The BMC Speedfox AMP ONE was designed to be a fast eMTB for every kind of riding. It’s been given large wheels, firm suspension and a high-quality frame. Looking for a good time, we took it to the Alps, down flowing trails and through the city. Was it as much fun as we hoped?
BMC’s mission with the Speedfox was to build a light eMTB. To that end, the BMC Speedfox AMP ONE features a full carbon frame. By doing so, the Swiss brand was able to reduce the weight of the € 9,499 bike to 21.23 kg, despite the internal Shimano battery. The angular and clean looking 130 mm travel bike convinced us with clever details such as the sag indicator, sophisticated internal cable routing and the securely integrated speed sensor. The 29″ wheels and geometry of the BMC Speedfox AMP ONE is designed to offer maximum fun on the trails and also be a faithful companion on long rides.
The BMC Speedfox AMP ONE in detail
Old-school meets high-tech seems to be the theme of the spec on the BMC Speedfox AMP ONE. We had no complaints about the excellent Shimano Di2 drivetrain, powerful XT brakes with 200 mm rotors front and back and the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and integrated battery. BMC’s in-house cockpit, however, with a 70 mm stem and 750 mm carbon bar doesn’t match up with modern trail bike expectations.
Fork RockShox Pike RC 130 mm
Shock FOX Float DPS 130 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/200
Drivetrain Shimano XT Di2
Battery Shimano 500 Wh
Motor Shimano STEPS E8000
Seatpost KS Lev Integra 125 mm
Handlebar BMC MFB 01 Carbon 750 mm
Stem BMC MSM 02 70 mm
Wheels DT Swiss HX1501
Tires Maxxis Forekaster 2,35″
Weight 21.23 kg
Price € 9,499
In contrast to the frame of the Speedfox AMP ONE, the DT Swiss HX 1501 Spline ONE wheelset features aluminium rims, for improved durability. The wheels are fitted with low profile 2.35″ wide MAXXIS Forekaster tyres, which have limited versatility for use on anything more demanding than gravel roads. We also expected more from the Speedfox’s dropper seatpost – more travel that is. With a stroke of just 125 mm, tall riders won’t be able to lower the saddle far enough when descending. Setting up the suspension is done in no time, thanks to the user-friendly SAG indicators integrated on the fork and rear linkage. The RockShox PIKE and the FOX FLOAT DPS shock both offer a firm 130 mm of travel.
The geometry of the BMC Speedfox AMP ONE
|Seat tube||400 mm||440 mm||480 mm|
|Top tube||572 mm||619 mm||648 mm|
|Head tube||92 mm||103 mm||118 mm|
|Chainstays||450 mm||450 mm||450 mm|
|TBB Drop||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm|
|Wheelbase||1159 mm||1202 mm||1233 mm|
|Reach||401 mm||445 mm||472 mm|
|Stack||598 mm||605 mm||618 mm|
The BMC Speedfox AMP ONE on the trail
Climbing with the BMC Speedfox AMP you’re seated in a somewhat stretched out position. The distribution of weight between the saddle and grips is nicely balanced so that you’ll remain comfortable even after several hours in the saddle. The Speedfox AMP ONE easily reaches the 25 km/h mark with only some pedal-bob. The platform of the FOX DPS shock effectively prevents bobbing without being too uncomfortable on long climbs up forest roads. Once you leave the forest roads and start climbing up single track, the Speedfox easily rolls over small roots and rocks, not least thanks to the 29″ wheels. The rear linkage also works effectively, ironing out the blows of larger obstacles and absorbing them without getting hung up. Although you would expect the long stem to keep enough weight on the front wheel, on steep climbs the BMC Speedfox still requires a lot of input from the rider to keep the front-end planted. Due to the 450 mm chainstays, when going up very steep trails a large portion of your body weight is placed on the rear wheel, while the front wheel is hardly weighted. Kissing the stem to load the front wheel, the powerful Shimano motor will help you conquer any summit at a blistering pace.
What year is it? The narrow and long cockpit of the BMC doesn’t meet our expectations of a modern trail bike.
So the BMC Speedfox AMP is a fast climber. But how does the bike descend? The rider is positioned quite low on the Speedfox AMP with a 35mm bottom bracket drop. Along with the bottom bracket, the motor and battery are also placed low in the frame. Because of its low centre of gravity and the freedom of movement it gives you, the Speedfox AMP almost corners all by itself, except for the 70 mm stem forcing the rider into such a stretched position. The stem does, however, help to keep the front wheel loaded on flat trails. In combination with the short chainstays, the Speedfox AMP feels very lively and playful on flowing trails. The 130mm rear travel provides a lot of feedback from the trail and offers enough pop for you to launch over obstacles and generate speed by pumping the bike. All in all, the suspension is quite firm and while it doesn’t offer a whole lot of comfort, it does provide sufficient reserves and support for harder impacts.
When things get steep and technical, the cockpit and the tyres limit the Speedfox AMP in its downhill potential. Too bad, because the Speedfox AMP is more than just an eMTB for flow-trails. Shod with more aggressive tyres, it is easily capable of handling steeper descents and more rutted and rooted challenges. If you dare to ride the Speedfox AMP in rougher terrain regardless, we advise keeping a firm grip on the handlebars. With enough speed, the 29″ wheels steamroll over roots and rocks, and the agility of the bike allows you to navigate around larger obstacles with ease.
Love it or leave it? Although the BMC Speedfox AMP ONE is sinfully expensive, the build isn’t exactly perfect. The cockpit and tyres do not meet our expectations of a trail bike and should be replaced immediately. So leave it, then? Those who are prepared to invest in a few upgrades for their Speedfox AMP ONE will love it. Once upgraded it will convince with its agile handling and potent suspension, being a faithful companion to all those who are looking for a fast bike to have fun on.
- agile handling
- firm suspension with reserves
- clean look
- cockpit too long and narrow
- tyres lack grip and puncture protection
Update: BMC Speedfox AMP with alloy frames
BMC now offers two new models of the Speedfox AMP with a more affordable spec. The Speedfox AMP FOUR and FIVE feature an all-new aluminium frame and the Shimano Steps E7000 motor. Prices start at € 4,299 for the Speedfox AMP Five, the Speedfox AMP Four pictured below costs € 4,999.
For more info head to: bmc-switzerland.com
This article is from E-MOUNTAINBIKE issue #015
Words: Felix Stix Photos: Valentin Rühl