- Aggressively low front end
Price as reviewed:
When Chris Boardman created a bike brand in 2007, he brought to bear not only his famous name but also a decade of ‘Secret Squirrel’ Olympic squad know-how.
The inaugural range was aimed at the novice, but over time the market changed. As cycling’s popularity grew, the brand produced higher-specced bikes.
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People who bought into Boardman before 2012 now have models to upgrade to while sticking to a brand they know. Boardman bikes now divides its range into two categories: Elite and Performance. The Road Pro Carbon SLR heads up the Performance range.
Boardman’s Road Pro Carbon SLR is decked out with a complete Ultegra 6800 groupset. The bike also features an Ultegra wheelset that is compatible with tubeless tyres. The cockpit is made up from a matching Boardman E4P (Engineered for Performance) bar and stem combination that corresponds with the E4P carbon seat post, topped with a Fizik Ardea saddle.
The Road Pro SLR geometry is severe, and its stout 140mm (size M) headtube — plus the 53/39t standard chainset — provide clues as to the intended customer. It’s a bike designed to race, evidently.
At the front, a tapered unidirectional carbon fork gives super-responsive handling — a nod to the race-ready ethos this frame represents. Another nod is the direct, immediate sensation of power transfer from pedal to tyre.
This is helped by the Ultegra wheels, which weigh in at 1,640g for the pair. They’re not the lightest available, but they are visually pleasing and compatible with real-world riding.
Another Road Pro SLR feature that bolsters the bike’s acceleration is the solid chassis, which comprises a PF30 bottom bracket and oversized square chainstays. Boardman has used Toray T700 carbon to produce the frame, which is light and stiff. This material is a veritable benchmark on bikes around this price point. Boardman claims that this model tips the scales at 7.55kg, and our scales concur.
What about comfort? The rear triangle balances the power from below, with more than enough relief from the svelte chainstays for all-day riding. Achieving the fashionable spacers-free look will be tricky, owing to the short head tube. In fact, so low is the Road Pro Carbon SLR’s front end as standard that those with limited flexibility will be forced to steer clear.
Frame: T700 Carbon
Fork: SLR Full uni-directional carbon
Size Range: XS, S, M, L, Xl
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra 6800
Wheels: Shimano Ultegra
Bars: Boardman E4P SL
Stem: Boardman E4P SL
Seatpost: Boardman E4P SL
Saddle: Fixik Ardea
Size tested: M