Boardman Performance Series Pro C SLR review

Can it be as good as the kit suggests?

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,799.00 RRP

Our review

Light, responsive, and fantastically well appointed – we'd recommend it for anyone looking to compete
Skip to view product specifications

Boardman’s Performance Series bikes are exclusive to Halfords, and the way that Boardman has set up this part of their business with Halfords’ warehousing, ordering and delivery, the brand can compete with online giants such as Canyon, Rose and Ribble.

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The Performance Series Pro C SLR is so competitively priced that it won the ‘best value’ accolade in Cycling Plus magazine’s Bike of the Year Awards 2014.

  • HIGHS: Fantastic spec, brilliant handling
  • LOWS: Road noise through the bar, tall gearing for big hills

Boardman performance series pro c slr

For the relatively affordable sum of £1,799, Boardman has delivered a bike with a full Ultegra 11-speed groupset, matched to high quality Ultegra wheels and top that off with a Fi’zi:k saddle, Continental tyres, and a carbon post.

The Pro Carbon SLR has the same frame design as their Elite series SLR, except it uses a more modest carbon fibre than the Elite. The Performance frame is just shy of 1kg though, so it’s still an exceptionally light chassis for the price.

It’s an aggressive, racy shape too, with parallel 73-degree head and seat angles, and short 405mm chainstays, which make for a tight wheelbase in relation to our medium bike’s 55.5cm top tube. 

A 73-degree head angle helps give the pro c slr a racy feel: a 73-degree head angle helps give the pro c slr a racy feel
Future Publishing

A 73-degree head angle helps give the Pro C SLR a racy feel

The shallow, 140mm head tube puts you in a low, more aero ride position and contributes to a snappy, reactive bike that’s more than adept at rapid direction changes.

The shifting, braking and wheels match – and in some cases, surpass – all the other Bike of the Year contenders in pure performance terms. Ultrega’s new Dura-Ace-style are stunning, powerful, controllable and with very little neutral lever travel before they act.

Even during the torrential rain that we faced in the last hour-and-a-half of our long-distance test ride, we never lost confidence in the braking. Plenty of that is down to the Ultegra units, the quality of the brake surface on the Ultegra rims contributes a great deal too. Gear shifts are quick, responsive and noiseless.

Spend £1,500 to £2,000 on a bike and you should expect it to come with shimano 105, sram rival or campagnolo veloce – ultegra is even better: spend £1,500 to £2,000 on a bike and you should expect it to come with shimano 105, sram rival or campagnolo veloce – ultegra is even better
Future Publishing

Spend £1,500 to £2,000 on a bike and you should expect it to come with Shimano 105, SRAM Rival or Campagnolo Veloce – Ultegra for that price is even better

Add in decent Continental Ultra Sport tyres and there is little to fault here, although the 53/39 chainset and 11-25 cassette occasionally felt a little restrictive on prolonged climbs.

The Pro C SLR proved comfortable enough – it’s not super smooth but it was never jarring, even on the very worst surfaces. The slender aluminium bar does suffer a little buzz over gravel-topped tarmac but swapping to a carbon bar would cure that – and still give change from £2,000. If you’re a budding crit or circuit racer looking for a bike to offer a decent advantage, there’s nothing else we’d change. The Pro C SLR offers spectacular value. 

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This article forms part of Cycling Plus magazine’s Bike of the Year 2014 Awards, which will be published on 3 March 2014. Cycling Plus is available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Performance Series Pro CSLR (14)
Brand Boardman

Brakes Shimano Ultegra
Fork Carbon
Frame Material Carbon
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Front Tyre Continental Ultra sport, 23c
Handlebar Boardman E4P
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
Rear Tyre Continental Ultra sport, 23c
Saddle Fi'zi:k Ardea
Seatpost Boardman E4P carbon
Stem Boardman E4P
Weight (kg) 7.64
Wheelset Shimano Ultegra