Boardman Bikes Elite SLR 9.8 Road Bike Frame - 2014 $2,200.00
How light is right?
Chris Boardman, the Individual Pursuit gold medalist at the '92 games and three-time hour record holder was, and still is, somewhat obsessed with aerodynamic research and development. At the same time, he's equally concerned with building the stiffest and lightest bicycles possible. His latest creation, 9.8 Superlight Racing (SLR), is the new, feathery, Di2-compatible flagship design sitting at the top spot in Boardman's Elite race collection.
The main emphasis was placed on developing stiff, stable, and lightweight tube shapes. In other words, Boardman built this climber's frame to ascend with the best lightweight bikes on the market, yet it also borrows many of the same aerodynamic technologies employed in his AiR frames.
Similar to the AiR 9.8, every tube on the SLR was meticulously examined and tested to be the most efficient and lightweight as possible. Using the latest Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Boardman was able to test many different combinations of fiber types, fiber directions, resins, and tube shapes to ultimately come up with the SLR frame design. With the main load path in any bicycle running from the head tube, down the down tube, and then through the bottom bracket and drive-side chainstay, Boardman zeroed in on these critical areas to add material where it's needed and remove it where it's not.
The oversized nature of the downtube keeps the steering sharp, with the oversized bottom bracket handling pedaling forces. The material selected for the SLR's frame is an ultralight, high modulus unidirectional carbon fiber, constructed with a full monocoque design. Similarly, the fork was built out of the same predictable, race-tested, and ultralight carbon fiber. The SLR's mold incorporates a PF30 bottom bracket and oversized box section chainstays, which, with a steep taper design at the dropouts, maximizes power transfer and strength at the rear junction. Along these lines, the full carbon fork was built with a 1-1/2 to 1-1/8in tapered steerer for increased stiffness and steering precision.
The SLR's fork was designed to be exceptionally stable, comfortable, and to efficiently handle variable wind conditions. Boardman factored in that both the proximity and spinning of the wheel also affect the fork's ability to reduce wind-resistance, which is why its blades were computer modeled to manage that challenging local flow condition. Because of this, Boardman flattened the insides of the blades and curved the outside surfaces for an enhanced airflow interaction between the fork and wheel. This same principle is also true for the seatstays, which is why they feature a similar profile. The frame was built with full internal, Di2-compatible cable routing, furthering airflow enhancement and a clean overall appearance.
The Boardman Bikes Elite 9.8 SLR Road Bike Frame is available in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large and in the color Matte carbon/yellow.
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop
|Handlebar Width||Stem Length||Crank Length|
Reviews & Community
Surprising omission or design flaw?!
- Gender: Male
For a brand that wants to be premium the omission / availability of a braze-on front derailleur holder makes an otherwise great frame a no-buy recommendation. Boardman claims to be under UCI required weight but you then have to add a clamp-on derailleur holder?! Unacceptable in this age of carbon bikes. You could expect this on a '70's steel bike.
After racing this bike all summer, I have to say it is awesome despite the lacking braze-on. Very stiff frame, excellent for crits, great climbing and descending characteristics. Would buy this again in a heartbeat.