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Felt AR4 vs Boardman Air 9.0 vs Boardman Road Pro

yertezyertez Posts: 70
edited November 2014 in Road buying advice
I have ridden and been impressed with a B'Twin Triban 5 (white) - my first roadie for a looong time, it is now time for an upgrade.

Some swear by the advantages of 'Air' over endurance frames.
Others love their Boardman Road Pro for comfort & speed & handling.

My riding is typically 25 to 70 milers with 300m to 1500m of climbing. With a Mt. Ventoux-3-ways trip planned next year.
I am in the medium size region, 70Kg and 5ft10.

Currently interested in :
Felt AR4: - ~£1500
Boardman Air 9.0 : ~£1500
Boardman Road Pro : £1300

Posts

  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Aero frame won't do you much good up mt Ventoux. Personable opinion is their advantages are over rated as most of the drag comes from you and you body position, not the frame.

    I'd go for whichever you like the look of best, and get some nice lightweight wheels for it if it comes with crappy stock wheels.

    Good luck with Mt Vx3. Have done it x1 and it's a stunning ride, but hard work. Get the biggest saucer your RD will accommodate on the back, you'll be glad of it on the 3rd ascent.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
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  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    The thing that puts me off aero-road frames like the Boardman and the Felt slightly is when they have the brake mounted under the BB rather than in the traditional location on the seat-stays. It doesn't seem to make much sense from a maintenance perspective, and surely all shorts of censored gets thrown into that area by the front wheel?

    I think the set-up on the Giant Propel makes more sense, but then are the Mini-V brakes as good as normal brakes? Who knows.

    But regardless, would say that you should only go for an Aero frame if you're racing, otherwise the power saving don't matter and you'll get a better riding and better spec of bike for your money if you go for a non-aero frame.
  • ivanoileivanoile Posts: 202
    and surely all shorts of censored gets thrown into that area by the front wheel?


    Not really,rate of mud and road censored is very similar to the brakes on normal position.The thing is on some bikes,maintance(changing pads and cleaning brake) can be :evil:
    But regardless, would say that you should only go for an Aero frame if you're racing, otherwise the power saving don't matter and you'll get a better riding and better spec of bike for your money if you go for a non-aero frame.

    Having an aero frame can bit good on the side that you can have semi-TT frame.I use my Madone for TT some times with clip-ons.Altough position is far from perfect it has some good sides,as I don't ride a lot TTs.
    And aero frame won't make you slower on hills,aero bikes are not anti-hill nor "climbing" bikes are anti-aero.
  • yertezyertez Posts: 70
    Thanks for the responses.

    On the rear brake issue, I guess it's dirt kicked up by the front wheel that is the issue, so really mainly an issue for wet conditions. My B'Twin will be called into service on wet days.

    As t4tomo says some good wheels are must. Thinking 50mm rim.

    Really I am wondering what the compromises in ride and handling are. Though a chat with my local bike store today seems to suggest air frames have come a long way in that regard (so long as you don't go for a TT bike).
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    Aero road bikes have come along a huge amount in recent years and in the best models, it's no longer a case of other areas being compromised to order to achieve better aero figures. The spec of the components may be slightly lower, but nowhere near the same extent it was previously.

    Personally, I'd go for the Felt as I think it's a superbly engineered frame.
  • Agree that just because it is an "aero" bike it does not automatically make it an uncomfortable/race only machine.

    Been delighted with my scott foil hmx team issue. Paired with some pacenti a SL23s has been great to ride and very good climbing and descending some decent amounts in the south of France this summer.

    Personally I would go for the felt as own and older f55 (2008) and been very happy with how it served me.

    The correct answer is to take them for a test ride if possible and get that one you feel happiest on. All other things being equal which do you like the look of best?

    Unless you are a confident descender would be wary of 50mm rims for descending alpine roads unless you spend good money on top quality rims. I have been fortunate to spend several summers riding in the alps but would personally stick to aluminium rims.
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