With the re-invention of the Boardman Bike brand, we've seen the launch of an impressive fleet of bikes on offer for 2016.
Since Halfords purchased the British brand 18 months ago, Boardman has gone under some serious developments to bring affordable, functional and stylish bikes to the market.
The launch of their comprehensive hybrid range include women's specific models which are perfect for city and urban commuting, without busting the bank.
The Hybrid Models
WOMEN'S HYBRID COMP £499 - This stylish women's hybrid bike is perfect for city riding, and commuting, with its lightweight alloy frame and fixed alloy fork.
The 3x9 Shimano Acera drive train offers a wide range of riding gears to ensure a comfortable ride regardless of the incline. It's simple and elegant in design and easy to maintain without having to be an expert mechanic.
Equipped with Boardman's own range of components, including a comfortable bar width of 560mm and a feminine saddle, this bike is a great starter bike for urban riding.
MX SPORT £499 - The women's MX Sport hybrid bike really impressed me at the launch for being a great all-round urban and city bike, but also with enough front suspension to provide smooth fire road and gravel riding.
The attractive teal blue frame is constructed from a lightweight alloy and houses a pair of SR Suntour NEX forks with a comfortable 63mm travel. Fitted with a lockout mechanism, these forks can be stiffened for road use, and unlocked for rougher terrain.
The drive train system is a SRAM X5 3x9 which offers a wide range of 27 gears for all inclines. In addition to this, the hydraulic brake system is Tektro offering stable and response stopping power.
For an additional £100, you can upgrade to the MX COMP which sees differences in the drive train, a SRAM SL-Via 2x system, and an upgrade to Avid Hydraulic disc brakes. This is quite a reasonable upgrade of components for a small price increase.
These two front suspension hybrids have been catered especially for women as they provide a shorter top tube length, but with a slacker geometry to the men's equivalent. The women's specific models are fitted with female anatomy gel saddles for additional comfort.
UNISEX HYBRID PRO £999 - This top of the line model from Boardman bikes is suitable for both men and women, who are looking for a lightweight hybrid bike.
The grey and black stealth frame is constructed from a strong alloy, and the fixed forks are made from a lightweight carbon fibre composite.
Fitted with Avid hydraulic disc brakes and a SRAM Rival 1x11 drive train, this bike will really take you places, and at speed.
The frame geometry is well balanced to be suitable for both men and women, whilst offering comfort for those longs days, and off-road gravel areas. It's a great high-end spec without the high-end price tag, and it shows that a lot of thought and consideration has been put into this build.
My first impressions of Boardman's hybrid performance range was a positive one. It's great to see a brand offering stylish and functional bikes which are affordable, and available through Halfords which is a massive UK retailer.
These bikes are finished to a great standard which inspires consumer confidence in the durability and longevity of the frame and it's components. As with all entry-level and intermediate bikes, there's always the scope to upgrade parts and customised the bike to your own riding style, but the Boardman range is a great starting point.
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