Deep in the heart of central London this week, Boardman Bikes unveiled its 2011 range. Now in its fourth year, the bikes carry the name of the former Olympic individual pursuit and three-time Tour de France stage winner Chris Boardman.
Chris was forever pushing technological boundaries as a rider – the ‘Superman’ riding position used to set the 4km world record, only recently beaten by Australian Jack Bobridge, was soon banned by the UCI – and has taken that know-how into the Boardman range, which spans 22 bikes in 2011, across road, cyclo-cross, hybrid and mountain (a closer look at them here).
Available exclusively through Halfords, Boardman Bikes use a two-year product cycle which, they say, avoids “change for the sake of change” and “provides tangible benefits for the consumer”. Split into Performance and Elite models, most bikes in the new range come with completely new tubesets, as well as a host of other new features. Here’s a few of the highlights.
From the 2011 Performance Series line-up, we’re most interested in the five road bikes, with one cyclo-cross machine. The road bikes start at £649.99, topping out at £1799.99.
Boardman have developed a reputation for providing remarkably well-specced bikes for the price and the entry level Road Race has a lightweight triple-butted alloy frame with mudguard clearance, carbon fork, Tektro brakes, Shimano Sora shifters and rear mech, and Microshift front mech.
The range then scales up via the £799.99 Road Comp, £999.99 Road Team and £1299.99 Road Carbon before reaching the Road Pro Carbon..
The Road Pro Carbon features Boardman’s AiR super-aero tubeset – it reminded us of the Neil Pryde Alize – internal cable routing, BB30, Shimano Ultegra components and Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheelset. All in all, it weighs 17.6lbs.
We were particularly excited about the CX Team, which follows the rather excellent CX Pro. The CX Team, £899.99, is master of an alloy frame, with smooth welding to give the clean look that’s prominent across Boardman’s range.
The kit is SRAM Apex, but, most noticeable, was the fact that Boardman have taken the plunge and gone with disc brakes, which are now UCI legal in ‘cross racing.
Moving onto the Elite Series, there are two SLR (Superlight Racing) and two AiR (Aerodynamic Racing) models.
And when Boardman say superlight, they mean it. The SLR 9.4 (£3299.99), when weighed at last night’s launch, was just 6.4kg – well under the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit. But Boardman say they haven’t tried to craft the lightest bike possible, instead aiming for something which is, of course, featherweight, while not comprising quality.
With internal cable routing and BB30, SRAM Red is fitted throughout, with a handful of Ritchey components, Fizik Arione saddle and Boardman’s own Carbon SLR wheelset.
The SLR 9.2 is a step down at £2499.99, with SRAM Force and Mavic Askium Elite wheelset. Advertised weight is 15.7lbs.
Finally, the AiR 9.2 (£2299.99) and AiR 9.4 (£3299.99) feature Boardman’s super-aero tubeset, designed for absolute maxium efficiency. Shimano Dura-Ace dons the 9.4, while Ultegra is the name on the 9.2
- The Performance Series will be available from April 2, but you’ll have to wait until late spring/early summer for the Elite Series.