This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Quick-Step Floors' emphatic start to the season continued in the past week with Niki Terpstra's victory at the Tour of Flanders and Fabio Jakobsen's bunch sprint win at Scheldeprijs, while Julian Alaphilippe took the opening two stages at Pais Vasco in sunnier climes.
Heading into Sunday's Paris-Roubaix and Quick-Step Floors run of victories could easily continue with both Philippe Gilbert and Zdenek Stybar two of the favourites for the third Monument of the season.
Quick-Step Floors raced on the Specialized Roubaix at last year's race and will do so again this year using the unusual 'Future Shock' front suspension system, which suspends the handlebars to improve comfort.
While the consumer version of the bike is now only available as a disc brake model, the team is using a rim brake version of the bike, which isn't yet available to consumers.
The team opts for rim brakes to 'give riders the most flexibility with technical support', says Specialized, possibly a reference to accessing neutral service in the often chaotic race.
Both bikes had the caliper quick release half open, allowing for brake adjustment mid-race
Article 1.3.007 in the UCI's technical regulations state: "in all cases the product must be a finished product in the condition that it will be marketed."
Specialized confirmed to BikeRadar that the same situation as last year remains, in that a rim brake version of the bike may be produced in the future depending on market demands but it currently doesn't have any plans in motion.
Unlike Stybar, Gilbert doesn't choose to have grip tape on the steerer top cap
For the race, the Quick-Step Floors riders will also have a Project Black (Specialized's professional development program) Future Shock, featuring an adjustment knob directly above the stem.
This knob allows riders to adjust the settings of the Future Shock system depending on the varied terrain of the Paris-Roubaix course. It can also lock out the suspension when needed, something especially useful for a sprint on the Roubaix velodrome.
Both Stybar and Gilbert's bikes are equipped with full Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 groupsets
Both Gilbert and Stybar run almost identical setups for their bikes, including full Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 electronic groupsets and the same gearing of 53/44 chainrings alongside an 11-28 Dura-Ace R9100 cassette.
Ahead of last year's race, Specialized launched the S-Works 'Hell of the North' tyres and Quick-Step Floors has the choice of 28mm or 30mm tubulars
Specialized's wheel brand Roval provides the team with the CLX 50 carbon wheels, which are paired with S-Works 'Hell of the North' tyres. Both riders opt for 28mm tubular versions of the tyre, which is also available as a 30mm option.
Stybar has additional brake levers on the handlebar tops to allow easy braking when his hands are on the tops, a popular position when riding cobbles
Paris-Roubaix's rough cobbled 'secteurs' add extra fatigue to the hands of riders and a popular position over the cobbles is on the handlebar tops.
While this position may be the most comfortable, it can restrict braking and gear shifting. Quick-Step Floors has countered this by using additional brake levers on the handlebar tops for their riders, and while Gilbert runs a Di2 climbing switch next to his stem, Stybar opts for an individual Di2 shifting button on either side of his stem.
Both riders have also opted for double wrapped handlebars for added comfort and vibration dampening.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at both riders’ bikes.