Side view of cross-country champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
© Bartek Woliński/@wolisphoto
Bike

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot's panther-themed BMC is on the prowl for wins

The French multi-discipline bike athlete has moved to a new team for 2021 and that means she now rides a BMC bike. We go through the BMC Fourstroke that she's riding this year in XCO World Cups.
By Aoife Glass
4 min readUpdated on
Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is one of the cycling's greatest-ever athletes. The French racer has an impressive track record across three different bike disciplines – mountain bike cross-country, road racing and cyclo-cross. She's a three-time world champion in cross-country and has also held world champion titles on the road and in cyclo-cross, including holding all three titles at the same time.
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot races on her BMC Fourstroke at the 2021 UCI World Cup in Nove Mesto in May.
New team, new bike
This phenomenal rider has big ambitions for 2021 and already had a strong start after moving from Canyon to a new team, Absolute Absalon-BMC.

A custom frame like no other

View of cross-country world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's custom BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
Say hello to the 'Panther One', Ferrand-Prevot's custom BMC Fourstroke
An athlete of this calibre deserves a bike that's built to perform and Ferrand-Prévot's BMC Fourstroke isn't just a high performance ride – it's also been decked out with custom graphics designed by Italian artist No Curves.
Close up view of the custom paint detail on the headtube of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
The graphics are a representation of mountains and rough terrain
Close up view of the custom paint on the top tube of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
The colours of the famous rainbow stripes are integrated into the design
First off, those graphics and the artist behind them: No Curves is an artist known for creating art primarily with tape. Their style is based around intersecting lines and angles with, you guessed it, no curves featuring in their geometric abstract work.
Close up view of the cutom paint details on the head tube of Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
The bike has been named 'Panther One'
Close up view of the custom Prologo saddle on Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
The panther logo is also on the Prologo saddle
For the 'Panther One', as Ferrand-Prévot's bike is named, No Curves took inspiration from cycling's famous rainbow stripes jersey worn by world champions and the mountains and terrain that she rides. The 'Panther' represents the duality of Ferrand-Prévot's athletic persona: calm and focused in preparation, ferocious in competition.

Drivetrain

The bike is a BMC Fourstroke full-suspension bike with 100mm of travel in the front and the rear. It is decked out with SRAM Eagle XX1 AXS, which offers wireless shifting. Wireless shifting obviously removes the need for mechanical or electrical cables between the cockpit and the derailleur. Cassette, chain and bolts are all in an eyecatching oil-slick finish.
Close up view of the rear gearing on Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
Gearing comes courtesy of SRAM XX1 in all its oil slick glory

Suspension

RockShox supplies the suspension in the form of a 100mm RockShox SID Ultimate fork and 100mm RockShox SID Luxe Ultimate shock. Both are specifically designed for elite cross-country mountain bike racing. BMC uses what it calls APS – Advanced Pivot System – as its suspension platform.
The rear triangle movement is controlled by two links, and BMC says this offers a blend of pedal efficiency, traction, sensitivity and support in a light, stiff package that's essential for cross-country. Based on Ferrand-Prévot's performances so far this World Cup, it certainly seems to be working for her.
Close up view of the rear triangle on Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
Movement of the solid rear triangle is controlled by two links
With XCO courses becoming increasingly technical, riders are frequently opting for full-suspension bikes, though Ferrand-Prévot will also be racing a BMC Twostroke hardtail at some rounds of the 2021 XCO World Cup.

Tyres and wheels

Love them or loathe them, the Vittoria Mezcal tyres with tan sidewalls add a dash of retro vibes to the bike, as well as off-road traction that blends grip in the wet with a fast-rolling tread. When it comes to wheel size, Ferrand-Prévot rides 29" wheels on both front and back. These are supplied by Duke Racing Wheels, a high-end French wheel manufacturer.
Close up view of the tyre and wheel on Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
Retro vibes from the tan wall Vittoria tyres

Prototype chainring

Eagle-eyed tech fans will also spot that the 'Panther One' is also sporting a prototype SRAM Blackbox XX1 AXS integrated power meter chainring, which has also been spotted on the bikes of a few other athletes over the last year or so, including Kate Courtney.

Data collection

Data is all-important when you're racing to the kinds of margins that these elite athletes are and many racers will have some way of keeping an eye on and logging data, even if it’s just the time – for Ferrand-Prevot, it's a Polar smart watch strapped around her handlebars.
Close up view of the handlebars on Pauline Ferrand-Prevot's BMC Fourstroke mountain bike.
No computer, a trusty Polar smartwatch is all Ferrand-Prévot needs

Full component list

  • Frame: BMC Fourstroke
  • Fork: 100mm RockShox SID Ultimate
  • Rear suspension: 100mm RockShox SID Luxe Ultimate
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM Dub
  • Chain: SRAM XX1 Eagle
  • Crankset: SRAM XX1 cranks with SRAM Blackbox XX1 AXS integrated power meter chainring
  • Cassette: SRAM XX1 Eagle 10–50t
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS
  • Shifters: SRAM XX1 Eagle
  • Wheels: Duke Lucky Jack carbon
  • Tyres: Vittoria Mezcal, 2.25"
  • Brakes: SRAM Level Ultimate
  • Saddle: Prologo PAS
  • Pedals: Time Absalon 33
  • Grips: MB 90
  • Handlebars: 700mm BMC carbon