If you’re looking for a gravel bike with a progressive feel and a world-class pedigree — that’s also crafted from aluminum, listen up. The new BMC URS AL series is about sharing the URS carbon ride and transferring the exact geometry to the new alloy models.
BMC URS — Backstory
For those unfamiliar with the BMC URS line, the name comes from the Latin Ursus, or bear — also short for unrestricted. Released in summer 2019, the carbon URS was BMC’s first entry to the gravel-specific world. Though, they have many years of cyclocross frame production under their belt.
The URS carbon features classic cool BMC design elements and features 10mm of suspension from “micro travel technology” (MTT) pivotless rear. This MTT, paired with a newly announced BMC gravel plus geometry, fender mounts, and internal dynamo routing, set the bike up for success on and off gravel — read our full review here.
What is it — BMC URS AL (Aluminum)
The alloy version of the URS boasts many of the same attributes as the carbon version, minus the price. You can get a complete alloy bike for $1300 less than the URS 01 frameset ($2099 for the URS AL THREE vs. $3399 for the URS 01 frameset).
Though the alloy version does not have all the bells and MTT as the carbon version, it has the same geometry, mounts, and fork.
BMC URS Alloy frame
The premium aluminum frame comes with all the trappings of a modern gravel bike; disc brakes, PF86 bottom bracket, top tube accessory mounts, a three pack mount on the seat tube, even dual fork mounts plus internal cable routing, and stealth fender/rack mounts.
The brakes are flat mount, with 180mm for the front and 160mm for the rear on all models. The axles are 12x100mm front and 12x142mm rear; wheels will be easy to find if you’re looking for upgrades later. Tire clearance is very good with room for a 45mm tire with full fenders.
Much like the URS carbon, the alloy version employs a frame guard on the downtube, fork, and fork dropout — killer if you’re changing a flat. As we all know, nothing is worse than that “ping” sound of rocks on the down tube on a loose gravel descent.
Unlike the URS ONE, the URS AL frame isn’t a dedicated 1X setup. The URS AL comes in two 1X models (URS AL ONE and URS AL TWO) and one GRX 400 series double model (URS AL THREE).
BMC URS AL Geometry
The BMC URS uses a geometry concept called ‘Gravel+’ to improve control and responsiveness for aggressive riding beyond gravel roads — think single track. The geometry uses a long top tube and wheelbase with a short stem and slack head tube angle, similar to the BMC mountain bike geometry evolution.
BMC engineers focused on creating a bike that would perform well on gravel, twisting single track, and technical terrain. Though we’ve yet to ride the URS AL, the URS ONE exceeded our reviews expectations.
BMC URS AL Model Spec
The URS AL comes in three different configurations, the top URS ONE comes equipped with SRAM APEX 1 and a DT Swiss C1850 Spline Wheelset. The URS TWO, which arrives with a Shimano GRX 600 1X drivetrain and finally the URS THREE, equipped with a GRX 400 double ring set up. All models ship with WTB Riddler 45mm tubeless tires (one of our favorites).
- BMC URS AL ONE: $2599
- BMC URS AL TWO: $2299
- BMC URS AL THREE: $2099
From the looks of the BMC USA site, the URS AL isn’t available for purchase online but could be available from select dealers. If you’re looking to throw a leg over one as soon as possible, our suggestion would be to call your local BMC dealer and get set up.