Boardman SLR Signature Disc
Revamped range topped by disc-equipped, well-specced beauty
by Colin Henrys
Of all the bike brands here it’s quite possible Boardman are the ones who have made the biggest moves over the last year, including the introduction of the Boardman SLR Signature Disc. If you’re tempted to scoff, hear us out first.
All the bikes here are fantastic machines from top-flight brands, but not all of them have made those bikes while undertaking a full brand overhaul, changing everything from design, to logo, to bikes, to components, to, well, you get it.
Remodelling the whole brand was a calculated risk by Boardman, but one that on this early look, seems to have paid off very well.
And it was a risk, because Boardman were taking something successful and trying to make it better.
Had their bikes been terrible, it wouldn’t have been a bold move at all, because if you take something awful and it’s still awful, or even if you make it worse, you haven’t lost much.
So remodelling the whole brand was a calculated risk by Boardman, but one that on this early look, seems to have paid off very well.
Each bike model now has what Boardman are calling a ‘signature’ edition, basically what you’d get if you took one of their frame sets on the two-wheeled equivalent of Pimp My Ride
One of the simpler things Boardman have done is change their ‘endurance’ bikes range. So where you previously had both the SLR and the SLS they’ve simplified that down to a single model, and the SLR emerged victorious in the battle of the SL prefixes.
Having said that, the SLR is now available with two options on the geometry - race and endurance - but if you want the disc-brake version you can only grab one in the endurance geometry, as Boardman only offer ‘race’ in the standard geometry.
Another new addition comes right at the top end. Each bike model now has what Boardman are calling a ‘signature’ edition, basically what you’d get if you took one of their frame sets on the two-wheeled equivalent of Pimp My Ride.
For the SLR Disc, that means a Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, coupled with Shimano’s R785 hydraulic disc brakes, which is a pretty good place to start. On top of that, though, are a set of Zipp’s 303 Firecrest clinchers in their disc-brake guise. According to Zipp, the disc-ready version of the 303s is only 20g heavier than the non-disc equivalents, which is pretty impressive indeed.
One of our favourite visual touches on the bike, and another truly top-end addition, is the ENVE finishing kit. The bars, stem and seat post combine on their own for an RRP of more than £800, so at least you can see where your money is going if you decide to splash out on one of these. The kit has the double bonus of being super light and having that overall stealthy look, giving a subtle finish to the bike.
With a range that now encompasses everything from top flight TT bikes, to aero road bikes, to titanium bikes and MTBs, Chris Boardman and his eponymous brand have never been afraid to try new things. In fact, Boardman had quite the reputation for being innovative as a professional cyclist and has carried that same ethos into his bike brand. With that in mind, they’ve equipped the fork on the SLR with a thru axle. Yep, a 15mm thru axle secures the front wheel, while a traditional quick release skewer does the job at the back.
- Price: £7,999.99
- Website: Boardman Bikes
It’s also worth keeping in mind that if you fancy an SLR but want something a little different, Boardman offer the bike through their all-new online bike customising tool. You can’t choose all the kit piece by piece like you can on, say, Trek’s Project One, but you can choose a one of a kind frameset paint job to make sure you’re out there riding something nobody else has.
The SLR in the bike’s name stands for Super Light Road, and with this one coming in at 7.85kg, that’s pretty creditable for a disc brake bike. The Signature edition of the rim brake alternative drops that to a claimed 6.8kg, but that’s with a set of Enve SES 3.4 tubular wheels rather than 303s and a Campag Super Record groupset. If you want even lighter, the race geometry version of the Signature bike is 6.45kg with Dura-Ace Di2 and the same Enve SES 3.4 tubs.