Time and time again Boardman has proved that it can deliver a lot of bike for the money, and it's no different here with the ADV 8.9. For an entry-level gravel/adventure bike, its well-mannered handling will look after you should you be new to riding on a surface that moves beneath your tyres, and if you are likely to spend a fair amount of time on the road then you'll soon see that it is also a very capable tourer.
If the Boardman ADV 8.9 was a movie it'd be rated 'U', suitable for all, and I mean that with the utmost respect.
Off-road it's a very capable machine, just taking everything in its stride. On all but the most technical or roughest of descents, it just gets on with the job, unlike some big money, speed-orientated gravel bikes.
It's one of those bikes that you can just get on and ignore, really. Just line the handlebar up in the direction you want to go and spin the pedals, it'll take care of the rest. You can just cruise along looking at the view. This might make the ADV sound sedate and boring, but it really isn't.
The Boardman ADV 8.9 is a classy bike. It balances everything well, like comfort and stiffness, and the neutral handling still provides enough fun for the bike to be a laugh to ride. It's a really versatile package too, when you consider the way the geometry lends itself well to both riding on the road and off.
An excellent entry point to gravel riding thanks to sorted geometry and great ride quality from the Boardman's frameset. 8/10