What it does well: Some of the bikes we called in are “quiver” builders, meaning you’d buy one as a rough road and nasty weather supplement to your fancy road bike. The BMC GF02, though, is a quiver unto itself. The frame is lightweight aluminum (but so pretty it fooled a few testers into thinking it was carbon) and feels tough even while offering a plush ride thanks to the vertical compliance designed into the seat stays—BMC calls it Tuned Compliance Concept. The compact drivetrain and disc brakes make the GF02 up to the task of climbing and descending steep dirt. And the stock bike comes with 32mm Continental road tires, which is the width we want in order to run lower tire pressures. And that last bit is important: tire selection is key on a groad bike. You don’t need the deep cyclocross lugs, which are overkill for dirt roads, but you want a tire that’s fat enough to offer some cushioning and cut the rolling resistance.
What it does poorly: The GF02’s DNA is of the long distance road bike strand. It’s not a cyclocross bike with smooth rubber. In other words, we like it for the groads mentioned in the intro as opposed to single or doubleltrack.
So who’s it for? One road bike quiver shopper who is tired of being relegated to busy asphalt. 20.8 lbs.