2014 Boardman CX Team... Does it do what it says on the tin?

by Jack Osbourne snr   April 10, 2014  

Okay... Having decided pretty much within minutes of the launch of the 2014 range of Boardmans that the CX team was the next Cycle2Work commuter bike for me, the time has come to put the thought into action... Nearly.

So... for those that have bought one, what do you think?
Is it the great all-rounder it promised to be?
Is it the perfect fast commuter?
Are there any parts that need swapped out immediately?
Are those wheels truly crap?

and... most importantly...how did you get round the mudguard issue at the front? I think I have a couple of viable solutions, but these, like my assessment of the bike itself, are purely on paper at the moment.

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Bump.

I know there's another couple of CX owners out there...

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
12th April 2014 - 11:12

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Not a Boardman CX rider but some interesting points.
Have a Kinesis Pro6 which I use for gravel trails some single track and commuting - run BB7's and think the issue for me is lack of predictability. If I've remembered to wind in and out recently and I've managed to wind the inner side without digging out a torx wrench and are set up how I like then I'm not going to panic and grab too much and lock out in traffic but sometimes the amount of movement is just not what I expect. Much better than rim brakes and simple to set up but you have to do it too often or not consistent enough. So when they are readily available I'll be fitting some spyres not an obvious design solution (cable to hydraulic) but looks very neat and reviews good. Though I suspect UCI endorsement of road discs is pretty close so might see some other options soon.
As to front mudguards Pro6 comes with eyelets and I've run full mudguards but the toe overlap (small frame) when doing "u bends" on bridges needs a lot of careful coordination - so beware you may get mudguards but if your commute has tight turns you may need to be very alert

antigee's picture

posted by antigee [201 posts]
12th April 2014 - 11:56

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Interested by the thoughts on the bb7... I have no experience with them, but thought they were better. Inconsistent braking on my commute could be problematic.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
12th April 2014 - 12:46

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Quote:
Interested by the thoughts on the bb7... I have no experience with them, but thought they were better

not used BB5's so can't compare just went with the forum consensus that BB7 better than BB5 as easier to adjust and I built up bike so had choice at not a big price difference
In theory you can turn the inner adjuster by hand on the BB7's so quick and easy to do - in practise it is hard to turn and often need to dig out torx tool - I think BB5's don't have the monkey fingers dial and you have to use the torx tool - if you keep a tool handy it is only a 30second job each wheel then they are a consistent brake - problem is single moving pad design is not for the lazy

edit not forgetting that discs are much better than rim brakes when commuting in the wet - I see the Boardman come with bar top levers - great for when sitting up in traffic - as said above downside is limited room for lights

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posted by antigee [201 posts]
13th April 2014 - 2:11

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newtonuk wrote:
Let us know how you get on.

Well... It's two weeks later and nobody at Boardman has bothered their arse to reply.

So...I'm not going to bother my arse buying their bike. I've repaired my hybrid and that will now go back into full service rather than semi-retirement.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
27th April 2014 - 19:09

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Terrible! I must admit, I emailed them every week for several weeks before I got a response.

posted by newtonuk [42 posts]
27th April 2014 - 19:13

6 Likes

Ironically, my hybrid is more substantially damaged than I had first thought, so I've just arrived back from Halfords with my new CX TEAM lol.

It's going back though!!! The seattube crack issue has not been resolved.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

Jack Osbourne snr's picture

posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
4th May 2014 - 18:34

4 Likes

Even though it's going back, here are my first impressions following the ferry run and the first commute:

Harsh but responsive ride
Accelerates well
Brakes not so well
Bar tape crap
Wheels needed 2 minutes in the jig of truth
Front mech poor shifting
Strange front brake cable routing. Comes right to left BEHIND the fork?
Interrupter levers too close to centre line for comfortably safe use

This is however a very good bike for the money. Some of the issues above are build related and others are a function of me having not ridden for seven weeks and still being in recovery after crashing.

When I swap this one for the non-cracked replacement it will quickly lose the Interrupters and gain an Ultegra FD and probably acquire better brakes fairly soon after that.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
5th May 2014 - 17:11

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antigee wrote:
So when they are readily available I'll be fitting some spyres not an obvious design solution (cable to hydraulic) but looks very neat and reviews good.

Point of order - the Spyres are fully cable actuated, it's the HyRd that are cable to hydraulic on the brake mount. Running the HyRd on my Crosslight Pro 6 and they're bloody excellent - well worth the extra outlay.

posted by VeloPeo [223 posts]
5th May 2014 - 17:25

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Back to Halfords today to swap bike for non-cracked replacement.

Bike wasn't as built as much as I expected, having called them yesterday, but they had to swap rack, guards and pedals, so a few extra minutes wasn't an issue.

Noticed a little glob of rubber under the headset as they were finishing off and thought "here we go again"...

Gave the bike a thorough once over and noted a few small bubbles in the paint... then I checked the headset...

First I see a couple of small dings on the top surface of the headtube. Steering felt quite tight, so loosened topcap... it wasn't tight, so I tightened it back up to 5nm torque and turned the bars... chunks of ground up headset seal fell out of the bottom!!!

Turns out the dings in the headtube resulted in something like a grater on the inside. It was this that was destroying the headset.

Halfords very kindly paid for my taxi home. Their customer service has been excellent. Shame that Boardmans QC is so bad.

Prior to this I have highly recommended Boardman... this experience is changing that.

I now need to finish repairing my very bashed hybrid so that I have transport tomorrow.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
11th May 2014 - 15:31

1 Like

VeleoPeo wrote "Point of order - the Spyres are fully cable actuated, it's the HyRd that are cable to hydraulic on the brake mount. Running the HyRd on my Crosslight Pro 6 and they're bloody excellent - well worth the extra outlay."

and is completely correct I had confused the spyres with the HyRd's Sad

http://road.cc/content/review/85499-trp-hyrd-mechanical-interface-hydrau...

antigee's picture

posted by antigee [201 posts]
11th May 2014 - 22:11

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Ok where do I start. 8 months in....................2 sets of cranks as they kept falling off, 3 Bottom brackets plus 2 sets of bearings, front mech bowed out and has been replaced with a Sram rival, front shifter broke, 2 free hubs only 4 weeks apart and the rear mech doesn't sit as straight as it should straight . I am now on first name terms with the staff at my local halfords. When it works its great, it just doesn't work that well very often.

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posted by BrokenBootneck [51 posts]
6th February 2015 - 11:33

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Sounds like you're really unlucky or really hard on bikes!

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [607 posts]
6th February 2015 - 11:51

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I had nightmares with my 2012 Boardman CX Team. The crank came off and after some light threats about head office and trading standards it was replaced with a brand new bike that the head of cycling at the branch built up personally.

It was still built up terribly, but at that point I gave up on Halfords entirely. I took it to a proper bike shop and got it fixed up (Billy Bilsland's in Glasgow) and it became an amazing bike.

Replacing the rubbish front mech with a SRAM Force one made it a much better bike, and I love it a winter road bike and all year commuter.

I also replaced the Avid BB5 brakes, but that was more frustration at adjusting them than true necessity.

tl;dr Great bike but don't let anyone in black & orange anywhere near it with a spanner.

posted by bollandinho [61 posts]
6th February 2015 - 11:54

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My Boardman has been great, I didn't get it from Halfords though. I can't think if any type of bike which matches a cyclocross for versatility, large tyre options, mudguard mount capable road or sportive bike.

posted by CXR94Di2 [357 posts]
6th February 2015 - 12:16

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bollandinho wrote:

I also replaced the Avid BB5 brakes, but that was more frustration at adjusting them than true necessity.

What did you replace the brakes with? Thinking of doing some tinkering with mine because I'm sick of faffing with the BB5s (as I have been for the whole 18 months I've had it).

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [1086 posts]
6th February 2015 - 12:21

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Very true words bollandinho!

My CX got a new front mech after two days (more of a preventative measure), the Interrupters came off and the bar tape replaced. The BB bearings were removed and greased to stop the infernal click that started after one week.

Things were fine for about 6 months, until last week...

Back brake froze solid due to water ingress
Front brake adjuster bolt disintegrated
Big chainring sharktoothed after 2100 miles

To be fair these are component issues that are not entirely un expected as I have found FSA chainrings to be very soft and have seen many complaints about BB5 brakes.

They brakes are going in the bin now.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
6th February 2015 - 12:24

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Do any of you actually look after your bikes?

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [607 posts]
6th February 2015 - 12:28

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Maybe a touring bike, especially a modern one with discs, essentially does everything a CX can do but has the extras such as racks and guards better catered for. Take those off and stick CX tyres on and essentially you have a CX bike. (Touring does not necessarily equal heavy and CX does not necessarily equal light).

It might be the case that a CX is set up with a more aggressive riding position than most tourers but that's generally just a matter of frame size and adjustments.

That said I used an old Dawes sports bike for everything TT, Road Race, converted for track, grass track, cyclo-cross, touring and commuting. I think most bikes are more versatile than many of us think. I even rode a couple of cross races on a Raleigh Pro (although I fell off a couple of times due to the 23mm road tyres, the side pull campag brakes were fine though!).

Shay

posted by shay cycles [275 posts]
6th February 2015 - 12:50

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glynr36 wrote:
Do any of you actually look after your bikes?

I do, but the BB click, infinitely adjustable brakes and somewhat vague front mech are 'they all do that sir' items.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [1086 posts]
6th February 2015 - 14:41

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I normally clean my cx twice a week in winter, I have on it my stand and check everything all the time. If I was to draw one positive from all the issue I've had, it's that I am a much better bike mechanic than I was.

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posted by BrokenBootneck [51 posts]
6th February 2015 - 14:57

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newtonuk wrote:
I'm considering the TRP Spyres as well, but I'm torn with just how much I want to put into the bike given its role as my year round commuter this year and then my bad weather commuter next...the brakes have enough power, but they are faffy to set up and keep set up.

I've got 2014 CX Comp that comes with Lyra discs, same design principle as BB5s (i.e. Fixed piston on inside). However, I just replaced them with TRP Spyres after a year of use and oh, tears of joy! Are they easier to set up or what? Loosen bolts, pull lever, tighten. Done. Even pulling, no rub. Had these brakes in a box for months but never got round to fitting them but wish I had. The time I've wasting and the rubbing I've put up with! FWIW I commutte same distance each way 3-4 times a week and go out on it in shitty weather on weekends so I reckon, yeah it's worth it.

posted by McVittees [28 posts]
6th February 2015 - 15:23

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glynr36 wrote:
Do any of you actually look after your bikes?

Yes. I do.

Do you ride a bike every day regardless of the weather or road conditions?

My CX is in use 5 days a week and is my normal mode of transport. The issues I have with mine are down to poor component quality or inferior setup at the manufacturer/retailer.

At 2100 miles, all I should be replacing is a chain (which I did at 1800)

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
6th February 2015 - 16:30

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Jack Osbourne snr wrote:
glynr36 wrote:
Do any of you actually look after your bikes?

Yes. I do.

Do you ride a bike every day regardless of the weather or road conditions

My CX is in use 5 days a week and is my normal mode of transport. The issues I have with mine are down to poor component quality or inferior setup at the manufacturer/retailer.

I do as well, 5 day a week commute.
Poor component quality, you get what you pay it's a £1k bike, that you're riding day in day out. Stuff will fail. Especially if you're not giving it the attention it needs.
My commuter gets more attention than my race bike, because it's the one I depend upon on a daily basis.

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posted by glynr36 [607 posts]
6th February 2015 - 17:13

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I've just got a CX Team on a bike to work scheme, has anyone resolved the front mudguard issue, finding which one fits the best, I like the idea of the Elite bottle cage clips only which guards did you use with them?
I chose this bike so as I can use it for occasional cross rides too, without mudguards, you've got to get grubby sometimes only not on the way to work!

posted by Puglet [8 posts]
7th March 2015 - 18:28

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I've just had my forks upgraded to the new version which has mudguard eyelets halfway up the fork legs.

If you haven't used it I'd look to take it back and get them to order you one from the warehouse, which should have the new forks on.

posted by newtonuk [42 posts]
7th March 2015 - 18:47

1 Like

Cheers,
I didn't know they had produced a new fork, i'll see if I can get it changed Smile

posted by Puglet [8 posts]
7th March 2015 - 18:58

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I've had a Boardman Team Cx 2014 since it first came out. First thing I did was to remove the extra brake levers. I solved the front mudguard problem by using a set of race blade mounts rubber banded to the forks. The guards themselves are sks things with stainless stays. I had issues with paint in the threads which I had to remove with a tap. The BB is poor, maybe something to do with the bike being used as a commuter and CX racer. The freehub is rubbish (bearing surface is cheap and soft in the body), I ended up rebuilding the wheel with a shimano mtb hub instead. BB5s are adequate for what I need, may upgrade in the future when they need repadding. Plan to replace the BB with a Rotor BB30 to 24 converter. Overall happy with the bike for a commuter/racer/winter trainer.

posted by GrahamF [14 posts]
7th March 2015 - 19:58

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@ Newtonuk...

How did you go about getting the forks upgraded and how much did they charge you?

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [356 posts]
7th March 2015 - 20:19

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When I bought mine it was advertised as being fully mudguard compatible, but neither Boardman nor Halfords were able to supply a mudguard that fit. I stayed in touch with both since October 2013 about it and eventually they released an updated fork.

The solution I used until now was the bolt on Elite bottle cage mounts wrapped around the fork leg. It got me through two winters with SKS Chromoplastics.

posted by newtonuk [42 posts]
7th March 2015 - 20:49

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