Launched in 2007, Boardman Bikes was co-founded and remains chaired by Olympic gold medalist and cycling commentator Chris Boardman. The company’s bikes do well in magazine tests because they’re good value and invariably well thought-out. There’s a high-end Elite Series for competitive types; for commuting, the more practical and economical Performance Series is the better bet. Boardman Bikes are available through Cyclescheme meaning you can save at least 25% and spread the cost.
At 11.2kg, the entry-level Comp model is lightweight for a £500 hybrid, even accounting for the lack of mudguards and a rack. These can be added as there are suitable fittings on the smoothly finished aluminium frame and fork. The bike’s components are a cut about what you might expect: gearing is 2x9 Shimano Acera rather than 8-speed, and the brakes are budget hydraulic discs rather than the cable-operated alternatives common at this price. A women’s version is available.
Cyclescheme Price: £375*
Road Sport Women’s
While many road bikes have eyelets for mudguards, most have scant clearance for them as they’re designed for the short-reach brake callipers favoured by racers. The Road Sport has mid-reach Tektros, giving room for grit to rattle through safely. There’s panache as well as practicality, however, courtesy of a carbon-legged fork and a decent pair of Mavic-rimmed wheels. The gearing is 2x8 Shimano Claris, which has integrated shifters. A men’s version is available.
Cyclescheme Price: £375*
It’s light enough for racing around muddy fields, but this cyclocross bike is also suited to commuting on bad roads or better quality tracks and towpaths. The aluminium frame and fork can be equipped with mudguards and a rack, and the chunky tyres are relatively lightly-treaded so won’t drag or buzz much on tarmac. Shimano Sora 2x9 gearing is a step up from 8-speed Claris, and the Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes are par for the course.
Cyclescheme Price: £487.50*
Designed for endurance riding, the Road Comp has a taller head tube for a less racy riding position that’s easier on your lower back. Its full carbon fork is neat: the brake cable runs tidily through it and there are concealed mudguard eyelets. The brakes are Tektro Spyres. Unlike most mechanical discs both pistons actuate, so they should need less tweaking as the pads wear. Gearing is 2x9 Shimano Sora, with a compact double chainset turning on a reliable square-taper bottom bracket.
Cyclescheme Price: £525*
Essentially a flat-bar road bike, the sporty Hybrid Pro tips the scales at just 9.6kg. A full-carbon fork cuts a chunk of weight, and SRAM’s Rival 1x11 drivetrain saves some more by dispensing with a front shifter and derailleur. Gear shifting is simplified yet the range is still good, thanks to the huge cassette. It should stand up to bad roads better than most road bikes: the wheels use Mavic XM 319 mountain bike rims, shod with more bump absorbent 32mm tyres. It’s mudguard ready.
Cyclescheme Price: £750*
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