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For 2016, Boardman's SLR Endurance line breaks free from its former SLS gran fondo neighborhood and heads over to the SLR's sleek racing high-rise. While lightweight carbon construction means the Elite SLR Endurance 9.8 Road Frameset is bred to race, its more upright geometry gives the bike versatility to cover a wide range of courses, so gone are the days of having to choose between long-mile comfort and race-worthy efficiency.
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. The SLR Endurance chassis consists of a targeted lay-up of Boardman's C10 carbon fiber, balancing considerations of stiffness, price, and the ability to erase road noise, chip-seal chatter, cobbles, and gravel road feedback for a ride that's not just limited to well-groomed tarmac.
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 increases 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 events that last longer than 50 minutes spent circling a business park.
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 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 9.8 Frameset eschews look-at-me flair in favor of a style that's understated, classic, and timeless.
- Item #BMB001B
- Q & A
I'm on board, man!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This bike is still new to me and I have only put about 85 miles on it so far. Just completed a 50+ mile ride last week and I have to say it is impressive. If you had asked me prior to that if I knew what a smooth ride was I would have said yes, but I was wrong. This is what smooth is. Competitive Cyclist staff were professional and helpful. The bike arrived well packed and protected. I just wish I had known to purchase the Di2 charger ahead of time.
Can I trade my 2015 9.8 SLS frame that i bought from you to this one ?