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Built to endure.
For 2016, Boardman's line has stayed largely the same except for some re-shuffled nomenclature and a graphical redesign. The SLR Endurance 9.0 Ultegra Complete Road Bike is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the changes, as it represents the retirement of the SLS line in favor of the SLR Endurance. There aren't many changes to the bikes, just the name, which bumps the British manufacturer's endurance species into the SLR racing genus in a move that emphasizes the fact that Boardman is fielding a competition-grade endurance frame.
The reasoning for this is clear, as the SLS has long languished in the shadow of its race-branded SLR counterpart, relegated unnecessarily to sportive duties despite its eminently capable layup and low weight. We believe the 9.0's Shimano Ultegra shifting is equally under-valued by the race scene, and — when these two elements are combined — the result is a surprisingly light, surprisingly aggressive racing platform that doesn’t sacrifice a rider's comfort in pursuit of watts.
Despite the shakeup of naming conventions, Boardman sticks with the same materials and geometry. This includes a targeted lay-up of T1000 and T800 Carbon, which balances considerations of stiffness, price, and the ability to erase road noise, chip-seal chatter, pavé, and even feedback from gravel for a ride that's not just limited to well-groomed roads.
The SLR Endurance's post-tarmac pedigree also owes a debt to the frame's geometry, which mirrors the outgoing SLS. Compared to the standard SLR, the endurance model has a shorter head tube and longer chainstays (by about 20 and 5mm, respectively), which net a longer, more stable wheelbase across less than ideal surfaces. It's also got a higher stack and shorter reach, dimensions that benefit the recreational cyclist or the racer who recognizes the value of a comfortable ride position in races longer than 50 minutes.
These variations are also good news for those of us whose height means that there's always a gap between jacket sleeves and gloves, tights and booties. The SLR Endurance's geometry means you don't have to add a comical expanse of spacers up front in order to accommodate your saddle height, so fittings are no longer a question of an uncomfortably slammed, track-inspired cockpit or an unsightly spacer stack.
The new aesthetic treatment is another shakeup for 2016, presenting a marked departure from the staid, monochromatic offerings of previous generations. There's no doubt that some might associate Boardman's simple, former palette — predominantly composed of black, yellow, and silver — with a bit of the phlegmatic stoicism that Brits celebrate as a national treasure; however, more than a few of us in the former colonies around the world might simply refer to it as, well, boring. Silver and black still abound, of course (this is cycling, after all), but the line is also replete with instances of saturated flamboyance ranging from the warm fade of the Signature models to the vivid, primary detailing of the 9.0 Ultegra build's frameset.
- Q & A
Amazing Bike Amazing Company!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The ride is just smooth, light and all the components work well together. I am coming from an old Ti bike and this is quite different. The sizing was tricky but i am 5'7" and the SM was a perfect fit. The buying experience was amazing, asked questions, got answers and the turn around was fast and build was efficient. Thanks!