Boardman MTB Team 29er review

A great bike at a fantastic price

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0
GBP £850.00 RRP | AUD $1,700.00

Our review

We simply didn’t think you could make a bike this good at a price this low
Buy if, You want a really great bike at a fantastic price
Pros: Impeccable handling; outstanding kit list for the money; responsive, trail-smoothing 29er wheels with reliably grippy but not slow rubber
Cons: Upgrading to a wider bar would add more control leverage if you’re not going to be spending time dodging through traffic
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Boardman’s new sales path means you can now buy direct, click and collect or walk into a dealer to get your bike. Refining the process means it’s now offering its already great-value MTB Team 29er at a frankly ridiculous sub-£700 price despite a £1,000+ level of performance and an original retail price of £850.


Boardman isn’t cutting any chassis corners either. The smooth-welded frame could easily be mistaken for carbon thanks to its invisible joints and gradual-taper shaping. A tapered head tube boosts stiffness and fork compatibility. Subtle curving of the seat tube means you could squeeze a 2.35in tyre in if you wanted a smoother ride, but the seatstays are flattened for compliance anyway.

The GX shifters and open cable runs give a super-accurate feel

The rear brake is tucked away from damage inside the chainstays, with external hose routing for easy servicing, and the gear cable is mostly naked too.

While Boardman lists the bottom bracket as a PF30 unit, we were pleased to see an external-bearing set-up for better longevity. It’s fitted rack mounts for day-to-day utility or loaded exploring, and there’s a rubber-capped exit hole for a dropper post.

A dropper is the only obvious gap in the spec, because the Team 29er is otherwise sorted if you’re wanting to hit the trails fast with reassuring confidence.

SRAM GX is an awesome wide-range, sequential shifting gearset that we normally only see on bikes over £1,000
Steve Behr

The steel upper legs of the RockShox Recon fork add weight, but it’s impressively smooth, with broad-range compression and rebound damping adjustment. It’s also got a 15mm screw-thru axle for extra stiffness and security.

SRAM’s GX 1×11 gearing is noticeably crisper shifting and lighter than NX, and we’ve never seen it on a bike south of £1,000 before. The FSA Comet crankset looks very neat too, although the three-bolt ring pattern limits spares options.

Double-butted spokes and eyeletted rims from Mavic keep the wheels light but tough and Continental’s latest X-King tyres are a lot grippier than they used to be without being slow.

The bar is slightly narrow at 720mm but you get a short 60mm stem and skinny lock-on grips completing a package that would be outstanding at the original RRP, let alone the current price.

The RockShox Recon fork is smooth, stiff, wheel-secure and easily adjustable
Steve Behr

You won’t even think about the price when you’re riding the Boardman. Set the saddle height, pump the fork to the right pressure and everything else just falls into place.

The 432mm reach (large size) and 68.5-degree head angle give a helpful stability boost without making the big front wheel feel barge-like at slow speeds. We’d upgrade to a wider bar for a power-steering feel when pushing the pace on more technical trails, but the short stem keeps it agile and interested anyway, and while it’s certainly not radical, it’s beautifully balanced, poised and problem free.

It’s the same well-sorted story with every other control interaction. The GX shifters and open cable runs give a super-accurate feel, while the Avid DB3 brakes are significantly sharper and better modulated than the other sets here, and stay that way down the longest descents.

The 29er wheels and quality fork smooth out trail trauma, improving speed sustain and grip, and the Conti tyres are trustworthy without making climbs or smoother trails a trudge.

While the fat seatpost can kick your butt at slow speeds, the faster you go, the better the sculpted stays and variable-thickness frame tubes can skim the sharp edges off.


That ‘faster is better’ spiral extends way further into serious terrain than you’d expect too. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a 120mm-forked hardtail that would let you do significantly more at any price without copping for a serious compromise in easy speed and everyday utility manners. And if that isn’t a standout statement for an affordable all-rounder, we don’t know what is!

Product Specifications


Name MTB Team 29er
Brand Boardman

Available Sizes S M L
Rear Hub Unbranded
Wheelbase (in) 44.29
Top Tube (in) 24.8
Seat Tube (in) 20.08
Spoke Type 32, stainless, black
Weight (lb) 27.87
Weight (kg) 12.64
Stem Boardman, 60mm
Shifters SRAM GX (1x11)
Seatpost Boardman rigid
Seat Angle 72.5
Saddle Boardman
Rims Mavic XM319
Rear Wheel Weight 2730
Rear Tyre Continental X-King 29x2.2in
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX
Bottom Bracket FSA external
Headset Type FSA Orbit C-40-ACB, tapered
Head Angle 69.5
Handlebar Boardman, 720mm
Grips/Tape Boardman lock-on
Front Wheel Weight 2110
Front Tyre Continental X-King 29x2.2in
Front Hub Unbranded
Front Derailleur SRAM GX
Frame Material Triple-butted, smooth-welded 'X7' aluminium
Fork RockShox Recon Silver, 120mm (4.7in) travel
Cranks FSA Comet, 34t
Chain KMC X11
Cassette SRAM XG-1150, 10-42t
Brakes Avid DB5, 180/160mm rotors
Frame size tested L