At first glance, the BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE looks a lot like its XC counterpart. Upon closer inspection, however, there are considerable differences. First and foremost, the beefier fork, aggressive tires and extra travel promise more fun on the trail while BMC’s proprietary RAD dropper system brings a breath of fresh air into our 2022 downcountry group test. Can the BMC’s beefed-up XC bike impress on the trail?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best downcountry bike of 2022 – 6 models in review

BMC Fourstroke 01 LT | 120/120 mm (f/r)
11.60 kg in size L | € 8,499 | Manufacturer’s website

The Fourstroke 01 LT ONE is a beefed-up version of BMC’s XC racer, whereby the LT suffix stands for long travel. Generating 120 mm travel at the front and rear, the Fourstroke 01 LT ONE offers a whopping 20 mm more travel than its XC counterpart, the Fourstroke. Retailing at € 8,499, the 11,6 kg Fourstroke 01 LT ONE features a sleek silhouette and elegant glittery finish that would make Xzibit jealous! The cables are routed through an external plastic channel and enter the frame on the down tube. While this ensures a tidy-looking head tube, other manufacturers offer more elegant solutions. A bump stop in the headset limits the steering angle and prevents damage to the cables in case of a crash. The frame features a bottle cage mount and minimalist chainstay protector while a protective film guards the down tube from scuffs and stray rocks. Despite its small size, the plastic chainstay protector ensures a quiet ride. A small fender at the bottom of the seat tube prevents mud and debris from accumulating in the gap created by the additional linkage. Another interesting feature is the small opening above the bottom bracket, which houses BMC’s Autodrop system. This is already used by BMC’s XC team and allows you to drop the saddle without having to sit on it. The system relies on a pneumatic air chamber that allows for a limited number of drops and can be recharged with a conventional floor pump. While the Autodrop isn’t officially available yet, according to the Swiss manufacturer you can already retrofit one on your Fourstroke 01 LT ONE.

The spec of the BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE

The FOX 34 Performance Elite Step-Cast fork employs the same FIT4 damper as its Factory counterpart but features black stanchions, which ensure the same excellent performance and suit the sleek look of BMC much better. The Step-Cast chassis saves around 200 grams but has far less torsional stiffness than conventional Fox 34 forks, thus offering less precise handling, especially with riders heavier than 80 kg. Like the fork, the FOX Float DPS Performance doesn’t differ much from its bling Factory equivalent, employing the same three-stage lockout with Open, Medium and Firm modes. The only difference is that the Performance model doesn’t offer an external compression adjustment for the Open mode.
A small SAG indicator labeled “hard” and “soft” tells you how your suspension is set up. We rode in the latter setting and yet the rear suspension of the BMC was one of the firmest in the entire test field. The remote for the shock’s 3-stage lockout offers good ergonomics and sits on top of the handlebars (left side), which avoids confusion on the trail. However, the remote is stiff and makes for a crowded cockpit.

Keen climber
Uphill, the firm rear suspension is the real strength of the BMC.

Like most conventional dropper posts, BMC’s own integrated “Race Application Dropper” (RAD) can be adjusted in height via an Allen key on the seat clamp and is operated via a bar-mounted remote. However, it doesn’t offer infinite adjustment and only has 3 fixed positions. To save weight, the Swiss manufacturer employs an elliptical seat tube, which prevents you from using a conventional dropper post. That’s a shame, because the stock 80 mm dropper may be a good match for the Fourstroke XC racer, but doesn’t do justice to the character and intended use of the beefed-up Fourstroke LT. As a result, the BMC offers very little freedom of movement compared to all other downcountry bikes in this test. At 80 mm, the BMC has the shortest-travel dropper in the entire test field, while other dropper posts in this test offer almost twice as much travel at the same weight. Shifting is taken care of by a wireless SRAM AXS drivetrain consisting of a bling XX1 paddle shifter and heavier GX rear derailleur, chain and cassette. While the high-end XX1 shifter may look good on the shop floor, it doesn’t bring any real advantages to the trail. For the tires, the Swiss rely on a 2.4″ MAXXIS Rekon in the light EXO casing and hard DualCompound, both front and rear. For the front, we recommend upgrading to a similar tire in the softer 3C rubber compound, which generates more grip and traction downhill.

Drop it
Here you can retrofit BMC’s proprietary Autodrop, which allows you to drop the saddle without putting any weight on it. Moreover, you can see the small fender on the rear link.
The countless cables and clamps make for a crammed and untidy cockpit.
The height of the dropper can be adjusted via the Allen key on the seat clamp.

BMC Fourstroke 01 LT

€ 8,499


Fork FOX 34 Performance Elite FIT4 Step-Cast 120 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Performance Elite 120 mm
Seatpost BMC RAD 80 mm
Brakes SRAM Level TLM 180/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle AXS 1x12
Stem BMC 70 mm
Handlebar BMC Carbon 760 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XR 1700 29
Tires MAXXIS Rekon EXO DualCompund 2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 11.60 kg

Channel N°5!
The external cable channel allows BMC to dispense with cable ports in the head tube but isn’t the most elegant solution!
Level Up…
Please do! The SRAM Level two-piston brakes don’t do justice to the character and intended use of the BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE.
Small but effective
The chainstay protector may be very basic but does its job, ensuring a quiet ride.

With its DT Swiss XR 1700 wheelset, the Fourstroke LT is the only bike in the entire test field to roll on alloy rims. While they’re not the lightest wheels around, you’ll only notice the extra weight when accelerating – on top of that, you don’t have to worry about destroying your rims every time the suspension bottoms out. Unfortunately, the 760 mm carbon cockpit looks rather messy, with a total of four cables and three separate clamps (brake, lockout and dropper remotes) clogging up the left side of the handlebars. Once again, other manufacturers in this test offer much tidier solutions. Unfortunately, the choice of brakes is disappointing too. Like most manufacturers in this test, BMC combine a 180 mm brake rotor at the front and a smaller 160 mm one at the rear, but the SRAM Level TLM two-piston brakes don’t feature tool-free reach adjust or bite point adjust and don’t do justice to the character and intended use of the bike, offering sub-par braking performance and an inconsistent bite point. In our opinion, a bike in this price range should come with high-quality brakes!

Handling is intuitive but the harsh rear suspension robs you of both traction and confidence.

The geometry of the BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE

The Fourstroke is available in 4 sizes, S to XL. At 456 mm in size L, our test bike has the shortest reach in the entire test field – and at 1180 mm also the shortest wheelbase! The 606 mm stack height makes for a very low front end while the 480 mm seat tube is the longest in this test in relation to the reach. Together with the short travel dropper, this restricts freedom of movement enormously.

The integrated dropper post ensures an elegant look but offers too little travel. Moreover, the elliptical seat tube doesn’t let you use a conventional dropper post.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 420 mm 440 mm 480 mm 510 mm
Top tube 582 mm 607 mm 630 mm 654 mm
Head tube 96 mm 107 mm 117 mm 134 mm
Head angle 66.5° 66.5° 66.5° 66.5°
Seat angle 74.8° 74.8° 74.8° 74.8°
Chainstays 429 mm 429 mm 429 mm 429 mm
BB Drop 35 mm 35 mm 35 mm 35 mm
Wheelbase 1,129 mm 1,155 mm 1,180 mm 1,206 mm
Reach 415 mm 440 mm 456 mm 476 mm
Stack 586 mm 596 mm 606 mm 622 mm
Helmet Smith Session | Glasses NAKED The HAWK | Jersey POC Light Merino Tee | Shorts Fox Ranger
Shoes Suplest Crosscountry Pro | Watch Garmin Forerunner 45

The BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE on the trail

On level ground and moderate climbs, the BMC can’t hide its racing genes, combining a stretched out pedalling position and very firm suspension. Long-distance comfort? You won’t find it here! Bizarrely enough, the BMC positions you far back over the rear wheel and yet manages to put you in a front-heavy pedalling position. In other words, you’re sitting noticeably behind the bottom bracket, almost hanging out the back of the bike but still getting a fair amount of pressure on your hands, which is mainly due to the short reach and low front. At the same time, the firm rear suspension makes the climb switch superfluous, because there’s almost no difference between the open and climb modes. As a result, the BMC is a very efficient climber and the front wheel always remains planted on the trail, even on steep climbs, while the active suspension always offers enough traction, even on technical sections.

Tunnel vision
Downhill, the harsh rear suspension and limited freedom of movement require good concentration.

When gravity takes over, the rear suspension remains just as stiff and hardly releases any travel. While the BMC offers lots of reserves, it lacks sensitivity and plushness, struggling to generate grip and traction. The rear end is hard to control, especially in sketchy trail sections with rocks and roots, requiring good riding skills to hold the line. In the attack position, the central riding position ensures intuitive handling, with the weight evenly distributed between the front and rear wheels. Unfortunately, the short-travel dropper post makes all of this useless, seriously limiting freedom of movement on the bike. All in all, the Fourstroke doesn’t inspire much confidence and can easily send you flying over the bars, especially on steep descents.

Tuning tips: tires with softer rubber compound at the front | more powerful (four-piston) brakes

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










Despite the beefy spec and extra travel, the BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE can’t hide its XC genes: the front-heavy pedalling position, integrated short travel dropper and firm suspension make it a very efficient climber, even with the shock in open mode. However, the short travel dropper post restricts freedom of movement on the trail, robbing you of confidence and traction. Add the weak brakes and lack of sensitivity at the rear, and the Fourstroke SL is only a good option for XC racers who are looking for an efficient XC racer with a little more oomph.


  • good balance in the attack position
  • intuitive handling
  • very efficient when pedaling even in fully open mode


  • restricted freedom of movement
  • rear suspension lacks sensitivity downhill
  • brakes don’t do justice to the character and intended use of the bike

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best downcountry bike of 2022 – 6 models in review

All bikes in test: BMC Fourstroke 01 LT ONE | SCOTT Spark 900 Tuned AXS (Click for review) | SIMPLON Cirex SL 120 (Click for review) | Specialized Epic EVO Expert (Click for review) | Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | YT IZZO UNCAGED 7 (Click for review)

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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker