Pulling the Boardman out of its box, I couldn’t help but tap the top tube to check the frame wasn’t carbon. Although it’s alloy, the well-smoothed welds at the top tube, head tube and seatstay junctions have the look of a carbon frame.
That’s given the lie by the fishtails around the bottom bracket welds, but it’s still impressive in a lower priced frame, where large lumps of excess metal are more the norm where the tubes meet.
It’s part of a package that looks and rides well above its entry-level pricetag and includes a slender all-carbon fork and dropped seatstays for a modern looking frameset.
Boardman has redesigned its alloy SLR frameset for 2021, swapping from rim brakes to the disc brakes that are now rapidly becoming the norm for most road bikes, from race-proven thoroughbreds and increasingly down to lower priced machines.
The Boardman SLR 8.8's well thought-out spec leads to a ride that surpasses its budget pricetag - 4.5/5