Boardman AiR/9.4 review

Boardman AiR/9.4
Cycling Weekly Verdict

To say that the total is greater than the sum of its parts is praise indeed for the Boardman: with a great groupset and frame-stiffening details we were expecting a lot from the AiR/9.4. Some bikes feel 'just so' when you ride them, and this was one such. Looking at the geometry chart there are no surprises and the ride echoes this. The importance of similar road feedback front to rear should never be discounted.There are stiffer bikes, and more aero ones, but Boardman seem to have found a compromise that belies the nature of the word. Whether it is the hidden internal lay-up, or the stiffening nature of the tapered front end, steering was bang on. There is enough feedback to feel when the front tyre is losing grip, and enough stiffness in the frame to transfer the corresponding - slide averting - body movements.The superb ride and spec level are enough to get it a high score; add to that the aero benefits and you are onto a winner.Contact:

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Great value for money

  • +

    Superb ride

  • +

    Good spec

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not as aero as some

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Boardman's Elite range separates into two families: the anorexic SLRs and the wind-cheating AiRs. The AiR/9.4 sits in the middle of the latter and at first glance looks very much the traditional aero bike with aerofoil-shaped tubing, sitting tall and thin. A narrow front profile augmented with internal cable routing enhances the traits.

Despite these 'normal' looks, there are a few pertinent details that may go unnoticed and warrant further scrutiny. Contrasting in colour, the internal faces of the fork legs and rear stays are flattened to allow air to flow over them uninterrupted as it comes turbulently off the spinning wheels. Many of the other details combine to resist the flaws that can afflict some aero bikes, namely a flexy, disconnected ride.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.