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This morning, high in the Swiss Alps, BMC debuted its new 2015 teammachine SLR03. Although there is plenty to discuss about with the SLR03, to truly understand the new bike, one must look at BMC’s top-of-the-line teammachine SLR01. The current SLR01 debuted with great success in 2013 under BMC team riders Philippe Gilbert, Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen. It was the first bike developed using BMC’s new development software termed ACE, Accelerated Composites Evolution; ACE is Finite Element Analysis software specifically for bicycle frames.
With ACE, BMC engineers are able to populate the program with three different sets of data; 30 different geometric parameters, 90 different tube cross section options and 90 different lay up parameters. The program runs simulations within these parameters and virtually designs and tests the frames. Based on these results the computer makes changes and then designs a new, better frame in terms of weight, stiffness and compliance. The process continues on its own, without any additional input from engineers.
Eventually, the computer produces a frame design, based on thousands of virtual designs and virtual tests. The engineers then re-populate the program with the same data and the process starts over. In total BMC ran the program eight times. The program was initially designed to study genetics in populations and runs very organically, based on the decisions the program makes along the way the simulation will deliver different results, hence the reason BMC ran it eight times. In total over 34,000 virtual prototype frames were created in just under a year of development.
The new design process resulted in an SLR01 frame that was 25-percent torsionally stiffer across the entire bike and 10-percent laterally stiffer at the bottom bracket. The frame also had 10-percent more vertical compliance. Overall the SLR01 saw a 50-percent improvement in its stiffness to weight ratio over the 2012 SLR 01. Once the SLR01 was complete BMC applied the ACE technology to the slighter heavier SLR02. For 2015 BMC has again trickled down the technology to the new SLR03.
The new teammachine SLR03 weights in at 1230 grams, complete with frame hardware, in a size 54. Trickling down from the teammachine SLR01 to the SLR03 frame is the asymmetric chain stays, oversized down tube, press fit BB86 shell, 1.25 to 1.5 inch head tube and 27.2 diameter seat tube. To match the ride of the frame, BMC mates it to a full carbon fork. The teammachine SLR03 will be available with three part builds. At the top, is a Shimano 105 equipped version followed by Tiagra and Sora equipped models. The SLR03 will be available in five sizes.
Prices and availability will be announced at Eurobike in August.