The bike in all its livery, four months into the test.
The front Di2 derailleur just shifts so nicely no matter what.
White frame with yellow trim. I like.
That's a pretty, stiff and comfortable fork
The surprisingly-comfortable Fi'zi:k Ardea saddle
Have yet to miss a shift even with an intentional dirty chain
Subtle branding on the carbon seatpost
The Ultegra 11-speed drivetrain is as good as it gets. Rides just about the same as its Dura-Ace brethren at an much affordable price point
Simple and elegant yellow trim plus height marker.
A drain hole on the rim for those rainy training rides. Or a race.
Who needs ceramic bearings when there's Shimano cup-and-cone bearings?
The white bar tape is slowly showing its age after nearly four months of constant riding, but the Ultegra lever and Di2 shifting is as good as new.
The head tube logo.
Unless you were a cycling fan in the 1990s, you’ve probably never heard of Chris Boardman or Boardman bikes. Time to change that.
The company produces meticulously crafted bikes under the critical eye of their fearless leader. We recently got the chance to spend time aboard one of their beautiful bikes, the Boardman SLS 9.4, and were immediately impressed.
The design is unique and flashy, the weight is competitive with some of the best out there. The build they sent us was absolutely lovely. It’s one heck of a magic carpet ride.
Living on the hillier part of San Francisco means my typical ride starts with a 10% descent through an ever abundant amount of road construction and potholes, yet the bike handles all the high speed bumps and sudden movements nicely. It’s also nice to know the Ultegra brakes are plenty powerful for those downhill stop signs at the end of every block.
Once out of the City, the open roads in Marin County really bring out the true beauty of the SLS. It’s stiff, lively yet without that muted carbon feel. The frame and the 25mm wide Continental Grand Prix Sport soak up the buzz and the bike just disappears beneath me like a quiet professional. When I decided to open up on the climbs, the bike moved gracefully forward, absorbing every single vertical foot as I commanded it.
On longer rides, the compact crankset and 11/28 cassette helps keep me fresh but also left me wondering whether the SLS would be even more fun with a sub-compact for even more punch.
The stock Fi’zi:k Ardea saddle was a pleasant surprise in that it was comfortable for both a tester that loves narrow saddles such as a Selle Italia SLR and another that loves thicker, more padded saddles like the Fi’zi:k Aliante. Again, gearing ratio and saddle are arguably a matter of personal taste.
While on the topic of personal taste, I found the stock carbon seatpost to be difficult to adjust. It’s not the most difficult seatpost I’ve ever worked on but the forward bolt was difficult to reach with a standard torque wrench. Same goes for the seatpost clamp. It’s pretty and minimal-looking but I had a hard time trying to get a proper torque reading. So I certainly wouldn’t mind adding a few grams in exchange for a better seatpost clamp. Other than these two minor details, the bike was trouble-free throughout the test.
All photos by Stephen Lam/Element.ly