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