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Pro bikes, March 14, 2008

Scott Nydam's BMC SLC01 Pro Machine

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Photo ©: James Huang

Making the jump to the big leagues

By James Huang, Technical Editor

Even without the label
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Save for the bottom bracket threads
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Campagnolo's Record Ultra-Torque crankset
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The top tube wears a unique T-shaped profile.
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The matching Easton EC90 SLX fork
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Internal cable routing keeps the lines clean.
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You're not a pro
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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 Tour of California and Nydam also walked away with the KOM jersey after several particularly gutsy performances.

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 back."

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 race bike.

"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 top-end SLC01 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 someday."

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

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: BMC SLC01 Pro Machine, 55cm
Fork: Easton EC90 SLX

Critical measurements:

Rider's height: 1.8m (5' 11"); Weight: 71kg (157lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 518mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 554mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 780mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 575mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 592mm
Top tube length: 560mm (horizontal)

Front brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton
Rear brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton
Brake levers: Campagnolo Record QS Ergopower 10s
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record STD+CT 9s/10s
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Shift levers: Campagnolo Record QS Ergopower 10s
Cassette: Campagnolo Record UD 10s steel+titanium, 11-23T
Chain: Campagnolo Record Ultra Narrow
Crankset: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque Carbon 10s, 175mm, 39/53T
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque


Rims: Easton EC90 Aero
Hubs: DT Swiss 240s
Spokes: DT Swiss Aerolite
Tyres: Continental Pro Limited Competition Allaround tubular, 22mm

Headset: Cane Creek integrated
Stem: Easton EA90, 120mm x -6°
Handlebars: Easton EC90 Equipe SLX3, 42cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: Easton cork

Pedals: Speedplay Zero
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Team Edition
Seat post: Easton EC70
Bottle cages: Blackburn Camber CF
Computer: Blackburn Delphi 5.0

Total bicycle weight: 6.95kg (15.32lb)