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First Ride: BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Road e-bike Review

BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Road: A New Player in the E-Road Game

BMC has officially entered the e-road bike market with their new Alpenchallenge AMP Road. This bike, based on their existing Alpenchallenge AMP platform, is equipped with a full road kit and offers tire clearance for gravel adventures.

First Impressions of the Alpenchallenge AMP Road

Many people have questions about e-road bikes. Does the MTB-focused Shimano STEPS system work well on a road bike? Do e-road bikes compromise the purity of the sport? Can you feel the extra weight of the battery and motor?

To find answers to these questions, we traveled to Solothurn, Switzerland to attend the launch of the Alpenchallenge AMP Road and Review it out for ourselves.

BMC Alpenchallenge AMP Road: A Closer Look

The Alpenchallenge AMP Road is built on BMC’s existing AMP frame platform and is their first official entry into the e-road market. The bike comes in three sizes (S, M, L) and we rode the Medium frame, which is roughly equivalent to 56-58cm.

The bike is equipped with Shimano STEPS system, which offers three modes – Eco, Trail, and Boost. We found the power delivery to be smooth and intuitive, with the system providing assistance where it’s needed most.

During our Review ride, we tackled a long and winding road in foggy conditions. The Alpenchallenge AMP Road handled the climb with ease, allowing us to cover more distance while still putting in a hard effort.

Performance and Handling

The Alpenchallenge AMP Road handles like a normal road bike, with no noticeable downsides. The wide 30mm tires and low placement of the heaviest parts of the bike contribute to its stability and sure-footedness on descents.

The bike features a stiff frame, but thanks to the MTT (Micro Travel Technology) soft tail design with 10mm of travel, the ride quality remains smooth. For gravel riding, adding a Redshift suspension stem to the front end would be a great upgrade.

Battery Life and Gearing

The battery life of the Alpenchallenge AMP Road depends on various factors such as rider weight, climb grade, and the chosen drive mode. With the 504Wh battery, Shimano quotes a range of 100km in Eco mode, 75km in Trail mode, and 50km in Boost mode. During our ride, we had about 25% battery remaining after 90 minutes of mixed mode riding.

One area where we felt the bike could be improved is the gearing. The 1x drivetrain with a 44 x 11 top gear limited our top-end speed and made it challenging to bridge gaps in a group. A larger chainring and a rear derailleur with greater capacity would be more suitable for gravel riding.

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