The Boardman CXR 9.4. © Clifford Lee

The Boardman CXR 9.4. © Cyclocross Magazine

Chris Boardman, the Olympic time trial champion and one-hour world record holder is now Director of R&D at the company that bears his name. Though he never raced cyclocross professionally, Chris Boardman knows the euphoria of suffering on a bike for an hour and with cyclocross a growing segment of the bike industry worldwide, the Boardman CXR series fits into his line nicely. The CXR 9.4 represents the top-of-the-line in carbon, and we gave a First Look online at the end of January 2014 as the bikes were introduced in the U.S.

Electronic shifting and disc brakes: the new normal for high end ’cross bikes. © Clifford Lee

Electronic shifting and disc brakes: the new normal for high end ’cross bikes. © Cyclocross Magazine

Carbon frames all seem to look alike after a while, but the Boardman CX 9.4 separates itself with glossy pearlescent white paint accented with yellow on the inner fork blades and chainstays. If you look carefully, the frame shape is familiar, sharing characteristics of the Foundry Harrow that we reviewed in Issue 23, with a similar large, flared trapezoidal down tube and flat wishbone seatstay arrangement. The geometry is straight-forward cyclocross style with a 72-degree head angle matched to a 73-degree seat angle on a medium frame with a 55cm effective top tube and 42.5cm chainstays. The bottom bracket drop is confirmed to be 6.5cm and the front center measures slightly on the short side of average at 59.8cm, which does not create toe overlap problems.

Internal routing makes this white bike look sleek (til the mud hits). © Clifford Lee

Internal routing makes this white bike look sleek (til the mud hits). © Cyclocross Magazine

All the cables are routed internally through the down tube, and the rear brake line exits in front of the large PF30 bottom bracket and enters the bottom of the left chainstay, only to exit a few inches further back at the top of the chainstay in order to meet the brake caliper, where post mounts are set for a 160mm rotor. All of that, while confusing to write out, gives the frame a clean look. There are holes along the top tube for the front derailleur cable, with a cable stop on the back of the seat tube ready for either a Shimano CX70 top pull derailleur or a bottom pull utilizing a pulley. This is a bit old school for a new school frame, but our review bike came with Di2 and the wire run is entirely internal.

Boardman Elite full carbon model with a tapered steerer. © Clifford Lee

Boardman Elite full carbon model with a tapered steerer. © Cyclocross Magazine

The fork included is a Boardman Elite full carbon model with a tapered steerer and stout legs, especially in the fore-aft dimension. It does not have a broad crown, but instead the legs taper off the steerer like a unicrown fork. This design looks unique, but limits tire clearance a bit at the crown. The brake post mounts are set for a 160mm rotor minimum size.

Uniquely, fender mounts are included on the frame, above the rear dropouts and at the seat stay and chainstay “bridges.” The fork also has fender mounts on the outside of the fork blades above the fork-ends and at the back of the crown. Two water bottle mounts are included for offseason training and adventure riding.

To get the full review, make sure that you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine to get Issue 25.

Boardman CXR 9.4 Specs:

  • MSRP: $5500
  • Frame: Molded monocoque carbon fiber
  • Fork: Carbon disc, tapered 1 1/4”-1 1/2” carbon steerer
  • Weight: 20.4 pounds, 11.75 pounds without wheels
  • Shifters: Shimano Ultegra 6850 11-speed Di2 electronic
  • Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 6800 road compact 50/34
  • Brakes: Shimano R785 hydraulic disc, Shimano IceTech rotors, 160mm front and rear
  • Cockpit: Boardman carbon stem and aluminum handlebar
  • Seatpost: Boardman aluminum, 2 bolt clamp, 31.6 diameter
  • Saddle: Fizik Ardea
  • Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Iron Cross Team
  • Tires: Continental CX Race
  • Warranty: 2 years frame, 1 year parts
  • Country of origin: China
  • More Info:
Clifford Lee
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Clifford Lee

Tester, Bike Geek at Cyclocross Magazine
Clifford Lee geeks out on all things cyclocross, and is one of the primary testers for CXM Labs. When he's not testing or racing cyclocross, he's tinkering with bikes in the basement, being a dad, or helping people see better.
Clifford Lee
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