This Boardman Road Team Carbon FI is just for the ladies. We put it through the Four Ride review.
- First Ride
Back in autumn, Chris Boardman assured us their ‘female informed’ (Fi) bikes will feel just as racy as their male ones, and one look at the frame shows he was telling the truth. The attention to aero detail is there, with bladed seat stays and forks, a flattened downtube and a longer top tube and lower front end than we’ve been used to on women’s bikes.
- Fast Ride
The more traditional racing position encouraged by the Fi should lend itself to going fast. Initially it doesn’t leap forwards when you put the power down, but once you get into the big ring and down on the drops, that low front end and the aerodynamic touches on the frame mean it holds speed easily and makes fast intervals feel almost fun.
- Hill Ride
With our weight further forward than we’re used to, we were nervous about how the Fi would handle on the hills. No need. Yes, it took some getting used to standing up with so much weight on our hands, but its pliable character helped us skip up long, tricky climbs. On top of that there’s no creaking and groaning from the frame under pressure.
- Long Ride
Despite its all-carbon frame, the Fi is a forgiving ride and took the rattle out of bad surfaces. For those of us used to riding a more sit-up bike, though, it was a bit of a stretch to ride this for more than a few hours, as our short-bodied tester found the reach a bit too long. It’s incredibly good value, and you can easily afford a few tweaks, such as a shorter stem.
Sizes tested Small (50cm)
Sizes available Small (50cm), Medium (51.5cm)
Frame Ultralight carbon fibre monocoque
Fork Ultralight carbon fibre monocoque
Transmission SRAM Rival 20-speed shifters and derailleurs; SRAM S350 50/34 chainset; Shimano 5600 12-25 cassette
Brakes Tektro R580 caliper brakes
Wheels Ritchey Pro
Cockpit Ritchey Comp 31.8mm handlebars, FSA Orbit headset
Seating CBoardman Cro-Mo rails women’s specific saddle
This review was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.
You’ll find loads more triathlon gear and kit reviews in triradar.com’s Gear section