Boardman HYB vs MTX (8.9)


When it comes to urban commuting, the choice of your bike can make or break your experience. Today, we’re comparing two of the most talked-about models in the sub-£1000 range: the Boardman HYB 8.9 and the Boardman MTX 8.9.

Both are hybrid bikes designed with the urban cyclist in mind, but each has its unique strengths.

Key Specifications at a Glance

FeatureBoardman HYB 8.9Boardman MTX 8.9
Weight22.9 lbs27.3 lbs
Frame MaterialAluminumAluminum
ForkCarbonSuntour NCX (air)
Drivetrain1 × 12 speed1 × 11 speed
BrakesHydraulic DiscHydraulic Disc
SaddleSelle Royal Lookin GelSelle Royal Essenza
TiresSchwalbe Marathon RacerSchwalbe Tyrago
Intended UseUrban commuting, speedUrban & light off-road
Comfort & HandlingSporty & responsiveComfortable & adaptable

Detailed Comparison

Frame and Build

Both bikes boast a triple-butted 6061 X7 alloy frame with hidden welds, providing a sleek design and durable build suitable for daily commuting.

Forks and Handling

The HYB 8.9 features a lightweight carbon fork with a tapered steerer for responsive handling and reduced road vibration. On the other hand, the MTX 8.9 is equipped with a Suntour NCX E Air LO fork, offering 63mm of travel with an adjustable air spring and lockout capabilities for a plush ride on varied terrain.

Gearing Up for Efficiency

Gearing is a crucial factor for commuters, especially when navigating city streets. The HYB 8.9’s Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain provides a wide range of gears, making hill climbs and speedy flats manageable. The MTX 8.9 isn’t far behind, with an 11-speed setup that still offers versatility for most urban landscapes.

Comfort and Control on the Commute

Seating and Posture

The HYB 8.9 is fitted with a Selle Royal Lookin Gel saddle and a rigid Boardman Alloy seatpost, catering to riders looking for a firm and sporty feel during their ride. Conversely, the MTX 8.9 comes with a Selle Royal Essenza saddle and a 31.6mm alloy post equipped with a 45mm suspension system, offering additional comfort and shock absorption for uneven surfaces​.

Steering and Stability

Both bikes feature an alloy handlebar, but the MTX 8.9’s riser bar, which includes a 9-degree bend and 15mm rise, provides a more upright riding position conducive to urban commuting. This setup not only enhances control over rougher terrain but also aids in rider visibility in traffic​​.

Braking Systems and Safety

When it comes to stopping power, both the HYB and MTX 8.9 are equipped with Shimano MT400 hydraulic disc brakes. However, the type of rotors and the brake setup can influence the braking performance. The HYB 8.9 uses Shimano RT54 rotors, whereas the MTX 8.9 opts for Shimano RT-56 rotors, both sized at 160mm for consistent stopping power in various weather conditions​​.

Wheelset and Traction

The wheelset is another critical aspect of commuter bikes, affecting traction, control, and ride quality.

Wheels and Rims

Both models ride on aluminium rims, with the HYB featuring Boardman HYB-specific rims and the MTX sporting Boardman MTX rims. The front hub on the MTX 8.9 is a Formula 15x100mm Thru Axle, offering a sturdier wheel attachment compared to the HYB’s Shimano HB-M4050 front hub​1.

Tires for the Urban Jungle

The HYB 8.9 rolls on Schwalbe Marathon Racer tires, known for their speed and puncture resistance—ideal for smooth city roads. The MTX 8.9, with its Schwalbe Tyrago tires featuring a Kevlar guard, is better equipped to handle the occasional detour through parks or cobblestone streets​​.

Performance and Versatility in Urban Terrain

Pedal Power

Both bikes come with FSA Gossamer Mega Exo cranks, with the HYB 8.9 sporting a 44t ring and the MTX 8.9 using a similar 1X – 44T setup. These cranks are known for their reliability and power transfer, ensuring that every pedal stroke counts whether you’re accelerating on a green light or pushing up a steep incline​1​.

Shifting Gears

Shifting is seamless on both models, with the HYB 8.9’s 12-speed Shimano Deore rear derailleur providing a broad range to tackle diverse urban landscapes. The MTX 8.9’s 11-speed counterpart is just as robust, with a slightly narrower range suitable for city riding and occasional off-road excursions​1​.

On-the-Go Adjustments

The MTX 8.9 stands out with its air-sprung fork featuring a lockout and adjustable settings, allowing riders to fine-tune their suspension on the fly—a valuable feature when transitioning between smooth asphalt and cobblestone paths. The HYB 8.9’s carbon fork, while not adjustable, offers natural vibration damping properties for a consistently smooth ride​1​.

Value for Urban Cyclists

Price Point

With a slightly higher MSRP, the MTC 8.9 positions itself as a premium option, justified by its suspension fork. The HYB 8.9, while less expensive, offers its own value with a lightweight carbon form and a sleeker appearance—features that enhance desirability and performance in a variety of urban scenarios​.

The Final Verdict: Boardman HYB vs MTX

After considering the specific needs of the urban commuter, the verdict takes into account not just the specifications, but also the value for money:

Feature ComparisonBoardman HYB 8.9Boardman MTX 8.9
Price £880£950
Weight ~10.4kg~12.4kg
Frame MaterialAluminumAluminum
ForkCarbon (responsive handling)Suntour NCX (air, comfort)
Drivetrain1 × 12 (speed & efficiency)1 × 11 (reliable performance)
BrakesHydraulic DiscHydraulic Disc
SeatpostRigid (sporty feel)Suspension (comfort)
SaddleSelle Royal Lookin GelSelle Royal Essenza
TiresSchwalbe Marathon Racer (speed)Schwalbe Tyrago (durability)
Intended UseUrban commuting (focus on speed)Urban & light off-road (versatility)
Comfort & HandlingSporty and responsiveComfortable and adaptable
Commuter Score 92/10089/100

Both bikes score high for urban commuting, but the HYB 8.9 edges ahead slightly in terms of performance and efficiency, while the MTX 8.9 is more versatile and comfortable, especially on varied surfaces.

Whether you prioritise a lightweight, fast ride or a comfortable, versatile journey through the city’s varied terrains, both the Boardman HYB 8.9 and MTX 8.9 offer compelling features for the discerning urban cyclist.

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