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Boardman bolsters range with new road and adventure bikes that look excellent value

SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 road bike comes with carbon frame and electronic version of Shimano’s 105 groupset for £2,800

Boardman has introduced three new road and adventure bikes that, on paper at least, look like they offer excellent value for money. The Boardman SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 road bike, for example, comes with a carbon fibre frame and Shimano’s 105 Di2 groupset with electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes for £2,800.

Judging by our experiences with previous models in the range, the £2,000 Boardman ADV 9.0 Road and £2,300 ADV 9.2 gravel bike look similarly good value.

Let’s look at them individually...

SLR 8.9 Disc Di2, £2,800 

The SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 is built around a new carbon fibre frameset that has been developed out of the previous design.

2024 Boardman SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 - 1 (1)

Boardman says, “We’ve never been happy to rest on our laurels, and we’ve been working on a new layup for our SLR 8.9 Disc frame to not only shave 150g from the frame and fork, but also significantly improve the comfort by filtering out road vibrations before they reach the rider.

> Read our review of the Boardman SLR 9.6 Disc 

“Our new C8 Endurance Carbon layup uses more high-modulus material in key areas than the C7 layup on the standard SLR 8.9 models. This allows us to use less material and lay up fibres in different orientations to help dissipate high-frequency road buzz which can make longer rides feel like a chore. Combined with CFD-developed and wind-tunnel-proven tube profiles, the SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 is a bike that makes you want to ride that bit further and faster.”

Boardman says that the C8 Endurance Carbon frame is 990g while the fork is 420g. Both are pretty impressive for a bike at this price. Hidden mudguard mounts are designed to add year-round practicality.

2024 Boardman SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 - 1 (2)

This model is equipped with Shimano’s excellent 105 Di2 groupset which was launched last year. When we reviewed it, we praised the shift quality and speed, along with the powerful braking. You get a performance that’s virtually identical to that of Shimano’s higher-level Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 groupsets, just a touch heavier. You get a compact 50/34t chainset with an 11-34t cassette.

> Check out our Shimano 105 R7100 Di2 groupset review 

The Boardman SLR Alloy Disc wheels are fitted with Vittoria Rubino Pro Graphene 2.0 tyres in a 28mm width.

Boardman claims an all-up bike weight of 8.9kg.

If the bike performs anything like the Boardman SLRs we’ve reviewed in the past, it sounds like you’re getting a helluva lot for your money here. 

ADV 9.0 Road, £2,000 

The ADV 9.0 Road is new too; a bike that’s designed for versatility. Boardman reckons this one is suitable for riding both on and off road.

2024 Boardman ADV 9.0 - 1

“Perhaps the ultimate bike to settle the N+1 debate, the ADV 9.0 road adds a 12-speed Shimano 105 groupset and Vittoria Corsa Next 32mm tyres to our award-winning C10 Carbon ADV frameset,” says Boardman.

That’s the mechanical (as opposed to the electronic) version of Shimano 105 this time. Again, you get a 50/34t compact chainset matched up to an 11-34t cassette.

Like the SLR 8.9 Disc Di2 (above), the ADV 9.0 Road comes with a frame that weighs under 1,000g and you get hidden mudguard mounts.

“Designed with stable handling and comfort in mind, the ADV platform builds into a fantastic long-distance, endurance road bike with this spec sheet,” says Boardman.

“Vittoria Corsa N.EXT 32mm tyres roll almost race-bike fast, grip well, and, importantly, are way more durable than they’ve any right to be with such low rolling resistance and confidence-inspiring handling. The smaller road tyres reduce the trail from down to 63mm, speeding up steering response vs a pure gravel setup too.”

The ADV 9.0 Road comes with enough space to fit 45mm tyres so you could easily swap to something wider for exploring tracks and trails. 

ADV 9.2, £2,300  

The ADV 9.2 uses the same C10 Carbon frame as the ADV 9.0 Road (above) but it’s designed specifically for gravel, bridleways and fire roads rather than for tarmac. It comes equipped with a SRAM Apex AXS groupset. 

2024 Boardman ADV 9.2 - 1

“1X12 simplicity with a wide range 10-44t cassette makes finding the right gear for steep technical climbs or fast fire-road descents intuitive,” says Boardman. “Tubeless-ready 38mm Panaracer Gravelking SK tyres strike a fine balance between fast rolling on smooth surfaces and grip when things get rougher. Rims are taped, and valves are included, so riders only need to add sealant to convert.”

Again, it looks like Boardman is offering impressive value for money here. 

We’ll see if we can get any of these models in for review here on road.cc.

www.boardmanbikes.com

This article contains affiliate links

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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12 comments

Avatar
Krislord | 3 months ago
1 like

It's always nice to see new Boardman models released, I've the orange ADV and it's a great bike.  Interesting to see these are all at the higher end of the range.

I can't help but think they're a bit above the sweet spot in price - maybe a bit snobby but if I have nearly £3k to spend do I want a Boardman branded bike? I'm surprised there isn't a cheaper option with 105 mechanical.

Also GRX being  replaced by standard 105 is unexpected on the ADV model. It seems to have moved a bit further towards the SLR in specification.

 

Avatar
mattw | 3 months ago
1 like

Having hacked my way through the linguistic bollocks, it's nice to see the brand evolving.

Though I am unsure whether in 2023 £2000-£3000 can be "good value", unless one views Harrods Value-Added Prepared Pheasant or a Fortnums & Masons £1250 Christmas Hamper as potential good value.

It's also nice to see wider tyres, even if they do need swapping out for Marathon Supremes.

And especially nice to see a 1x12 train on the less expensive one - good to see those becoming with a practically wide set of ratios.

Avatar
nickyburnell | 3 months ago
1 like

Assemble it yourself, it's a bicycle not a Tesla

Avatar
Kapelmuur | 3 months ago
0 likes

Looked good until I realised I'd have to buy from Halfords.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Kapelmuur | 3 months ago
2 likes
Kapelmuur wrote:

Looked good until I realised I'd have to buy from Halfords.

You can buy online from Tredz, although they're owned by Halfords I'm told they actually have decent mechanics working for them so less likely to end up with a forks on back to front brakes on the wrong side of the bars job than you are from an assembled in store job.

Avatar
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP replied to Rendel Harris | 3 months ago
3 likes

I always thought the 'forks back to front' was apocryphal until my nephew, inadvisadly, bought a bike from Halfords, proudly showed it to me and, lo, the forks were back to front. He hadn't noticed but is there no QC at Halfords? 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 3 months ago
2 likes
BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP wrote:

I always thought the 'forks back to front' was apocryphal until my nephew, inadvisadly, bought a bike from Halfords, proudly showed it to me and, lo, the forks were back to front. He hadn't noticed but is there no QC at Halfords? 

Not confined to Halfords I fear, just before the pandemic Mrs H had an e-MTB from Decathlon delivered with reversed forks. To be be fair to Decathlon they did send me a fulsome apology, a detailed explanation of how they were investigating to see it wouldn't happen again and fifty quid for the trouble of putting it right.

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mark1a replied to Kapelmuur | 3 months ago
5 likes

It's not really a problem, I bought a Boardman URB with hub gears & belt drive for my son when he went to university, it was a fantastic bike for the money, especially with the Halfords BC discount. 

I got round the potential build issues by ordering it with "don't build my bike" selected in the checkout, and then collected still boxed from my local store. Simple enough job once at home to fit the bars, torque up the stem, fit front wheel & pedals, inflate tyres, adjust saddle and stop the brakes from rubbing. 

End result - great bike for a great price, with the knowledge that it hadn't been PDI'd by their work experience droid in the workshop. 

Avatar
Adam Sutton replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
3 likes

Same but with my brompton. Had a load or rewards from work for a project we did, that could be cashed in as halfords vouchers plus 10% off via the BC discount. Saved about £400 in the end.

Just to add too, I think Halfords do vary, as the two near me don't seem too bad.

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Dnnnnnn replied to Adam Sutton | 3 months ago
3 likes
Adam Sutton wrote:

Halfords do vary, as the two near me don't seem too bad.

They can vary within store, too, depending on whether you get the professional bike mechanic or the Saturday lad who's more interested in car accessories (or just gets better hours than at Sainsbury's). Many store managers' knowledge and interest is probably nearer the Saturday lad's than the mechanic's so recruitment and oversight is variable too.

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Adam Sutton replied to Dnnnnnn | 3 months ago
3 likes

Good point. I think I have avoided the Saturday staff mostly.

Although my local one did put themselves out when I ordered a new helmet on click and collect, as it turned out it actually wasn't in stock. One of them checked it was available at the next store as she was going there for something else. Saved me a dissappointment or trip myself to a different store, although reveiving goods from the boot of an employees car was a bit of an odd one. LOL!

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Flintshire Boy replied to mark1a | 3 months ago
2 likes

 

I also ordered my Boardman to be collected, boxed up, so could take to LBS for assembling properly.

.

When went to collect - they'd only assembled the ruddy thing!

.

Generally, have to say that have found them to be fairly inept.

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