BOARDMAN SLR 8.6
The new entry-level bike from the brand that changed the face of British cycling has a well-finished aluminium frame and a full-carbon fork, which is far from common at this price. Shimano Claris gearing is standard at this price, as are the non-cartridge brakes. Dropped slimline seatstays deliver good comfort through the saddle. This has welcome bonuses for a £550 bike. It’s good to see rear rack mounts on what could well be your only bike, especially as the just-so endurance geometry is well suited to commuting as well as leisure and fitness riding. There’s room for 28mm tyres if you want more plushness and the wheels give you the option of going tubeless too. We might have gone for an 11-30 cassette, and we’d upgrade the brake blocks – but that’s expected for the money. The ride is excellent, whether in the city or on country roads and the carbon fork and slim, dropped seatstays are comfortable. Yes. The price and ride are right, mudguard and rack fittings provide versatility and you get a free service after six weeks. Boardman’s SLR 8.6 makes a fine first road bike.