The bike is a tweaked version of the popular Road Team Carbon, which comes from the same mould as Nicole Cooke’s 2008 Olympic road race-winning frame. It will be available from 19 April and aimed largely at sportive riders.
“We’ve used the same mould that produced Nicole Cooke’s bike to win the Games, so it’s got that nice shape but we’ve increased the head tube a little bit and just softened the ride slightly,” said Olympic champion Chris Boardman. A taper in the head tube is retained, which should help maintain some of the responsiveness we noted in a review of the well-equipped 2012 Road Team Carbon.
Boardman told BikeRadar that breaking the £1,000 price barrier for a full carbon frame and fork was tricky, because of rising material and labour costs. Tight margins could explain the bike’s eclectic component mix, which includes shifters and a front derailleur from the Tiagra group, a 105 rear mech, Tektro R539 brake callipers and an FSA Gossamer compact crankset (50/30) mounted on a PF30 bottom bracket. Wheels are good quality, robust Mavic CXP 22 rims (32 spokes rear, 28 front) shod with Continental Ultra Sport II tyres.
In 2009 Boardman released limited edition models of top-selling frames that came in under a grand. Last year, the company also offered the Road Team Carbon at £999 but couldn’t sustain it because of pricing fluctuations in the supply chain.
“We’ve been here before,” said Boardman. “We wanted to do it a bit differently this time as well because that was a very race-orientated model – which is fine – but people who are in that price range generally find themselves riding in more sportive events.”
While details of the upcoming 2014 range are firmly under wraps, Boardman said offering a comparable bike at such a competitive price was “somewhere we’d like to stay. People are buying more expensive bikes – they will invest in it.”
BikeRadar will road test the £999 Road Team Carbon LTD shortly, but Boardman’s own verdict? “There’re some quite nasty roads in North Wales and I’ve actually been out a couple of times on this machine doing some fairly long rides on them and it does what it says on the tin.”
For more information on Boardman bikes see www.boardmanbikes.com.