I have to admit that I was a little nervous purchasing this bike for a few reasons.
1. I thought it was alot of money for an aluminum frame bike. I could have picked three carbons in the same price range.
2. The compact crank. Not that I have anything agains't them. I just didn't know if I could handle my hills without a triple.
3. The "NASCAR Effect" as someone put it.
So I took it out for short 10 miler last night. My normal route with an extra big hill thrown in. I left the house and went out the backside of the subdivision and took a left on Greene St. It's half mile downhill to a stop sign. This is where I noticed the first big difference. Coasting on the Trek, in the drops with no wind would get me 24.5mph tops. The BMC hit 29.9mph under same conditions. Whether that's the wheelset, aerodynamics, frame, or some of each I don't know but will take an extra 5mph without pedaling anyday.
Took at right onto Hopedale St which is flat for about the next mile. I couldn't believe how easy this bike got to 20mph and how effortless it was to keep it there. I had the feeling that on a flat route I could pedal at that pace until my butt gave out.
Ended up down by Hopedale Pond just noodling around the neighborhood streets for a few miles. I am impressed at how smooth this aluminum frame is and it should be even better when the CF seatpost comes in. The difference between this and a Cannondale CAAD9 I tried is incredible. The frame also responds instantly to increased pedal energy.
Now for the first hill, Adin St. It's about .5 miles long and a good enough grade that I used to use the granny gear on the Trek (30-25). I shifted the BMC to 34-25 and about half way up to 34-27. It was an easier climb than with the Trek. I don't know whether it's the energy transfer or the weight or what. My fears of the compact started to diminish.
Back around by the subdivision and over to the dreaded Larkin Lane. I normally avoid this hill like the plague. It's about a quarter mile and when at the bottom, looks straight up. The last time I tried it I had to stop halfway to catch a breather. So I started up in the 34-27 gear and spun for while, a short while. Then about halfway I had to stand, but for some reason unknown to me I made it all the way without stopping. I was amazed. I smiled the rest of the way home.
One of the suprising things was that I actually felt a connection between me and the bike. It was like the bike was working with me rather than agains't me. Which is the feeling I've always had on the Trek. It always seemed like a struggle to keep that bike moving forward easpecially on hills.
This frame is a delight to ride. I'm in love. The 10-speed cassette is great, I love the close gear ratios and I think the saddle upgrade will work out. It's a Spec Alias 134 and was almost unnoticable.
So, what about my concerns. As I have said, the aluminum frame is a work of art. No more carbon lust here. The compact is going to be fine on the hills. I think the biggest thing will be getting used to not having the 39T ring, which I used to spend about 90% of my time on. It will take a little getting used to doing more shifting in the front.
As far as the "NASCAR effect" goes, I think that on occassion I can live up to the bikes reputation. Heck, people that don't know BMC will probably think it's a Xmart bike.
BTW, I dropped 52 white bikes during the ride. I think one of them had California plates.