BMC Teammachine SLR 01 v Cervelo R5

Hi All

Looking for feedback and opinions on these two bikes, especially if you have experience of riding both.

I ordered a Cervelo R5 back in January (expected delivery in March). After a number of push backs with the delivery date the bike shop has been told by Cervelo that the very earliest delivery date will be September but realistically it will probably be an autumn/ winter delivery which means it will sit in my garage until next April! Not ideal as I ordered it to enjoy over this summer.

This is clearly out of the bike shop’s control. As an alternative they have offered me a BMC Teammachine SLR 01 Five. This is the top tier premium frame but they have suggested two upgrades to make the bike comparable to the R5: upgrading the stock wheels to FFWD RAW

They also suggested upgrading to a carbon handlebar (an FSA one). This will put it very comparable in price to the Cervelo (slightly cheaper in fact) but they said the wheelset will be better than the Reserves supplied on the Cervelo.

The bike shop did my bike fit a few years ago and said both bikes will fit me fine (and will be providing a fit as part of the purchase).

I had a chance to ride the BMC last week and they gave me a good test loop with a short climb, some flats etc but unfortunately I wasn’t really in a position to put the bike through its paces as I had Covid 2 weeks ago and my legs loaded up within minutes and I was really chesty so not in a condition to get a sense of the bike. Such a shame.

Alternatively, I can wait for the R5 or get back my deposit but that means starting the search all again in 2023 and probably at higher prices.

I haven’t ridden the R5 so was buying off reviews really and emotion. I have told the bike shop to go ahead with the BMC and they are ordering the FFWD wheels but over the weekend I am suffering analysis by paralysis.

Does anyone have any real world experience on how both ride (ideally, the current versions)?

And would you go for the bike you can ride now and for the rest of the summer, or wait for the bike that you originally chose (however, for clarity, I was not offered BMC originally as the bike shop had no idea when stock would be available back in January).

I don’t race and mainly ride with my cycling group on rolling terrain (40-80 miles depending on time of year) although we also have some decent climbs in the area ( around 3 miles long). I’ll also be doing LEJOG next year (south coast to north coast of UK for any non Brits!).

Finally I like the look of both bikes although probably prefer the Cervelo ( although they are quite different designs really). Cervelo looks more classic, BMC more modern with the dropped seatstays. Cervelo has nice matt black paint job, BMC is gun metal silver. Not my favourite but like it the flesh more than I was expecting.

Any feedback greatly appreciated if you are familiar with either bike or even better both!

To tag onto this thread has anyone ridden both the R5 and the Tarmac SL7. Really interested in how they compare but have never seen a test comparing the two, assuming the SL7 is more aero and therefore faster overall.

Not that I have ridden either of these bikes but no doubt you will enjoy the BMC especially with a nice wheel upgrade

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I have no experience with the Cervelo, but I have ridden the Teammachine several times and test ridded also a Roadmachine.

The BMC Teammachine is a spectacular road bike. If you look at its specs, it may seem like nothing special, but it is one of the two best road frames I have ever ridden up until now.

The best I can describe it is that the Teammachine is like a Porsche 911, but the regular one, not a GT3 or GT3 RS. It is clearly a very, very fast sports car, but it is still very comfortable. Based on specs, it is behind the competition, but on race tracks it is often faster. In my rides with it, the Teammachine loved to corner yet felt safe and planted, it was very supple and comfortable without being mushy or dead. It is like the SL7 aero without being an outright aero bike. It has an integrated cockpit with first-party mounts for your head unit.

I’d take this bike in a heart beat if I were you.

Id have no reservations about switching to the BMC. I had an older teammachine and loved it!..unfortunately someone else did too, and stole it!

If the money is any factor, FFWD typically has great discounts in December if you have any desire to save a few bucks and waiting isnt a big deal. I wanna say the 40mm wheels were under $1000 around New Years last year.


Thanks @OreoCookie for your reply. That’s great to hear. How did you find the Teammachine from a climbing perspective? One of the reasons why I chose the R5 initially was I wanted a bike that felt great on the climbs as I live in quite a hilly area. I feel like the Teammachine will certainly be at least as fast as the R5 on the flats but wondering what it’s like climbing (and of course descending). Thanks again for your feedback!

I live close to proper mountains (the Japanese alps), and did do a few smaller and bigger climbs. The bike felt great, no complaints whatsoever. It is super fun on the downhills, it wants you to carve the corners yet feels safe and secure. It is just such a balanced bike that does a lot really, really well.

Again, I’m taking nothing away from the R5, I have no experience with it. But if this is your Plan B, you won’t have any regrets.

When does your Summer riding end?
Will you get enough riding time on the BMC in this period to justify the swap?
You have 7 weeks left for a Cervelo September delivery. How much riding time would you get in on your new baby?

Me personally, I would wait for what I ordered/wanted, solely as I would have lost Summer riding time up until I make this next decision. This seems to me to be the crux of your dilemna. If it is not, then the Cervelo was not really your first choice IMO.

In comparing the bikes, I think it comes down to the following principal factors:

  1. SRAM Force AXS vs. Shimano 11 sod Di2. Are you ok not being on the new 12 speed Di2? I would like to try the new Shimano rotors and see the previous generation Di2 rotors as a week spot in that group set compared to AXS.

  2. Brand/Colour scheme preference. I have the R5 in matte black and prefer it over the Teammachine silver but it’s all personal preference. Depending on where you are, Cervelo seems to have better dealer support than BMC in North America.

  3. I think the bike shop is correct - the SLR01 Five is at its price point because of the wheelset and bars. However, I am not sure the Reserve wheelset is really that much better than the BMC CRDs.

I bough an R5 in fall 2021 and could only get SRAM Force AXS in my size. I was not prepared to wait until this year and hold out for the new Shimano group set with an uncertain delivery date.

I also bought a 2020 BMC Timemachine Road 01 Four during the pandemic as I spent some time in a different country and couldn’t get any other bike at that stage in the range I wanted. Again here, I “settled” in order not to miss 3-4 months of a riding season.

I think the brands are comparable and both bikes fit your riding reeds very well assuming you want a world tour level frame set.

Good luck with the choice.

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Fair point @SirDAN and one of the things I’m mulling over. I switch to a winter bike usually around mid October depending on the weather in the UK. However, I do have a nice cycling trip in Spain in September which would be nice on the new bike (lots of climbing etc). Also, I have a slight concern that Cervelo will continue to have issues and that this rolls into a delay next year. That seems unlikely but you never know. So, as there is probably not a lot of difference in the bikes, it might make sense to take the bike you can get right now!

I am sure you will make the smart decision.

Remember to post pictures of your Spainish tour. Have fun :metal:t3:

@sundance . If you went with the alternative bike and you went riding next Spring and saw a R5, the question you need to ask yourself is, “ would you wish you would have waited”?

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