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Guide to the 2021 Boardman Bikes range

Joseph Delves
30 Jun 2020

Two years in the making, the 2021 range includes new adventure bikes, updates and limited edition models

Details of the latest range of Boardman bikes have just been released and they cover the models most likely to be of interest to roadies and drop-handlebar adventure cyclists. 

'For nearly 20 years, I’ve been an advocate and campaigner for bikes because of the good they can do society,' explains Chris Boardman.

'This and my passion for making things is a big part of the reason we started the company. Thirteen years later I continue to take delight in rolling up my sleeves and getting involved at every stage of development.

'I continue to sign off the design for every bike we produce. And even after more than a decade, I get excited about seeing each new model being born.'

Sold through independent shops and the chain Halfords, his bikes are among the best selling in the UK. Redesigned on a two-year-cycle, first to be updated are the longstanding 8 Series SLR road range. Introduced a couple of years back, the gravel-friendly ADV bikes have also been overhauled, bringing them closer in-line with the latest trends in off-road riding. 

Now live on both the Boardman and Halfords websites, customers can register their interest and be notified once the bike becomes available to order. The end of July is likely to see similar details released covering the brand’s updated mountain bike, hybrid, multi-terrain and urban bikes alongside new 9 Series SLR and ADV models.

For now, we took a sneak peek at the 8 Series SLR and ADV models below… 

Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon Ltd Edition, £1,000


Kicking off the launch will be a limited run of five hundred SLR 8.9 Carbon bikes in both men’s and women’s designs. With a redesigned sub-1,100g carbon frame, this has been aerodynamically optimised; a rarity at this price, but unsurprising given the brand founder's background.

Using an endurance geometry and rolling on tubeless-ready wheels, the bikes also employ semi-internal cabling and dropped seat stays.

All standard to the SLR 8.6, the limited edition bikes also swap the conventional 10-speed Shimano Tiagra groupset for an uprated 11-speed 105 alternative. Still costing dead on £1,000, they’re unlikely to hang around long. Available to pre-order now, they’ll be on sale the week commencing 6th July.

Buy now from Halfords for £1,000

Boardman SLR 8.8 Disc, £750


A little lower down the range, the big news for the SLR 8.8 is the switch to disc brakes. Jettisoning the conventional callipers allows it to improve stopping power and cut down on servicing. The rest of the bike has also received serious attention. From the revised triple-butted aluminium frame and C7 Carbon fork with tapered steerer to the new 10-speed Shimano Tiagra groupset, the bike is now both more fun and more user friendly. With an upright geometry, it aims to be happy on long-haul rides or shorter commutes.

Wherever you end up, 28c Vittoria Rubino tyres plus mudguard mounts mean it’ll take on mixed terrain and equally mixed conditions. Easy enough to fit a rack to thanks to subtle mounting points, a compact FSA Vero chainset and wide 11-32t cassette make even the biggest hills less scary. Again available to pre-order, they’ll be on sale mid-late July.

Buy now from Halfords for £750

Boardman SLR 8.6, £500


Many riders’ introduction to road cycling, the entry-level SLR 8.6 has also been overhauled. Key to this is its new triple-butted 6061 aluminium frame and carbon fibre fork. Built with the kind of comfortable and stable endurance geometry that’s unlikely to trip up new riders, an 8-speed Shimano Claris drivetrain combines an 11-32t cassette and compact FSA Tempo chainset to offer enough gears that you’ll always remain pedalling rather than pushing.

With rack and mudguard mounts, it’s a bike that’s always been happy to adapt with your needs, be that commuting, riding through a soggy winter or heading off cycle-touring. Taking many visual and design cues from its posher sibling, a satin paint job ensures it looks far from budget. Available in men’s and women’s verisons, both will be on sale from mid-to-late July

Buy now from Halfords for £500

Boardman ADV 8.9, £1,000


Previously a little under-gunned, the 2021 ADV 8.9 has hit the gym. Now far more capable over rough terrain, this improvement comes courtesy of a slacker triple-butted aluminium frame and tapered C7 carbon fork. With both now upgraded to thru-axle standard, stiffness across the bike has been improved. With a longer wheelbase and a 70mm bottom bracket drop, the new design aims to feel more planted in the rough stuff.

Equally competent, Shimano’s latest GRX 2x10-speed drivetrain provides the gears and brakes. Using an 11-36t cassette twinned with a 48/32t FSA Omega chainset, it’s a combo that’ll see you up the steepest of off-road gravel climbs, yet keep you ticking along once back on tarmac.

Topping everything off, flared bars, tubeless-ready wheels and Schwalbe’s much lusted after Addix compound G-One tyres round out a wish-list build. On sale mid-August

Buy now from Halfords for £1,000

Boardman ADV 8.6, £650


Ther latest gravel-bike thinking, at an affordable price. The ADV 8.6 is a new launch for Boardman. Taking the same intent as the ADV 9.6, it also sports wide-ratio gearing, flared bars and 38c Schwalbe G-One tubeless-ready tyres. Its wheels may be quick-release, but the same stable and forward-thinking geometry found on its bigger sibling also carries over.

With a pressure map tested saddle and Shimano Sora shifting, Tektro provides its MD-C511 mechanical disc callipers. A great first gravel bike, rack and mudguard mounts mean it’s capable of everything from bikepacking missions to more mundane trips to work and back. On sale mid to late July.

Buy now from Halfords for £650

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