Road Cycling

Boardman Bikes Rebrand: New Custom Elite Design Studio, Performance Center and Wheelsets

A new approach, custom paint jobs and athlete wind tunnel all announced by Boardman

Boardman bikes – the brand founded on the reputation of Olympic champion Chris Boardman and acquired by Halfords last year – have overhauled their identity.

As well as a growing Elite range, Boardman have extended their remit to wheels and apparel and have plans to build a unique Performance Centre with their own wind tunnel.

Riders will be able to create their own custom paint jobs – choosing from a grand total of 5,202 possible variations and the brand hope they’ll be able to offer more detailed information and insight via their new and improved website which went live today.

Four models are available in a women’s specific design – the aero road bike ‘AIR’, time trial bike ‘ATT’ , ‘Super Light Road’ Endurance and ‘Super Light Road Endurance’ Disc.

On the unisex side, the brand hope to be the first to offer SRAM’s eTap wireless gearing on their AIR 9.9, retailing at £6499.99.

They’ve also delved into the world of Titanium – quite possibly the most intelligent winter bike material, with its light weight qualities that rival alloy and the stiffness to equal steal.

The SLR Endurance Titanium drew huge interest among the press and features a stunning graded point job plus disc brakes.

There are two options – the 9.2 with Ultegra groupset for £3499.99 and the 9.4 with Di2 and deep rim carbon clinchers for £4999.99.

As well as bikes, Boardman are moving into wheels and even clothing and accessories.  They say creating their own wheels allows them to offer lighter, more aero sets, with better quality hubs for the same price.

The wheels, including carbon wheelsets, will be available on built bikes, and to purchase directly.

It’s been a year of change for the brand, and Boardman himself explained: “We’d been so busy with our heads down making bikes, that we hadn’t looked up. Being acquired gave us a huge injection of enthusiasm, and of course financial stability – but we still wanted to retain autonomy. Once the dust had settled, it was a chance to take a step back and work out what we wanted the brand to be.”

“Once the dust had settled, it was a chance to take a step back and work out what we wanted the brand to be.”

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They’ve put a focus on social media, and sharing the experience of the ride with their customers, setting up two new social media institutions: #RideTogether and #OutThereWithYou as well as a platform which will pull together all posts shared with these tags.

With Chris Boardman’s history as an Hour Record holder and Time Trial genius, technology will always remain high on the agenda. As well as their new logo and colour schemes, Boardman are also maintaining their dedication to science with a new Boardman Performance Centre which Chris himself says will offer the “most accurate wind tunnel in the world” for cyclists to use.

The centre – still to be formally named – will become the Boardman HQ, Research and Design centre, as well as a place to host events for customers.

Women’s specific models

There are four women’s bikes which share the same colour scheme, and start at £2599.99.

The women’s AIR in particular caught our eye. Retailing at £2,799 with internal cables, Dura Ace groupset and integrated brakes, it shares the race ready geometry of the men’s AIR models.

The ATT is a time trial/triathlon bike, retailing for £2799.99. It features the top end T9 fork with integrated front brake, Boardman’s Aerodynamic Surface ‘Trip’ which is designed to influence the way air runs over the bike, and has an Ultegra groupset.

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The ‘Super Light Weight Road’ bike is available with or without discs, for £2299.99 or £2599.99 respectively, with an Ultegra groupset.

The range isn’t as large as the unisex options, but Brand and Design Manager James Ryan explains: “We’ve not messed with the lay-up of the carbon [on the women’s bikes], the bikes are equal in stiffness and in geometry. The differences are in the contact points – the saddle, handlebars, and cranks. Everything else is the same.”

Do We Need Female Specific Bikes? 

“We have a women’s range, but the important thing is setting a rider up on the right bike – be it an Aero Road, Endurance Road bike… we want to offer as much as we can, not put a selection of pink bikes together in a token effort. There are four in the women’s range that are set up with female specific contact points, but that’s not all there is available for women from Boardman.”

We look forward to seeing more from the brand – it sounds like there is a lot of change on the horizon!

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