Boardman Elite SLR/9.0 review

No-nonsense, performance-orientated ride

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,999.99 RRP | USD $3,192.00

Our review

A superbly well rounded lightweight that’ll get you where you want to go fast
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The Boardman Elite SLR/9.0 is, like the Christopher behind it, built with speed in mind. For starters, it’s red and everyone knows that red is the fastest colour, right? Either way, it finished in the top five of our 40 Cycling Plus Bike of the Year 2013 contenders:

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Boardman elite slr/9.0

Tech ed Warren Rossiter talks through the SLR/9.0

Ride & handling: Flatteringly stable, efficient and climb-friendly

The cherry red paint job means that, from a distance, the SLR/9.0 looks a lot like the AiR/9.0. Close up, it’s a lot different. Whereas the AiR is all about maximising gains through aero touches, the SLR is about lightness of touch. 

And while the AiR’s ride errs on the side of hardness, as do a number of aero bikes, the SLR is no brutaliser. It rides with a brilliant efficiency and, yes, although it has the firmest ride at the top table, in context that isn’t a criticism. It isn’t fazed by rougher surfaces and no road buzz reaches your hands or your backside. 

In many ways it echoes the Storck Scenero – like the German bike it’s brilliantly efficient and you really feel as if all of your power is being sent to the rear wheel. It’s incredibly flattering as it makes you feel as if you could keep up with Mr B in his pomp.  

The low mass of the frame and fork, and the rigid platform, make the SLR one of the best bikes to ascend on, be it out of the saddle honking on the bar or settling in on the long Arione saddle and putting pressure through the pedals. 

A number of times testers found themselves flying along the flat towards hills, only to find themselves still climbing on the 50T chainring way after they’d have usually started looking for granny. Not bad considering that the 12-25T cassette is on the racy side of the sportive rider’s range.

The Boardman is especially good at flattery when the roads begin to twist and turn, as it tracks with stability for accurate cornering. And it’s on the right side of sharp for instant corrections to skirt potholes or drain covers. 

Frame & equipment: Lightweight and good value

The Elite SLR/9.0 has deep and thick chainstays with flat inner faces
The elite slr/9.0 has deep and thick chainstays with flat inner faces: the elite slr/9.0 has deep and thick chainstays with flat inner faces
Russell Burton/Future Publishing

The Elite SLR/9.0 has deep and thick chainstays with fat inner faces

The frame tips the scales just a few grams over the kilo, and is matched to an all-carbon, 390g fork. 

Boardman can always be relied on to provide an impressive spec for the money and the 9.0 doesn’t disappoint – Ksyrium Equipes are some of the best wheels around, though we’d upgrade the Zaffiro Pro tyres. 

The cockpit is a combination of Ritchey Pro stem and Pro Logic bar, and an own brand carbon seatpost is topped with that excellent Fizik Arione saddle. As well as the colour, the SLR breaks with the norm by speccing a SRAM Force groupset. The snappy action of DoubleTap shifting continues to grow on us and the powerful Force brakes are a favourite. 

We’ve got a lot of time for the SLR/9.0. By creating a bike that’s no slouch on the flat, nimble, predictable but exciting in corners, and that simply flies uphill, Boardman has created a giant.

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This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2013 Bike of the Year feature – read the full results in issue 273, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name SLR/9.0 (12)
Brand Boardman

Description vittoria Zaffiro pro 700x23 tyres
Rear Derailleur SRAM Force short cage
Top Tube (cm) 56.5
Standover Height (cm) 78
Seat Tube (cm) 48
Chainstays (cm) 41.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.7
Weight (kg) 7.54
Stem Ritchey pro forged alloy 12cm
Shifters SRAM Force Double Tap
Seatpost Boardman Carbon, alloy clamp, 31.6x350mm
Seat Angle 72.5
Saddle Fizik Arione
Rims Mavic Ksyrium Equipe, stainless bladed spokes 20 f&r
Rear Wheel Weight 1540
Headset Type Sealed cartridge integrated, 1 1/8x1½in
Available Sizes M L XL L M S S S S S S M L XL XL XS XS XS XS XS XS S M L XL XS S M L XL
Head Angle 72.5
Handlebar Ritchey proLogic alloy anatomic, 44cm
Front Wheel Weight 1120
Front Derailleur SRAM Force
Frame Weight 1010
Frame Material hM carbon, replaceable hanger
Fork Weight 390
Fork Carbon, 1 1/8x1½in steerer
Cranks FSA Energy, 53/39, 175mm cranks
Chain KMC 10 speed
Cassette Shimano 105 12-25
Brakes SRAM Force dual-pivot
Bottom Bracket Sealed cartridge BB30 press-fit
Wheelbase (cm) 100