Making the jump to the big leagues
By James Huang, Technical Editor
Even without the label
Save for the bottom bracket
Campagnolo's Record Ultra-Torque
The top tube wears a unique
The matching Easton EC90
Internal cable routing
keeps the lines clean.
You're not a pro
It could easily be said that second-year professional rider Scott Nydam
is living out a dream from which he has yet to wake. Nydam finds himself
a returning member of the up-and-coming UCI Professional Continental
BMC factory team amidst a healthy environment and bubbling over with
enthusiasm. The team claimed the 'most aggressive' crown at the recent
of California and Nydam also walked away with the KOM jersey after
Nydam is well aware of his good fortune and isn't bashful about sharing
his feelings on the situation. "It's been great. Every step that we've
taken and I've been able to be a part of, I feel has been an appropriate
step in the development of the team as well as the development for me
as a rider. So personally I feel like there's a good parallel with the
growth of the team and at what pace and how far I want to go as a rider.
I really couldn't have scripted a better spot for me to be in. We have
incredible management, incredible staff, we have the best sponsor in
the sport, the best materials. There's absolutely nothing holding me
The 30-year-old rider now bases himself out of Santa Rosa, California
but got his start just four years ago on an amateur team after moving
to Boulder, Colorado from his nearby home town of Denver. Far from the
overconfident racer-type at the time (and still one of the genuinely
nicest pros we've spoken with), Nydam was primarily concerned simply
with finding someone who would be willing to provide him with a suitable
"I came to Boulder and the first one to give me a ride on an amateur
team was Nick Howe from Sports Garage [a local bicycle shop]. He was
the first to put me on a BMC Pro Machine as an amateur and I went and
got some results on that bike. Also, he linked me together and introduced
me to Gavin Chilcott who was in the process of building up the amateur
BMC team. So it's kind of like, within the BMC family, I just kind of
jumped ship from a small amateur team to what the team is now today.
It feels like I've been in the BMC family for a few years now and I've
gotten to see all phases of it really."
Unlike many riders who have made that jump, Nydam has had the luxury
of competing aboard the same equipment he used as an amateur, BMC's
Pro Machine. BMC claims its Pro Machine is the first carbon frame
in the world to use Easton carbon nanotube-reinforced resins throughout,
an ingredient that supposedly adds toughness and rigidity. Carbon is
used almost exclusively throughout the frame, including the rear dropouts,
integrated headset bearing seats, built-in seatpost clamp and even the
molded-in housing stops.
The Pro Machine is also distinctive for its unique Integrated Skeleton
Concept shaping around the top of the seat tube which is easily spotted
from quite a distance. According to BMC, ISC allows its designers to
more finely tune how forces are distributed through the frame as compared
to traditional joints.
Nydam's bike is fitted with a wealth of top-shelf kit, including a
Campagnolo Record gruppo, an Easton carbon and seatpost, Easton's lightweight
EA90 aluminum stem, and a Selle Italia SLR Team Edition saddle. The
wheels are actually hand built for the team and comprise Easton EC90
Aero tubular carbon rims, DT Swiss 240s hubs and DT Swiss Aerolite bladed
spokes and alloy nipples. Tires are by Continental and Speedplay outfits
Nydam with its 'white hot' Zero pedals. The total weight of Nydam's
rig was just 6.95kg (15.32lb) when we caught up with him just prior
to the Tour of California time trial stage in Solvang.
"I think as far as all the different obstacles I've had to deal with
getting into the professional level, one thing that's been convenient
is being on the same equipment and being familiar with it," said Nydam.
"Ever since I've been on a BMC it's never been the equipment holding
me back. I feel comfortable on my bike, I'm familiar with it. So I couldn't
ask for anything better. I've seen things change a little bit here and
there with the BMC Pro Machine; it feels a bit more reinforced on the
lower end around the bottom bracket area, they put on a stiffer fork…
so it feels a little more stable on the front end as well. It descends
a lot better than I felt with my superlight fork in years past. It's
a super bike. I can feel the difference."
After the fantastic display at the Tour of California, where does the
future hold for Nydam? The UCI may have something to say about that
as it just recently granted the team wild card status, making it at
least eligible for some of the most prestigious races in the world,
including the Tour de France.
"I want to find my ceiling. I want to go as far as I can," Nydam said.
"Honestly, the first time I really opened myself up to doing the Tour
de France was just in the past couple of weeks when I found out we'd
received wild card status with UCI. So that means for the first time
in my life I've been eligible actually, and in a position where we could
actually be at the Tour de France. That's not going to happen this year…
but it's well within the realm of possibility and it's the trajectory
that this team is going. I would love to race at the top of the sport.
That's where I'd like to be and I think that's where this program is
headed. So if I can keep pace with the program I'll probably find that
Good luck to you, Scott. Depending on how things go, 'someday' might
not be all far off after all.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here