Test riding the all-new BMC SpeedFox SF29

Jill Missal, the editor of the women’s-only outdoor blog GearGals, couldn’t stop smiling aboard the SpeedFox.

By Adam Newman

While in California for a press event last week, I got a chance to sample the latest mountain bike offering from BMC, the SpeedFox SF29. This is the Swiss firm’s first foray into full-suspenion 29ers, and they didn’t try and reinvent the wheel. Here you’ll find a fairly straightforward design with BMC’s Advanced Pivot Systems suspension design with 100mm of travel front and rear, hydroformed shapped tubing, a tapered headtube and a solid parts spec.

Up front you’ll find a Fox Float RLC with a 15mm thru axle. In the back you’re squishing on an RP2 with ProPedal. The shifting is handled with a no-nonsense SRAM XO kit and the wheels are Easton’s EA70s.

Getting the bikes set up for a gaggle of journalists is no easy task, but it was made a bit simplier with a sag guide painted on the rocker/swingarm interface. Riding the dusty, smooth trails near Ft. Ord there was little opportunity to push the suspension to the limit, so I kept the ProPedal engaged while playing in the sand.

Despite getting the dreaded "we wanted it to handle like a 26" speech from BMC, I found the handling instantly comfortable with a short stem and a mild 70-degree head tube angle. I was also told one of their priorities was to keep the chainstays as short as possible, and clocking in at 430mm they certainly give the bike a playful feel. It was one of the easiest to wheelie bikes I’ve ridden, but never felt too light on the front end.

I wish I could have spent more time on the SpeedFox, but the sun sets quickly in November and the police shoo’d us out of the park after dark. The bike struck me as a great all-purpose ride that could handle long days out with your friends or an occasional race or two. Keep an eye peeled as we may try to wrangle one for a long term test. Plus, if you live near a BMC dealer, the demo truck is traveling the country offering test rides, so check out www.bmc-racing.com to see if it’s near you.