Pro Bike: Alistair Brownlee’s Boardman AiR 9.8

The Commonwealth-winning bike of the Brownlee Brothers

Last week Alistair and Jonny Brownlee took a pair of Commonwealth Games medals apiece, time-trialling away to gold and silver in the individual events and securing gold in the mixed relay event aboard their Boardman bikes.


Unlike a lot of pro bikes in the cycling and triathlon world, the Brownlees’ bikes vary only from the range-topping £4,999.99 AiR 9.8 in their wheel selection. The brothers use Zipp 404 Firecrest tubular wheels shod in Continental Competition Pro LTD 22 tubs while Zipp 60 Carbon wheels are standard.

Updated for 2014, the AiR 9.8 frameset uses a mix of T800 and T1000 carbon fibre – laid up for maximum stiffness and light weight – and benefited from the extensive research and development that went into the Boardman AiR TTE time trial bike.

For this top model in the AiR stable, Boardman used a TT-style integrated TRP front brake to smooth airflow over the front of the head tube and fork, while the rear brake (again TRP) is nestled under the bottom bracket / chainstay junction.

Boardman also tweaked the tubing and seatpost to further manipulate airflow and reduce drag, giving the frame a very smooth look.

The Brownlees both sport MD (56cm) sized frames and sponsored by SRAM, there’s no electronic shifting here. Both bikes feature full SRAM RED 22 shifting with 53/39 chainsets and 11/23 cassettes and are finished with Zipp service course SL stems and bars.

Alistair rides an ultra light, 135g Fizik Arione 00 saddle while Jonny favours the Arione TRI 2. Both athletes use Look Keo Blade pedals.


The finishing touch for last week’s race was the addition of red and white bar tape and lever hoods in support of Team England.