Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

The bike brand headed by the eponymous racing cyclist turned transport cycling advocate has a strong selection of bikes for everyday use

Chris Boardman isn’t your average bike racer. When he was competing he won an Olympic gold medal, UCI time trial and track world championships, three stages of the Tour de France, and the World Hour Record. Nowadays he’s Manchester’s ‘cycling czar’ – its first ever commissioner for walking and cycling, with a brief to improve active travel in the city.

         ‘It isn’t just racing bikes that I’m passionate about but the bicycle as a concept in all its forms,’ he has written. ‘I’m determined to see it become THE default form of transport for all of our short journeys.’

Unsurprisingly then, while the Boardman Bikes range does include racers such as those ridden to Olympic triathlon podiums by the Brownlee brothers, it also includes bikes designed for transport cycling.

The company launched its first bikes in 2007. After his retirement from racing in 2000, Chris Boardman spent some years working with the GB Olympic team and writing for magazines. Then he was approached by former British Ironman Champion Alan Ingarfield with a proposition: to start a bike company.

From the beginning, bikes from the Boardman brand have been notable in two respects: value for money and attention to detail. When a Boardman bike is equipped with mudguard eyelets, for example, you can be confident that there will be clearance to fit them too.

This product development may be a reflection of Chris Boardman’s background: he was part of British Cycling’s ‘Secret Squirrel Club’, the technical department that fine-tuned bikes and equipment for Britain’s highly successful Olympic riders. (On which note: Boardman Bikes also has a Performance Centre that enthusiasts looking to go faster can visit.) Or perhaps it’s down to having keen cyclists involved in the design and production process? Either way, the brand’s twin strengths have seen it win a clutch of magazine ‘best buy’ awards, across all disciplines.

For commuting recommendations, we’ve drawn mostly from the hybrid range, as you might expect, but Boardman Bikes’ road, mountain, and adventure & touring bikes are well worth checking out as well.

HYB 8.6 Womens

HYB 8.6 Womens

Boardman Bikes haven’t adopted the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach: the women’s HYB 8.6 hybrid is the equal of the men’s in style and design. The contact points are women-specific: not just the saddle but also the handlebar (narrower), the stem (shorter, for a less stretched out riding position), and cranks (shorter, for more ergonomic pedalling). At around 11kg, it’s lightweight for a hybrid, though it’ll get heavier when you add the mudguards and rear rack that it has fittings for. The tyres are well suited for the vagaries of urban roads, with a comfortable 37mm width and a puncture resistant Kevlar layer under the tread. Gearing is 2x9 with a decent range, while the brakes are stop-on-a-dime hydraulic discs.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£600

£600

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£450

 

£390


URB 8.9

URB 8.9

Hub-geared bikes have a reputation for being heavy, yet the URB 8.8 tips the scales at just 10.7kg. That’s due in large part to its full carbon fibre fork and hydroformed aluminium frame. It’s also down to the lack of mudguards and rack, which the URB 8.9 will accommodate. The gear cable and hydraulic brake hoses run internally through the frame and fork, which looks neat and makes the bike easier to clean. That hub gear is Shimano’s Alfine 8, which offers eight efficient, evenly spaced ratios that you can shift between while stationary. Handy when you’re halted by a red light! The 32mm Vittoria Zaffiro tyres have some puncture protection but the rims are tubeless-ready should you want to switch to self-sealing tyres.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£850

£850

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£638

 

£553


ASR 8.8

ASR 8.8

‘ASR’ stands for All-Season Road. It’s a bike designed to be ridden through British winters not just Mediterranean summers. As such, it comes with full-length mudguards to keep you dry, TRP Spyre dual-piston disc brakes for all-weather braking, and wider (28mm) tyres for comfort and grip on pitted, wet tarmac. The handling is more stable than a race bike’s, and the grey frame decals are reflective. The specification reads like a checklist for a drop-bar commuter; the robust steel frame will even fit a rear pannier rack. Gearing is 2x9 Shimano Sora, with a bottom gear low enough to be muscled up most hills. A full-carbon fork keeps the weight down to 11kg.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£850

£850

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£638

 

£553


ADV 9.0

ADV 9.0

It’s not an acronym; it’s short for ‘adventure’. The ADV 9.0 is designed to take you off the beaten track, with mudguards and a rear rack if you wish. Tyres are fat (50mm) tubeless-ready 650B ones with enough tread for bridleways and ample cushioning for the meanest city streets. Gearing is Sram Rival 1, which has a single chainring driving a huge 11-speed cassette for a good range of sequential gears. Hydraulic discs do the stopping, and the hoses run neatly through the carbon fork and aluminium frame – as does the gear cable. The ADV 9.0 will also accommodate 700C wheels with tyres up to 42mm, so you could have two sets of wheels, one for road use, one for off-road/mixed use. It’s a versatile bike and, at a little over 10kg, not heavy.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£1,650

£1,650

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£1,238

 

£1,073


HYB 8.9E

HYB 8.9E

Like Boardman’s other e-bikes, the HYB 9.8E employs the Fazua Evation system from Germany. This provides what you’d expect from a pedelec: up to 250W of power assistance at speeds up to 25km/h, with a range of up to 56 miles. It also has a couple of unusual features. It’s very light, adding just 4.6kg and bringing total bike weight to 15.5kg. And you can quickly remove the battery and motor (and thus most of that 4.6kg weight), leaving you with a normal bicycle. Assisted or unassisted, it’s up to you. It’s a nice bicycle either way, with a rack-and-’guard ready aluminium frame, a carbon fork, and 1x10 Shimano Deore gearing.

 

Lower rate taxpayer

Higher rate taxpayer

RRP

£2,200

£2,200

Cyclescheme price

(inc. ‘Own it later’ fee)


 

£1,650

 

£1,430