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While the visual similarities with the previous version are unmistakable, this Road Racer is made entirely from unidirectional carbon fiber rather than being a conglomerate of carbon and aluminum. The full carbon construction makes it equally stiff under power yet stronger and significantly lighter. We have it here as the Road Racer SL01/Shimano Ultegra Complete Bike. It's a race-ready bike and offers more bang-for-your-buck than any other frame in the BMC road racing stable.

One of the most distinctive design details on the Road Racer SL01 is the Streampost. From a distance, it might look like an integrated seatmast, but it's not the same thing. The Streampost offers the beauty, the stiffness, and the aerodynamics of an integrated post, yet it has the up/down adjustability of a standard seatpost.

The bottom of the post is cut at an angle and has a corresponding hollow aluminum wedge (not unlike an old quill stem) that, together, give the post its grip inside the frame. A carbon fiber cable connects this wedge to the locking bolt at the top of the post. And once the post is perfectly positioned in the frame, you simply turn the locking bolt to hold everything in place -- on/off, it's that easy. And since the Streampost eliminates compressive forces, instead the seat tube is under a small degree of tension when installed, the design plays to the inherent strengths of carbon fiber rather than its weaknesses. As a result, the Streampost is surprisingly light, with thinner carbon fiber walls than what you might expect. This thinness is a function of the fact that the mechanism doesn't exert clamping forces of any kind.

The down tube and seat tube of the Road Racer are as wide as the bottom bracket where they mate to it. Ditto with the chainstays -- they're as tall as the bottom bracket shell where they connect. This massive surface area is all about power transfer. The use of carbon fiber allows BMC to morph the shape of the tubes into different profiles along their length. This differentiation gives stiffness where it's needed without forcing the Road Racer to ride like a jackhammer. Stiffness here doesn't translate into harshness. It's also why the seat tube can be built with such oversized dimensions at the bottom bracket shell, but then smoothly transition into a semi-aero profile for the bulk of its length.

The SL01 employs BMC's Integrated Skeleton Concept (ISC) where the seat stays join the seat/top tube in a distinctive manner. Aside from marking it as a BMC, this design ensures that road shock is transferred into the axis of the top tube for strength. This latest generation also marks a change to a tapered head tube to match the tapered steerer on the BMC Straightedge SE48 SL TP carbon fork, but the head tube is still configured for a streamlined, integrated headset. The larger lower bearing gives the front end more steering precision than ever for confidence inspiring tracking through fast corners.

We've paired up the Road Racer SL01 with a complete Shimano Ultegra Component group, including a 50/34t compact crank. Other details include BMC's Scor alloy handlebar and stem. DT Swiss gets the nod for the wheels, and their R1700 hoops are stout enough for everyday training, but aero and light enough for race day. You'll also get Continental Ultra Race 700 x 23mm clincher tires. If you're looking for a serious race bike, you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal than this one.

The BMC Road Racer SL01/Shimano Ultegra Complete Bike is available in Green and Naked Carbon and comes in five sizes -- 48, 51, 54, 57, and 60cm. The Straightedge fork has a carbon fiber steerer, and it comes with an FSA integrated headset.

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