Boardman Air TT 9 Review

I’ve got some new weaponry for the TT series. my planet x served me very well but it was looking a bit passé. and as we know, looks are everything. over the winter i decided to buy a boardman TT bike. this was based on lots of research trawling through typically conflicting internet reviews. ultimately, i trusted Jeff Jones, who said it was very very fast. he should know, being also very very fast.

i’ve used it a couple of times over the winter on the turbo trainer, not fully set up or anything. recently i got strada to do a couple of tweaks, it seemed a bit criminal for me to be bodging a brand new bike with my patented srampagmano™ system so i opted to get a professional (matt dawson of strada) to do the jiggery pokery for me.

today was the first day i’ve ridden it out on the road. having been on the fairly relaxed winter bike for the past 6 months the first shock was the low and aggressive riding position. i’ve dropped the stem pretty much as low as it can go, thus creating a very aggressive and aerodynamic profile. i was using a set of aksium training wheels rather than the full disc and trispoke, for obvious reasons. the brakes are recessed inside the fork crown and hidden above the bottom bracket. they work extremely well and are much better than the dual pivot campag brakes on my road bike. i was surprised by this, to be honest.

i went out and tackled a hilly loop. i could feel yesterday’s exertions but it didn’t have that much of an effect. once i got used to the handling and comfortable on the extensions i tucked in and floored it. it feels quick and incredibly aerodynamic. i rode for an hour with about 1400 feet of climbing and averaged 21 mph. this included my fastest time on belmont this year – a 4.13, not that far off my PB of 4.02, which was a shock because i didn’t think i was pushing that hard. there was a slight tailwind, but not enough to  pull a super quick time out of the bag. i can conclude that the low weight and power transfer, including the super stiff bottom bracket, means it climbs very well. handy to know with the upcoming hilly events. similarly, it felt pretty tasty on the descents – although it is a TT bike so it’s a case of throwing caution to the wind. i managed 42mph on the descent of Clarken Coombe, startling a few motorists.

where are the brakes?

the bike comes in 4 variants with an ascending price scale. the thing to remember is they are all exactly the same in terms of profile and frame design, the only different one is the uber expensive 9.8 which has a slightly different carbon layup, making it arguably stiffer, although i doubt the layman like me would notice. the price point changes on account of the spec. if you have already got some fairly bling bits then it makes sense to go for the cheaper 9.0 and then swap bits out. this is what i did, switching the stock chainset for rotor Q rings and then changing the rear mech and shifters so i can run my campag disc wheel in the back.

like biopace, but snazzier

i’m going to probably take it out for another spin on wednesday. having ridden it today i’ve already noticed that my muscles are acheing from the different setup. this was anticipated and it’s important to ride in the position before the first race to avoid a really painful experience. all things considered, i’m looking forward to the weekend, fingers crossed for the weather!

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2 thoughts on “Boardman Air TT 9 Review

  1. Matt February 13, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    The bike looks great. Well done on being organised and sorting getting on it before you have to race, I have been meaning to dust the cobwebs off mine for a while now.
    Where is the nose of your saddle in relation to the bb? I am thinking of moving my saddle a bit.

    • traumfahrrad February 13, 2012 / 4:08 pm

      it’s above the BB. the BB is at the bottom, where the pedals are. the saddle is at the top where my ass is.

      but seriously, i’m not actually sure. i think i may move it slightly forwards, which is more about sit bones and comfort than about power.

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