Boardman SLR Endurance Disc 9.0 review£2,000.00

Is Boardman’s enduro racer still competitive?

BikeRadar score4/5

Boardman’s SLR Endurance frame has been around for a while, which shows in certain detail elements. You’re also getting previous generation Ultegra rather than the latest 8000 version. The upside however is that because it’s not the latest gear Boardman has dropped the price.

Boardman SLR Endurance Disc 9.0 frame and kit

While the brakes and axle standards might be a bit dated, the C10 carbon fibre chassis is a seriously light, high-performance piece. Boardman definitely emphasises the SuperLightRace part of its name over a more traditional laid back, soft-focus endurance character.

The lightweight frame has a claimed weight of under 900g and uses the same T1000 and T800 composites as Boardman’s top race bikes. 

It’s built into big, boxy mainframe tubes behind a tapered head tube for extra stiffness without excess weight. The seat tube is large diameter, with a similarly stout carbon-shafted seatpost and press-fit bearings for an oversized 30mm axle on the FSA Gossamer Pro cranks. 

FSA Gossamer chainset joins Shimano 105 cassette and Ultegra mechs
FSA Gossamer chainset joins Shimano 105 cassette and Ultegra mechs

The box section behind the bottom bracket is big enough to make wheel removal a pain with bigger tyres — it’ll take 28mm max.

The chainstays start out deep before tapering back to a 142x12mm rear thru-axle. The seatstays are relatively slim and the fork tapers from the oversized lower bearing down to the thru-axle tips. The thru-axle is a 15mm item from a RockShox mountain bike fork rather than the 12mm axle standard that road bikes have settled on.

It’s an old-school post-mount for the brake on the fork and for the rear brake too. Besides adding a few grams, neither aspects are actual performance problems, although wheel upgrade options will be more limited. 

The current wheels are fine for now, with a medium 28mm depth and 17mm internal width, giving the 25mm Vittoria tyres an extra millimetre of width in reality. The combination is light enough not to get in the way of acceleration.

Its low weight puts the Boardman in pole position when it comes to sheer speed
Its low weight puts the Boardman in pole position when it comes to sheer speed

Boardman SLR Endurance Disc 9.0 ride experience

Combined with the obvious frame stiffness, that low weight puts the Boardman in a good position when it comes to sheer speed, whether that’s attacking climbs, punching out of corners or milling out the miles.

While the head tube is 20mm higher than the SLR Race (160mm rather than 140mm), it’s still low enough to get an efficient rather than ergonomic position if you want to drop out the headset spacers. 

The fork and frame are precise enough to make the most of them when it comes to twisty roads. Just back off if the roads are remotely damp as the Vittoria Rubino tyres are hydrophobic. The fact the frame hasn’t got any mudguard mounts is a mark against it for all-weather riding too.

The older Ultegra shifters aren’t patterned for grip but it’s the slightly cruder shifting that’s the most obvious difference compared to the 8000 series kit.

What’s more likely to be the deal-breaker for distance work is that it doesn’t just handle and kick like a race bike, it’s as stiff as most racers. That’s great if you want a race bike with more back-friendly bar height, but if you’re looking for pillowy forgiveness on rough roads you’re not going to find it here.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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