This article originally published on BikeRadar
Belgian cycling superstar Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) doesn't want to mess with a good thing at this Sunday's Ronde van Vlaanderen. While some riders constantly tweak their setups always in search of something new, Boonen's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 is essentially just an updated version of what he won on last year.
Once again, Boonen is on the custom '60 Pro' geometry that Specialized essentially created just for him a few years ago, featuring roughly the same reach as the company's standard 61cm size but the head tube length of a 58cm. Otherwise, the frame is seemingly standard issue including the roundish cross-sections used throughout, the tapered 1 1/8-to-1 3/8" front end, and Specialized's usual OSBB oversized bottom bracket shell.
Much of Boonen's equipment has carried over from last year as well, including the SRAM Red 2012 group, Specialized Chicane saddle, and Zipp SLSpeed carbon seatpost, 140mm-long Service Course SL forged aluminum stem, and aluminum CSL handlebar. Wheels have been switched to Zipp's shallower 303 Firecrest tubulars, however, and they're wrapped with 25mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tires.
Specialized has since upgraded its carbon fiber crankarms, too, with a broader profile that's apparently stiffer than previous iterations. There was no power meter installed when we photographed Boonen's bike but then again, this was also one of his spares. Boonen raced Ronde van Vlaanderen with a Quarq-equipped Specialized crank last year so we expect he may do the same on Sunday.
Boonen's fit is nearly the same as before but with one major exception. While he used to run 46cm-wide (outside-to-outside) bars – apparently just because that's what he was used to – Specialized has convinced him to run a narrower 42cm size for better aerodynamics.
Total weight as pictured is 7.29kg (16.07lb).
The hugely reinforced bottom bracket area of the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4