Today we’re talking Allied BC40. Allied is a new brand for us here at the shop. In fact, it’s a relatively new brand in general. The Little Rock, Arkansas-based company started with gravel bikes that immediately rose to stardom after they were raced to the top step of the podium at Unbound Gravel in 2019. Since then, Allied has added new models and disciplines to its lineup. This brings us to our video today. We’re talking about Allied’s first mountain bike, the BC40. It’s an American-made, full-suspension, quick and nimble rig that blurs the lines between the XC race and trail categories. So is it the right bike for you? Stick around to find out.
Allied BC40 Geo and Details
We’re going over some high-level details here. For the complete geo and build kits info, head to alliedcycleworks.com. The Allied BC40 rolls on 29” wheels and 120mm of front and rear wheel travel. It’s designed to be light and fast, with our test bike weighing in at 25.5 lbs without pedals. The bike’s geometry reflects that quick and nimble mantra with a 66.5° head tube angle and 1241mm wheelbase in size XL. The reach is a healthy 501mm with 435mm chain stays.
Our test bike is a bit of a custom build dressed to the nines with top-of-the-line Rockshox suspension, a Shimano XTR drivetrain, brakes, an immaculate color-shift paint job, as well as an Enve cockpit and wheels. You literally can’t ask for anything nicer.
So how does it ride? Let’s get into it.
Allied BC40 Review
The Allied BC40 is one of those rocketship bikes. The kind that makes you want to pedal faster and faster because the bike rewards you for it. It comes equipped with remote suspension lockouts, but to be honest, I’m not sure why. It’s one of those “lockout levers be damned” sorts of bikes.
It’s as efficient as I’d ever want a bike to be. In fact, for the rockier terrain I rode, I would have preferred just a tiny bit more give to the rear suspension for just a bit more traction and control. On the smoother trails, the suspension felt perfect for putting your head down and hammering out some serious miles. It’s firm and efficient, with little to no pedal bob whatsoever. The BC40 uses a flex stay suspension design. These are becoming more and more common in the lightweight trail and XC categories. They remove some weight by foregoing a rear pivot/bearing in favor of some engineered flex in the stays. Most bikes I’ve ridden with this design tend to be fast, snappy pedallers, and the BC40 is no exception.
The BC40’s geometry and climbing position feel pretty comfortable for a bike that goes uphill as well as it does. Most bikes that feel this “XC” tend to be a bit more stretched out and forward-leaning. My old man spine tends not to enjoy that aggressive position, so I found the BC40 very comfortable. I don’t think it’s so relaxed and casual that the handling suffers. It’s easy to keep the front wheel weighted and control the steering on tight sections of the trail. When thinking about the handling, the word that kept coming to mind was “sharp.” The BC40 is precise and quick, allowing for a very active riding style. It’s the kind of bike that makes it easy to change lines, unweight and avoid obstacles.
Overall the BC40 is an excellent blend of the trail and XC categories. Its suspension feel is fast and efficient while being more forgiving in the geometry and body position. I wouldn’t hesitate to ride it for events like True Grit Epic. It climbs so well that you won’t be gassed halfway through the day, but your back and neck will love the more upright pedaling position. Plus, that more forgiving geo pays dividends on the downhills.
I tend to ride mid to long-travel bikes. It suits the kind of trails I like to ride. So, it’s no surprise that it takes me a second to adjust my riding style when I jump on a short-travel bike. I usually spend the first 20 minutes being scared to corner or go over any sort of bump larger than a baseball. That, surprisingly, wasn’t the case on the Allied BC40. It has some of the quickest and sharpest handling of any bike I’ve ridden without the squirrely nature that often comes paired with that level of maneuverability.
The BC40’s suspension feel on the ups shows through just as much on the downhill as well. It is very firm and efficient. There’s not a ton of forgiveness built in. You end up feeling trail chatter quite a bit more than on plusher bikes. The upside to that, though, is that there’s not a lot of energy wasted when pumping the terrain or trying to get back up to speed out of a corner. You also have to keep in mind where this bike was designed to be ridden is primarily rolling terrain with lots of ups and downs. It’s not like the riding out here in Utah with a long climb for a single sustained downhill. In that rolling terrain, you’ll find yourself pedaling more often. That firm and supportive suspension is what helps keep your average speeds high.
The handling was the star of the show here. The BC40 corners, unweights, and changes lines incredibly easily. It’s one of the most responsive bikes I’ve ever ridden. The best part about it is that it does it all in a way that doesn’t feel squirrely. I spent a day on the BC40 hitting jumps, drops, and trails that were probably a bit above the bike’s pay grade—or, I should say, my pay grade on that bike. I found that I never needed to use the bike as an excuse not to hit a feature or to ride slower than everyone else in the group on their longer travel bikes. To be honest, the biggest limiting factor was the trail casing Rekon tires and my lack of preparedness (read: left my spare tube in the truck)
Overall on the descents, the BC40 is surprising. It finds a way to offer ultra-quick handling without being squirrely. I wouldn’t hesitate to ride it on some of the rougher trails in northern Utah as well as many of the more technical desert trails. It would easily handle trails like Zen and Barrel. I swore off endurance racing years ago, but if I had to pick a bike to do that style of riding again, I’m going to have to go with the BC40.
Allied BC40 Comparisons
There are a lot of bikes that come to mind when thinking about BC40 comparisons. This part is going to be pretty fun.
The first bike I thought of when riding the BC40 was the Ibis Ripley. It wasn’t until I got home and compared geometry charts that I found out why. Those two bikes are nearly identical in geo. The suspension feel is wildly different, though. The Ripley feels a bit plusher and lends itself to offering more traction and comfort in bumpy terrain. Because of that, it’s a bit slower than the BC40 in smoother terrain. On the downhill, they offer similar handling characteristics, with the Ripley feeling more confident and the BC40 being more responsive. That could come down to component selection and tires potentially.
We should also compare the BC40 to the Exie. Those two have a very similar suspension feel. They both have lockout levers that don’t need to be there. They are some of the most efficient bikes around. Even with 20mm more rear wheel travel, I wouldn’t hesitate to put the BC40 up against the Exie in a climbing test. I think it would be very close. On the DH, I think the BC40 is going to be the more planted and sure-footed descender. It would be really close, though. The BC40 is slacker but shorter overall. The added length from the Exie goes a long way in providing some high-speed stability.
Rocky Mountain Element
The Element is a very unique bike. It almost blurs the lines between an XC suspension feel and all-mountain geometry. It’s one of the most confident descending short-travel bikes I’ve ridden. It immediately felt at home to me and my long-travel inclinations. It pedals efficiently and offers a ton of stability. The BC40 can’t quite hang in the stability department, but it certainly wins in the handling department. They both pedal very well and will get you to your destination with plenty of gas left in the tank.
The Transition Spur is the last but not least bike that comes to mind when talking about the BC40. Again, it would make sense. They have the same amount of travel and very similar geometry. They both use a flex stay suspension design as well. The Spur feels a bit more “trail” to me both up and down the mountain. If I had to ride some scary terrain, I’d probably take it over the BC40. But, if I wanted to be the first guy up the mountain, I’d go with the Allied.
Who is the Allied bc40 for?
The BC40 is made for the “hundreds of miles of trails” in Allied’s backyard. I’ve ridden the Back 40 trail network, which is where the BC40 gets its name. Those trails in northwest Arkansas are generally smooth and fast rolling with some embedded rock and slimy limestone. The BC40 is the perfect bike for knocking out huge rides in that style of terrain. So if long rides in rolling terrain are your jam, look no further. If you like fast, efficient bikes either to rip your friends’ legs off with or just simply keep up with your freakishly fast kids, you’re going to enjoy the BC40. It has that race-like feel without the sketchy twitch factor that often comes with it. That makes it the perfect option for loooong days in the saddle, where you’re likely to encounter a wide variety of terrain. There’s a reason it’s Payson McElveen’s signature ride. He’s the king of doing very long rides very quickly. Side note: if you ever want to feel like an inferior bike rider, go watch anything Payson does.
The bottom line on the allied bc40
The ultimate bike for those looking to knock out big days in varying terrain.