As you can tell from my review of the 2013 Boardman Hybrid-Comp the component level does not have the quality to withstand minimal club level mileage of 100 to 150 miles per week.
Five weeks in and the components were showing their weaknesses; this amounts to just under 50 hours ride time with twice weekly washes and re-lubes.
The FSA Vero compact 50×34 chain-set was too warped from new and flexing too much, causes chain rub on the front-mech.
The chain had suffered enough in one of our wettest January’s for years and its performance was seriously degraded under load.
In a phrase, the transmission wasn’t up to the task.
Boardman Hybrid-Comp 2013 redux – Tiagra 10 speed transmission
A transmission upgrade to Shimano Tiagra 10 speed from the 9 speed SRAM x-5 is straightforward and with the benefit of January sales not as costly as one would expect.
- Tiagra 4600 double Chainset – 50 x 34 compact
- Tiagra BB
- Tiagra short cage rear mech
- Tiagra chain
- Tiagra 10 speed cassette – 11 to 25
- Right Hand Tiagra 10 speed shifter
The rear wheel free-hub supports a Shimano 10 speed cassette upgrade as a simple swap out of the cassette. The excellent and informative Sheldon Brown has documented detailed information on Shimano freehub compatibility.
All the transmission problems with the chain rubbing the front-mech when on the smallest two or the biggest three sprockets whilst on the big ring are gone. This is down to the stiffness of the Tiagra chainset and bottom bracket. The result being there is no need to swap out the left hand SRAM 3 speed shifter designed for triple chainsets.
The FSA No.11 Headset can be bought online for under £5 and is an obvious upgrade for a sealed item; the FSA No. 11 is detailed as follows:
- SKU / Manufacturers Part No: 141-2281
- 1-1/8″ semi-cartridge type headset
- For 49mm OD headtube
- 1-1/8″ steerer
- Alloy top cover
- Chromoly cups
- Semi-cartridge bearings
The frameset and wheels do have some flex under load which can cause the brakes to rub – this should be alleviated with better wheels and adjustment of the brakes to dial the pads so that there is sufficient clearance between the pad and the disc whilst the brakes are not actuated. This is very easy with the adjuster dial on the AVID BB5 calipers.
Its not light but thinking about any course of action to make this lighter would be like trying to pass a donkey for a race horse; there’s only so much you can do to train a donkey, its still a donkey. Better to accept this bike for what it is and that is an ideal ride for the worst of the winter and commuting. I enjoy the stability in frosty or windy conditions and the freedom to take to dirty badly surfaced roads or tracks to avoid cars on those Sundays you just want to chill out. Riding the Boardman sets the tone for the day with the training dial set to base and yet it remains nimble and responsive, encouraging you to change your plans and add some extra base miles before you call it a day.