Boardman has always been a brand that upsets the apple cart with a range of technically advanced designs that are also very well priced. The latest generation of bikes from Boardman uses knowledge learned from previous SLR designs, as well as the current cutting-edge thinking from the biggest brands – all wrapped up in a great value package.
The C10 SLR frameset used here blends a mix of modulus fibres. The stiffest carbon is reserved for the oversized bottom bracket and head tube to aid with power transfer and handling.
The chassis has a purposeful look to it, blending a Kammtail-shaped down tube and seat tube. A Kammtail shape is a tube with a truncated airfoil; its shape ‘cheats’ the air into believing that the tail is still there (which is very aerodynamic) so it acts in a controlled manner and doesn’t create a disruptive ‘wake’ like a round tube would, which means more aero drag. These aero tubes are in contrast with chunky, squared chainstays and a square profile top-tube.
The fork is wide legged but very slender in profile and this, along with the dramatically dropped seatstays, gives the SLR a bit of a BMC air about it.
With a claimed weight of just 900g for the frame, the C10 SLR is competitively light. Boardman should be congratulated for including so much tech at this price, but I congratulate it more for taking all of this CFD-derived aero trickery and smart, carbon consideration, yet still thinking about the end user.
You see, the SLR has a smart trick up its sleeve: hidden mudguard mounts both front and rear.
For the money, the 9.2 is extremely well equipped. When you look at bikes around the two grand mark, it’s pretty much Shimano 105 across the board. On the 9.2, however, you get full-fat, unadulterated Ultegra – and that even includes the premium Ice Tech disc rotors (in my preferred 160mm front, 140mm rear combination).
Add in to that a classy Fizik Antares saddle, Vittoria Rubino Pro 28c tyres and some decent own-brand wheels in the form of the SLR Elite 5s; both rolled smoothly and felt light throughout my testing and didn’t give a moment of drama with it.
I don’t doubt the sub-1,700g claimed raw weight for these hoops because the SLR tips the scales at an impressively light (for the money) 8.45kg on my large test bike.
On the road, the SLR has plenty of character. The stack is low (584mm) and the reach long (391mm). With proven racy angles of parallel 73 degrees and a short wheelbase of just 6mm over the metre, it’s a sharp, nimble companion.
Get out of the saddle and sprint and the SLR responds with a rigid, unforgiving response with no side-to-side flex when you’re really hammering. That also proves itself when you start to climb, sitting in and spinning on the well-chosen gearing (50/34, 11-30) feels positive, but get out of the saddle to up your pace and cadence and the SLR responds with real vigour.
The SLR is a firm ride. Over broken surfaces it can be a little ‘choppy’, but here Boardman has been clever in speccing 28c tyres, which you can run race firm and get the benefit of low rolling resistance.
When the road surface remains rough you can drop the psi a little and enjoy plenty more comfort. The wheels aren’t tubeless-ready, so you will be using inner tubes for the foreseeable future.
I do have a few niggles. The chunky box section chainstays, which are asymmetric, meant that I occasionally scrubbed the heel of my shoe, slightly polishing the chainstay finish.
I found the alloy bar a little firm and slim with the nicely sticky rubbery bar tape a touch on the thin side.
But these are very minor niggles with what is a good-value bike at the performance end of the endurance spectrum.
Boardman SLR 9.2 disc geometry
- Seat angle: 73 degrees
- Head angle: 71 degrees
- Chainstay: 41.4cm
- Seat tube: 51cm
- Top tube: 55.5cm
- Head tube: 18cm
- Fork offset: 4cm
- Trail: 7.6cm
- Bottom bracket drop: 6.8cm
- Bottom bracket height: 27.8cm
- Wheelbase: 1,008mm
- Stack: 58.4cm
- Reach: 39.1cm
|Available sizes||Mens: XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL. Womens: XS, S, M|
|Headset||FSA No. 42|
|Tyres||Vittoria Rubino Pro G+ 28mm|
|Stem||Boardman Elite alloy|
|Shifter||Shimano Ultegra R8000|
|Seatpost||Boardman SLR carbon 0-20mm adjustable offset|
|Saddle||Fizik Antares R7|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Ultegra R8000|
|Handlebar||Boardman Elite alloy 44cm|
|Bottom bracket||FSA PF30 with 24mm adapter|
|Cranks||Shimano Ultegra (50/34)|
|Cassette||Shimano 105 11-28|
|Brakes||Shimano Ultegra R8000 (160/140 Shimano Icetech rotors)|
|Wheels||Boardman SLR Elite Five disc 28/28|