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Tech gallery: Paris-Roubaix bike preview

By:
James Huang
Published:
April 07, 2012, 15:26 BST,
Updated:
April 07, 2012, 16:46 BST
Race:
Paris - Roubaix
Rabobank riders will mostly use Giant's new Defy Advanced SL frames at Paris-Roubaix for their softer ride, more stable handling, and greater tire clearance relative to their usual TCR Advanced SL machines. Team leader Lars Boom, however, will again use his TCX Advanced SL 'cross bike.

Rabobank riders will mostly use Giant's new Defy Advanced SL frames at Paris-Roubaix for their softer ride, more stable handling, and greater tire clearance relative to their usual TCR Advanced SL machines. Team leader Lars Boom, however, will again use his TCX Advanced SL 'cross bike.

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This article originally published on BikeRadar

On the eve of Paris-Roubaix it's typical for teams and riders to arrive in the start city of Compiègne, France. They’re generally there one day prior to settle in and do their final recon rides. Cyclingnews headed out to a few team hotels with hopes of an advance look at what some of them will be riding.

We found few surprises in terms of equipment for Paris-Roubaix. Essentially teams have the same basic formulas are in place that we've noted in prior years here. And it seems most of this year’s new equipment was unveiled in advance, with the launch of three new cobble specific bikes earlier in the week: BMC’s GranFondo GF01, Specialized’s Roubaix SL4, and Trek’s Domane.

And, across the board, even among teams without newly launched bikes, riders gravitate toward softer-riding and more stable options from their team frame suppliers: the Ridley Helium instead of the Noah for Lotto-Belisol; the Scott CR1 instead of the Foil for GreenEdge; the Giant Defy Advanced SL instead of the TCR Advanced SL for Rabobank; and the Pinarello Dogma K in lieu of the Dogma 2 for the Movistar crew.

Big tubular tires inflated to modest pressures are the norm as well, with typical sizes up to 27mm across and pressures as low as four or five bar (58-73psi). Historically, those tires have been wrapped around traditional box-section aluminum tubular wheels almost without fail, but with recent advances in carbon fiber wheel construction the numbers are shifting dramatically.

Still, though, many teams that continue to stick with tradition find themselves having to search outside of their usual wheel suppliers in order to get what they need. Ambrosio Nemesis and Mavic Reflex tubular rims continue to dominate the numbers among the traditionalists — as usual — but they're oftentimes not labeled as such.

Hopefully you're not working on the holiday weekend, but luckily our tech editor is—it's Paris-Roubaix eve after all.

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