Deca Ironman bike – Boardman SLR 9.4


First ride tomorrow can't wait.

First ride tomorrow can’t wait.

As I am riding the Celtman Triathlon – up the stunning but harsh Torridon mountains – followed by 9 days in North East England along the The Grand Depart 2014 (start of Tour de France) route, which as you will see below includes some pretty harsh climbs, I wanted my Deca Ironman bike to be comfortable, lightweight & fast for endurance rides. It was indeed hard to move away from the Specialized S-Works range & other specific TT bikes but this hilly terrain along with registering for competitive cycling races in the spring & a look towards the World Bike Race in 2015, meant that the Boardman SLR 9.4 came out on top.

Perhaps a quick few 'stages' in Ireland on the last few Ironman days.....

Perhaps a quick few ‘stages’ in Ireland on the last few Ironman days…..

After all Chris Boardman was the first to break the 28 year old Hour Record set by Eddy Merckx (1972) [by 11metres!], so I was expecting big things from the bike manufacturer baring his name.

I wasn’t disappointed.

At less than 2lb (900g) The SLR (Superlight Racing) frame is the lean brother to the AiR and is built for hard road racing. The SLR 9.4 is kitted out with SRAM Red and cboardman 35mm carbon tubular wheels (1,100g a set) and I got the black frame design – the bike store informed me that the white paint that you might normally find on the 9.4 adds 180g to the weight. No complaints there then.

The frame is a full high modulus carbon fibre monocoque construction with the box section down tube to increase overall strength.The full SRAM Red drivetrain and controls moved through the gears like nothing I have experienced before – perfect for tired legs on those Yorkshire climbs!

The bike tipped the scales at 6.37kg (14lb) – well under the UCI weight limit of 6.8kg – however with some Shimano Ultegra pedals (alright I pinched pennies & didn’t get the Dura Ace) and a computer this will sneak up to the right weight. Additionally the only difference with the top level model – 9.8 – is the wheels. The 9.8 runs on Zipp 202s while the 9.4 runs cBoardman Carbon SLRs. In my excited haze in the bike shop I thought with a 10 day marathon like the Deca Ironman the marginal speed difference between the two wouldn’t keep me up too much at night – I dare say I might shop around for two of the range wheels in a few weeks though!

All I need now is some Tri-Bars……

I look forward to putting it to the test from 28th June in Scotland!