BOARDMAN Comp Fi 2010, £499, www.boardmanbikes.com
This is our first look at the all-new range of women’s-specific bikes from Boardman, which also includes road and mtb models in similarly elegant white livery with pink accents. It’s fair to say that not all our testers appreciated the pink touches (bit overly girlie), though there was little quibbling about the finish of the lightweight aluminium frame and straight-blade fork.
As we’ve come to expect after testing the men’s range, component spec is nothing short of amazing on a bike at this price: SRAM X5 gearing, Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic disc brakes, Truvativ Touro 48/34T compact chainset and Maxxis Detonator tyres. The Ritchey finishing kit is also good quality but it’s where we felt this bike fell down.
The flat bar is too wide and the stem too long for most women; on the small size our 5ft 5in tester found the reach excessive and uncomfortable. On checking, the geometry measured ok for average women’s physiology (longer legs, shorter torsos), with a top-tube that’s 2.5cm shorter than the men’s equivalent, but it was undone by that stem/bar combo.
As far as riding goes, however, the Comp Fi performs more like a decent road bike — it's extremely nippy, handling’s responsive and the brakes extremely reassuring. Ideal for a speedy, sporty commuter with a couple of tweaks.
PROS Amazing spec, especially drivetrain and brakes
CONS Sizing, bars/stem