Allied Cycle Works BC40
Words by Mike Levy; photos by Tom Richards
There are a number of paint and price options to choose from, starting with the XT-equipped version at $7,250 USD, or the frame/shock/fork kit at $5,590 USD. Our test bike is equipped with an X01 AXS wireless drivetrain, carbon Industry Nine tires, factory Fox suspension and a $10,755 price tag.
• Travel: 120 mm
• Carbon frame
• 66.5º head angle
• 76º seat angle
• 435 mm chainstays
• reach: 445 mm (medial)
• Sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL
• Weight: 24.9 lb / 11.2 kg
• Price: 10,755 USD
• For more information: www.alliedcycleworks.com
Not only does Allied fabricate and paint the carbon frame themselves, but they also machine all the aluminum parts, such as the suspension linkage. It’s also light, as you’d expect from a bike meant for serious mountain biking; the frame is said to weigh just 1950 grams. The checklist includes cables inside the frame (including the optional Shock Lockout), a threaded bottom bracket, a replaceable rear brake bracket, and on a bike intended for long and hard races, space for a large bottle in the down tube and a smaller one in the seat tube.
The bike sounds unapologetically focused on racing and efficiency. Allied says the frame uses a “true pedal platform” and names events like the lung-defying Leadville 100 and Marathon Nationals that they say fit the BC40’s personality. . The suspension layout is similar to what we see many weight-conscious models use: a relatively simple single-pivot system with an aluminum rocker arm for lateral stiffness and desired kinematics, and the all-important flex-pivot to save on the drop point. weight. Sealed bearings and pivot bolts are heavy compared to flex carbon pieces, and some brands claim to save up to 200 grams by using a flex pivot, so it’s no surprise to see it on another fast bike.
Given that many BC40s will likely end up in some form of cross-country racing on weekends, while others will see more rugged terrain than bargained for, Allied couldn’t go too loose or too aggressive in handling. They settled on a 66.5-degree front end, which makes a lot of sense, along with a 76-degree seat angle and 435mm chainstays on all four sizes. Our medium reach is 445mm, and it’s 501mm extra large.
All of the above adds up to a respectable 24.9lb / 11.2kg after installing the Specialized Ground Control tires we put on all six of our test bikes.
Trailforks areas we tested
Growing up in British Columbia, I had never been to an actual trail center in Canada before and wasn’t sure what to expect from the Sentiers du Moulins trail system. The builders have done an impressive job putting together more than 60 kilometers of single track, most of which crosses over rock faces lined with endless green moss. We spent much of our time in Slab City. It is practically a granite path that drops 200 meters behind Mont Tourbillon.
If you’re looking for berms rather than rock, you’ll find plenty of them, combining countless fun-sized jumps and a few tricky lines, all of which conveniently land you in a restaurant for a post-ride poutine with triple the Cheese. combined with an ice-cold energy drink.
Sentiers du Moulin mountain bike trails
It’s a cliché, I know, but the amount of travel a bike has doesn’t determine how it performs on the trail, and riding all of these bikes in a row just highlighted that fact once again. Allied’s BC40 is a full-beans mountain bike, no doubt about it, but it does the job very differently than the Lapierre XRM or BMC Fourstroke LT, two others I spent a lot of time on in Quebec. Both have that traditional solid rear suspension that sometimes had to be checked that I hadn’t accidentally locked them out, while the Allied felt almost undersprung in comparison. It wasn’t – we checked many times – and both Matt and I were sitting on a 25 percent bill; The performance test also showed that the BC40 is just as quick on those loose and marbled gravel road climbs that some of us encounter when we get to the stuff.
This field test has already seen us use too many words talking about the fine balance of forgiveness, traction and efficiency, but these are the most important talking points for this type of bike. And the differences between Allied, BMC and Lapierre, all machines made to do the same thing, are stark. Although the stopwatch showed it wasn’t any slower, there’s no doubt that the active suspension helped my cause when the roots were slimy; Mont Saint Anne can be a very slippery place after a summer rain, but the BC40 had the most balance when I had to walk through an ice track of roots and rocks.
Where did the BC40 lose ground compared to the others? It required more control input and brain power whenever the feedbacks were really tight. You know when a single track somehow doubles you back in about two square meters? Then Lapierre and BMC both have front ends that don’t need to be told what to do, while Allied requires a slightly firmer hand and less speed regardless of approach. There were a handful of corners where I had to turn the front end over a few inches to get back on the right line, but I came through the same corner 30 minutes later on the Lapierre and kept pushing more speed and didn’t correct, and it was the same story on the BMC.
If your trails (or races) are full of non-stop tight switchbacks and little to no elevation change, there are better options than the Allied. It’s certainly powerful, and you can set up a remote lock function if you want, but riders and racers routinely have to get up slippery, nasty, technical climbs where traction really does make a difference in who benefits the most. BC40.
The BC40 reminded me a bit of Specialized’s Epic EVO, one of my all-time favorite bikes, as it felt so composed and planted to the ground in any corner I wanted to go through. While some other bikes made me keep an eye out for anything that might bother them, no matter how small, the Allied’s composure allowed me to deal with things further out on the trail and relax more. That’s probably why I had a handful of lines that I only took when I was on BC40, especially after afternoon thunderstorms that dropped more rain in 30 minutes than I thought possible.
With no shortage of green rocks and glistening roots on the slopes of Mont Saint Anne, that rain made some trails difficult to ride. However, the BC40 eats up this stuff and was easily the most stable and predictable of the bunch. So while I use a safe low line, also known as a dull line, on other bikes, I always default to more committed high lines when riding the Allied, with wet roots at 30 degrees as a dam. Of course, it’s nowhere near a bike by my imagination, but it’s certainly a mountain bike that will allow some riders to attack – or just ultimately enjoy – the descents instead of bottoming out. can attack the rise.
Not interested in downhill PR? It took me years to realize that instead of taking crazy risks trying to catch better competitors on the descent, I could relax a little and recover more and still make time before the next climb sent me cramping. In other words, riding the same pace but recovering more and faster, which sounds like smart competition to me.
Obviously, the BC40’s biggest strength is its rear suspension, which packs a lot of performance into just 120mm of travel. It manages to be efficient when you’re on the throttle, supple at the top of the stroke and around the bottom, and also has more than enough support and bottom-out resistance for whatever you’re doing, which you probably should be doing. be at it. That’s a wide performance and setup window, especially since many bikes in this class seem to make sacrifices in one or more areas to benefit another.
I stumbled on one trail in particular that was a little steeper than the others and still a little soft and smooth just dug into the slope, which the BC40 absolutely swallowed. Fast, soft corners faded into steeper soft sections, and the obvious approach was always to take a little too much speed to everything. I had a near death on every other bike that was probably 100% my fault, but I rode the same trail about ten times on the BC40 while going at least ten percent faster and I didn’t even cry. once in fear. Better yet, no feel like I was going faster, which is always a good sign.
So who is the BC40 for? As clever and fun as I made it sound above, it’s still a proper mountain bike that fully deserves an expensive race entry fee, license plate, and your tightest speed outfit. It just deserves baggy shorts and questionable line choices on your days off.
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