BOARDMAN Pro 2010, £999, www.boardmanbikes.com
As the identically priced stablemate of last issue’s top-rated road bike, this had a hard act to follow — and it’s done a pretty impressive job. Like the rest of the range, the component spec is astonishing, from the RockShox Reba forks (£350 in their own right) and Avid Elixir R brakes which are more commonly seen on bikes twice the price, to the SRAM XO rear derailleur used by the majority of World Cup racers.
The ultralight aluminium frame is again beautifully finished and comprises a variety of differently-shaped tubes, each of which adds strength where the greatest forces are experienced and compliance for on-trail comfort. There’s also masses of room to run chunky tyres. On a few occasions I did clip my heel on the seat-stays, but not enough to be a major issue.
The Reba fork is extremely stiff, keeping you on line over rutted Downs’ descents and offers loads of tunability, including a lockout for commuting duties. The Avid brakes are more than enough for any UK situation and the 2.1in Continental Speed King tyres worked fine until conditions got really gloopy. I’d recommend fitting a 15-20mm shorter stem though. Gripes like the down-tube cable routing, which can get caked in mud, are few and and at under 24lb it’s another standout bike.
PROS amazing spec
CONS stem, cable routing