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Which Boardman, Carbon frame or not?

Feb 12, 2010
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After getting back on my bike after 15 years and training this winter on an old steel mtb, I am about to purchase my first racer to train and also enter a few local time trials to watch my progress as I try to get fit again.

Using the cycle2work scheme I was planning to buy the basic Boardman Comp, but then I noticed that for a little more I can get the Team model with SRAM 20 speed groupset.

My first question is, is there any catch with this brand, they are so much lighter and better specced than the similarly priced Trek or Specialized and even the Focus, Cube, Pinnacle value brands?

My second question is should I pay the extra 100 for the Carbon Team? The only difference being the frame, it looks a bit flash for my taste but would I regret it if I bought the alloy model, and I was wondering if a carbon frame would take any more looking after or will it damage easier than an alloy frame if I fall off?

Any advice much appreciated, I have studied sub grand bikes for a while now and cant find any downsides or bad reviews for the boardmans apart from loose spokes which I can live with as even if I have to change the rims its still seems better value than the opposition.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I haven't ridden any of the frames in reference. However, a relative who is a Tour of the North winner within the last 15 years and who therefore knows his beans when it comes to bikes and frames has been riding a Pro Carbon for the last 4 months. He hasn't stopped singing it's praises - even though he is new to SRAM after years on Campag. I know that this is a different model to the one that you are considering but it seems to me that the positive media reviews plus the anecdotal 'thumbs up' from this experienced rider leads me to believe that the Boardman range really are too good to be ignored. From a neutral bystander viewpoint, it seems to me that they've poured money into frame development and securing best OEM deals without a huge marketing spend. As with all frame recommendations, test, test, test and then decide.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Me again! To over simplify, generally carbon is lighter and can be more comfortable than aluminium. In the specific case of the Boardman Team and Team Carbon the extra £200 for the Carbon saves you 0.5 lbs in weight. Depending on your budget this may be of value. Don't forget that you need to add pedals and possibly shoes to your budget.
In my experience, added comfort between carbon and alloy frames is very subjective and much can be done to improve alloy comfort by swapping out tyres and saddle. As long as the bike fits, then any bike can be ridden comfortably for miles/hours.
It depends on where you prioirties lie. Are you riding to get fit(ter)? Will you want to race? What distance will your rides be? How long (time) will you be riding?
In terms of longevity and durability, I don't know between these two models. If you crash a lot, neither is likely to last a very long time! :D
 

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