When BMC released details about the race bikes the Absolute Absalon-BMC team would ride for the 2021 season, they said that Pauline Ferrand-Prévot would race on a custom bike. This week, the Swiss brand has finally unveiled Ferrand-Prévot's bike which features a custom-designed World Champion-themed livery.
The design centers around the UCI's traditional World Championship stripes, commemorating the Frenchwomen's victory in last year's XCO race. The design was created by Milan-based artist NO CURVES, who uses tape to create their unique designs.
"It was like an invitation to take my place in his artistic universe," the multi-time World Champion said. "I don't think I have a creative side, but I have to admit that I really got into the game."
To inspire the design, NO CURVES, whose identity is a secret, asked Ferrand-Prévot a series of questions and required that she answer in the form of pictures.
"You’re dealing with this extraordinary contradiction that is a BMC bicycle – designed with incredible digital software but ultimately still created in an artisanal and artistic way," the artist said. "It brings home that technology – however perfect – still needs the creativity and intuition of humans."
- Absolute Absalon-BMC team Fourstroke XC race bike - Gallery
- Jordan Sarrou's golden World Championship BMC Fourstroke - Gallery
There is a panther on the headtube, which represents Ferrand-Prévot's calmness combined with an internal intensity that's released on race day.
There are deconstructed mountains at the junction of the downtube and seat tube, which are a nod to the natural terrain of mountain biking as well as the highs and lows of the sport.
"There’s always a part of me that’s reserved, and I have no idea how NO CURVES summed me up so well, Ferrand-Prévot said. "He has this insane ability to look at me with a wider lens – from my sporting life to me as a woman. It was fascinating to get his external perspective. He’d done a monstrous amount of work to really look at what is in my core and what I hold close to my heart."
In terms of technical details of the bike, Ferrand-Prévot rides a size small, and her Fourstroke weighs just above 10kg. The bike is outfitted with top-end SRAM and RockShox components.
For suspension, she is running a 100mm RockShox SID Ultimate fork and a 100mm SID Lux Ultimate shock to make fast work of technical World Cup courses. The drivetrain uses SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS, and Ferrand-Prévot uses a 32 or 24T chainring, depending on the course. The brakes are SRAM's Level Ultimate model with 160mm rotors.
Duke carbon wheels are wrapped in Vittoria Mezcal tires in a 2.25in size. Most of the other bits are from BMC, and the saddle is a Prologo PAS that's adorned with World Champion stripes and the same panther that appears on the headtube.
"I was already in love with the geometry of my BMCs, now I'm more than ever proud, honored and happy to ride them every day," Ferrand-Prévot said.
Tech specs: Pauline Ferrand-Prévot's BMC Fourstroke
- Frame: BMC Fourstroke, Ferrand-Prévot also will ride a BMC Twostroke hardtail
- Fork: RockShox SID Ultimate, 100mm
- Shock: RockShox SID Lux Ultimate, 100mm
- Derailleur: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
- Cassette: SRAM XX1 Eagle, 10-50T
- Wheels: Duke carbon
- Tires: Vittoria Mezcal, 2.25in
- Handlebars: BMC carbon, 700mm
- Grips: MTB 90
- Pedals: Time
- Saddle: Prologo PAS