Boardman Bikes Elite SLS 9.2 Complete Road Bike - 2014 $3,600.00
Lighter than light.
Ultralight race bikes are fast, but if you're going to spend hours and hours in the saddle, they aren't always the most comfortable, since the focus is on minimizing weight. Boardman Bikes, the namesake of Chris Boardman, gold medalist, world champion, and three-time hour record holder, built its ultralight Elite SLS 9.2 Complete Road Bike with a kit that any rider will delight in riding. And it's light so that even the steepest grade will feel like a mere incline.
There are many bike companies that purport to have ultralight frames. In a similar manner, Boardman Bikes created a frame that, built with full Dura-Ace, is lighter than the UCI minimum weight — but it's not "for show only." It rides and climbs in the capable hands of professional riders the world over. The SLS frame is high modulus carbon fiber monocoque construction. The definition of the monocoque process is hidden within the name -- 'mono' being Latin for 'one,' and 'coque' being French for 'shell.' So, as logic would have it, monocoque carbon fiber is formed as one piece in a single mold. This process allows virtually any tubing shape to be created. To develop a frame profile that maximizes strength, stiffness, and weight, the SLS was designed using Finite Element Analysis. FEA is a process in which specific loads applied by the rider to the frame are simulated but with far greater force. This helps to identify how the stresses and loads are distributed across each component. Using this information, material is placed where it is needed and removed where it isn't. For example, the down tube has been shaped to specifically address strength, stiffness, and weight.
The one-piece monocoque design incorporates a one-piece, carbon PF30 bottom bracket and optimized, oversized chainstays. This design transfers power from the crankset through to the rear drivetrain and wheel so that none of your power is wasted. Additionally, the profile of the seat stays increases shock absorption and reduces the weight of the frame, resulting in frame and fork weight of approximately 850 grams.
The SLS Endurance Racing geometry features stable, predictable handling, and comfort for all disciplines from criterium racing to endurance events. The full carbon fork was designed with a blade-like profile for steering precision as well as to optimize airflow, increasing aerodynamics.
The SLS frame features internal cable routing for either mechanical or electronic systems. Boardman built the 9.2 version with Ultegra 11-speed. Although it is one step down the ladder from Shimano's lauded Dura-Ace, Ultegra benefits from technological developments made in the Dura-Ace line. And, because it doesn't have the ultra-lightweight parts of Dura-Ace, Ultegra is often considered the more durable workhorse of the line. The entire drivetrain and the wheelset of the SLS 9.2 are Ultegra. Paired with this are a Boardman Elite Alloy Handlebar and stem. A Boardman Elite Carbon seatpost provides an extra modicum of comfort as it helps to reduce vibration over rough roads and your sit bones will be well-supported on a Fi'zi:k Ardea saddle.
The Boardman Bikes Elite SLS 9.2 Complete Road Bike is available in six sizes from XX-Small to XX-Large and in the color Grey/yellow.
Effective Top Tube
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Reviews & Community
Light, smooth and fast
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is my first road bike and let me say that the time I took to decide paid off with my ultimate decision (thanks to Trevor at CC's recommendation) to go with this Boardman. I'd always gleaned over the brand, not being familiar with them, but once Trevor pointed out this bike as meeting my criteria, I soon realized this was exactly the bike I wanted. I think of it as halfway between a race bike and an endurance bike, able to perform at a high level for either type of riding. It's not quite as comfy as a Trek Domane, but I feel like I'm connected to the bike and road, rather than isolated. That said, all manner of bumps, cracks, debris in the road are smoothed out giving a solid feeling of uninterrupted drive. The components, well it's full Ultegra, everything including the wheels, so that pretty much says it's smooth, consistent and high performance, with just a slightly greater weight than top shelf DuraAce.
I was immediately able to feel comfortable on the bike for 40+ miles on my first ride, which was a bit of a concern for me since I had only recently gotten clipless pedals for my hybrid in preparation for getting a road bike, and was used to the more upright position of a hybrid. All it took was a few miles and I was feeling great about the bike. Taking it pretty easy I still averaged a faster than normal pace for my route. I couldn't wait for another long ride to push a bit harder, so the next morning I went out for another 40+ miles and pushed a little harder and added almost 2 mph to my speed on the hybrid. Not bad for still getting used to the bike, riding position, etc. Did another 15 miles tonight, even faster and pushing it through turns a bit more. Wow does it carve the corners, several times I had room so I decided to tighten my line just to get closer to the limit and it just moved right in effortlessly. I love how stable and predictable it behaves through turns and transitions, going exactly where I want it to. It's outstanding.