Boardman Elite Endurance SLR 9.4 review

Di2 for less than the rest

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £2,800.00 RRP | AUD $5,999.00 | USD $3,800.00

Our review

Value-packed, speedy and nimble, sporty sportive special
Buy if, You want an accomplished all-rounder with an electronic drivetrain at a price few can match
Pros: Nimble, lively handling, light, well priced
Cons: Stiff alloy bar and thin bar tape, but little else
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The Elite Endurance SLR is Boardman’s take on a sportive bike, with the emphasis very much on the sport side of sportive.

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While 73-degree angles don’t stray far from the norm, a 581mm stack height (vertical distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the head tube) and 394mm reach (horizontal distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the head tube) on my large, 58cm equivalent, test bike, mean the SLR is lower than most endurance machines while maintaining a mid-length reach to the bar.

On the bike that translates to a lower, faster ride position, with the standard 100mm stem, without feeling stretched. The handling feels wonderfully balanced and the bike perfectly positioned underneath you. What is also immediately apparent is the lack of mass. With the SLR frame weighing 850g and the complete bike just a touch over 7.5kg, the 9.4 is a light ride for the money.

That becomes clear when the road rises; the agile handling and the light weight of the SLR make it a formidable climber. The SLR5 wheels, at just over 1,500g a pair, compare favourably with wheelsets found on similarly priced bikes.

The inclusion of electronic Ultegra Di2 is great for a bike at this price
Robert Smith / Immediate Media

The modern, wide alloy rims are built onto classy sealed cartridge bearing hubs, the same as those on Boardman’s more expensive carbon wheels, using proper butted stainless steel spokes in a lightweight 20 front, 24 rear setup.

The wider alloy rim shapes the Vittoria Corsa CX graphene-infused clincher tyre brilliantly, making the most of what is one of the best clincher tyres around, providing excellent grip, suppleness and strength. Corsa CXs aren’t cheap by any standards, so to see them as original equipment on a bike at this price is another feather in the SLR’s cap.

Add in a great saddle from Prologo and a carbon seatpost, and the Boardman looks even better. Factor in Ultegra Di2 gearing with its slick, direct and wonderfully consistent shifts, plus Ultegra brakes working the alloy rims perfectly, and mechanically there is very little to fault on the SLR. That includes the price. A similar style and similarly equipped bike from Trek, Cannondale, Specialized or even online specialists such as Canyon, would be at least £500 more.

The lightweight build makes for pin-sharp handling
Robert Smith / Immediate Media

The sharpness of the SLR’s handling, taking turns tight and making quick direction changes, is wonderfully addictive. I found myself looking for opportunities to snap the bike into action, slaloming between cat’s eyes and road paint. Any chance to flick the millimetre-over-a-metre wheelbase of the SLR into action was always a thrill.

The ride feel is firm and confidently flex-free from side to side, but is never hard or harsh. There’s little in the way of fatiguing road vibration either, but you do get a harder ride from the stiff alloy bar than is ideal, which isn’t helped by the rather soft, thin foam-backed bar tape. An upgrade to better quality tape, or even changing to a carbon bar, would make the Boardman sensational rather than just brilliant, and, for the money, that’s not a bad place to start.

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Boardman Elite Endurance SLR 9.4 specs

  • Weight: 7.55kg (L)
  • Frame: Boardman C10 carbon
  • Fork: Carbon, tapered steerer
  • Gears: Shimano Ultegra Di2 50/34, 11-28
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Boardman SLR Elite 5
  • Stem: Boardman Elite carbon
  • Seatpost: Boardman Elite carbon
  • Bar: Boardman SLR alloy
  • Saddle: Prologo Nago Evo
  • Tyres: 25mm Vittoria Corsa CX G+

Product Specifications


Name Name, 0, 10, Name, Elite Endurance SLR 9.4
Brand Brand, 0, 20, Brand, Boardman

Brakes Brakes, 2, 0, Brakes, Shimano Ultegra
Cassette Cassette, 2, 0, Cassette, Shimano Ultegra 11-28
Cranks Cranks, 2, 0, Cranks, Shimano Ultegra, 50/34
Fork Fork, 2, 0, Fork, Carbon, tapered steerer
Frame Material Frame Material, 2, 0, Frame Material, Boardman C10 carbon
Front Derailleur Front Derailleur, 2, 0, Front Derailleur, Shimano Ultegra Di2
Front Tyre Front Tyre, 2, 0, Front Tyre, 25mm Vittoria Corsa CX G+
Handlebar Handlebar, 2, 0, Handlebar, Boardman SLR alloy
Rear Derailleur Rear Derailleur, 2, 0, Rear Derailleur, Shimano Ultegra Di2
Rear Tyre Rear Tyre, 2, 0, Rear Tyre, 25mm Vittoria Corsa CX G+
Saddle Saddle, 2, 0, Saddle, Prologo Nago Evo
Seatpost Seatpost, 2, 0, Seatpost, Boardman Elite carbon
Shifters Shifters, 2, 0, Shifters, Shimano Ultegra Di2
Stem Stem, 2, 0, Stem, Boardman Elite carbon
Wheelset Wheelset, 2, 0, Wheelset, Boardman SLR Elite 5