BMC Team Machine SLR01 - $3,998.95

Make a quick examination of Team BMC's riders' palmares and you'll find three former World Champions, the current World Champion, a multiple winner of the Tour's Points Race, and the 2011 Tour winner. Take a look even further, and you'll find that they all share a common set of traits: They produce wicked power for flat races and sprint finishes. They can punch a hole in the peloton on the cobbles, but at the same time, each can climb like a gravity-immune freak -- remember Hushovd's seven days in the Maillot Jaune' To accommodate this, BMC's goal in designing the most advanced frame that it's ever produced, the Team Machine SLR01, was to make it the all-purpose bike for the vastness of these needs. As a result, BMC had to make the frame around 900 grams for the climbs, give it a big injection of vertical compliance for the cobbles, and to enhance its lateral and torsional stiffness for sprints. Lightness and durability; comfort and stiffness -- when it comes to frame design, aren't they opposites' All too true. Which is why BMC had to re-evaluate its choices in materials, and entirely re-think its tube shapes and configurations. In order to give the frame dampening where desired, and flex-resistance where required, BMC applied stepped tube profiles and new carbon fiber alignments and compositions. High modulus layers of carbon are used where stiffness is desired, high-strength layers are used where loads are heaviest, and high-elasticity layers were used where compliance was needed. This lengthy project of optimizing the overall ride quality of the SLR01 came to be known as BMC's Tuned Compliance Concept (TCC). Where does BMC's TCC work make the biggest impact on the Team Machine SLR01' It's most evident in 3 areas. First is the seatstays. Their slender profile from the brake bridge down to the dropouts is reminiscent of the design that's found on the Cervelo R3 and the Ridley Excalibur, where these stays act as leaf springs to provide vertical compliance. - $3,998.95