In 2010 for my 25th birthday Gavin and my parents decided very kindly to buy me my first road bike! Although I was already heavily into cycling I couldn’t afford a decent road bike so I had just kept plugging away on my SE Draft Lite steel single speed (this was before single speeds or ‘fixies’ were cool in London!) and my sit up and beg Raleigh ladies bike, which was perfect for heavy food shopping trips (it also helped me move flats many times in London!).
The Boardman was about £750 from Halfords and was pretty much the best spec’d female geometry bike for the pricel label. For many years I have cycled on men’s bikes and I could really feel the difference in stretch the minute I sat on the Boardman – it’s nice that manufacturer’s are sitting up and paying attention to female cyclists at entry level!
I’ve detailed below the spec:
- Size: 48.5 cm
- Frame material: Aluminium alloy / Carbon forks
- Wheel size: 700c
- Brakeset: Tektro R570 dual pivot
- Chainset: Truvativ Elita 48/34T compact
- Front derailleur: Shimano Tiagra
- Rear derailleur: Shimano 105
- Shifters: Shimano Tiagra
- Cassette: Shimano 12/25T (this has now been swapped out for 11/28 to help me out on the hills!)
I know a lot of ‘hardcore’ roadies would say this bike isn’t all that great, but in my eyes it has been a great first road bike. In 2011 I rode the Lands End to John O’Groats, multiple Coast2Coast rides and about 10 sportives and there were no niggles, mechanicals or sizing issues. Now in 2012 I’ve done lots of training, cycled London2Paris and am about to embark on the RoundtheEdge trip and I wouldn’t want to do it on any other bike!