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Thread: BMC Trailfox 02

  1. #1
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    BMC Trailfox 02

    Hi there,

    Been building this one up for a while now, usually happens as a student- everything is a slow process.
    Didn't want to take any shortcuts though that i'd regret down the track, so the spec is pretty nice without being uber expensive.

    Bought the frame at the start of our winter (june in australia) followed by the wheels, fork then brakes and gears.

    Special highlights go to the white fizik saddle and the sunline lock on grips, pretty happy i managed to get those. And yes, they will get dirty very quickly.

    I built the wheels myself with some good coaching, but quite chuffed i managed to do it myself. Syncros white rims, 340 hubs and supercomp spokes.

    Don't know exact weight, i reckon its below 30 pounds, the tyres (2.3 UST Conti Gravitys) and the wheels could be lighter, but i wanted good strength and grip. aside from that its all pretty light stuff.

    I did weigh the frame though, came out at 2.9kg or 6.4 pounds, could be lighter but should be reliable.

    'bout to go for the maiden voyage this arvo, from initial pavement rides it seems very stiff under pedalling, feels plush and the geo looks alright with the 120mm fox.

    I'll see how the ario goes, not super refined in the rebound, but will have to reserve my judgement. Otherwise, i'll whack on an RP23, maybe with the bigger volume can, though there isnt much need for my 70kg weight and the low 2.4:1 leverage ratio.

    Any questions, let me know. I will post a later ride report once i've had some time on it.
    Cheers!
    Wil
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  2. #2
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    Nice build....I have thought about doing it but I have no mechanical aptitude to do the wheels

  3. #3
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    Finally another BMC Rider.

    Just finished building a 4stroke.

    will post some pics.

    cannot ride yet due to torn ligaments in knee and waiting for surgury.

  4. #4
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    Ok, initial ride report: warning- only limited impressions thus far.

    -Im loving the dual suspension ride since my MTB for the last 18 months is a rigid SS, so the comfort is welcome, i had to keep stopping myself from standing up on some sections along the trail, now i can just sit down and plow through!

    -The virtual pivot system works. So plush but pedals really well, even out of the saddle. The only difference between riding locked out and unlocked is that the shock rides in a higher position in the locked setting which feels more efficient for my leg position.
    The rear triangle tends to a a rearward path that keeps the bike moving forward on square-edged rocks, the suspension never feels like it gets 'hung up'.

    -Ario feels better than i thought, there is a little more top out than the fox on the front, not really a problem, you just notice it coming off a jump as the shock extends.
    I havent taken the bike off any big obstacles so i will reserve judgement, but i've only got 70% of travel out of the shock, which is similiar to other ride reports on the BMC's with the ario rear shock, may see if theres some tweaking i can do.

    -Fox- Awesome, so plush, so stiff. Same as the shock though, not hitting full travel but will see how it beds in. May have to take out some oil like my previous vanilla to reduce the progressiveness

    -New Sram is much better than the previous stuff, ergonomics are improved, there is less stretch to the big paddle, the zero-loss is really nice. I've noticed on my commuter bike with the previous X9 the difference in performance, kind of irritating!

    -Shimano brakes are beautiful, will need more bedding in but feel is great

    -Geometery is good, felt weird at first with the tall handlebar but got used to it by the end of the ride, did drop the stem down but started feeling twitchy.

    -Gear cables may need to be swapped to full outer, as there is a bit of ghost shifting under rear suspension action.

    Very very happy with this one, will have to give it a good thrashing to iron out any bugs, the only thing that i see changing at all is possibly the rear shock if i cant make it more linear, but otherwise the bike rides really well.


    Let me know if there are any other queries

  5. #5
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    How tall are you, and what frame size did you get? Sweet bike btw.
    www.cycletofitness.com It's only a super-awesome website for a super-awesome store. Just click it. I dare you.

  6. #6
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    I stand around 5'9" - 175cmish and ride the Small 17.5 inch frame.

    With the 90mm stem and setback seatpost, the stretch still feels XC but has a more upright feeling at the handlebars and i feel like i could ride this bike all day no probs.

    BTW, the seatpost is not set to height in the pictures, it's just under the height of the bars at the correct length.

    Been riding a bit more lately and im starting to get more out of it, still only getting 70% of the travel out of the ARIO, so i guess thats the next place to upgrade on this bike, hopefully i can get a low-compression tuned Float R, don't really need the extra comp adjustments of the RP23.

    The aim of this ride is for trail riding and endurance racing, with a bit of XC racing thrown in.
    If i wanted more of an 'all mountain' feel to it i would of put on the Talas 140 on to it, a shorter stem and a further setback post.

    Otherwise, it gets better with each ride, love the lower center of gravity round the corners compared to the rigid, as the sag allows the bike to really track the terrain nicely.
    Cheers,
    Wil

  7. #7
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    Nice looking build there Wil.

    Here is my just-finished Trailfox build:

    * Frame Size & Color: BMC Trailfox 02 21"- Goldorange/Jet Black
    * Fork: Pike 454 20mmTA (extra firm coil, i'm 225#)
    * Brakes: Avid BB-7 8" rotors
    * Cranks: FSA Carbon
    * Front Derailleur: X-9
    * Rear Derailleur: X-9
    * Pedals: Crank Bros. Candy SL
    * Stem: Thomson elite
    * Handlebar: Easton Monkey Lite Carbon
    * Seatpost: Crank Bros. Joplin
    * Saddle: WTB Rocket V
    * Bottom Bracket: FSA Carbon
    * Cassette: X-9
    * Headset: Integrated
    * Grips: ODI
    * Front Tire: Kenda Blue Groove DTC
    * Front Rim: DT Swiss EX 5.1D
    * Front Hub/Skewer: DT Swiss 340 20mm
    * Rear Tire: Kenda Blue Groove DTC
    * Rear Rim: DT Swiss EX 5.1D
    * Rear Hub/Skewer: DT Swiss 340
    * Weight: 30 lbs.
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  8. #8
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    How do you get the cable ties down tight enough on your brake lines? I ended up using yellow electrical tape on my commuter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by v22osprey
    How do you get the cable ties down tight enough on your brake lines? I ended up using yellow electrical tape on my commuter.

    My LBS used zip-ties at the fork crown to support the cable tie to the front brake. The frame has integral cable tie locations for the routing to the rear brake.

  10. #10
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    I tried doing that on my fork but I tried to zip it to the leg, so I gave up and taped it front and back. Where do you order zip ties? Do they come in red?

  11. #11
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    Here's my Trailfox 02 (5")



    Build:

    Shock: Fox RP23
    Fork: RS Pike
    Shifters: X9 Twist
    FD: XT
    RD: X9
    Cranks: Race Face Deus XC
    Pedals: Crank Bros. Candy C
    FW: Ringle Abbas/Sun SOS
    RW: DTSwiss/Mavic 321
    Tires: Kenda Nevegal 2.35F/2.1R
    Brakes: Avid Juicy 7
    Seat/Post: KORE Enduro/KORE Race
    HS: FSA
    Stem/Bars: TruVativ Team
    Weight: 29 lbs

    Good to see more people getting turned on to BMC. Maybe we'll get our own forum one of these days instead of being stuck in the "Other".

  12. #12
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    You can get mutliple colors of zip-ties at Home Depot.

  13. #13
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    [SIZE=2]Great bikes! Does anyone know if there will be any dealers in the UK soon, I see they have finally started to review them in the UK mags so I thought they may be up to something.
    [/SIZE]

  14. #14
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    Sweet looking bmc's!

    I'm soon to order one of these frames and I'm having trouble making a decsion on a framesize, i'm 6'3 currently riding a 21" hardtail but i feel like i'm riding a horse and i only have between 3" to 4" of standover heigh. So i'd like to get some opinions on if i should go with the 19" or 21"?

  15. #15
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    I'll have to take pics of my bike one of these days.

    I'm in the process of saving for some new wheels as mine are a bit heavy. Also a new rear cassette and cranks would be nice to shave a little more weight down.

    Glad to see some more BMC riders out there though.

  16. #16
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    I'm 6'-4" with a 35" inseam, and I ride a 21"... I tried a 19", but I couldn't get enough seat-post insertion with my speedball to acheive the proper leg extension. It does feel a little large when downhilling, but it works really nice pedaling up-hill.

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    About the long Chainstays??????

    How do the long CS affect the handling????
    I usually prefer short wheelbase bikes, but don't know how this BMC with its steep head angle will handle tight singletrack.
    In tight singletrack does it feel more like you are riding on a horse, or like running????
    How does it compare to other bikes you have ridden?
    I currently own an 05 Giant Trance, 4" travel, and an 05 Giant Reign 6" travel. Reign is plush plush, with slower handling. Trance is very compliant and its handling almost XC fast. Wish for a bike with handling similar to my Trance, A bit plusher than the Trance, and a Phenomenal "active suspension" climber. Also want to try a DWLINk type suspension.
    Will the TrailFox fit that Bill???
    Thanks for any input
    Pedro

  18. #18
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    The trailfox is a longer travel XC bike rather than an all-mountain bike, i would say its closer to the trance than the reign.

    The steep head angle gives it very quick handling and the 'long' chainstays are really not noticeable, the bike is quite flickable.

    I've spent quite a while adjusting my bike - changing rear shock to a fox float (best upgrade ever), modifying the f120 to get all the travel out of it, changing to a thomson inline post and shortening up the stem.

    The suspension is awesome, very very plush but mostly non-reactive to pedalling. The float rear shock i put on came standard with medium propedal, but i changed it to the low setting and now the action is much better. Being a multi link design, it doesnt really need propedal. The bike gives great traction and is great on square edged bumps.

    The bike has quite an upright riding position that takes a while to get used to, particularly coming from a short travel hardtail.
    I think if your a beginner rider, this wont really suit you, its too quick in its handling.
    And if your after a lazier all mountain ride, look elsewhere.
    Bear in mind im running a 120mm fork and some people are likely to use a 140mm fork too, so that will affect the handling.

    I really like this bike, it does take a while to get used to and you need to spend the time (and money!) adjusting it to your preferences, thought this is normally the case with any frame builds.

    wil

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Willy
    The trailfox is a longer travel XC bike rather than an all-mountain bike, i would say its closer to the trance than the reign.

    The steep head angle gives it very quick handling and the 'long' chainstays are really not noticeable, the bike is quite flickable.

    I've spent quite a while adjusting my bike - changing rear shock to a fox float (best upgrade ever), modifying the f120 to get all the travel out of it, changing to a thomson inline post and shortening up the stem.

    The suspension is awesome, very very plush but mostly non-reactive to pedalling. The float rear shock i put on came standard with medium propedal, but i changed it to the low setting and now the action is much better. Being a multi link design, it doesnt really need propedal. The bike gives great traction and is great on square edged bumps.

    The bike has quite an upright riding position that takes a while to get used to, particularly coming from a short travel hardtail.
    I think if your a beginner rider, this wont really suit you, its too quick in its handling.
    And if your after a lazier all mountain ride, look elsewhere.
    Bear in mind im running a 120mm fork and some people are likely to use a 140mm fork too, so that will affect the handling.

    I really like this bike, it does take a while to get used to and you need to spend the time (and money!) adjusting it to your preferences, thought this is normally the case with any frame builds.

    wil
    I usually select my sharper angled Trance over my Reign. I have fitted an old coil vanilla shock on the Trance which makes the rear nice and smooth.

    I raced the 2008 season on an Anthem, which is now dismantled and ready to go on sale at my Giant Dealer. The Anthem is good, while you are strong. When I got a bit tired, I felt it did not help me much. Perfect weapon for a rolling hills race course. On a technical climb intensive course, the suspension did not help. I guess this was due to the short travel and perhaps chain induced suspension lockup for smooth climbing efficiency.

    I love frames with super super smooth suspension but with sharp angles. I fancy going up technical climbs, pushing really hard on the pedals, and feeling the suspension smoothing out all nooks and crannies.

    Nowadays smooth, long suspension and sharp angles are hard to come by. Most frames with more than 4" travel have relaxed angles. I see BMC for 08 and 09 have jumped on that trend. In a future date I can see myself having a frame custom made to my odd personal geometrical preferences. But for now, it seems the BMC may be my cup of tea.

    From your excellent description, sounds like the trailfox may be perfect for me. Like you, I also plan to run as short a travel fork as I can possibly get away with.

  20. #20
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    Sounds like it could be the bike for you.
    And you are right, most bikes over 4 inches of travel tend to run slacker angles and turn into more of a trailbike.

    A good comparison is the Fuel EX which my bike store sells.
    It is considerably slacker in it's head angle and runs quite a long wheelbase, though otherwise it has the same travel as the trailfox.
    In technical singletrack and tight switchbacks, the trailfox just has the edge and tends to steer just that bit quicker, where the fuel has to really be thrown into the corners to work well.

    Stem positioning is vital on this bike though, i have found that if you run the handlebar a little higher than the saddle, the front wheel has a tendency to drift - not lose control, but it just drifts more than i would like.
    Keeping the stem low means you keep the weight over the front and the bike grips like hell.
    Kinda funny the difference, as i only lowered the handlebar around 1.5 inches in total.

    As for the fork, i don't think i would run a 100mm stroke on the BMC, the 120mm feels perfect and matches the rear travel, neither ever feels like its working harder than the other.
    I dont feel any feedback with the linkage, as the rear axle travels a mostly vertical path.

    If you're after plush and active, this bike will deliver. Though if you do intend to race, perhaps having an rp23 (mine is just a float R) would be useful, so you can lock out the susp. on the flats and firetrails.

    If you do go with the trailfox, i'd love to hear your feedback, and the same goes with anyone else with this bike. Im still experimenting with stem setup and would like to see what others are doing to get the most out of this bike.

    Oh, i just remembered. I had an XT front derailleur (2008) though the bottom of the cage hit the rear triangle on full compression.
    I spoke to the distributor and they setup a few bikes with the same front der. and didnt have issues, but our bike store couldnt see how that was possible.
    I went with a sram x-gen that has a shorter der. cage, and it clears the rear triangle.

    cheers

  21. #21
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    Already ordered a 17" T-fox 1 from Jenson

    I ordered on impulse, without too much info about it. Through magazines, I have been aware of the brand from a while back, thought the bikes looked ok, and noticed they used a DW-Link type rear suspension design.

    I have been riding Giant's Maestro design since its introduction in 2005, and do attest that dual linkages work, very well. So much so, that I am using old fox vanilla coil shocks on my Reign and TRance and they still pedal reasonably well; given that pedaling cadence is smooth and round.

    I love trying stuff and am eager to try the "DW-Link type" design found on the trailfox. I have read many reviews that herald the climbing prowess of this type of design, on bikes such as the Ibis Mojo, and Iron Horses'. Some claim it climbs as good or better than FSR-Horst link bikes, which I previously owned. My old FSR established the reference by which I judge all my bikes in granny technical climbs. When things get really vertical and rough, the trance feels a bit more compliant than the reign, may be due to better climbing geometry. However, for me, the trance is still just a notch below the FSR in this respect, superior in all other circumstances.

    I am eager to see how the AVP matches these other bikes in the granny technical climb.

    The 2005 Trance is an excellent bike, only limited by its podginess for a 4.2" travel bike. At 7 lbs for a small frame it motivates me to look for lighter alternatives, I already mentioned I owned for over a year Giant's lighter weight alternative: the Anthem, but found its limited travel, and flexiness turned me off. I feel the trailfox will fit me better than the new 2009 4" Anthem, want the extra cushion,120mm.

    The 22.5" top tube length should be perfect. The trance has 22", feel a bit tight, hence I have my seat all the way back. Head Angle and Seat Tube Angle, are XC, which I am looking for. I am a bit concerned about the chain stay length and wheelbase. My TRance is barely 42" long (wheelbase), The TrailFox will be a bit longer, but you mentioned, nonetheless it is flickable. My Reign's wheel base may be comparable to the TRail fox. It feels a bit slow for my tastes, but that may be due more to the relaxed head and seat tube angles, than to the longer wheelbase.

    I plan to build very light. I will probably match it to a RockShock Revelation Air, and may get away with 23.5 - 24 lbs. Will post when the time comes.

  22. #22
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    Little Willy,

    What size stem did you switch to?

  23. #23
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    I started with the 90mm Deus stem pictured, currently trying a 75mm stem with the angle down and might see if i can try shorter just for fun.
    With the 90mm, my arms were almost locked out.

    Though i have just got an inline thomson so i may try an 80 or the 90 again to see how that goes.

    Its kinda hard trying to decide on whats best, because i tend to adapt to whatever is on and even then i mostly blame my lack of riding skills for any handling shortcomings.

  24. #24
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    Anyone with a Trailfox with a newer 09 revelation air on it?

    Been seeing lots of favorable reviews and was looking for first hand knowledge about this fork on this bike.

  25. #25
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    I just ordered my Trailfox from Jenson, going from a 2008 Giant XTC Hardtail 18" to the 2007 Trailfox 02 17", can't wait! Unfortunately I won't be able to build it until next next week. I've never built a bike from ground up, but I've pretty much changed almost everything on my current hardtail, besides the derailleurs and cabling, so I will probably have fun doing that hopefully its not too difficult.

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