The eMTB trail bike trend has really taken hold in the heart of Europe, and BMC of Switzerland is the latest to throw their carbon in the ring with a Shimano E-8000 powered, e-bike version of their all-mountain trail bike. The new Trailfox Amp adapts BMC’s short link APS four-bar suspension design for the added weight & torque of an eMTB, while integrating a large downtube battery and drive motor rather cleanly into the carbon mainframe. It keeps the same 150mm travel as the regular 29er Trailfox, but makes the move to wider/smaller 27.5+ tires for improved grip and comparable rollover. Much like the e-Rocky Mountain we saw a week ago, the Trailfox Amp will be available only in Europe (at least for now), and it doesn’t come cheap. Read on for the full details…
We actually previewed the new 27.5+ e-bike last fall at Eurobike, when BMC was still showing it as an in-process prototype.
Looking back it seems the bike’s tech & shaping was close to being ready then, just needing the move to production materials.
The Trailfox Amp is for sure a premium e-bike – aimed at riders with plenty of disposable income who ride the steep technical trails that define the alpine territory around BMC’s headquarters in Grenchen, near Biel/Bienne (where we also recently toured DT’s nearby factory & HQ.) With 150mm of travel at both ends, fat & aggressive 2.8″ Maxxis tires, and the huge power of the XT-level E-8000 motor on tap, this machine is designed to get you back up the mountain as quickly as possible to either extend the range of how far you can ride from the trailhead or to help you squeeze a couple of extra descents into your day on the bike.
The Trailfox Amp takes the Shimano drive motor and builds it into a e-bike specific adaptation of BMC’s short link Advanced Pivot System suspension, with updated e-bike specific slack & long trail geometry and a bottom bracket that sits a little higher to minimize pedal strikes, again adapted from the regular Trailfox. BMC says that they worked with the Shimano motor to benefit from its minimal impact on chainstay length and were able to integrate it into the 150mm APS design with oversized, wider linkages and a special shock tune to match the special demands of the eMTB setup.
The Trailfox Amp frame itself gets a carbon front triangle with what BMC calls Twin Hollow-core. That’s essentially two seperate carbon tubes that make up the structure of the downtube, cradling the large battery and joined across the top.
Then, encompassing the Shimano motor, BMC built a reinforced cover/bashguard that protects the drive system from impacts & trail debris. It also continues up the downtube with a matching battery cover for a smooth transition between frame, battery & motor.
While the front opts for carbon, the one-piece rear triangle is triple-butted alloy, with both links also built from aluminum. That rear end gets integrated chainstay protection to keep the bike running quiet, and along with internal housing it gets an internally integrated speed sensor to manage power output (and the 25km/h assist limiter.)
Tech wise, of course the machine is Boost spaced, with room for up to 2.95″ real tire width. All housing is routed internally for either mechanical or electronic drivetrains, including for the stealth dropper seatposts spec’ed on each complete bike.
The e-bike uses an internal 1.5″ tapered headset, integrated Shimano Hollowtech crank arms, and is 1x specific. But it does still get a small integrated chain guide just in front of the main pivot. The e-bike drive is managed through Shimano’s small handlebar mounted display, that doubles as the Di2 controller for electronic shift builds.
The Trailfox Amp will be offered in three frame sizes and three specs, starting from the premium ‘how can this be entry-level’ Trailfox Amp Two with its mechanical XT 1x drivetrain, DT Swiss M1700 wheels, Fox 36 & Float Performance level suspension, what looks like a new-to-us RaceFace Aeffect dropper seatpost, and a 7000€ pricetag.
It only goes up from there. The next model – the Trailfox Amp One – steps up to an XT Di2 single drivetrain, lighter DT HXC1501 wheels, a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork & Float Factory shock, Fox Transfer dropper, and a price of 9000€.
Then at the top is the ‘Mexico blue’ 12,000€ Trailfox Amp Ltd, where all the stops have been pulled. The top-spec e-bike gets an XTR Di2 drivetrain, a set of carbon DT Swiss HXC 1200 30 eMTB wheels, a Fox 36 Factory fork, Cane Creek DB shock, and RaceFace cockpit & Turbine dropper post.