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Boardman AiR/9.4 Di2 2014–2015

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Specs

Sizes XS, SM, MD, LG, XL (Frame size guide)
Colours Pearlescent White
Frame type Rigid
Frame material Carbon Fibre
(The quick guide to carbon fibre)
Gears 22 speed
Chainset type Compact 50-34
(What is a compact chainset?)
Wheel size 700C
Brakeset
Chainset
Cassette
Shimano Ultegra
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
Shifters
Shimano Ultegra Di2
Wheels Boardman Elite Carbon Clincher 50mm

Geometry

Select a size to see other bikes available in the same and similar sizes.

Size Stack Reach Head
Angle
 
52cm 511 mm 381 mm 72 ° details
54cm 536 mm 387 mm 72.5 ° details
56cm 553 mm 392 mm 73 ° details
58cm 572 mm 396 mm 73 ° details
60cm 586 mm 405 mm 73 ° details

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Inside leg  cm Height  cm

Do you own this bike?

by Matt James  on 4 Aug 2014
I got one of these in April 2014 (from Velosport in Putney, part of the BikeScience network), one of the first delivered. The performance has been outstanding and I love it.

First let me start with some negatives, as my first impressions were not great.

I've read in many places about Boardman's 'legendary' attention to detail, but this was not evident. Three things bothered me: the 50mm wheels had been supplied with tubes with valves so short that they could not be inflated; these were replaced immediately by Velosport. Secondly, the quick release for the concealed rear brake was an inline Dura-Ace effort which was clearly an afterthought - a quick release just hadn't been factored into the design at all. Consequently, it sat as a big, ugly, non-aero lump under the BB, with no frame protection applied. It rattled and would undoubtedly have chipped the frame in use. Velosport and I discussed the possibility of moving it to behind the handlebars, but in the end we just removed it, as it is easy enough to set up the brakes to perform well but with enough space to remove the wheel easily at need (with 23mm tyres at least - I haven't tried it with anything wider). Third, the Fizik Ardea saddle supplied is fine for road use but has a clever Fizik accessory mounting system that prevents the addition of a bottle cage mount behind the seat - a daft selection on an aero frame very likely to see triathlon and TT use.

My first use for this bike was to be in Olympic Triathlon and half and full Ironman races, so I had it set up with Zipp Vuka aero bars and a Fizik Tritone saddle. I had secondary Di2 shifters added to the bars (requiring an upgrade to a five-way Di2 junction box).

Other immediate changes included the handle bar, but that is true of any bike as I have short legs (size S frame) but broad shoulders, and an upgrade of the brake blocks to Swisstop Yellow over whatever was supplied which were merely OK.

Then I rode it and raced it, and it is brilliant.

It is super stiff and climbs as well as any road bike I've ever ridden, gaining masses of time on ascents whether seated or standing.

It is more aero than I ever expected, giving little or nothing away to full aero TT rigs. At Ironman Austria, I destroyed my previous PB set on a Felt DA with 90mm aero wheels in 2012 (when I was actually much fitter). The Tritone saddle offers a neat bottle mounting solution (quite different from the Ardea), but in practice I've gone with a single cage on the down tube for races because Ironman events are so slick on drink supplies.

It is pretty comfortable, especially through the saddle, although the stiff bladed forks mean you will want good padding (I use thick Lizard Skin tape) on the hoods or in your gloves.

And it looks fantastic.

If you're still in any doubt, Di2 a electronic gearing is brilliant - I'm always in the optimal gear because there is no disincentive to change, and it is especially brilliant on a road bike for TT use, giving the two shift positions. It is very noticeable on rolling courses that I gain time over others just through better gear selection.

When I completed my Triathlon races and switched back to road bike mode it took all of three minutes to remove the aero bars and disconnect the Di2 at the junction box. Velosport also had the canny idea of getting a second seat post and keeping one set up with a road saddle in the right position, and the other for triathlon, so the whole change-over takes five minutes. Awesome.

The Boardman 50mm carbon wheels perform surprisingly well: I don't know what they weigh but they climb just fine and hold high speeds well on the flat, braking as most carbon wheels brake in wet or dry. I've put expected upgrade plans on hold, and haven't felt the need to change them for two weeks of climbing (and very rapid descending) in the Pyrenees.

So despite some initial grumbles, I love this bike and expect to love it for many years to come. Highly recommended.

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Boardman AiR/9.0 2014–2015 £2,000
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Boardman AiR/9.2 2014–2015 £2,800
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Boardman AiR/9.2 Di2 2014–2015 £3,000
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Boardman AiR/9.4 Di2 2014–2015 £4,000
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Boardman AiR/9.8 2014–2015 £5,000
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