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Fatter tyres, grip tape and mechanics' innovations
This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Paris-Roubaix is arguably the race of the year where setup from team to team, rider to rider diverges the most. As well as using the full armoury of kit at their disposal, teams often come up with their own unique fixes for irritating problems like bouncing water bottles and fingers slipping off brake levers, and do what they can to cushion riders from the bone shaking vibrations of pavé sections totaling more than 50km.
This year FMB tyres once again came to the fore and in a range of widths, too. The French specialist – a long-time provider of tyres to the top contenders - appear to have gone mainstream. They're fitted to a large number of riders' bikes this year and set up a partnership with Specialized, too.
In general, we saw widths ranging from standard 25mm to monstrously chunky 30mm tubulars on Sep Vanmarcke and other riders at the Belkin and Europcar squads.
Mechanics trying to find ways to stop bottles bouncing out ranged from United Healthcare's quirky use of cable ties to Team Sky's more sophisticated use of grip tape.
Check out our tech gallery of bikes from Compiègne.