After several months with the Boardman TRK 9.8 frameset, I’ve had plenty of chances to ride it both indoors and out with both drops and aero bars. I’ve also been able to test how practical the frameset really is while building the bike and changing components.
I was immediately impressed with the looks of the Boardman when it arrived. Minimal logos and unfussy lines help the bike remain understated, and the colour scheme will never clash with your wheel logos or kit.
Practically speaking, the paint doesn’t seem to be fragile. The dropouts in the fork were a little thickly coated, but this is a problem that resolved itself the first time I tightened the track nuts. It still looks as good as when it arrived.
The bottom bracket was the biggest unknown to me. I’d never dealt with an eccentric bottom bracket, and wasn’t quite sure how things were going to go. The bottom bracket was included with the frameset, and came with a smorgasbord of different spacers, as well as an adapter for GXP cranks. In practice, I fitted my cranks, using the spacers to adjust, and the bottom bracket has otherwise been unnoticeable since.
Because the geometry of the TRK has been borrowed from Boardman’s ATT time trial bikes, I’ve left the eccentric bottom bracket in its highest position, raising it to a more ‘normal’ track height. It’s been noise and movement free, and practically speaking, it’s made no difference beyond which cranks can be used. SRAM Omniums are supplied with full bikes from Boardman, but I’ve also fitted a Rotor Power2Max with a 24mm axle.
The aggressive TT geometry is much appreciated. With a (relatively) short head tube, it’s easy to swap the bike between racing with drops to tri bars. The front fork is drilled for a brake, and this has proven useful as I’ve been using the bike for time trialling on the road.
Ride qualities are always difficult to quantify. However, the frame is stiff enough that I never felt it flexing like a cheaper aluminium bike might, and the bike is easy to handle. The enormous chainstays probably help in this regard. Few things are more reassuring on the track than a bike that is unfalteringly stiff and silent, and the Boardman delivers.