To the untrained eye, each of Boardman’s three new hardtails all look pretty similar – yet this is a range that starts at just £649 and tops out at £999. Let’s take a look at each model in a bit more detail below.
NB – if you’re reading this outside the UK, availability and pricing for all these models is TBC.
MTB Pro 29er
Boardman’s £999 mtb pro 29er:
Just like its popular predecessor, this £999 range-topper is based on a 29er platform but now sports a longer, 120mm fork, namely an RLT spec Rockshox Reba. There’s a 1×11 SRAM GX transmission and SRAM’s Guide four-piston brakes even make an appearance. The Pro rolls on a Mavic XM319 wheelset and gets Mountain King tyres rather than the X-King models found on the lower spec bikes.
The frame of the Pro is lighter than that of the Team model below it, and instead of a quick-release at the back there’s a 142x12mm bolt-thru rear end. This model and the Team feature identical geometry (it’s a degree slacker in the head angle and 10mm longer in the top tube than the current bike).
The finishing kit is all own-brand stuff with the exception of a colour-matched Prologo saddle. There’s also a 720mm flat handlebar and 60mm stem as standard.
This one could well prove a big hit with the hardtail crowd – although the fact Boardman’s entry-level full-sus retails at the same price may count against it.
MTB Team 29er
Boardman’s £849 team 29er:
For £150 less there’s the Team 29er, which on the whole is a very similar bike to the Pro – though a few inevitable compromises have been made to achieve this price point. The frame is made of Boardman’s X7 alloy, rather than the lighter X9 variant found in the Pro model, and it gets a regular quick-release rather than a thru-axle rear end. Up front there’s a RockShox Recon Solo Air fork, and you’ll still find 1×11 SRAM GX gearing, though the crankset has been swapped out for an FSA item.
The fancy four-pot brakes of the Pro have also been replaced by more conventional DB3 stoppers. There’s still a Mavic XM319 wheelset, but this time its wrapped in X-King Conti rubber. As with the Pro, there’s a 720mm flat handlebar and 60mm stem as standard.
We think this sensibly priced model should sell well. After all, SRAM GX and a quality fork are hard to come by at this price
MTB Comp 27.5
Boardman’s £649 mtb comp 650b:
This is now the cheapest way to get your leg over a Boardman hardtail, and unlike the other two bikes, this one’s 650b – maybe that’s what the budget calls for or maybe it’s the fact riders are still so divided on 29ers, we aren’t quite sure. Anyway, as Boardman told us, this is quite simply the lowest price point that the company could get to and still fit a fork that it deems sufficient quality – the air sprung Suntour Raidon. There are still hydraulic discs, but here they’re Avid’s most affordable DB1 hydraulic discs.
The 2×10 SRAM gearing is nothing exciting but should provide ample range. The Comp also gets an own-brand wheelset and Continental X-King tyres. This model features a 70mm stem and 720mm (S) or 740mm (M/L) handlebar as standard.
Boardman appears to have injected some much-needed life into a range that was starting to really show its age. We can’t wait to have a go on some of these.
The entire MTB range will be sold in three frame sizes: S (16in) ,M (18in) and L (19in). You can expect to see them in Halfords stores and other Boardman dealers from Thursday 28 January 2016.