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Das URS von BMC wurde gemeinsam mit der Outdoor-Community von ISPO Open Innovation entwickelt.
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Three Bike Fans, Three Perspectives - One Bike!

  • Martin Jahns
  • July 16, 2019

Is there such a thing as the perfect bike? One bike to ride fast on the road and gravel, accompany you on bikepacking adventures and even master difficult singletracks? 
Maxime, Isabel and Serena are three cyclists with completely different preferences who helped develop the bike of their dreams together with ISPO Open Innovation and bicycle manufacturer BMC.


How would it be to help develop your favorite toy? Let`s say you´re a cyclist and are given the latest development from a big bike company to test it, give feedback and make suggestions for improvement. Maxime, Isabel and Serena had exactly this opportunity.

The three bike enthusiasts applied to ISPO Open Innovation and were not only allowed to test the off-road Gravel-Bike URS from the Swiss bike manufacturer BMC free of charge, but also allowed to give their impressions as valuable feedback and discuss them with the community.

By involving outdoor enthusiasts directly, BMC hoped for "important insights into the target group, the gravel segment and the new bike".

The bike name URS is an adaption of the English word "unrestricted". Because the bike not only wants to be at home on the gravel tracks of this world, but also shine on mountain bike trails and asphalt. In that respect, it was the perfect coincidence for the three selected testers to also have different cycling backgrounds.

I love riding unpaved roads, whether cobblestones, singletracks or gravel. But I´ve always used a MTB or a beach bike before.
Tester Isabel

Three Cyclists With Different Needs

Maxime is an enthusiastic bike packer, so he regularly takes bike bags with outdoor equipment with him on his trips lasting several days.

Serena, on the other hand, sees herself first and foremost as a cyclist who focusses on experiencing nature: "I rode a few races, especially to get to know new places and have fun on trails and roads, with success. But that’s not my point. I like cycling, discovering and enjoying nature."

Isabel was a competitive road and track cyclist and has only switched to the trails of the world in recent years. "I love riding unpaved roads, whether cobblestones, singletracks or gravel. But I´ve always used a MTB or a beach bike before," she says.

As a former road and track cyclist, Isabel started to ride trails late.
As a former road and track cyclist, Isabel started to ride trails late.
Image credit: Private

First Trip to the MTB Area

Thanks to ISPO Open Innovation and BMC the three could call the URS their new toy in April 2019. For Serena, even the first look was a highlight: "Way beyond my expectations," she remembers. But why only look when you can also ride? So off into the MTB they went!

"We should first try out the new bike on our usual tours. Since I also have another Gravel bike, I could compare it to it," says Serena.

She took URS directly to her home track, which she usually rides on her mountain bike, and likes to think back: "Overall it was a better experience than with my MTB. I was much faster, more agile and could ride really smooth. The dimensions of the bike were also perfect, so I felt extremely comfortable."

Thanks to feedback from the community, URS by BMC has also become a gravel-specific off-road bike with progressive geometry, integrated cockpit and maximum adaptability of the seating position.
Thanks to feedback from the community, URS by BMC has also become a gravel-specific off-road bike with progressive geometry, integrated cockpit and maximum adaptability of the seating position.
Image credit: BMC

Maxime Often Rides on Roads

Bikepacker Maxime took a different approach and tested the URS on over 300 kilometres on roads. "The bike feels less reactive than the road bike of my companion", Maxime said after day 1.

After three more tours he already changed his tune: "The bike is really fun even in the city and is incredibly comfortable on cobblestones. Even in heavy traffic, I feel safe."

On the bike packing route, he was finally convinced. "The bike does exactly what I want, even though I'm not a professional. Riding off-road is a lot easier than riding my previous Gravel bike."

Maxime is an enthusiastic bike packer and has also tested URS for its longer trips with luggage.
Maxime is an enthusiastic bike packer and has also tested URS for its longer trips with luggage.
Image credit: Privat

Serena Beats an Old Personal Best

Serena rode the URS in technically challenging terrain that she normally only dared to ride in her MTB:

"There's a steep climb on my trail that's always a real pain for me. I've been trying to set a new personal best there for four years, but I just can't do it with my mountain bike. Now I've tried it with the URS. What can I say? I made it! I fully attacked the climb and the bike was so easy and fluid to ride."

It feels good that our own impressions have been so useful in developing something that we love ourselves.
Tester Serena

Praise for Active Community

In addition to the practical tests, the competitive biker Isabel particularly liked the opportunities for exchange with the fellow testers and BMC: "In the forum of ISPO Open Innovation, we described our impressions of the bike and were asked further questions about it. It was really nice interacting with the other participants."

Nature lover Serena agrees. She was especially pleased "to work directly with BMC, to share our experiences and opinions about the bike with them. It feels good that our own impressions have been so useful in developing something that we love ourselves."

Serena used to race, but now she's mainly on her bike for the nature experience.
Serena used to race, but now she's mainly on her bike for the nature experience.
Image credit: Privat

Maxime Still Has Bikepacking Ideas

Bikepacking enthusiast Maxime used the opportunity to bring in praise and other suggestions from a bikepacking perspective. He suggested that the bicycle frame should be protected from friction with attached pockets by masking. After all, thanks to its longer frame and shorter shaft, the bike is also perfect for large frame bags.

The result of the joint work on and off the trails has now been on the market since 10 July. Together with BMC and ISPO Open Innovation Maxime, Isabel and Serena made it - they developed their new favourite toy themselves.