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Boardman SLR 8.8 2022

The Boardman SLR 8.8 is well specced and offers a great ride feel. Delivering a bike of this calibre for £850 is a masterstroke.

The SLR 8.8 offers a comfortable, no-nonsense frame and fork with well-balanced handling to suit beginners or those who want to exploit its all-weather capabilities.

With features like triple butting and slender tube profiles where it matters, the SLR 8.8 gives a great ride feel. It’s firm and as stiff as it needs to be while taking the edge off the high-frequency buzz coming up from the surface of the road.

The geometry is your typical 'endurance' setup with the front end slackened enough to take speed out of the steering without muting it so much that it lacks excitement – you can still have fun tackling a fast section of road or your favourite downhill.

With the ability to take full mudguards and a rear rack, the Boardman lends itself well to all-year-round riding for training or commuting, and while the 10.4kg weight means long, steep climbs can be a bit of a slog, it never really compromises the ride.

When sprinting away from the lights or hauling up those climbs, reviewer Stu Kerton detected a tiny amount of movement at the bottom bracket, but the SLR 8.8 feels tight when cornering or braking hard.

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The groupset is primarily 10-speed Shimano Tiagra although Boardman has kept costs down by speccing mechanically operated disc brakes from Tektro. They aren't bad once they’ve bedded in.

If you are in the market for a road bike and the budget is tight, whether you're a novice or a seasoned rider, this is a very positive, confidence-inspiring machine. The SLR 8.8’s killer punch is that it’s an absolute bargain.