Boardman SLR Endurance 9.0 first ride review£1,900.00

Our first impressions of Boardman's entry-level race bike

With any luck, the days of bike companies plastering their name, logo and pseudo-technical terms all over frames have passed. Boardman’s SLR Endurance keeps it simple with the brand’s name and logo appearing twice each on the black and red frame. The model name isn’t even mentioned.

Boardman SLR Endurance 9.0 spec overview

  • Weight: 7.52kg (M)
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra, 11-28t,
  • FSA: Gossamer Pro 50/34 chainset
  • Brakes: FSA Gossamer Pro
  • Wheels: Boardman SLR Elite Five
  • Finishing kit: Boardman Elite alloy bar and stem, SLR Carbon Twenty seatpost, Prologo Nago Evo saddle, Vittoria Rubino Pro 25mm tyres

Boardman SLR Endurance 9.0 frame and equipment

Although this is the entry-level SLR Endurance machine, the same frame, which is claimed to weigh around 850g in medium, is used for the range-topping £8,500 / US$11,000 model, and its frameset-only price is £1,400 / US$2,000.

Kitted out with Shimano Ultegra gearing plus an FSA Gossamer Pro chainset and brakes, there’s refinement where it matters.

The cockpit is ergonomically shaped and well-finished
The cockpit is ergonomically shaped and well-finished

Boardman SLR Endurance 9.0 ride impression

Our medium example’s frame geometry differs from the SLR Race model by having a 20mm taller head-tube, longer seat-tube, and 5mm longer chainstays. It’s still quite raceable, but the higher front suits epic mileage, and the increased wheelbase improves stability, while keeping things agile.

Managing to combine girder-like lowdown rigidity with a fairly plush, corrugation-smoothing upper half means great power transmission through the frame. Boardman’s SLR Elite Five wheelset accelerates and sustains speed willingly, is reasonably stiff, and stops properly.

Boardman’s cockpit is ergonomically shaped and well-finished, but does permit some lateral flex when pulling up during hard accelerations. That same movement enhances comfort, but costs road feel near the limit. It’s a simple swap for anyone wanting to personalise their ride, and along with the wheels, a way of instantly increasing real-world performance.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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