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The SLR Endurance 9.2 Dura-Ace Complete Road Bike's Dura-Ace shifting and carbon fiber FSA crankset should tell you all you need to know about the top-end mechanical entry in Boardman's so-called "endurance" line. Specifically, it's a race bike, not (just) a comfort rig. By relocating the endurance bike from the SLS's gran fondo neighborhood to the SLR's racing borough, Boardman has removed any doubts about the SLR Endurance's true intentions: behind the façade of a more upright geometry lurks the stiff, low-weight aggression of a long-distance killer.
We're happy that Boardman is finally broadcasting the SLR Endurance frame's capabilities rather than tucking it away in the SLS line where it tended to be unnecessarily — and unfairly — relegated to sportive duties. Despite the shakeup of naming conventions, Boardman sticks with the same materials that it uses in the standard SLR race frames. Each SLR Endurance chassis comprises a targeted layup of T1000 and T800 Carbon, which balances considerations of stiffness, price, and the ability to erase road noise, chip-seal chatter, pavé, and even feedback from gravel roads for a ride that's not just limited to well-groomed roads.
The SLR Endurance's post-tarmac pedigree also owes a debt to the frame's geometry, which mirrors the outgoing SLS. Compared to the standard SLR, the endurance model has a shorter head tube and longer chainstays (by about 20 and 5mm, respectively) for a longer, more centered wheelbase that boosts stability across less than ideal surfaces. It's also got a higher stack and shorter reach, dimensions that benefit the recreational cyclist or the racer who recognizes the value of a comfortable ride position in races that last longer than 50 minutes spent circling a city block.
These variations are also good news for those of us whose height means that there's always a gap between sleeves and gloves, tights and booties. The SLR Endurance's geometry means tall cyclists don't have to add a comical expanse of spacers up front in order to accommodate a higher saddle, so fittings are no longer a question of an uncomfortably slammed, track-inspired cockpit or an unsightly spacer stack.
Finally, while many cyclists would rather just get on with the ride, still many others are as interested in a frame's looks, and Boardman's re-worked the paint schemes of its entire line to appeal to the aesthetically minded cyclist. While other frames in the new SLR Endurance line showcase a level of colorful flamboyancy that we don't typically associate with Boardman Bikes, the 9.2 Dura-Ace build eschews look-at-me flair in favor of a style that's understated, classic, and timeless — the cycling equivalent of enjoying a gin martini in a black, notch-lapel tuxedo.
- Item #BMB0019
- Q & A
The bike most people need
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Boardman has done it again. They've packed an incredible amount of features into an amazingly smooth bike and offered it at a killer value.
The new Endurance line is spec'd right with excellent components.
The geometry and carbon layup are on the "endurance" side of things, so a bit more upright and made to smooth out the road, but this is no pansy bike, it's high performance through and through. You just don't need to be bent over like a tiny little pro rider to enjoy it.
I own a Boardman currently and love the quality and spec. You can't go wrong at this price point.
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