This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
With four victories of the brutal Paris-Roubaix classic already in the books, Tom Boonen would make history with a fifth win this year. While not the favoirite — most eyes are on Peter Sagan or Fabian Cancellara — Boonen can never be ruled out for competition on the cobblestones.
This year he is again racing a Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4, a machine he piloted to victory in 2012.
Sagan and Cancellara have shied away from the electronic shifting of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for the cobbles. It's hard to shift any bike with hands and bars rattling across the stones, and mechanical proponents say cable-actuated systems often better feel and more intentional shifting than buttons. Boonen, for his part, isn't bothered. He is running Di2 with sprint shifters on the inside of the drops.
The cobblestones don't seem to rattle Boonen much. He was out doing recon with his team on Friday, riding without gloves across the cobbles.
While most of Specialized Roubaix bikes this year come with disc brakes, Boonen and his team are sticking with traditional rim brakes. Only Lampre-Merida has gone all in on discs for its racers, testing the waters first and the Tour of Flanders and now at Paris-Roubaix.
The rest of Boonen's bike is largely a Specialized affair, from the carbon Roval wheels to the 28mm tubulars to the Romin saddle.
FSA provides the bar and stem — both alloy, not carbon — and upstart company 4iiii has a dual-sided power meter on Boonen's bike.
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