Last season I bought and built up my TMO1 with Ultegra. I race with Bontrager Aeolus 9's. Its super clean bike although I didnt care for the aerobar setup. I set the bike fit up from my other bikes coordinates so it wasnt a fit issue. I just didnt like the look of the front end. I wanted it to be clean and it was kinda clunky looking. So after the two final races in the season, 70.3's in Weisbaden and Ireland, I changed from the stock Profile Design cockpit to a 3T Aura Pro setup. The front end on the TM01 has a ton of different combinations with the stem. My fit coordinates dicated that the stem needed to be in one of the highest sitting positions and along with the aerobars set up it added to the clunkiness I didnt like. The goal was to drop the front end and allow it to go along with the lines of the rest of the frame without messing with my fit. I knew I could get the bars down at about frame level Id just have to get the risers for the arm pads and the right extensions. I figured it all out and the fit is within a few miilimeters of where I was. The stem made it so easy! Those guys were thinking!!! While I was at it, I swopped out for some white cable housing too. Sure the only place you see it is at the front as it goes into the steertube cap/ cable organizer, and at the rear of the bike, but along with the white on the frame seat and on the 3T bar, its pretty much like money in the bank!
Now, does anyone have any questions about this bike?
I have a few issues with the brakes and really they are the only thing I have come across with it.
I am also a bike mechanic. I found that the only thing on the bike that will give you fuss while building it is the brakes. The rest is pretty straight forward. Sure the internal cables can be fussy but it wasnt bad. Whats bad about the brakes involves the cables. As with any V-brake they use a brake noodle, a TINY one. I personally think the brakes feel like garbage because of the really tight bend in the noodle. I replaced my noodles with the noodles that are flexible, I cut it to length and it changed the entire way the brakes feel. Also, when cutting the housing, you have to cut it so that the noodle rests on it inside the frame, so short that the housing disappears inside of the frame. Its not so bad on the back but in the front fork, lets just say its a pain in the butt to get the cable out whe the housing is inside the fork. The hole is very small. Another thing that takes a bit of time is setting the brakes up for your rim width. Its not done with a spring tension adjustment at all. it differs from normal Vbrakes because normal v brakes open. Normally, once you use the correct pad spacers you just adjust it so you get the desired amount of play; close or not as close, depending on how you want your brake lever positioned on lock. With the BMC brakes, there are stops that do not allow the brake arms to open past a specific point. NOTE these brakes play an aerodynamic role along with the frame so they have to line up with the lines of it. In limiting the distance of which the arms can open, you limit how space you can have once the pads and the pads spacers are on. With this bike, you use extra spacers and combinations of them to dictate the distance between rim and pad. That dictates how far your brake levers go in. But really. This is a bike of extreme precision, once its set up, you dont have to change it much if any. Taking the time to set up the brakes is something we all must do, it just takes a bit more time on this bike. Now that the brakes are set up, and feel better than they did with the stock brake noodle, we can talk about the feel of their engagement. On a normal V-brake, like on a mountain bike, we use spring tension to not only adjust how much force we have to use to close the brake but also to balance out each arm as to make the pads hit the braking surface simolatinioulsy. This is the BIGGEST gripe I have about my Time Machine's brakes!!!! There is no way to adjust the balance of the arms. The frame is narrow so there is only so much space for a cable to bend basically 90 degrees as they have to with a v-brake. I say that because the tight internal spacing puts the housing to one side of the frame, the cable bends through the noodle, and gets hooked to the brake arm. Its a small space for all of that to be going on in and the tightness puts a limit on the housing's movement. THAT limits one of the brake arm's movement. The small amount of extra pressure on the cable housing could be overpowered by either increasing the opposing arm's spring tension or by decreasing the tension in the arm the cable is hooked to. The BMC does not have that option though!!! On both brakes, one of the pads hits the rim before the other. When your used to brake perfection things like that might bother you for a bit as it did me. Im over it as in im used to it so I dont cry when it happens on a ride but I still want to find a solution!
The other issue with the brake is a small one. I fixed it on my bike but it may be an issue on other bikes depending on the rim and tire width differences. As most road brakes have a a release to use when taking the wheel off the TM does not. you cant even open the v-brake due to reasons I mentioned above. The front wheel, on mine, isnt an issue at all but the rear wheel is. I cut a small portion of housing out of the way on the tiny length of the cable that is visible between the aerobar and the frame and put a cable adjuster on. No, when I get a flat I can just follow the steps in changing it without having to change when I inflate the tire. Not sure if every raody does this but, I inflate the tire while off the bike, then put it back on. I wouldnt have been able to do that without that little barrel adjuster on the cable. Sure I have to remember to loosen the cable before I take the wheel off or put it back on but thats better than changing up a process I have done for years, agree? with the adjuster, I think there is enough range to even put other, thinner or wider, wheels on it. But, the front is another issue. My rims are very close to the same width for both the Bontrager and the Mavics that came on it. So, theres that. Now there is this. IF you plan to train on one set of wheels and then change it up on race day to a race wheel, be ready to mess around with the pad spacers. Hopefully you dont have to mess with anything to do with cables, especially the front one. The front brake has a plastic cover that hides the noodle/cable connection area. The hole on the brake arm is TINY. Its the width of a cable. You HAVE to cut the remainder of the calbe off once its tightened. Anything that hangs out of the arm will hit the plastic cover and it would just make the cover stick out off the line of the fork. Kinda shitty! I suppose you could drill a tiny hole on the plastic piece so that you could have about 5-10mm of cable remaining once it exits the arm, but hopefully you never have to change that when it comes to wheels. Also, the tiny screw that tightens the cable to the arm is of the crushing type. Once tightened it just smooshes the cable to the point of no return. Meaning, even with the fastener completely loose, and even out of its hole, the cable with still take a hefty amount of pulling to get it out of the arm. The hole in the arm is so small that the expanded/crushed cable cant fit through it to well. If you have to adjust a cable, just make sure you have a new one on hand and at the ready.
Does anyone know if any of these issues have been fixed for 2013, prolly not but hey. anyone?
While asking questions, I thought of this. Are tri brake levers all the same in the way that they pull, distance in particular? Let me elaborate. I know on nice MNT bike brake levers, both cable and hyrdo, have adjustments for both engagement and lever position. For angle of attack and modulation. Im sure its just a matter of pivot point and leverage on the lever itself. I ask bc I would like my to tweek my levers. At full engagement they are farely close to the bar and Im not a fan of it. This is NOT a matter of pad distance either. I have no experience in tri/tt brake levers other than what I have and the few I have adjusted for others. None of them had any adjustments on the lever itself.
Lets see your Time Machines!