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Mar 8, 2022

This week we sit down with BMC’s Joan Hanscom to look at the URS LT suspension gravel bike. With 20mm of HiRide powered front suspension paired with a Micro Travel Technology (MTT) Rear stay, the URS LT is up for any adventure.

Episode sponsor: Athletic Greens


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Automated Transcription, please excuse the typos:

Joan - BMC

[00:00:00] Craig Dalton: Hello and welcome to the gravel ride podcast. I'm your host Craig Dalton

This week on the podcast. We've got John Hanscom from BMC here to talk about the BMC ERs, L T you might remember re mentoring this bike. Back in the, in the dirt episode, a couple of months back when it first came out and a quick interview we did down at If you recall, the ERs has been in market for a few years, but the LT version actually has a front suspension on it. So as you can imagine, I was eager to talk about it.

Before we jump into the show. I need to thank this week sponsor. AIG one by athletic greens.

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With that business out of the way, let's dive right into my interview with John from BMC. Joan, welcome to the show.

[00:02:52] Joan Hanscom : Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:02:54] Craig Dalton: I'm excited to have this conversation with you. I've been eager to talk to someone about this BMC or is LT for awhile. It's a bike I've known about prior to the LT model, but something I've always been excited about. So why don't we start off with just a little bit of your background and how you found your way to BMC, and then let's talk about the BMC.

[00:03:14] Joan Hanscom : Yeah, right on. And it's not a terrible thing to talk about breaks on a Friday afternoon, right? So the most fun topic we can have going into a weekend. Oh. So. My background. I started racing a long time ago and I really, really loved I started as a multi-sport athlete and was a terrible runner.

And so find myself racing bikes and loving racing bikes and At the same time I was experiencing some, I don't know, career stress we'll call it. I was working for AOL and they merged for AOL time Warner. And it went from being like the super awesome place to work. And be too sort of stressful and political.

And I asked myself, what do I love? I love bike racing. So I reached out to some guys in Philly, Dave, Shawna, and Jerry castle, and said, gosh, you should hire me to work for you. And. Dave and Jerry we're producing the biggest road events in the country at the time, the Philly week, San Francisco, grand Prix.

And I just threw a hail Mary and said, you should hire me. And they lo and behold they did. And so I've been working in bike racing ever since. So that was probably 2002, a long time ago. So I've been, been around bike racing for a good long time. And I would describe myself as an enthusiast, a bike racer who has more.

Passion, then talent will go with that. But, but yeah, so I've been kicking around in the bike industry for a long time. Ran my own business for a while. The U S grand Prix of cyclocross, which some of your listeners may be familiar with. So I had a really good run with U GP and that culminated.

The Louisville world championships in 2013. And after that I said, I needed a little break from bike racing. I went to work for a German brand called Avis who makes great bike blocks and helmets. And then I started missing bike racing and I went to work for USA cycling and I was there for three years and then an opportunity came to become the executive director at the velodrome and T town.

So I went there to do some work on the east coast. I was missing my family at the time. And. Feeling like I should be closer to home. And then. Suddenly this opportunity to move to Santa Cruz and work for BMC came along and I've always wanted to live by the ocean. And I actually was a long time BMC rider myself.

So I had to jump at the opportunity to come to work for BMC. And I do not regret one moment of moving to Santa Cruz. At all, especially looking at my friends back in Houston, they're moaning and groaning over the terrible weather. So that's the short, quick and dirty of how I came to be in bike racing.

And at BMC.

[00:05:50] Craig Dalton: Amazing. Thanks for that. And thank you. Thank you for putting so much time into putting events on in your career. I think it's you know, it's something that people don't get enough credit for, but it's so critically important to the sport. So to have such a long journey and for you to name drop some of those great events that I was a fan of or attended over the course of the last couple of decades, it's amazing.

So kudos to you for that.

[00:06:12] Joan Hanscom : Oh, well, I thank you that I think my event directing career much like my bike racing career is, is based in sheer stubbornness or for sheer force of will. We'll call it because both are somewhat thankless. My, my racing career and event production. So thank you for that. Yes.

[00:06:30] Craig Dalton: That makes sense. And, yeah, kudos to California. I mean, I sh I, I rode in shorts and a Jersey today. This comment is going to make lots of people angry as they listen to this in their colder weather, climate homes in this February.

[00:06:43] Joan Hanscom : Yes. And since I spent last February, you know, buried under 30 inches of snow at this time of year, I'm nanny, nanny, new, new, I'm very happy to be here. It's terrific. Well, I'm sorry if my friends are jealous.

[00:06:58] Craig Dalton: Let's talk about the BMC brand. I'm sure some listeners are familiar with it, but it's got a long history and I'd love to learn a little bit more about it.

[00:07:08] Joan Hanscom : So first of all, the thing that people ask me about BMC, the most, which I think is amazing and charming is everybody asks what BMC stands for. And then I tell them and they're just like, oh, duh. So BMC actually stands for bicycle manufacturing company. How can you not love that? Right? Like, oh, everybody thinks BMC is acronym for something else.

And it's really so beautifully simple bicycle bicycle manufacturing company. And people are like, oh DMC was founded in in 1994. In 2000 Andy Reese, who was the chairman of the phone act group and phone AXA hearing aid group. Andy Reese took over the company along with his, his Phonak's cycling team and thus the high performance high precision thing that we know came really into being.

And it really changed the trajectory when Andy Reese came on board with the company And in 2002, they launched really what is a bike that's still running today? Which is, I mean, it's been innovated on and changed obviously. But the team machine launched in 2002 and people are still racing and winning big bike races on the team machine.

Right. Again, it's been innovative and it's been iterative. But still that's a, that's a bike. That's got quite a legacy at this point.

[00:08:26] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I certainly remember lusting after the team machine. So that's just a great looking bike and the company, you know, as you said with that tour de France racing pedigree, it was definitely positioned as this is a brand that is sparing no expense to make the fastest machines out there.

[00:08:42] Joan Hanscom : And that really is the brand ethos. You'll hear us talk a lot about creating speed and they really hang their hat on precision Swiss engineering innovation, and all of it really, really drives towards this notion of creating speed and, and producing speed and finding speed. And I want a cool identity, right?

I mean, and everything they do is about that. And. What, and one of the cool pivot points for BMC is that in 2010, they launched what they call their impact lab. So I was just over in Switzerland in Gretchen at the headquarters. They have the offices across the streets of Ella Jerome, where they can obviously take advantage of doing a lot of testing and and speed work.

But also they have this impact lab, which is another building down the street. And that's really where the magic happens in terms of the engineering, because what the impact lab does without giving away all the secrets. enables innovation to happen at a, at a pace that nobody else really is matching.

Right? So they're able to have an idea and really get into prototypes immediately. And that that impact lab is, is really something that distinguishes BMC and where all of this really cutting edge technology is born. And so it's a really cool thing that they launched, but it really does enable that pace of innovation to be always high.

[00:10:05] Craig Dalton: Are the frames manufactured in Switzerland. Okay. And do you do, do you know when they introduced the mountain bike lineup for the first time?

[00:10:14] Joan Hanscom : 2007, they launched the four stroke, which is another, I mean, obviously a hugely innovative bike. That's still won the Olympics in Tokyo, you know? So, so yeah, that's, that was a 2007 and again, it's iterative, right? It's just, it's, it's a bike line that keeps evolving. And personally, I thought it was the coolest thing ever when they got Pauline for provoke to be.

BMC athlete and now Pauline's racing a four stroke and I think that's super bad ass.

[00:10:43] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I feel like it must have been 2008 or 2009 that I got a BMC team machine 29 or heart. And what, what impressed me at the time as I had come off another hard tail. And at that time, I think BMC was one of the first companies to do a drop stay and they were touting with a 27 2 seat post. We've built some compliance into the rear end of this.

And it really did feel like a technological leap forward when I got on that bike. And it really crystallized for me that this understanding that you can build that type of compliance into a, essentially a rigid frame and get these performance benefits that I know we'll get to and talk about with the, with the ERs model.

[00:11:29] Joan Hanscom : Yep. And, and that's true. And, and, you know, they've, they've been really with the Forester Oak. I mean, their dropper post is incredibly innovative. I mean, they were, they were, you know, Doing geometry adaptations for, for the 29 inch wheel, the 29, or like before anybody else as well. Like they, they really always are pushing this innovation for speed.

So, which I think, you know, you'll continue to see as our gravel as our gravel line evolves and, and, you know, emerges as well. So yeah.

[00:11:59] Craig Dalton: Am I correct that the ER's the original was the first Scrabble bike that they introduced or was there another one prior to that?

[00:12:07] Joan Hanscom : that's correct. So the ORs was there first. It was 2019 when they launched the ERs and that was their first gravel bike. They though we have a bike that's sort of, light gravel, maybe call it the road, machine X. But the ERs was the first really, truly like disruptive gravel bike that, that BMC came out with.

[00:12:25] Craig Dalton: And let's talk about some of the design philosophy behind the original ERs, and then we'll get into the LT later because obviously they share the same frame design. So let's talk about the base frame of the errors, and then we'll get into the LT a little bit later.

[00:12:39] Joan Hanscom : Yeah. So, so I think. It's carbon obviously. And, and I think BMC really looks at you know, precision engineering. They, they look at geometry really purpose-built for the specific thing. Right? So, so the ERs is, was designed from the beginning. To, to eventually have a suspension fork. Right?

So they, they, they were, even though they didn't launch with a suspension fork, they, they conceived of this. So the original ERs was launched with a suspension corrected fork and the ability to upgrade it to a Fox 32 step cast AIX suspension, or, or a RockShox Rudy. So even in the first iteration, you were able to go to a suspension if you wanted to it's dropper, post compatible Even, even in the first iteration that didn't have that built in or, or, you know, SPECT they were thinking along those lines,

[00:13:34] Craig Dalton: that was super interesting. I remember interviewing Chris Mondell from SRAM rock. And he rides that bike. And I was quizzing him about how it changed the geometry of it, because he acknowledged, like, if you're putting this on as a aftermarket product, it is definitely going to slack an out your bike.

But offline, when I was talking to me, he's like, it just didn't have that effect on the ERs. And he did discover after the fact that they had built in this suspension adjusted geometry already.

[00:14:04] Joan Hanscom : Yeah, yeah. From the beginning, they knew where they were going to go with that, which is super cool. And again, that just sort of speaks to the, the mindset or the, the, you know, the innovative thinking that goes into the design of all of these bikes. And, and so, yeah, it's, you know, it's, it's a. It's backed with a saran Eagle in the back's Ram red in the front.

Which some people, you know, there's, I guess that's a hotly debated topic, right. About one buy versus to buy. And is it a real race bike if it's a one by and but you know, it's, it's specked with 40 millimeter tires up to 45 millimeter clearance. It's six 50 be compatible. All of this stuff was.

You know, conceived of in the first iteration it's got a 70 degree slack head angle which, which creates a really long front end and wheel base. And that builds in like a lot of stability in the ride. And I can speak to that myself. I think I told you this when we were first chatting, I, I had, I first rode the ERs at unpaid.

PA this, this past October, and it was horrible conditions. It was just like a horrible, horrible, horrible conditions. It was cold and raining and just people look like mud people. And I had a big, stupid grin on my face the whole day from this bike because you know, there's a lot of descending it unpaved and.

It was just so stable in those conditions. Those are going to just really awful muddy, slick, downhill, Rocky, and I was just having fun. And so that stability, I just think, you know, really makes it a delight to ride and that, that rear suspension, the MTT technology and the stays it's 10 it's 10 millimeters of travel.

But what it does is it just sucks all the fatigue out of your ride. It just, it makes it so. You don't feel fatigued.

[00:15:53] Craig Dalton: Yeah. When we talk about that rear end technology. So I'm on my mountain bike. It was a completely rigid stage, just dropped and kind of compliance built in. But in this particular bike, there's actually, is it a little elastomer?

[00:16:06] Joan Hanscom : Yeah. It's it's we refer to it as, as, as micro travel technology, right? It's it's 10 millimeters of travel and it just has this incredible. I don't know. It makes it, you get less tired. I, I don't know how to describe it. It just, it takes. It, it, it, it allows for this really great power transfer and, but adds to control.

And for me, it was just like the fatigue, eraser. And, and it's amazing that the, that this micro travel technology it's so minimalist, but it makes such a big difference without, you know, you feeling like you're bouncing along on a suspension. So it, it feels good even on, on paved,

[00:16:48] Craig Dalton: Yeah, I think, you know, it's so it's so interesting. The resistance that the market tends to have towards suspension. And I know it's going to go away over time because the performance or benefits are there and you have to in the listener, the frequent listeners, going to know I'm a broken record on this.

You have to sort of add the suspension. In your bicycle through your tires, through your body, potentially through some compliance in the frame, maybe a suspension fork, maybe it's suspension, stem, maybe suspension in your C posts, but all these things are going to combine to just helping you become less fatigued or have more control in super Rocky environment.

So I think it's super interesting, and I know some writers personally, on the original owners frame. Mimic the same thing, as you're saying, it's just, it's just a bike that feels good. Being out on it all day.

[00:17:35] Joan Hanscom : Yeah. So funny enough, and I know I'm probably jumping the gun because you, you, you had sort of teamed up for me. Hey, what are people saying about the ride? And I, and I actually about specifically about the LT and. And I was talking to one of our ambassadors a writer named Chris Meacham. Who's on the east coast and we talked about the, this is front suspension and we can talk about that later.

But we, we started talking about the stays in the, in the, in the back and he, he he and I share the same coach. So, so his coach. He rocked up to this hundred plus mile road ride fast, you know, fast roady road ride last Saturday on yours. And his, his coach was like, you're an idiot. And, and, and Chris has a bad back.

And so he had the suspension locked out on the front, but he, you know, he still was on, on the ears with the, with the rear suspension and. he said he was tired because obviously he's riding on. I think he said 40 twos. So trying to keep up with people on road bikes. Okay. Tired. He said, but he never got the sore back that he normally gets on his road bike.

And he said, when he finished, he just felt great.

[00:18:44] Craig Dalton: Yeah.

[00:18:45] Joan Hanscom : And I thought, well, that's a Testament, right? If you're riding this out on the road for a hundred plus miles and you finish feeling awesome, it's a Testament to saying that there's something to this, this micro travel technology and fatigue. So, so yeah, I

[00:19:00] Craig Dalton: I think it's one of those things that I just hope that more people get to try these types of solutions before they malign them. Right. Because you need to be able to just put a leg over it and see, Hey, well, it's not really T you know, maybe it's taking away a fraction from. On-road performance, but what is it adding and where do I care to have that additional performance?

[00:19:20] Joan Hanscom : And when you're talking about gravel, where. What do they start at 70 miles and go up to 350. I mean, you know, it's, when you're talking about that, that type of distance fatigue matters, you know, that that's a, that's a real performance gain when you, when you don't have discomfort or when you're not feeling massively fatigue, because you're not your, body's not taking the abuse that maybe it would, if you were.

Having that, that benefit of the, of the technology then? Yeah, it definitely, it's one of those things where distance is a multiplier of fatigue. Right. So,

[00:19:56] Craig Dalton: yep. A hundred percent. You talked about BMC and it's very performance oriented background and history. When it entered the world of gravel with the earth. W, where was it intending that bike to slot into the, to the spectrum of bikes?

[00:20:11] Joan Hanscom : So I think that's such an interesting question. And I honestly don't know if they were geniuses or or not. The name of the bikers really means unrestricted. And I don't know if they were seeing into the future of the direction that gravel racing was going to take, you know, because it, it has gotten more extreme since, you know, the first, oh, we're going to go out and ride some gravel roads with our friends.

I think the terrain has gotten to be more. More challenging. People are looking for it to be a little bit more epic. I hate that word, but you know, so I think what gravel racing has become, or is evolving into, is there some that's just beautiful, you know, No magic carpet ride, gravel roads, and then there's others that are Rocky chunky, single tracky.

And so I don't know if they had that evolution in mind when they design the years or not, but but it's certainly a bike that I think has evolved or nicely to align with the direction that some gravel racing is taking. But I think going back to the unrestricted thing, You know, unrestricted says a lot about what this bike is intended to be.

It's got, it's got mouths, so you can load it up with your bike packing gear. It's got you can, you can run a dynamo hub, so you could really take it as an adventure bike or you could not, and just race it and find that You know, w th this technology that we've been discussing actually enhances your race a lot.

Now, there are some people that will argue that in no shape or form can a one by drive training, be a race bike. I, I personally would answer. It depends on the race. You know, and I think there are races where. That one buys probably pretty great, you know, you know, not all, not all gravel races are flat, you know, essentially dusty road races and for some of the climate year things, you know, the right terrain.

I think that people are pretty stoked to have that, that 52 option in the back.

[00:22:06] Craig Dalton: totally. Especially on the Western half of the United States.

[00:22:10] Joan Hanscom : Yeah. So, so I don't think you can dismiss it. It's not a race bike because it's got a one by, but I think it was really designed to be all of the above. It was supposed to be an adventure bike that could take you where you want to go.

And it's a bike that you can definitely race if you want to. I know, I know. I thought I was racing it when I was out on it. So.

[00:22:29] Craig Dalton: I know you mentioned this before, but what is this tire size capacity of the bike?

[00:22:33] Joan Hanscom : It comes back with forties and it can go up to 45. And then it's six 50 be compliant. So you could, you could add six 50 bees if you wanted to.

[00:22:42] Craig Dalton: Yeah. Great. Great. So let's shift gears and let's talk about the ERs LT at this point, which was introduced, what is the very end of 21? Am I getting those

[00:22:52] Joan Hanscom : Yeah, no, wait, I don't even know what

[00:22:54] Craig Dalton: Actually a little bit earlier. You're right. Because I, I met at, I met one of your colleagues at and got a little bit of a preview of it.

So that was back in October. So it must've been earlier than the.

[00:23:03] Joan Hanscom : Yeah. I honestly like the time is so weird now. Like, wait, what? I don't even know what you're wearing right now. The first time we showed it publicly in the U S was at that seawater event in 21 though. Right? It was 21 right now. Now I sound like a crazy person. But yeah, that's so it's very, it's very new to the market.

In a lot of places just getting into shops now. So not a ton of people. I'm, I'm certain I've had the opportunity to ride at yet. And, you know, everybody knows the bike world is a little bizarre right now in terms of supply chain, but that the bikes are out there now and being delivered, which is super cool.

And like I said, we have an ambassador who's out on it now. So, so yeah, they're, they're starting to be out in the wild now.

[00:23:45] Craig Dalton: So the big thing we need to point out for the listener is that the ER's LT, unlike its cousin, the ERs, the ears LT comes with a front suspension fork.

[00:23:55] Joan Hanscom : That is really the only difference. Correct? It's the same. Everything else is the same. With the exception of the front suspension.

[00:24:02] Craig Dalton: Yeah. As podcasting as a medium, we don't have the opportunity to hold one up in front of us. Maybe on this video we could have, but the suspension actually occurs within the head tube. So unlike a rock soccer, Fox shock that you may have been familiar with from mountain biking, with telescoping legs, you're actually getting the travel within the head tube.

[00:24:23] Joan Hanscom : Yes. Yeah, I think it's pretty cool. Right? It's like all up inside. You can't see it really. And, and yeah, it's, it's integrated into the design,

[00:24:33] Craig Dalton: And that's based on a partnership with a company called high ride.

[00:24:37] Joan Hanscom : correct? Yup.

[00:24:39] Craig Dalton: Yeah. So not, not a new idea in the world of bikes, obviously Cannondale has their head shock. And prior to that, my old mountain bike memory recalled the action tech being another brand that had a, a fork that was pursuing this strategy.

But I have to say, as, as an implementation, it's, it's super elegant. Like you can look at that bike and not necessarily see that it has any suspension in it,

[00:25:03] Joan Hanscom : Right.

[00:25:03] Craig Dalton: is pretty tricky.

[00:25:05] Joan Hanscom : Yeah, you can. I mean, you can definitely see below the head tube and I'm making gestures now with my hands. Like people can see me, you can definitely see where there is, you know, at the top of the fork, it, it would look like there's a suspension. But it doesn't look like you said, traditional what you would see on a, on a front suspension, on a mountain bike.

And it's, I think it's just super, like you said, elegant.

[00:25:27] Craig Dalton: And how much suspension is the system offering riders?

[00:25:32] Joan Hanscom : 20 millimeter. So, so it's, it's really pretty minimalist. And it's, it is manual, right? So you, with the, with the, it's a turnkey damper on, on top of the stem, right? So you just turn it to turn it on, you turn it back to turn it off. And yeah, you, you can control it.

[00:25:51] Craig Dalton: are the writers that are on the product now, and maybe you have this from testing back at the BMC facility. Are they tending to use the lockout or have they found. It doesn't actually make it. It's not a negative thing that there's a little bit of motion in the front when I'm climbing, for example.

[00:26:07] Joan Hanscom : So I actually talked with, again, the aforementioned Chris Meacham about this, because he's really been putting it through its paces. And he, he told me that he absolutely uses it. He said, you know, seven, depending on, along the ride, like 7, 8, 9 times during a ride, he's changing that suspension. So I think we've all done gravel rides where you're on pace.

And when he's on pavement, he, he locks it out. And then, you know, when the, when he's doing a downhill or it's particularly like chunky, he definitely opens it up and he finds himself actually, you know, adjusting it with a lot of regularity, which I think is pretty cool.

[00:26:47] Craig Dalton: Yeah, no, I mean, it's great that it's there as an option. I'm curious if you, if you had heard from him, whether, if he was on an off-road climb with a lot of rocks, whether he would leave it open or it's something he would close up.

[00:26:58] Joan Hanscom : He said he closes it when he stands up to climb or stands up to ride out of the saddle. But but he leaves it open otherwise, depending on the terrain. Yeah.

[00:27:07] Craig Dalton: Interesting. And I think you mentioned this, but just for the listener, it's got a dial on top of essentially on top of the steer tuber on top of your stem that you're reaching over and just clicking over to a locked out position.

[00:27:19] Joan Hanscom : Yep. Correct.

[00:27:21] Craig Dalton: How are you able to adjust the product for different weights, body weights?

[00:27:25] Joan Hanscom : You know, you've, you've just stump the chump. I don't know. Nobody's ever asked me that before.

[00:27:30] Craig Dalton: I think I saw and I'll try to maybe refer. In the show notes and that you might be able to swap out the Springs with inside that, that H ride high ride suspension.

[00:27:41] Joan Hanscom : Well, I can say that high ride does have additional suspension offerings that, that you would need to take to a dealer to make those changes so you can change out. I think, I think. What it comes standard with would be quote unquote, mid stiffness. And if you wanted to change that high ride provides an option for you to do that, that you would take your bike to the dealer and have them make that change.

[00:28:07] Craig Dalton: Okay. Gotcha. And is that, is the, is the front end of that bike different to accommodate? Is there any additional sort of size that the high ride suspension needs in the head tube? Or can you swap things out? I don't even know.

[00:28:22] Joan Hanscom : I, I mean, swap things out,

[00:28:24] Craig Dalton: Like swap a fork. Is Schwab a different fork in,

To that?

The high ride system?

[00:28:29] Joan Hanscom : honestly that I don't know either. I don't know. I think you can change out the fork, but I'm not sure I would, I would

[00:28:36] Craig Dalton: be fair. I did, to be fair to the listener. I did promise John, I wasn't going to drill her on a highly technical details because as, as the listener knows, I'm not super tactical myself, but these are just things that are popping into my mind as

[00:28:47] Joan Hanscom : No, it's, it's, it's a great question. And I can absolutely. I seem to recall that you could change it out, but I don't want to swear a hundred percent. But I will definitely check for you. And, and let you know, after the fact, because yeah, don't no one's ever asked me that one either, but I haven't really had a chance to talk about it.

Cause like I said, it's just shown up.

[00:29:05] Craig Dalton: Yeah. There's not, not enough of these bikes out there in the world yet.

[00:29:08] Joan Hanscom : No, and I haven't even gotten to ride it yet. So I'm like, I love my, my ears are one, but I haven't gotten dry BLT yet. So, that's how rare they are so far.

[00:29:18] Craig Dalton: How are you planning on getting the word out in 2020?

[00:29:20] Joan Hanscom : Well, first, first up, we're going to be at sea Otter, which is cool. So you can come check it out at sea Otter, and then we're actually doing some very rad things.

We're going to be at all the lifetime grand Prix events with the bikes so people can check them out there. We won't be able to demo them, but we'll be showing them off so people can come turn the knob and see what the suspension is like. We're going to be at, at a bunch of other events too. One of the ones I'm particularly excited about.

Coming as a surprise to absolutely. No one is we're going to be at the girls, gone gravel, gone graveling weekend in Bentonville. So we'll have it there to show off as well. So we'll be at a bunch of gravel events throughout the season showing it off. So people can actually touch it and, and see what it's all about and, and, you know, just get a general sense of, of how it works.

Cause think. You said it pretty well. You can't see it on a podcast. So some of this may sound a little weird, but if you're at any of these events that we're at, we encourage you to come over and say, hi, check it out.

[00:30:15] Craig Dalton: And then are your European colleagues doing events over in Europe this year as well with the bike?

[00:30:21] Joan Hanscom : yeah, they share our they, they share our, I think everybody everybody's pretty stoked on this bike and because we're BMC, we're innovating always. And you never know, there could be, there could be innovation in this space coming again in this, in the future. So stay tuned.

[00:30:36] Craig Dalton: What did you get from your, your, your Swiss colleagues about the rise of gravel in Europe? What's the scene looking like over there? If you, if you had any of those conversations.

[00:30:46] Joan Hanscom : We have some, I think that, you know, they really look at the U S as the, as the. Epicenter of it right now. But, but it's definitely growing in popularity, particularly, I believe in Gerona and the Alma Rawlins and Gerona, and certainly in Italy. And it's, it is starting to capture the imagination, obviously with the UCI focus now on, on gravel.

It's starting to capture the interest of the higher level pros and a lot of ways similar to what we're seeing here. So they see it as any, I think an emerging race space, which of course, BMC being a high performance brand is very attractive. So my Swiss colleagues are starting to see that. This is a viable racing space for BMC to play.

And so I think they find it quite intriguing. I think what's really nice for, for, for me to hear from BMC as well is, and why it's partially, why I'm excited to work for the brand. They see a lot of potential with the women's market for this bike. And I think that's massive. Like I love hearing that, that the brand I work for is. Profoundly interested in the female market. That's exciting. So, so yeah, so I think that's, that's, that's where they're at, but they, they get it that something cool is happening here.

[00:32:07] Craig Dalton: Yeah. I feel like the European scene got set back a year through COVID. Whereas there was a couple of series and a couple of big events that were set to launch in 2020. And obviously they didn't get off the ground, but I think I imagining that this, this summer in Europe, we're going to see a lot of events start to kind of just take that Marquis place of like, what's the big one that someone wants to travel to.


[00:32:28] Joan Hanscom : Right. And I think too, I mean, you're just starting to see in conventional road races, more gravel, right. I mean, that's certainly controversial for you know, should, should there be graveling tours? Ooh. And, you know, you can have, you can have , but can you have gravel? And so that's controversial and. You know, we have strata Biyanki now, which is left in a short tenure or 10 plus year history to, to be a classic.

And certainly that's got to a fair bit of gravel in it. And we just had a race in Spain, a road race in Spain that had graveled sectors and sort of like the pre strata Biyanki strata be hockey. And so, you know, I think it's starting to have more adoption there as well, and people are starting to see the potential in it there.

So. Ooh, belong in a tour. We don't know yet. Stay tuned.

[00:33:15] Craig Dalton: well, this is awesome. I appreciate you coming on and giving an overview of the brand. I mean, it's, I think it's great. High performance brands are looking at gravel and really putting resources towards thinking about what's the best type of equipment that they can create. And the space, I think, has room for a lot of different perspectives.

So I appreciate BMC bringing something new and innovative to the table.

[00:33:38] Joan Hanscom : Yeah, I think it's super cool. And I think they're not going to stop. So I think as the sport evolves as the discipline evolves, they'll keep evolving as well. So we'll see.

[00:33:50] Craig Dalton: Well, we look forward to seeing you down at this year,

[00:33:54] Joan Hanscom : Yeah. Right on.

[00:33:55] Craig Dalton: I hope you have a great weekend down there in

[00:33:57] Joan Hanscom : Thanks. Thanks. I'm going to get out of my ears on Sunday and I can't wait.

[00:34:01] Craig Dalton: Yes.

[00:34:03] Joan Hanscom : good, good

[00:34:03] Craig Dalton: for the time.

[00:34:04] Joan Hanscom : scene. Yeah. Cool. Thank you. Have a great weekend.

[00:34:07] Craig Dalton: So that's going to do it for this week's edition of the gravel ride podcast. Huge. Thanks to John from BMC for joining us. I hope you enjoyed that conversation. I know for me, the idea of suspension in gravel bikes has been something that's provoked a lot of thoughts and interest.

I very much appreciate the innovation in the space. And I encourage you to take a look at that bike and others in the category.

As always, if you have any feedback for me or the podcasts in general, I encourage you to join us over at the ridership. Simply visit

It is by far the best place to connect with me, but much more importantly, other gravel athletes from around the world. Just talking about bikes. If you're interested in supporting the podcast directly.

Please visit, buy me a gravel ride. Or leave us a rating or review or better yet share it with a friend. Any of these things helped me immensely. And I truly appreciate it. Until next time here's to finding some dirt under your wheels