The Boardman Elite SLR/9.8 is one of the bikes we didn't get to see in the flesh at the Boardman Bikes 2011 launch last month. But we were afforded the chance this week when Boardman brought one into BikeRadar towers in Bath.
Together with the aero AiR/9.8, the SLR (Superlight Racing) sits at the top of the Elite road range, with its main point of interest being its light weight. The size L we saw weighed just 6.18kg (13.6lb), which makes it 200g lighter than the next model down, the SLR 9.4.
It's a similar bike to the one ridden by the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, but there are a few small differences. The main one is the integrated seatmast, which cuts weight compared to a clamp and seatpost, at the expense of adjustability. Weight is also saved by using Zipp 202 tubular wheels instead of the ENVE Composites clinchers that are specced on the pro team bikes. Finally, the production bikes are devoid of paint – the graphics being done with decals on naked carbon.
Despite being built for light weight, the SLR frame still makes a few aero concessions. Cables are all internally routed via individual carbon tubes inside the frame, the front and rear derailleur cables emerging through a gap on the underside of the down tube. A SRAM Red groupset, Ritchey Superlogic bar and stem, and a carbon railed Fizik Arione saddle complete the package, which will sell for around £5,000 in the UK and $8,000 in the US. The SLR/9.8 should be available from the end of May.
Here's a short clip (courtesy of Boardman Bikes) of the Elite range in action: