Cycling Plus - - FIRST RIDE -

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.

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