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  1. #1
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    What is wrong with the BMC trailfox?

    I have been eyeballing a million different long travel 29ers for a while. I am looking for something new and exciting to replace my Kona Honzo.

    The Kona Honzo has 415mm or 16.3 inch chainstays which is super short. This makes the bike super nimble, easy to manual, jump, and wheelie. Its a total blast to ride.

    Long story short, the BMC Trailfox seems to have some of the shortest chainstays on the market for a long travel 29er at 435mms or 17.1 inches... Yet EVERY review about the bike agrees that the bike is cumbersome, hard to handle, and slow in the corners. The bike does have a long front center/ top tube which increases the wheelbase...

    Is the long top tube/front center the reason why this bike is so slow to handle? If so, why dont people down-size the frame to shorten FC?

    Or is there something fundamentally flawed with the design?

    Spotted: New BMC 29er Spotted Under Aaron Bradford

    I saw this on Bikerumor today, and since then the BMC brand has been on my mind.

    Thanks,
    Sheepo
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  2. #2
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    BB height is my guess. if you want nimble and quick handling, look for both short chainstays AND a low bottom bracket. The Trailfox apparently has a 13.5" bb height, which is pretty high when you consider the rest of the geometry and big wheels. It will want to fight you through turns more than something with a 13" or lower bb height. And yes, half an inch of bb height does mean a LOT in terms of handling.
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  3. #3
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    I don't know anything about the bike, but I don't care for the name, it's a turn-off. Yelli Screamy, which I own and shorten to "Yelli", Honzo, and the one from transition, those are appealing. It sounds like they were trying to avoid a dispute with Fox. This is one where I probably wouldn't buy the bike because of the name.

  4. #4
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    What is wrong with the BMC trailfox?

    I actually have a TF01 and I love the bike myself. I have read the reviews, and I just don't agree with them. The review on mtbr actually was pretty good. To each their own, but I am trying to sale my other bike because I never ride it since I got my TF. Good luck with your decision.


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  5. #5
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    The knock on bmc is that it is a road bike company designing mountain bikes for roadies. Their geometry and ride design tends to be a road bike for dirt which most true mountain bikers don't like. Some love them. Seems most don't. But if you like it, ride it

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaysrubi View Post
    I actually have a TF01 and I love the bike myself. I have read the reviews, and I just don't agree with them. The review on mtbr actually was pretty good. To each their own, but I am trying to sale my other bike because I never ride it since I got my TF. Good luck with your decision.

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    What is your riding style? And where do you ride most often?

    What is your take on the bike? And what other bikes have you spent time on in the past to compare it to?

    Thanks for your input!
    John
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  7. #7
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    What is wrong with the BMC trailfox?

    I have ridden in a variety of terrains. Techy trails and flowy fast trails. Not for sure which one I ride most often.

    Climbing the bike is pretty good in my opinion. Climbs really well and just as good as my bmc fourstroke fs02. The downs is where it shines. Just point and rail like crazy.
    Just shame that this bike has had so many up and down reviews on the net. I wouldn't trade it for another bike, but everybody is different in what they like. Guess why there is so many bike choices. I just love the feel and ride of the slacker bikes out there. Good luck with your decision and hope this helps some...


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  8. #8
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    some times theres a trade off between being agile and high speed stability. BMC made a race bike. I would definitely recommend testing on to see for yourself if its supposed high speed superiority speed can overcome it's cumbersome nature. Its a matter of taste . vital mtb also knocked the bikes leverage rate.



    if it was up to me I would be all over the process 111
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  9. #9
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    What is wrong with the BMC trailfox?

    I have a honzo and a enduro 29, that bike deserves every bike shoot out and bike of the year award it had received. It is a crazy fun ride and I have not felt like I am riding a bike the length of a bus yet, although it looks huge looking at it on my large. Go test ride one, and I can't recommend the cane creek highly enough to go along with it.

  10. #10
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    On paper it seems like a great bike, until I see the price. Being the most expensive bike in it's category is one thing, being $2000 more than anything else...
    And the fact that from what I can see, I'd have to cross an ocean to get a demo.

    I had a Superstroke, which was definitely a long travel mtb designed by roadies. Handling was terrible, I couldn't use half the travel because it was so steep. Again, on paper, it looks like the geometry of the trailfox is better, but... given bmc's questionable history, I'll skip paying twice as much for one of their frames as I would for a Ripley (for example)

  11. #11
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    Well the cat comes back, Theres a bmc dealer down the street from me here in quaint albuquerque nm. also bmc makes a 4000 buck model. Its a niche bike built for people that like balls to the wall speed with little time for slowing down and goofing about.. not my style but for certain people(racers) its a damn good ride
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbert2000 View Post
    The knock on bmc is that it is a road bike company designing mountain bikes for roadies. Their geometry and ride design tends to be a road bike for dirt which most true mountain bikers don't like. Some love them. Seems most don't. But if you like it, ride it
    Not sure I'd paint them all with such a broad brush. I haven't ridden the Trailfox, but BMC's flagship XC hardtail (the TE01 29) has a 70 head tube angle, 429mm chainstays, and a 65mm BB drop. It actually handled quite well as a XC/trail bike (I had an extended demo ride on one at Sea Otter a couple years ago).

  13. #13
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    What is wrong with the BMC trailfox?

    And as far pricing you are going on full retail. I got a smoking deal on mine.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Is the long top tube/front center the reason why this bike is so slow to handle?
    I found the Pinkbike review pretty interesting.

    For reference.... the medium trailfox has a longer wheelbase than my Banshee Prime, despite the prime having shorter chainstays (and less travel). The reach numbers are about the same and the trailfox BB is only 1/4" taller and it's got 20mm more travel.

    I haven't ridden the trailfox, but maybe the reviewers just aren't accustomed to (or dislike) how long travel 29'ers corner... IMO it is a matter of adapting riding style.

    Having owned a Honzo and a bunch of other 29'er hardtails... chainstay length is overrated, its the wheelbase that matters. Personally I'd rather have a shorter top tube and moderate (i.e. ~17.2") chainstays on a FS 29'er.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    some times theres a trade off between being agile and high speed stability. BMC made a race bike. I would definitely recommend testing on to see for yourself if its supposed high speed superiority speed can overcome it's cumbersome nature. Its a matter of taste . vital mtb also knocked the bikes leverage rate.



    if it was up to me I would be all over the process 111
    I LOVE the kona brand, but the process line is just downright UGLY. Maybe 2015 will bring some welcomed changes. Also, the 111 is a little short in travel for me. I was hoping for 125 at least in the rear to be paired with a 130 or 140 pike.

    The Satori looks like its got some kick ass geometry for a 140mm LT 29er, but its going bye bye in 2015...
    The On One Codine looks great too. Very similar to the Satori w/ better looks... But I have had 2 warranty claims with On One in the past and I dont think I want to go that route again.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    I found the Pinkbike review pretty interesting.

    For reference.... the medium trailfox has a longer wheelbase than my Banshee Prime, despite the prime having shorter chainstays (and less travel). The reach numbers are about the same and the trailfox BB is only 1/4" taller and it's got 20mm more travel.

    I haven't ridden the trailfox, but maybe the reviewers just aren't accustomed to (or dislike) how long travel 29'ers corner... IMO it is a matter of adapting riding style.

    Having owned a Honzo and a bunch of other 29'er hardtails... chainstay length is overrated, its the wheelbase that matters. Personally I'd rather have a shorter top tube and moderate (i.e. ~17.2") chainstays on a FS 29'er.
    Im starting to think that you are right.
    I have ridden a Vassago Jabberwocky(my first bike) and I could bunny hop and manual it well despite having >17.5 chainstays...
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  17. #17
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    Just did a solid 3 hr demo ride on the trail fox. I think what may be throwing people off is that it is NOT a do it all bike. It is very stable at speed climbs very well and holds its line exceptionally well.

    The bike makes no compromise on being fast. and to take it around corners requires more body english than a smaller nore agile bike. it also uses all its travel in normal riding. Because of this if you wanted to ride it as a big hit free ride bike youd be S.O.L.

    Its a very agressive race bike for people that want to haul ass and not stop for anyone to catch up. the faster you go the better it feels. when you get to turns you better have the skills to lean the bike like a moto gp racer and tires that have good side knobs.


    Its an awesome bike. it takes some bullying to steer through steep tech since the bike want to stay in a straight line. but if you think speed is king and drop to flats are passe, this is 5he bike for you
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Just did a solid 3 hr demo ride on the trail fox. I think what may be throwing people off is that it is NOT a do it all bike. It is very stable at speed climbs very well and holds its line exceptionally well.

    The bike makes no compromise on being fast. and to take it around corners requires more body english than a smaller nore agile bike. it also uses all its travel in normal riding. Because of this if you wanted to ride it as a big hit free ride bike youd be S.O.L.

    Its a very agressive race bike for people that want to haul ass and not stop for anyone to catch up. the faster you go the better it feels. when you get to turns you better have the skills to lean the bike like a moto gp racer and tires that have good side knobs.


    Its an awesome bike. it takes some bullying to steer through steep tech since the bike want to stay in a straight line. but if you think speed is king and drop to flats are passe, this is 5he bike for you
    Kick ass review, thanks Fuglio!
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