Boardman Team Carbon review

The high street hero still excites

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,499.99 RRP | USD $1,799.99

Our review

Boardman yet again lead the rest when it comes to value for money
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Boardman’s Team Carbon combines a brilliant frameset with kit that would be impressive on an aluminium frame, never mind such an accomplished carbon fibre chassis. It offers huge value with its BB30 chainset, Mavic wheels and Shimano 105 groupset.

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  • Highs: It’s flat-out fast but still smooths rougher road surfaces well, not forgetting its good value
  • Lows: Handling is all about stability over sharpness, so it’s not ideal for bunch racing or crit style events
  • Buy if: You want a bike with a class-leading specification and a ride to match

On its debut the Team Carbon crept in at a penny below the magical £1,000 – a rarity for a carbon bike – and it delivered, riding like a bike costing hundreds more. For 2012 it’s had a major revamp. Up front it now has a tapered steerer arrangement, from 1-1/8 to 1-1/4in, the bottom bracket has also shifted to a BB30 design, and the price has increased to £1,499.99 with a full Shimano 105 groupset, including brakes.

The wheels have been upgraded too, from Ritcheys to Mavic Aksiums. It’s also good to see a Fizik Arione saddle included; this alone would set you back £97. It’s not all trinkets though. We’ve been massively impressed with the Boardman’s ride. Its race geometry of parallel 73-degree angles, a longish 105cm wheelbase and mid height (for a 58cm frame) 185mm head tube makes for a ride that majors on stability and pace on the flat. The way the Team gets up to speed is impressive.

Like all great race bikes you can feel the bike respond underneath you, pulsing forward with each pedal stroke. It handles climbs with vigour too, and the compact chainset, a 50/34-tooth FSA Gossamer Pro rather than a 105, fitted for compatibility with BB30, is easily the equal of Shimano’s unit in both the stiffness and weight stakes. There are sharper handling options out there – the Team Carbon doesn’t excel at fast direction changes or hustling through the tight stuff – but for an all-rounder with an emphasis on big rides, it’s hard to beat.

The frame and fork handle the rigours of rough roads well, smoothing coarse surfaces and meaning no tell-tale hand tingles or rear aches that you can get on longer rides. We did have the occasional moment where the Boardman got a little unsettled on bigger hits, though, and potholes and bumps meant major corrections, especially as the Team Carbon encourages you to ride faster than you might normally.

Everything about this bike, from the quality of the frame to the level of components and its sheer ride ability, would have us believe this was a machine with a pricetag of hundreds more than £1,499. The success story of Boardman is likely to continue as long as the company keep producing bikes of this calibre.

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This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.

Product Specifications


Name Name, 0, 10, Name, Team Carbon (12)
Brand Brand, 0, 20, Brand, Boardman

Description Description, 2, 0, Description, Wheels: Mavic Aksium Race, alloy sealed cartridge hubs, 20 bladed spokes, radial front, 2-cross/radial rear. Chainset: FSA Gossamer Pro compact, 34/50t alloy rings, 175mm arms. Freewheel: Shimano 105 10-speed, 12-25. Gear levers: Shimano 105 STI 10spd. Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro 700x23
Available Sizes Available Sizes, 2, 0, Available Sizes, L M S XL M L M L M L XL M L XL M S M L S M L XL S M L XL S
Bottom Bracket Bottom Bracket, 2, 0, Bottom Bracket, BB30 press-fit sealed cartridges
Brakes Brakes, 2, 0, Brakes, Shimano 105 dual pivot
Chain Chain, 2, 0, Chain, KMC X10
Weight (lb) Weight (lb), 2, 0, Weight (lb), 18.9
Fork Fork, 2, 0, Fork, Carbon, 11/8x1½in steerer
Fork Offset Fork Offset, 2, 0, Fork Offset, 4.5
Fork Weight Fork Weight, 2, 0, Fork Weight, 0.8
Frame Material Frame Material, 2, 0, Frame Material, Unidirectional carbon monocoque, replaceable gear hanger
Frame Weight Frame Weight, 2, 0, Frame Weight, 1260
Front Derailleur Front Derailleur, 2, 0, Front Derailleur, Shimano 105, 34.9mm clamp-on front
Front Wheel Weight Front Wheel Weight, 2, 0, Front Wheel Weight, 1325
Handlebar Handlebar, 2, 0, Handlebar, Boardman Pro Alloy, OS, shallow anatomic, 44cm
Head Angle Head Angle, 2, 0, Head Angle, 73
Headset Type Headset Type, 2, 0, Headset Type, Integrated aheadset, 11/8x1½in
Rear Derailleur Rear Derailleur, 2, 0, Rear Derailleur, Shimano 105
Rear Wheel Weight Rear Wheel Weight, 2, 0, Rear Wheel Weight, 1720
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) Bottom Bracket Height (cm), 2, 0, Bottom Bracket Height (cm), 27
Saddle Saddle, 2, 0, Saddle, Fizik Arione, manganese steel rails
Seat Angle Seat Angle, 2, 0, Seat Angle, 73
Seatpost Seatpost, 2, 0, Seatpost, Boardman Carbon 31.6x350mm, alloy clamp
Stem Stem, 2, 0, Stem, Boardman Pro forged alloy, 13cm, 11/8in x OS
Trail Trail, 2, 0, Trail, 6.3
Weight (kg) Weight (kg), 2, 0, Weight (kg), 8.58
Wheelset Wheelset, 2, 0, Wheelset, Aksium Race
Chainstays (cm) Chainstays (cm), 2, 0, Chainstays (cm), 40.5
Seat Tube (cm) Seat Tube (cm), 2, 0, Seat Tube (cm), 52
Standover Height (cm) Standover Height (cm), 2, 0, Standover Height (cm), 81
Top Tube (cm) Top Tube (cm), 2, 0, Top Tube (cm), 59
Wheelbase (cm) Wheelbase (cm), 2, 0, Wheelbase (cm), 101.3