BMC launches its first race-specific gravel bike, the Kaius 01

BMC Introduces Gravel Performance Series with road bike inspired Kaius 01
(Image credit: BMC)

BMC has launched its first performance-orientated gravel bike. The Kaius 01 is part of what BMC is calling its Gravel Performance Series and is aimed at fast gravel riding and racing.

BMC already has the URS carbon and alloy gravel bikes, although the slack geometry and suspension blend means they are more adventure orientated. To make the best gravel bike for gravel racing, BMC has borrowed technology from its road bikes. 

The Kaius 01 utilizes BMC’s Tuned Compliance Concept Race Technology with compliance tuned to offer an equal balance of stiffness and compliance. BMC says it used high-module fibers to provide stiffness, keep the weight low and balance out the added weight required to achieve compliance and robustness. The result is a frame weighing only 910g, alongside 400g for the fork, 160g for the seat post and 315 grams for the cockpit.

Stefan Christ, Head of R&D at BMC offers insight into the processes that led to fusing the two worlds of road racing and gravel riding: “We tuned Kaius to the gravel wavelength to harness the precision and performance of our leading road technologies whilst ensuring front-end stability at speed and high traction on loose surfaces.”

BMC Introduces Gravel Performance Series with road bike-inspired Kaius 01

(Image credit: BMC)

The geometry follows the gravel trend for longer wheelbases by extending the reach and using a shorter stem in order to maintain bike fit and offer responsive handling. A 72-degree headtube angle (71-degrees on 47cm and 51cm bikes) and a 73-degree seattube angle are definitely sharing more in common with road bikes than some of the slack gravel bikes we have seen from the likes of Rondo or Sonder.

The Kaius 01 comes with BMC's one-piece Integrated Cockpit System (ICS) which is used to reduce the frontal surface area for better aerodynamics and internally route all the cables for a super clean finish. Alternatively, BMC's new MTT Suspension Stem can be specced, which offers up to 20mm of tuneable suspension.

BMC Introduces Gravel Performance Series with road bike inspired Kaius 01

(Image credit: BMC)

The bottle cages are integrated for better aerodynamics like they are on BMC's Timemachine Road bike and the frame is compatible with both 1x and 2x drivetrains. Tire clearance is 44mm which should give more than enough space for those who are looking to race rough courses.

BMC has also assured that frame areas exposed to rocks and shocks, such as the lower face of the downtube, feature protection and there is internal routing for a dropper if you're getting really radical. Finally, there are top tube bolt-on mounts if you want to run a top tube bag.

The Kaius 01 will come in three builds starting with a Rival AXS-equipped Kaius 01, which will retail for $5,999 / €5,499. The Kaius 01 Two moves up to Force and gets a set of Zipp 303 S for $8,999 / €8,499. Finally the top of the range Kaius 01 One gets the SRAM Red works and rolls on Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels – that one will set you back a whopping $11,999 / €11,499.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg