test

9.4 Di2 AIR serie by BOARDMAN

PHOTO 1This month, we’ve tried the little brother of the bikes used by the must in Olympic distance triathlon, the Brownlee brothers…

Test realized by Sébastien RODRIGUEZ, photos SR@copyrights / test published in TrimaX-hebdo Magazine#138 _ march 2015

 

 

Introduction

PHOTO 2Boardman bikes are not very widespread in France right now. It is quite rare to see one on our roads. Talk about this brand on a Sunday morning with a cyclist group, they might not know what you’re talking about. But which triathlete today doesn’t know this bike ? We must say that with the Brownlee brothers, the Boardmann bikes cannot go unnoticed, with an Olympic title, a world title, many victories on world cups… And the brand should become famous in France in 2015, because Boardmann will equip Karl Shaw and Camille Daunat this year!

AIR 9.4 Di2 / Aerodynamic racing

For this testing, we received the 9.4 Di2 version from the Air series, a very elegant bike in this white dress, and very handsome with its aerodynamic lines and its bright yellow features which make it exiting.

The AIR 9.4 is the perfect example of a world-class frame and of a choice of components which work harmoniously. The frame, the fork, the wheels, have been designed with sections deeply focused on aerodynamics. The integration of the cables and the conical pivot increase the impact on the bike’s performance.

Technical details

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Strengths in image

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On the road

Before beginning, we must give you an important information: we’ve received this bike with a British mounting, that is to say with the brake shifters reversed compared to our habits. That is to say, the front brake mounted on the right, and the back brake on the left. Then be careful if you order a mounted bike, it could surprise you.

Apart from the back frame under the pedal box, the bike is quite classical in its conception, it allows a fast and easy setting of your position. We particularly appreciate its seat post with four fixing points, thus allowing to modify the saddle tube angle. It is convenient if you want to settle you bike in road version or in time-trial version.

From the first pedal stroke, we realize that we have a very rigid and very dynamic bike. Restarts are free and efficient… The rigidity of the frame, its general low weight and the 50mm carbon wheels make this bike adapted to nervous races. This rigidity also gives a lot of precision of piloting, completed by the wheels, not too high in order not to disturb this piloting and to keep an excellent vivacity. Rigid, precise, light, which means a bike made for the nervousness that we see in Grand-Prix races. It’s not a hazard if Boardmann furnishes the Brownlee brothers!

However, even on short distance, you may have to produce a lonely effort, and this Boardmann allows that. The frame is carved for aerodynamics, the bike doesn’t seem penalizing when you have to ride with a head wind.

For long distances, if you add extensions and if you position the saddle more ahead, you will even be able to be very close to the position and the performances of a real TT bike. It’s probably a good compromise for very mountainous long distance triathlons, such as Embrunman or Altriman.

Conclusion

We’ve discovered a very polyvalent bike, adapted for short distance races and its nervousness, but also very good for some long distance races thanks to its weight and its aerodynamics. It may be the ideal bike to do everything or to complete a pure TT bike.

The tested model is the middle range, the Boardmann 9.4, in Di2 Ultegra, but already equipped with carbon wheels. This model is available from 4799€.

For those who would look for a higher range, you can get the Olympic champion’s bike, the 9.8. It’s also the model that the Karl Shaw’s team uses the most.

For more informations :

http://www.boardmanbikes.com/road/index.html

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