Boardman ADV vs CXR: A Comprehensive Bike Comparison



Today, we pit two exceptional bikes from the renowned Boardman stable against each other: the Boardman ADV 8.9 and the Boardman CXR 8.9. These models have stirred up the cycling community with their unique features and capabilities at great price points.

If you’re an urban commuter, an off-road adventurer, or a cyclocross enthusiast, understanding the nuances of these bikes will help you make an informed choice for your cycling needs.

Overview of Boardman ADV 8.9

The Boardman ADV 8.9, an adventure bike that’s been hailed as a value bike of the year, stands out as a versatile and efficient choice for both on-road and off-road cycling. Let’s break down what makes the ADV 8.9 a top pick:

Design and Build Quality

  • Frame and Fork: The heart of the bike is its triple-butted 6061 X7 aluminium frame with hidden welds, providing a robust yet lightweight structure. Complementing this is a full carbon fork with a tapered steerer, enhancing the bike’s handling and comfort.
  • Geometry: Inspired by mountain bikes, the ADV 8.9 boasts long, slack top tubes and a relaxed head angle. This geometry ensures stability on rough terrain while maintaining efficiency on roads.

Performance and Features

  • Groupset: Equipped with a 10-speed Shimano GRX groupset, specifically designed for adventure riding, the ADV 8.9 offers a wide gear range, suitable for steep climbs and fast descents.
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes ensure maximum control, a crucial feature for navigating diverse terrains.
  • Tyres and Wheels: The 38mm Schwalbe G-One All Round tyres are tubeless-ready, offering a balance of off-road grip and on-road speed.


  • Mounts: With mudguard and pannier rack mounts, the ADV 8.9 is not just a trail conqueror but also a reliable companion for commuting or touring.
  • Comfort: Despite its robust frame, the design ensures great comfort, crucial for long rides across varied landscapes.

Overview of Boardman CXR 8.9

Shifting gears to the Boardman CXR 8.9, this bike is a cyclocross marvel, perfect for racers and off-road enthusiasts. Here’s why the CXR 8.9 is a standout in its category:

Design and Build Quality

  • Frame and Fork: The CXR 8.9 features a durable 7005 alloy frame with cyclocross race geometry, paired with a full carbon fork. This combination strikes a balance between resilience and handling agility.
  • Race-Ready Geometry: Tailored for cyclocross, the bike’s geometry facilitates quick manoeuvres and efficient handling on tight, challenging courses.

Performance and Features

  • Drivetrain: The Sram Apex 1×11 gearing system is a highlight, offering low maintenance and reliability, even in the muddiest conditions.
  • Braking System: Sram Apex hydraulic disc brakes provide consistent and predictable braking, essential for the abrupt turns and descents in cyclocross.
  • Tyres and Wheels: The bike is equipped with lightweight tubeless compatible Boardman rims, and the Clement Crusade PDX tyres excel in muddy conditions.


  • Cyclocross Focused: Unlike the ADV 8.9, the CXR is more specialised, primarily designed for cyclocross racing rather than general commuting or touring. Though this would be a great choice for those commuting via toe-path or bridleway.

Head-to-Head Comparison

As we pit the Boardman ADV 8.9 against the CXR 8.9, it’s important to delve into the specifics, comparing their components, performance, and suitability for different riding styles. This comparison will shed light on the intricacies that set these two models apart.

Frame and Build Quality

  • ADV 8.9: Built with triple-butted aluminium and a full carbon tapered fork, the ADV 8.9 is robust yet agile. The frame’s construction is ideal for both bridleways and fire roads, as well as the daily commute.
  • CXR 8.9: The CXR, with its 7005 alloy frame and carbon fork, is designed more for the rigours of cyclocross. It’s ready for the rough and tumble of racing, offering a balance of durability and nimble handling.

Performance in Various Environments

  • ADV 8.9: This bike’s geometry and gear range make it a versatile choice, adept at handling both long road rides and off-road adventures. The GRX hydraulic groupset enhances its performance across a range of terrains.
  • CXR 8.9: With its race bike geometry, the CXR excels on cyclocross tracks. It’s less versatile compared to the ADV but perfect for cyclocross enthusiasts looking for a bike that’s straining at the leash.

Groupset and Braking Systems

  • ADV 8.9: The Shimano GRX hydraulic setup offers a broad range of gears and reliable braking, making it suitable for varied conditions.
  • CXR 8.9: The SRAM Apex 1×11 groupset, with its efficient gearing and dependable hydraulic brakes, is tailor-made for cyclocross conditions.

Wheelsets and Tyres

  • ADV 8.9: The Boardman ADV wheels are tubeless-ready, paired with Schwalbe G-One tyres, offering excellent grip and durability on mixed surfaces.
  • CXR 8.9: The Boardman CXR wheels, also tubeless-ready, come equipped with Donnelly PDX tyres, known for their performance in muddy cyclocross conditions.

Suitability for Different Types of Riders

  • ADV 8.9: It’s the go-to bike for those who demand versatility. Whether it’s for a commute, a long road journey, or an off-road adventure, the ADV 8.9 adapts seamlessly.
  • CXR 8.9: This bike is a dream for cyclocross racers and those who love the challenge of muddy, challenging terrains.

The Evolution of Boardman Bikes

The New ADV 9.0 and Its Place in the Boardman Range

  • The introduction of the new ADV 9.0 represents Boardman’s commitment to evolving its range of bikes. This model builds upon the success of the ADV 8.9, offering enhanced features for the adventure cyclist.

Boardman’s Journey from Road to Adventure and Cyclocross

  • Boardman has gone beyond traditional road bikes, embracing the growing popularity of gravel and cyclocross. Their bikes are designed to meet the demands of various riding styles, from smooth tarmac to the ruggedness of cyclocross tracks.

Carbon vs Aluminium: The Material Debate in Boardman Bikes

  • The use of C10 carbon in certain models, like the SLR 8.9 carbon, highlights Boardman’s foray into high-end, performance-focused bikes. However, the aluminium frames of the ADV and CXR series offer a great balance of performance and affordability.

In the next section, we will delve deeper into the pros and cons of each model, helping you understand which bike might be the right choice for your cycling needs. Whether it’s the adaptable ADV 8.9 or the race-ready CXR 8.9, Boardman offers a range that caters to a diverse group of cyclists.

Pros and Cons of Each Model

In choosing between the Boardman ADV 8.9 and the CXR 8.9, it’s vital to weigh the pros and cons of each to understand which aligns best with your riding style and preferences.

Boardman ADV 8.9


  • Versatility: Excelling in both urban and off-road environments, it’s ideal for those who enjoy the flexibility of tackling different terrains.
  • Comfort and Control: The aluminium frame and carbon fork combination ensure comfort without compromising on control.
  • Adaptability: With mudguard and pannier rack mounts, it’s perfect for commuting, touring, or leisure riding.


  • Not Race-Specific: While versatile, it might not satisfy those looking for a bike specifically tailored for racing.

Boardman CXR 8.9


  • Cyclocross Optimisation: Tailored for cyclocross, offering precise handling and robust performance on challenging courses.
  • Focused Geometry: The bike’s design is specific for cyclocross agility and efficiency.
  • Low Maintenance: The SRAM Apex 1×11 gearing system is reliable and easy to maintain, even in muddy conditions.


  • Limited Versatility: Focused mainly on cyclocross, it may not be as suitable for daily commuting or leisurely road biking.


Whether you choose the Boardman ADV 8.9 or the CXR 8.9, both bikes stand as testaments to Boardman’s dedication to quality and performance. The ADV 8.9 is a sterling choice for those who value versatility and comfort on various terrains, from daily commutes to adventurous bridleways. In contrast, the CXR 8.9 is a dream for cyclocross enthusiasts, offering the agility and durability needed for demanding cyclocross tracks.

Where to Buy and Pricing

Both the Boardman ADV 8.9 and the CXR 8.9 are available for purchase online, with options for home delivery or click and collect from stores nationwide. Competitive pricing, coupled with finance options like 0% finance and Cycle to Work schemes, make these bikes accessible to a wide range of cyclists.

In conclusion, whether it’s the all-rounder ADV 8.9 or the cyclocross-specialised CXR 8.9, Boardman’s commitment to innovation and performance shines through. Each model caters to specific cycling needs, ensuring that whether you’re on the road, navigating gravel paths, or racing through a cyclocross course, there’s a Boardman bike that’s just right for you.


Q: What are the main differences between Boardman ADV and Boardman CXR?

A: The Boardman ADV is designed for road bike and gravel bike adventures, while the Boardman CXR is a cyclocross bike with a focus on off-road racing and rough terrains. The ADV features a more relaxed geometry and a wide-range 1×11 SRAM Apex groupset, while the CXR has a more aggressive geometry and is equipped with a 1×11 SRAM Rival groupset.

Q: What are the key features of the Boardman ADV 8.8?

A: The Boardman ADV 8.8 features a lightweight 7005 alloy frame, carbon fork, 700c wheels, and a wide range of gears thanks to the Shimano Sora 2×9 speed drivetrain. It also comes with mounts for mudguards and pannier racks, making it a versatile choice for adventure riding.

Q: How does the Boardman CXR 8.8 differ from the ADV 8.8?

A: The Boardman CXR 8.8 is built for cyclocross racing with a focus on agility and responsiveness. It features a lightweight CXR frame, 1×11 SRAM Rival groupset, and 700c wheels with specific cyclocross tires. The ADV 8.8, on the other hand, is designed for road and gravel adventures with a more relaxed geometry and a wider gear range.

Q: What are the differences between the Boardman ADV 8.8 and 8.6?

A: The Boardman ADV 8.8 features a 7005 alloy frame, carbon fork, and a 2×9 speed Shimano Sora drivetrain, while the ADV 8.6 comes with a triple-butted alloy frame, full carbon fork, and a 2×8 speed Shimano Claris groupset. The ADV 8.8 also has a wide-range gear setup, making it suitable for a variety of terrains.

Q: Does the Boardman CXR 8.8 come with mudguard mounts?

A: Yes, the Boardman CXR 8.8 is designed with mudguard mounts, allowing riders to easily attach mudguards for riding in wet or muddy conditions.

Q: What are the components of the Boardman ADV 8.9?

A: The Boardman ADV 8.9 features a lightweight carbon frame, full carbon fork, 700c wheels, and a 1×11 speed SRAM Rival groupset. It also comes with integrated mounts for mudguards and pannier racks, making it suitable for both road and gravel adventures.

Q: Can the Boardman CXR 8.9 accommodate a front derailleur?

A: Yes, the Boardman CXR 8.9 is designed to accommodate a front derailleur, allowing riders to have a wider gear range for various cyclocross terrains and races.

Q: What sets the Boardman ADV 9 series apart from other road bikes?

A: The Boardman ADV 9 series is known for its carbon adventure geometry, which combines the stability of a road bike with the versatility for off-road adventures. It also features premium components and a versatile gear setup, making it a favourite among riders who want to explore various terrains.

Q: What types of terrain are the Boardman CXR bikes suitable for?

A: The Boardman CXR bikes are designed for cyclocross racing and rough off-road terrains. They are agile, responsive, and equipped with specific components to handle the challenges of cyclocross races and off-road riding.

Q: What are the main features of the Boardman CXR 8.9?

A: The Boardman CXR 8.9 features a lightweight carbon frame, full carbon fork, 700c gravel wheels, and a 1×11 speed SRAM Rival groupset. It also comes with mudguard mounts and is known for its rough and ready performance on various terrains.

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