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Author Topic: Boardman Pro 29er - 2011  (Read 467 times)

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Boardman Pro 29er - 2011
« on: June 16, 2012, 09:45:27 PM »
This was my third mountain bike purchase and my first carbon/29'er. 2011 being Boardman's entry into mountain bikes with this full carbon hard tail model, but very, very competively priced for the spec. It was a risk for me to buy a bike over the internet (from Wiggle in the UK, particularly since I couldn't do a test before purchasing. I imported the bike into NZ, as that is where I was planning a holiday and wanted a bike to ride for the couple of months I would be there. While I had the advantage of not having to pay UK VAT, I was hit with NZ duty & GST, which added about AU$250 to the cost. Like Australia, the cost of transport is also included in the Custom's duty calculation, so be aware if you are planning the same type of internet purchase from overseas. However, even with the the extra costs, the bike still represented excelent value for money.
The bike came in a bike box mostly assembled and well packed against damage. Putting the bike together was fairly easy as I had most of the tools required/suplied. In addition to the bike, I had Shimano XT PD-M785 Trail Wide Platform pedals fitted.
My main purpose for the bike was to have a light cross country bike that would mainly be used for exploring the trails around Wanaka in the south island of NZ. I anticipated that it would also allow me to on occasion, use it to enter any local cross county events like the Lake Hawea Epic.
My first ride of the bike showed the differences straight away with my other alloy hard tail 26" bike. First of all, I noticed how much higher I sat off the ground. The other things I noticed in riding the bike was that the bike was a lot more sure footed riding over large, loose pebbles/rocks. Also on the plus side, I noticed that the ride was particularly more comfortable with the 'kick' from the tail being less when compared to a 26'er. I was particularly taken with the comfort of the seat - it's still the most comfortable out of all of my bikes (road, MTB or otherwise). On the flat and going down hill the bike is quite simply, fast.
On the negative side, I found riding up steep, windy tracks particularly challenging, especially when sharp swithchbacks were encounted. 26'ers have it over the 29'er in this area in my humble opinion. I also found that I had trouble maintaining tyre traction when riding up steep tracks with dry, loose grit on a hard base. However, my tyre pressure was close to maximum, which would account for a lot of that trouble. Having only 2 rings on the front (SRAM X9), also made climbs a lot harder than I was use to (the extra 'granny') ring is sometimes a nice option.
Gear changes were easy and the bike didn't mind it when it got rough. However, I did have a problem with the front forks (Rock Shox) during the second ride and they had to be serviced. The frame has stood up well to rocks being flicked up at it, but there are chips starting to show in the outer gel coat (cosmetic damage). Using a protective barrier early in the bike's life would have been a good idea.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the bike. It's not something to go out and thrash about roughly on a regular basis (unless you like coninually tinkering/doing repairs), but is is good at what it is designed for - fast cross country trails. It is obviously built for racing and while I haven't done any racing on this bike, I can appreciate how well it would perform if/when I get a chance to use it for that purpose.


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