before the rear dropout.
Check out the gallery for a detailed look at the new rig, and keep an eye out here for official release information later on.