Nobby's back to road test the BMC TM01
Some of you may remember the ‘dealings’ I was having some time ago with Mr H M
Customs and Excise and the measures I had to take to ‘duck and dive’ in an effort to
steer clear of their inquisitive nature (I’m still professing my innocence … and I am …
honest!). Of most inconvenience to me has been the need to fit my cycling road tests
and training around their enquiring eyes (I pay my dues and have nothing to hide. I
just earn heaps and like to treat myself to the very best that cycling has to offer. It’s
only having to move with my work that’s appearing to keep me one step ahead of the
opposition. That’s all!). That’s why I ended up out on the road on my revamped BMC
TM01 one early morning at 6am, just as the sun was rising from the east on a
decidedly chilly morning out here in the desert.
Since my first test (which I note Mr Cammish has chosen to ignore on his site), the
bike has had a few upgrades … all for the better I might add. The horrible and badly
manufactured mega-flexible Osymetric rings have been replaced with some decent
quality Rotor QXL ones. This, in itself was one major improvement (as you might
have gathered from previous road tests, I’m far from being an Osymetric fan!).
Next upgrades were the wheels which simply ooze speed. The one and only
Campagnolo Bora Ultra TT disc was fitted to the rear and this was paired up with a
Campagnolo Bora 80 at the front end. Both blended in well with the overall colour
scheme of the bike. Against my better judgment (as I much prefer Dugast Pista
Diamond silks which really must be the fastest time trial tubular tyres known to
man*) I fitted FMB Record CX Silk tubulars. These were the 22mm version which
sat really well on the rims … great for both aerodynamics and for bonding to the rims. The tyres were inflated to 145psi which meant they sang well on the road and rode almost as well as the Dugast Pista Diamond silks would have done if I’d come to my senses before shelling out on the FMBs.
The gearing was adjusted along with any fine tuning of the brake blocks
that was necessary to ensure that there was no rubbing on the rims and
that good braking would result once out on the road. A warning to anyone
as old as me and who may suffer as much as I do with failing vision (my
school mates were right … it DOES make you blind) … this can be fiddly
as you’ve got washers to use to adjust the spacing of the brake blocks.
Patience is required for this and I labored for ninety minutes to get it to
how I wanted.
Once all was sorted, it was time to hit the road for some testing on a
recently resurfaced 1.2km circuit. Once astride the bike I was
immediately impressed by its liveliness even at a slow pace and as I
engaged a gear of 54x14 it took off with the wheels really singing nice
and loudly … in fact so loud that two community workers in the vicinity
actually looked back to see what this noise was! If they’d been taxmen,
they wouldn’t have stood a chance! This bike wants to be ridden fast and
although even I’d be the first to agree that I need to loose a few kilos, I
could get into my aero tuck position relatively comfortably and I’d be
away, gone and disappearing into the desert sunlight before the Government officials had time to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s on their
tax evasion papers.
I could point this machine into a corner even in the aero position and it
would go exactly where I intended. This frame has very obviously been
designed for good fast cornering as well as straight line speed. The
FMB’s really stick to the tarmac even with sand on areas of the road so
again gave me confidence to give the bike some real welly. But boy do
they sing! I only wish I’d fitted Dugast Pista Diamond silks instead though.
The Rotor QXL 54T ring stayed true without any flexing when the power was put down even when in 54x12 which was to the top gearing on this machine. If I’d eaten my greens like my Mum used to tell me to do when I was a lad I’m sure even I’d have been able to push an 11 but the shape of the QXL optimized pedaling efficiency to such a degree that I didn’t really need any bigger gear.
The new Bora Ultra TT is just as smooth as the Ghibli but I just felt it was more responsive on the road especially when cornering as I felt it gave more feedback being a little lighter than the Ghibli. The construction is exactly the same but full carbon on the braking area which you need to get used to having come from the Ghibli which uses an alloy rim. The Bora can be made even lighter (ok only marginally, but with the exception of my ever increasing waistline I take marginal gains very seriously these days) as the decals are only stickers, so if you want to save a few extra milli-grams and adopt the stealth look then you can take these off all together. The same can be said for the front Bora 80 too. I’m keeping them (the stickers) on for the time being as I need to think of possible resale value as I’m not getting any younger. Either that or I’ll wait for a float day on the local desert drag strip and remove them for a 100% all out shit or bust attempt at my pb!
The Tulas I’d fitted needed further fine tuning in terms of the positioning of pads and
extension length but braking is still adequate once they’ve been set up. Whether or
not the Tulas are worth the extra money over and above Mr Cammish’s fine PDQ bars
is questionable. Of course I’d have much preferred to have fitted a set of PDQs but
not at that price as I’ve got my reputation as being one of life’s big spenders to
The braking on the Campag wheels is less spongy than with the Zipps I previously
had on the bike so felt a lot better when braking into a corner. Distance travelled for
this test was approximately 15 kms mostly using 54x14 but all the gears I have were
used to ensure changing gear was smooth. I’ve still got things cosmetically to do to
the bike but getting my position is important first and foremost.
Overall the bike just wanted to be ridden fast and this tester needs to get some more
bike fitness, lose a bit of weight, get into a shiny latex suit and a PB for, say, 10 miles
is within easy grasp. It certainly looks fast and with the right wheels and tubs will
Nobby Clarke's gorgeous BMC TM01
Nobby Clarke's front end ... oooer!
(Above and below).
Nobby Clarke's Tulas ... almost as nice as Mr Cammish's PDQs
Nobby Clarke's rear end ...
perfectly formed it must be said!
Nobby Clarke's BMC TM01 fully loaded and ready to take on the taxmen.
The desert sun beckons ...