Boardman Bikes' CXR 9.4 carbon cyclocross bike with Shimano R785 Di2 / hydraulic disc brakes. © Cyclocross Magazine
Editor's Note: This article is from our mud-loving friends at Cyclocross Magazine and originally appeared on cxmagazine.com. Visit them for your daily cyclocross fix.
What do you do when you've already won an Olympic gold medal, broken the world hour record not once, but three times, worn the yellow jersey three different times during the Tour de France and made a name for yourself as the one of the most successful riders to come out of Great Britain?
If you thought the answer was "retire," you'd be wrong. Instead, British cycling legend Chris Boardman went on to develop himself as a sports journalist, TV commentator, and if that wasn't enough, in 2004, co-founded the UK-based Boardman Bikes company.
His background for starting a bike brand began long before the company formed, and even before leaving professional cycling, he led the R&D team for Great Britain leading up to the Beijing Olympics.
Now, Boardman Bikes doesn't just showcase Boardman's area of expertise-track, road and time trials-but encompasses road, mountain, hybrid and, more importantly, cyclocross bikes. With two models in the affordable Performance Series and four options in the Elite series, the 'cross lineup is clearly developing rapidly.
While Boardman did not race cyclocross during his decorated career, he's certainly intimately familiar with suffering for an hour while riding laps, and now has been bitten by the cyclocross bug and almost exclusively rides his cyclocross bike.
Boardman Bikes is now entering the States, and is bringing three of its Elite series cyclocross bikes over in the from of the aluminum 9.0, and the carbon 9.2 and 9.4 bikes.
Cyclocross Magazine had the opportunity at Winter Press Camp to be one of the first to both see (and briefly ride) the 9.2 and 9.4 CXR models. Both models share the same Ultralight Boardman Elite CXR full Carbon monocoque frame, with a Boardman Elite CXR full carbon, tapered steerer fork. The frame features a PF30 bottom bracket, internal wiring for Di2, and… front and rear fender mounts!
Andy Smallwood of Boardman Bikes said the company's goal was not to build a cyclocross race-specific bike, but a bike that is great for racing but also versatile to handle adventure riding, gravel racing and winter riding. With this in mind, fender mounts were a priority, and gearing is based around the wider-range compact cranksets.
Boardman Bikes is one of the first to ship bikes with the Shimano R785 hydraulic disc brakes. © Cyclocross Magazine
The $5500 CXR 9.4 is the top-end model, featuring Shimano's long-awaited R785 Di2 / hydraulic brake system, and an Ultegra 6870 Di2 electronic drivetrain with a 6800-series 50/34 compact crankset. Out back, an 11-28 cassette provides a sufficient tall and low gear for any terrain you tackle, whether on the cyclocross course or doing a dirt gran fondo.
The 9.4 also features Boardman's own cockpit, with a Boardman Elite alloy handlebar, and Elite carbon stem and seatpost. Mavic TN319 wheels dressed with Continental Cyclo-X-King 35c clinchers keep you rolling along.
The total package, in size Large (58cm model), as weighed by Cyclocross Magazine, was 20.2 pounds - not super light for a $550o bike, but considering it has Di2 and disc brakes, it's not surprising.
The shiny, metallic $3600 CXR 9.2 model goes mechanical for braking and shifting, with a 11-speed SRAM Force 22 drivetrain and Avid BB7S disc brakes. It shares the same wheels and tires as the 9.4 model, although the model we saw at Winter Press Camp had road slicks for test rides.
The $3600 CXR 9.2 cyclocross bike. Boardman Bikes is entering the States, and will offer its carbon CXR 9.2 and 9.4 models. © Cyclocross Magazine
Versatile gearing is also a priority on the 9.2, and the Force 50/34 compact crank paired with the 11-34 WiFli cassette should allow a rider to scale any hill.
Boardman Bikes also offers a $2700 alloy cyclocross bike, called the CXR 9.0, and featuring the same components as the carbon CXR 9.2, but saves the consumer $900.
While the CXR 9.0, 9.2 and 9.4 models will be arriving in U.S. stores shortly, the CXR 9.0 appears to be already available online at Competitive Cyclist (but with shipping charges and some assembly required).
See the Boardman Bikes CXR 9.2 and 9.4 cyclocross bike photo gallery below the video.
See Andy Smallwood talk about the new CXR cyclocross bikes and Chris Boardman's influence in the video.