Boardman bikes range 2023: which model is right for you?

Boardman SLR 8.9
(Image credit: Boardman)

Encompassing hybrid, road, time trial, cyclocross and mountain bike disciplines, the Boardman bikes range is vast and suits a variety of budgets from £500 to over £3,000

The bikes are the product of ‘the professor’ - former Hour Record Holder, Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Chris Boardman.

The brand was launched in 2007 and its bikes were used by athletes whilst Boardman headed up R&D at British Cycling in his role as Director. On the Olympic stage, both Nicole Cooke and Sarah Storey have raced them to victory in 2008 and 2016 respectively.

In 2018, the brand opened its Eversham based Boardman Performance Centre which includes a wind tunnel available for public use, demonstrating its genuine grounding in research and aims to bring its application to the people.

Boardman's road bike range

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The labelling system of the range has been simplified: bikes are now split into '8 series' and '9 series' models, with the higher number being the more performance orientated creations and the lower more value focused. But it can still be confusing to work out which bike in the range is best for you.

Here’s a description of each of the key models to help you decide. The full range of bikes detailed below are available directly from Boardman and Halfords.

>>> These are the top five bikes we recommend from Halfords

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay

boardman bikes range slr 9.6

Reasons to buy

Aero features in an all-day riding bike
Quality ride: comfortable while still engaging

Reasons to avoid

Budget wheelset
Narrower gear range than Ultegra can accommodate
Worth considering the disc-brake version

The SLR 9.6 is Boardman's carbon frame race bike that delivers as a perfect all-round bike with its aero-optimised and lightweight frame design, paired with dependable, high-performing components.

The frameset uses Boardman's C10 carbon fibre blend in key areas to increase the strength to weight ratio, and its geometry strikes a balance between a low race position and an upright endurance set up for comfort over longer miles.

Shimano's Ultegra Di2 groupset ensure shifting on the SLR 9.6 is a dream and the 50/34t compact chainset with a 11-30t cassette provides a good range.

Boardman have upgraded this SLR 9.6 machine from the SLR 9.2, with one of the main differences being a greater aerodynamic focus. This can be found on the newly included Alexrims ALX845D wheelset that feature a 45mm deep carbon fibre rim with a blunt, U-shaped profile.

boardman biked range slr 8.9

The SLR 8.9 is Boardman's aero bike that maintains an endurance friendly geometry with slightly lower specs.Using the same aerodynamic design and geometry in the frame and fork as the top of the range SLR 9.6, the 8.9 is able to offer an outstanding performance, but at a lower price point and with disc brakes swapped for rim stoppers.

With clearance for up to 28mm tyres and mudguard mounts, the SLR 8.9 is adaptable for grittier miles on the road, whatever the weather.

It gains an upgraded drive train from 10speed Shimano Tiagra to 11 speed Shimano 105, with a FSA Gossamer chainset for smoother gear changes and reduced weight.The SLR 8.9 has 25mm Vittoria Zaffro Pro Graphene 2.0 tyres fitted on a Boardman SLR tubeless ready wheelset and Boardman finishing kit, which it says matches real world data sets for the male and female fits.

Boardman bikes range SLR 8.8

Boardman SLR 8.8 Disc
(Image credit: Boardman)

Boardman SLR 8.8

Hidden welds mean this frame could be easily mistaken for carbon but the SLR 8.8 is Boardman's highest spec aluminium bike, with a carbon fork that suits riders who desire speed without compromising on practical qualities. It's ideal for daily commutes and sportives.

Equipped with Tektro mechanical disc brakes there's plenty of stopping power for tougher conditions and with clearance for mudguards and a pannier rack, this bike has everyday, year-round versatility.

The matt silver bike is finished with 28mm Victoria Rubino tyres on Boardman SLR tubeless ready wheels, and 10 speed Shimano Tiagra.

boardman bikes range slr 8.6

Boardman SLR 8.6

The range entry level Boardman SLR 8.6 is an affordable ride that is by no means a basic machine.Its triple-butted aluminium frame and carbon fork has been recently redesigned, for what Boardman say now delivers more rear end compliance, while the rest of the frame retains its aero-inspired tubing profiles.

>>> Best cheap road bikes

Equipped with 8 speed Shimano Claris and FSA Tempo chainset, the bike also gains Vittoria Zaffro tyres on Boardman SLR tubeless ready wheels. Mudguard and rack mounts add practicality, and the bike is finished with Boardman's own male/ female finishing kits.

Boardman's cyclocross and gravel bike range

For exploring the off-beaten track and onto exciting ventures along bridleways and dirt paths, Boardman's drop bar off-road collection hasbeen split into CXR and ADV. The former is more aggressive and designed for those planning on pinning a number on, while the latter offers an adventure geometry, signifying that is more relaxed and more upright.

boardman bikes range cxr

Boardman CXR 8.9

The CXR 8.9 is Boardman's cyclocross aluminium bike for powering along the rougher terrain at a rapid pace with its race-derived geometry.

It has SRAM Apex 1x11 gearing for low maintenance and easy gear changes while tackling trickier sections, as well as SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes for predictable and consistent braking that you can rely on.

Finished off with the industry favourite Donnelly Crusade PDX tyres on Boardman wheels, these will provide sufficient grip while pedalling about in the slippy mud.

Boardman bikes range ADV 8.9

Boardman ADV 8.9
(Image credit: Boardman)

Boardman ADV 8.9

The ADV 8.9 is Boardman's answer for a bike that can cope marvellously on rougher off-road terrain as well as for clocking up miles on potholed commutes or sportives.It has an alloy frame and carbon fork that has been upgraded to a thru-axle design, which Boardman say should offer more precise handling and disc alignment.

The front end has been slackened and bottom bracket dropped, when compared to Boardman road bikes, to deliver a more confidence inspiring stability off road. The ADV 8.9 also now has a longer wheelbase and shorter stems, all of which should also produce a comfortable and stable rough terrain riding experience.

The ADV 8.9 range also now feature Shimano's gravel specific GRX drive train and hydraulic disc brakes. The 2x10 offering has been teamed with an 11-36 cassette and a 48-32 FSA Omega chainring for a range of gears that Boardman say should be big enough for hitting the tarmac fast, yet small enough to tackle slippery steep off-road gradients. .

Tubeless-ready 38mm Schwalbe G-One All Round TLE tubeless ready tyres and Boardman SLR wheels finishes off this bike that won't break the bank.

Boardman bikes range ADV 8.6

Boardman ADV 8.6 women's
(Image credit: Boardman)

Boardman ADV 8.6

The ADV 8.6 is the entry level adventure bike that takes design and specification cues from the previous ADV 8.8 - but delivered at an affordable price point.

Boardman state that the alloy frame and carbon fork maintain the same geometry as the ADV 8.9 for stable and predictable handling off-road, but with quick release wheels. All but mirroring the gearing ratios of the ADV 8.9, the team behind the ADV 8.6 have opted for Shimano Sora drive train and FSA Velo Pro chainset, as well as mechanical Tektro disc brake to help keep the price point down.

With Boardman himself believing that tyres are one of the most important components on a bike, the ADV 8.6 sticks with the tubeless-ready 38mm Schwalbe G-One ALLround TLE tubeless ready tyres and Boardman SLR wheels.

Useful links for road bike shoppers…

Boardman hybrid and urban bike range

Hybrid bikes are rough and ready road style bikes that share some characteristics with mountain bikes, meaning that some are capable of rutted country paths, whilst those closer to the 'road' end of the scale are just very resilient and comfortable. Flat bars offer a more upright position that will suit commuters for whom speed is not the number one concern.

>>> The best hybrid bikes reviewed: a buyer's guide

Urban bikes are similar to hybrid bikes but with a greater focus on visibility and low maintenance for practicality and everyday riding.

boardman bikes range hybrid

Boardman HYB 8.6 and 8.8, 8.9

The HYB range share the same triple butted 6061 X7 aluminium frame, as well as a one piece bar and stem with adjustable ergonomic grips. But the lower end HYB 8.6 is paired with alloy fork blades, while the HYB 8.8 and HYB 8.9 have full carbon tapered forks.

For optimal braking power the HYB bikes are all equipped with hydraulic disc brakes, albeit at different spec levels: the HYB 8.6 with Tektro HD-M275, the 8.8 with Shimano MT200, and the 8.9 with the better performing Shimano MT400 option.The top two models, the HYB 8.8 and 8.9, have a single chainring set up for simpler shifting, while the HYB 8.6 has a double ring chainset.

All the range have mudguard and pannier rack mounts for making riding in wetter weather more pleasant and making commuting and longer trips easier.

boardman bikes range urb 8.9

Boardman URB 8.6 and 8.9

The URB 8.6 and URB 8.9 form Boardman's fleet of urban bikes that are ideal for those who want to be quick footed around town. Boardman has focused on everyday practicality with the design of the URB range.

Both models have an aluminium frame with geometry that gives an upright, relaxed riding position for head-up visibility. The URB 8.6 has an alloy front fork, but this is upgraded to carbon in the URB 8.9 to help absorb the bumps of England's imperfect roads.

Fitted with the grippy, durable 32mm Vittoria Randonneur Tech tyres with puncture protection these will minimise maintenance issues and hydraulic disc brakes ensure excellent stopping power.

There are mounts for mudguards and a pannier racks which makes the URB range easily adaptable for worse conditions and when you have more to carry.

Boardman's top of the range URB 8.9 also has a Gates Carbon Belt Drive with its Shimano Nexus 8 speed gear hub - this means no chain cleaning, low maintenance and no grease marks on your nice clothes when city riding.

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