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BMC Racing Team BMC Impec 2014

BMC Racing Team BMC Impec 2014

 
BMC Racing Team BMC Impec 2014
Pieter Van Pietersen



With many of the star riders ending their 3 year contracts in 2014 we might see more wins from them now.

BMC Racing Team is using a BMC Impec frame, Shimano C50 Tubular wheels and Dura-Ace Di2 components.

The bike components used by BMC Racing Team are listed below.



Impec 2014

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BMC Impec 2014 Complete Bike

The BMC squad are using The TimeMachine TMR01, The TeamMachine SLR01 and this Impec in 2014. All are fantastic bikes.

TimeMachine TMR01
Aerodynamics: The TimeMachine comes in just behind Merida and Cervelo, which is an excellent result.
Weight: 1549g frame and forks - standard for expensive aero frames.
And this bike is expensive. I guess that's what happens if it is made in Switzerland.

TeamMachine SLR01
Aerodynamics: The TeamMachine has a wide down tube, which means 16W more power is required at 30mph compared to the TimeMachine.
Weight: 1208g frame and forks - good for a non aero frame.

For 2/3 of the price you could get a better performing Canyon Ultimate CF. Perhaps get one when it is on sale.

Weight: -g

RRP in USD: $13750 TimeMachine $9630 TeamMachine



Dura-Ace 9000

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SRM Dura-Ace 9000 Power meter

This is the first power meter brand, from around 1986. As a result, the design appears to be the most mature and reliable. Strain gauges in the crank measure the force, and this data is sent wirelessly to the head unit.

These power meters seem to work reliably for years. Worst case is to replace the electronics, which SRM service can do (cost about $600). SRM service also need to replace the batteries for you, which is expensive and inconvenient (about $100 + calibration). When the battery is replaced, the zero offset needs to be adjusted, but you will need an oscilloscope to get the correct settings. It's not as easy as pushing a button.

SRMs are high quality and robust, which is why people love them.

SRM adds the most weight to your bike compared to other power meters: 208g over a normal Dura-Ace crank.

Pros: reliable, accurate, easy to swap between bikes. The most bling power meter to have on your bike.

Cons: Expensive, heaviest power meter, doesn't auto-calibrate due to temperature, doesn't do L-R, unit has to be sent for expensive battery replacement, no GPS in the head unit (although this is coming with the PowerControl 8, summer 2014 or pair it with a Garmin). Software is free but adequate. Better to buy WKO+



Weight: 858g

RRP in USD: $3500

Dura-Ace SRM 9000(crank only, 172.5 compact) $3295 Amazon.com

Dura-Ace C50 tubular WH-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace C50 tubular WH-9000 Wheels

Another piece of advice you'll ignore: don't bother with tubs. They won't sing along like you've read. They won't make you go faster. They are a pain, as gluing is messy and time consuming. You need a stash of tubs in the garage, maturing like fine wines. At $100 a tub, punctures are expensive.

While the pros have a couple of guys with strong thumbs who can glue all the tubs for them, you are better off with clinchers.

At this point I could recommend the C50 clincher version, saving you $900. BUT the C50 clincher is closer to 1900g (claimed 1672g), which you will feel when racing. As you accelerate out of corners, your bike will feel like it is mounted on a couple of massive gyros.

Go with the Shimano C24, or if you want deep section carbon, fork out for the ENVEs and Zipps of this world. My article about aero wheels here.

If you must get deep carbon tubs, then set pair will serve you very well.



Weight: 1396 g claimed, 1,460g actual (pair)

RRP in USD: $2700

You can buy the C50 tubular wheels for $2500 here or for $2145 at Wiggle. Watch out for fakes, there seem to be a lot of them for sale.

The C50 clincher wheel has an aluminium rim and sells for $1450. However these wheels don't offer much aerodynamic advantage to the C24 and are heavier and cost more, so the C24 at $916 or $798 at Wiggle gets my recommendation for everyday use.

Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 - 11 Speed Levers

I'm glad to report that the Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 levers are interchangable.
The Ultegra levers look just as good, and are 76g heavier for the pair, but you will save about $350 (half price).

Both levers use the E-tube wiring system. You need to ensure that all firmware is up-to-date to get everything to work together properly. To do this you will either need to:

1) Take it to your local bike shop to upgrade.

2) Buy an internal BCR2 seatpost Di2 battery. The charger doubles as a PC connector so you can use e-Tube software at home. The charger and battery costs about $250.

3) Buy a PCE1 PC Interface Device for about $250.
This plugs into a laptop USB port and a lever port.
You then update using e-Tube software.

Shimano did think one thing to push you to upgrade. Part SW-7972 are little buttons that are mounted on the inside of your bars under the hoods, and allow you to bang it into the 11 sprocket without coming off the drops. You can't fit these to the Ultegra levers.

Overall, Dura-Ace or Ultegra, these are beautiful shifters which feel superb in your hands and of course brake and shift perfectly.


Weight: 237g pair

RRP in USD: $861 pair

The Shifter set (left and right shifters) sells for $699. The Ultegra ST-6870 Di2 STI Lever Set is $349

Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 - 11 Speed Rear Derailleur

Like the front derailleur, this is a slick bit of kit. Faultless shifting yet again.

If you go with the Ultegra version, you'll have an extra 43g of bulbous motor popping out at you. Ugly.
I recommend the Dura-Ace version, although preferably as part of an entire bike as buying individual parts is expensive.


Weight: 217g

RRP in USD: $830

The Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 sells for $534.
The Di2 Ultegra RD-6870-GS Rear Derailleur at $280 is cheaper, but bulkier.

Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 - 11 Speed Front Derailleur

Well it has to be said, this is a pretty sexy derailleur. Shifting with Di2 is faultless. I sometimes find myself shifting up and down gears just for the fun of it. I like the little electric motor sound. I feel like a cyborg.

The Ultegra version is 162g, so 48g heavier, and has added bulk. But it is about half the price.

Let's face it, the Ultegra version shifts perfectly, and makes total sense. But the Dura-Ace version is the one you should get.

Weight: 114g

RRP in USD: $559

You can buy a Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur for $350 here. You will certainly get the best deal by buying a whole bike with Di2 fitted, or getting a groupset.

Consider the Ultegra Di2 option for $211.

Dura-Ace BR-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000 Brakes

These brakes work well, are fairly light, easy to clean, and the pads are not expensive. Nothing bad to report here. The Shimano pads are also very easy to swap out, which is useful if swapping between aluminum and carbon rims.

A direct-mount version of the rear brake can be purchased. This is for attachment to the bottom bracket for a more aero effect, e.g. BR-9010



Weight: 293g front and rear

RRP in USD: $401

These brakes sell for $282 for the set (Black/Silver). Make sure you are buying a front and rear brake set, and not just a single brake.

Dura-Ace CS-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 Cassette

Available in 11-23, 11-28, 12-28, 11-25 and 12-25t

The largest 4 sprockets are made from titanium to reduce weight.

These sprockets are mounted on a carbon spider. There have been reports of these spiders collapsing due to rider power. This may well have been resolved by Mar 2014.

The CS-9000 11-23 version is 1g heavier than the CS-7900 version but you get the bonus 11th sprocket. Apparently an additional sprocket makes your ride that little bit smoother. I don't notice anything.

I've not noticed if wear is any better between Dura-Ace and Ultegra. I tend to keep my chains clean and change them 3-4 time per year, so I get good sprocket wear on both types.



Weight: 163g 11-23

RRP in USD: $360

You'll need a new one of these at least every year, even if you keep your chain clean. The price of cassettes has really rocketed over the last 10 years. The CS-9000 sells for $208 (12-25T) or $201.23 here, which is a decent saving over retail price.

Look to the 6800 Ultegra 11-Speed Cassette, 11-28T at $80 for your training wheels. I've found that the Ultegra wears just as well and shifts just as well but is a few grams heavier.

Aliante

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Fi'zi:k Aliante Saddle

This saddle is supposedly for those with a 'Rigid spine', i.e. you can't touch your toes.
I've had two, and with both of them the carbon seat shell cracked, making the saddle quite spongy like a cushion. The problem seems to happen on the Ariones too. Perhaps it was more comfortable after that, but since it wasn't designed to be like that, I don't rate it highly.

The scuff guards on the sides of the saddle are a good touch, as bikes are always being either crashed or leaned against walls or the ground. The penalty is only a few grams.

One interesting thing was that I had a Cr Moly Aliante and a Ti railed/ carbon Aliante which weighed exactly the same, despite one being double the price of the other.



Weight: 200g

RRP in USD: $350

The Fizik Aliante Carbon sells for $234 here or for $250 here.

Dura-Ace PD-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 Pedals

An optional 4mm longer axle is available for the bow-legged among us. Jens Voight and Mark Cavendish both use wider axles. The pedal body is almost identical to the Ultegra version, but the bearings are superior.

The Ultegra version retails at about half the price and only 6g per pedal heavier. Since pedals end up getting scraped on kerbs and corners, it is difficult to justify the Dura-Ace over Ultegra. The bearings probably last a bit longer, although I've not had trouble with either.



Weight: 248g pair

RRP in USD: $348

The Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 Carbon Road Pedal sells for $210 or for $219 at JensonUSA or $201.23 at Wiggle. The Ultegra pedals sell for $143 or $121 at Wiggle

ERGONOVA

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3T ERGONOVA Handlebars

You can pay an $400 for the LTD version which is 18g lighter), or $105 for the PRO version which is made from aluminium and 67g heavier (265g for 42cm). The ERGONOVA has a short drop of 123mm compared with the standard 3T 139mm. That's good if you want to avoid spacers below your stem for the pro look but still want to be able to ride on the drops.

Other bars available to the 3T sponsored riders are the ERGOSUM $400 , which also has a short drop (128mm) with a flattened section for your hand on the drops, the ROTUNDO which is a deeper drop bar at 139mm and TORNOVA $420 which is deep - 139mm but also has a wide platform up top.

Finally, there are the more sculpted AERONOVA (short drop) and AEROTUNDO (deep drop) bars. These have aero styling on the tops.

Remember that 3T bar width is specified center-to-center at hoods. Drops flare by 2 and are approx 1/2 inch / 1 cm wider at bar end.



Weight: 198g (42cm)

RRP in USD: $325

Eronova Pro (Aluminium) selling for $105 here , ERGONOVA Team (Carbon) $282 or $268 here.

3T-ARX-TEAM

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3T 3T-ARX-TEAM Stem

A solid performing stem. Why use carbon when aluminium can be stiffer, lighter and cheaper?

The bolts are titanium, which saves a few grams over steel, but makes them weaker. Torque carefully!

If buying, go for the 17 degree version, so your stem will be parallel with the ground.



Weight: 127g for 110mm

RRP in USD: $109.95

The ARX-TEAM sells for $97 with a -17deg angle or for $71.33 at Wiggle

Competition 22 Tubular

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Continental Competition 22 Tubular Tires

I've used these for many years and can happily report that they are great tires. I've rarely suffered from punctures - twice with pieces of flint and once when I left the wheels fully pumped in a hot car. Expensive mistake.

Did they 'sing' as tubular tires are supposed to? No, not really. I actually felt that my GP4000S clinchers rolled better. I tried putting 140psi (10bar) but it was quite jarring. I tried 120psi, but that felt a bit sluggish.

Eventually, I decided to stop the hassle of fitting tubulars and have gone with deep section ENVE clinchers. A better solution for anyone who doesn't want to spend hours, effort and money on tire maintenance when they could be lying in bed watching TV (resting).

I'm still running Conti Competitions on my disk wheel.

The pro riders are using a different version of this tire called the Pro Ltd, in 25mm size (standard is 22mm). Continental Pro Ltd tubular. It has a latex inner tube rather than the standard butyl. The ride feels more supple as a result, but like all latex tubes, they do lose air overnight. I can't find anywhere to buy the Pro Ltd versions as they can only usually be sourced on eBay from pro team mechanics.

Veloflex do a similar quality tire with latex inner tube which is available to the public, and FMB are now working with Specialized, so expect their tubulars to be available too.



Weight: 230g

RRP in USD: $105

The Continental Competition tubular sells for $81 or $68 here. It is very difficult to find the Pro Ltd version.

Dura-Ace CN-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000 Chain

This is an 11 speed chain. The old Shimano chains were the best wearing in tests. This 11 speed chain shouldn't wear any faster than the excellent 10 speed versions as the rivets are similar. I get about 5000 dry km per chain. Make sure you follow good chain maintenance procedures to maximize wear.

DA chains used to require being mounted in one direction, but this has now changed - they can be mounted any way. I imagine this is because so many muppets were not reading the very CLEAR instructions supplied by Shimano, then complaining about a noisy drive chain and poor shifting.

Shimano has also removed the slots that were drilled into the inner plates, yet the chain, being narrower, is 23g lighter. It isn't much, but it all adds up.

Weight: 243g for 114 links

RRP in USD: $58

The Dura-Ace 11 speed chain sells for $47 here or $41 here.

Sior Mio

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Elite Sior Mio Bottle Cage

It works well, and is fractionally lighter than the Elite Custom Race. the plastic tab at the bottom can snap off. I prefer the Custom Race as it gives a more reassuring fit as it has a rubber expansion joint.

Some people find the bottle hard to remove, but waxing the cage seems to solve the issue. There may be some fit issues for certain bottles. Again, without the rubber there's no give.



Weight: 36g

RRP in USD: $30

The Sior Mio is selling for $20.55 here and $29 here .


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