Boardman Unleashes 2021 ADV 8.6 Gravel-Destroying Monster for Price of a Pet Rock

Boardman 2021 ADV 8.6 7 photos
Photo: Boardman Bikes Ltd
Boardman 2021 ADV 8.6Boardman 2021 ADV 8.6 ForkBoardman 2021 ADV 8.6 ChainsetBoardman 2021 ADV 8.6 FrameBoardman 2021 ADV 8.6 CockpitBoardman 2021 ADV 8.6
What are the features that make a great bicycle? Is it that it’s low-cost, is it that it’s made of the best materials around, or is it because of the way the whole thing is constructed? Depending on who you ask, you may get an array of answers, but the most common response would be of a bike that includes all of the above.
Cue the fresh 2021 Boardman ADV 8.6 adventure bike, a bicycle that is meant to take you off the tarmac and onto broken down roads and trails where some wouldn’t dare enter, without a capable vehicle, of course. Best of all, it’s absolutely dirt cheap, especially when you consider what it’s equipped with and how it’s built.

But, before we go on with the 8.6, how about a bit about Boardman Bikes, just in case you are new to the whole cycle game. Well, Boardman is a cycling manufacture out of the U.K. and inspired by “British cycling legend,” Chris Boardman. Unveiled in 2007, this team has even seen their bicycles in the Olympics.

So, what is it that makes their bikes so darn attractive? Well, just so you can have an idea, the ADV 8.6 is a triple-butted aluminum-framed bike with a carbon fork at just 750 British Pounds, which equates to roughly $1,031 (at current exchange rates). Yes, just a tad over $1,000 bucks to get yourself one of these wonders. How’s this, let’s call it an even $1,000, after all, you’ll just need to eat a sandwich for lunch instead of some steak, and the rest of the cash will just come out of that.

Boardman 2021 ADV 8\.6
Photo: Boardman Bikes Ltd
I mentioned that the frame is completed from triple-butted aluminum, but it also includes smooth and “hidden” welds that left me scrounging for information on the manufacturer’s website to tell me it’s not a carbon fiber frame. What is made of carbon is the fork. Yeah, for a bit over $1K you can have a bit of carbon fiber on your travel-ready bike.

The reason this bike comes across as an “adventure” bike is that it can be equipped with several features that are aimed at extending this bike’s off-road capabilities. Not only is the frame lightweight and durable, but Boardman includes a mount for a pannier rack, mudguards, and a few more mounts built right into the frame.

To make traveling easy for you, the 8.6 is also equipped with a low-range drivetrain aimed at helping you clear steep hills with ease. The 2x9 speed Shimano Sora with 48/32 chainset and an 11-32 cassette, the 8.6 yields a lower than 1:1 bottom gear. To help you control descents and slippery tree roots, Tektro MD-C511 disc brakes with 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors are there to save the day.

Boardman 2021 ADV 8\.6 Chainset
Photo: Boardman Bikes Ltd
Since bicycles like these don’t include any visible suspension qualities, most riders rely on frame and fork construction, but also wheels and tires. Some manufacturers go as far as including a suspension in the seatpost, but something like that is rarely seen in a $1K bicycle, so to keep your ride soft, Schwalbe G-One All Round tires are found stock.

As far as the cockpit is concerned, Boardman products are everywhere. Everything from the stem, handlebar, clamps, and even grips, all Boardman. With all these components, the ADV 8.6 comes in with a weight of just 10.5 kg (23.15 lbs). That’s as light as carbon fiber frameset bikes, but at nearly a third of the price.

Sure, a lot of this inexpensive adventure bike has something to do with the fact that these components aren’t the most sought after out there, but seriously, do you really need an AXS drivetrain on a bike that’s meant to be ridden into a bloody pulp? Oh, and in case you mess it up, you shouldn't feel at all bad about it, but I do wonder what sort of warranty Boardman offers on their bikes.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories