Velobrico Workshop: BMC Fourstroke FS04

Summer is a time for holidays, taking a break, recharging the batteries, and filling idle moments scanning second hand bicycle adverts…

The latest addition to the stable is a well loved (i.e. ridden hard and put away wet…) BMC Fourstroke FS04 (2006?) fully suspended XC mountain bike. 

As you can tell from the ad photo, it has seen better days and needs some TLC, but fundamentally it’s solid, with an interesting frame design, sound pedigree and some nice components.

I picked this one up very cheap, for less than the cost of a second hand front suspension fork (which I’m on the look-out for the Steppenwolf Tundra). 

Here in Switzerland (and maybe also where you live), servicing and repair costs are relatively high. An overhaul and replacing a couple of parts can easily run into hundreds of Swiss Francs, which puts people off repairing things when they break.
In this case, the previous owner had bent the derailleur hanger, snapped the chain and twisted the rear derailleur (miraculously without breaking a spoke…), and was quoted a relatively high sum to repair by his local bike shop. So he put the bike up for sale, to fund a replacement.

As servicing costs are high, this also puts many buyers off such a bike. Which is great news for folks like me who enjoy a challenge, and finding diamonds in the rough!

BMC is now a well known and respected bike manufacturer, with successful racing teams in road and MTB disciplines, but I didn’t know that they are a relatively young brand. 

Apparently they began as a Swiss distributor for Raleigh bicycles in the mid 90s (after Raleigh’s heyday…), then branched out into framebuilding when the distribution contract was terminated. What a great outcome that they’re now such a highly recognised brand on their own merits.

Incidentally, while aimlessly browsing the ads, I came across another ad for the same bike in fully working order, for over four times what I paid for this one.

For once, I managed to take some photos of the bike in original as-bought condition (usually I’m so excited when I get something new that it immediately gets a wash and tinkering starts as soon as I get it home…), so here they are below.

First glance suggests that the bike is mostly sound, and other than replacing a derailleur hanger (and possibly the rear derailleur), all it needs is a bit of an overhaul (hub servicing, brake bleeding, new chain, pedal adjustment etc.). Will be interesting to see if the derailleur is reuseable…

Watch this space!

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