The BMC Sportelite almost deserves its own category. This is an aluminum-tubed 650b hardtail with a component built that takes it well past the entry-level category the frame nominally puts the bike in. This is a legit cross-country racer that can do everything.
650b wheels, aka 27.5”, are the central design element, and the geometry puts them to maximum utility. These are bigger than traditional 26” and smaller than new school 29ers, a sweet spot that lowers rolling resistance while still feeling small underneath. Then they took triple-butted, hydroformed aluminum. Light, durable, stiff, with the shaped tubes allowing some vertical flex in the stays but limiting flex in the main triangle. This is the same frame you’ll find throughout the Sportelite line. Here, the fork installed is the RockShox Reba RL with 100mm of travel. The Solo Air spring is tuned via the Motion Control damper, which allows you to tune external rebound, lockout, low speed compression, and a lockout with floodgate. The fork tips are quick-release for simplicity.
BMC provides the same wheels across the Sportelite platform. It’s an economy of scale you benefit from. They are BMC-built to provide you with a reliable set of disc-brake equipped hoops. Shimano hubs are laced to Alex rims. 160mm rotors are stopped by Shimano M506 hydraulic disc brakes. The wheels are finished with Continental Race King Performance 2.2” tires. These are all-condition treads that possess a more supple casing, 180tpi, than you’ll find on the Sport version that graces the rest of the line. Kevlar bead as well for less rotating weight.
The drivetrain resembles that you’ll find on other SLX/XT bikes in the BMC line. They install a Shimano XT rear derailleur as the snazziest shifting component as it does the bulk of the work. It’s mated to Deore shifters and SLX front derailleur to push the KMC chain over the 38/24 SLX double crank and 11-36 ten-speed cassette.
Bars, stem, seatpost are all designed in-house by BMC. The price is low, the pieces durable, and the look coordinated. The seat clamp has a quick release for fine-tuning on the trail, whether that means finding the right height, or dropping for big descents. A Selle Royal Seta saddle tops it off.
The BMC Sportelite SLX/XT bike has the price of an entry-level offroadster. The performance is that of a high-end racer.
Bottom Bracket Shimano
Brake Calipers Shimano M447
Brake Levers Shimano M506
Cassette Shimano HG50, 11-36
Chain KMC X-10
Crankset Shimano SLX M675, 38/24
Fork RockShox Reba RL Solo Air, 100mm
Frame Material Alloy, XC
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX M676-D
Handlebar BMC MFB 03, 720mm
Pedals Not Included
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M781
Rear Suspension None
Rotors Shimano M447, 160mm (F), 160mm (R)
Saddle Selle Royal Seta
Seatpost BMC SP14-M, Alloy, 27.2mm
Shifters Shimano Deore M610
Stem BMC MSM 03
Tires Continental Race King Performance, 27.5x2.2
Wheel - Front Shimano Deore M618 Hub, Alex MD19 Rim
Wheel - Rear Shimano Deore M618 Hub, Alex MD19 Rim