Skip to main content

An early look at the bikes of Paris-Roubaix

Image 1 of 56

Canyon Bicycles have supplied their Silence-Lotto riders

Canyon Bicycles have supplied their Silence-Lotto riders (Image credit: Canyon)
Image 2 of 56

Not that the riders will have time to look at this

Not that the riders will have time to look at this (Image credit: Canyon)
Image 3 of 56

Giant have provided Rabobank riders with slightly modified versions

Giant have provided Rabobank riders with slightly modified versions (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 4 of 56

TRP EuroX Carbon cantilever brakes provide the stopping power

TRP EuroX Carbon cantilever brakes provide the stopping power (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 5 of 56

Team mechanics were fitting 28mm-wide Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless tires

Team mechanics were fitting 28mm-wide Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless tires (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 6 of 56

BMC will field both Pro Machine SLC01 frames

BMC will field both Pro Machine SLC01 frames (Image credit: James Huang)
Image 7 of 56

Giant have provided Rabobank riders with slightly modified versions of their usual TCR Advanced SL bikes for Paris-Roubaix.

Giant have provided Rabobank riders with slightly modified versions of their usual TCR Advanced SL bikes for Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 8 of 56

New rear dropouts increase the effective chain stay length by 7mm for more stability on the cobbles.

New rear dropouts increase the effective chain stay length by 7mm for more stability on the cobbles. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 9 of 56

Giant could have gone with carbon dropouts but the heavily relieved aluminum is nearly as light and easier to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Giant could have gone with carbon dropouts but the heavily relieved aluminum is nearly as light and easier to live with on a day-to-day basis. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 10 of 56

The 7mm difference is fairly subtle but not when compared to this standard dropout.

The 7mm difference is fairly subtle but not when compared to this standard dropout. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 11 of 56

Team forks also have different fork tips that increase rake by 7mm.

Team forks also have different fork tips that increase rake by 7mm. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 12 of 56

By comparison, the standard fork tips are virtually inline with the rest of the fork leg.

By comparison, the standard fork tips are virtually inline with the rest of the fork leg. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 13 of 56

Team bikes will also have special fork blades with a more slender shape, presumably for a softer ride on the pavé.

Team bikes will also have special fork blades with a more slender shape, presumably for a softer ride on the pavé. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 14 of 56

The trailing edge of the standard fork is nominally straight as compared to the Paris-Roubaix version's slightly scalloped line.

The trailing edge of the standard fork is nominally straight as compared to the Paris-Roubaix version's slightly scalloped line. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 15 of 56

Rabobank rider Sebastian Langeveld will set off from the start in Compiègne with Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 componentry.

Rabobank rider Sebastian Langeveld will set off from the start in Compiègne with Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 componentry. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 16 of 56

Di2's 'tap and forget' shifting style might prove useful to Langeveld as he's bouncing down the cobbles.

Di2's 'tap and forget' shifting style might prove useful to Langeveld as he's bouncing down the cobbles. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 17 of 56

Rabobank team bikes are also equipped with internal routing for the Di2 wires.

Rabobank team bikes are also equipped with internal routing for the Di2 wires. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 18 of 56

The main wire enters the frame just aft of the head tube.

The main wire enters the frame just aft of the head tube. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 19 of 56

The Di2 Li-ion battery is bolted to a dedicated fitting on the non-driveside chain stay.

The Di2 Li-ion battery is bolted to a dedicated fitting on the non-driveside chain stay. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 20 of 56

Langeveld's spare bike was fitted with standard 53/39T chainrings…

Langeveld's spare bike was fitted with standard 53/39T chainrings… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 21 of 56

...though his primary rig is outfitted with more Paris-Roubaix-friendly 53/44T ones.

...though his primary rig is outfitted with more Paris-Roubaix-friendly 53/44T ones. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 22 of 56

Langeveld will run a PRO carbon-wrapped stem and an aluminum handlebar.

Langeveld will run a PRO carbon-wrapped stem and an aluminum handlebar. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 23 of 56

Surprise, surprise: Rabobank will use traditional aluminum box-section tubular rims for Paris-Roubaix.

Surprise, surprise: Rabobank will use traditional aluminum box-section tubular rims for Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 24 of 56

27mm-wide Vittoria Pavé-EVO CG tubulars provide a relatively cushy ride.

27mm-wide Vittoria Pavé-EVO CG tubulars provide a relatively cushy ride. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 25 of 56

Rabobank teammate Joost Posthuma will also use Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.

Rabobank teammate Joost Posthuma will also use Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 26 of 56

Rabobank rider Juan Antonio Flecha uses custom insoles inside his Shimano shoes.

Rabobank rider Juan Antonio Flecha uses custom insoles inside his Shimano shoes. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 27 of 56

Pro riders don't always have a team car following closely behind; this is a handy way to carry a spare tub and pump.

Pro riders don't always have a team car following closely behind; this is a handy way to carry a spare tub and pump. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 28 of 56

BBOX Bouygues Telecom riders are apparently expecting bad weather given their preparedness for mud.

BBOX Bouygues Telecom riders are apparently expecting bad weather given their preparedness for mud. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 29 of 56

It's not just a couple of riders who have adopted the 'more is better' philosophy here, either; the entire BBOX Bouygues Telecom team is riding what are essentially 'cross bikes for Paris-Roubaix.

It's not just a couple of riders who have adopted the 'more is better' philosophy here, either; the entire BBOX Bouygues Telecom team is riding what are essentially 'cross bikes for Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 30 of 56

Top tube-routed cables help keep the control lines out of harm's way.

Top tube-routed cables help keep the control lines out of harm's way. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 31 of 56

Relatively small-diameter carbon tubes are expected to yield a reasonably compliant ride.

Relatively small-diameter carbon tubes are expected to yield a reasonably compliant ride. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 32 of 56

TRP EuroX Carbon cantilever brakes provide the stopping power for BBOX Bouygues Telecom team bikes this year.

TRP EuroX Carbon cantilever brakes provide the stopping power for BBOX Bouygues Telecom team bikes this year. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 33 of 56

Interestingly, all of the team bikes for Paris-Roubaix are fitted with older 10-speed Campagnolo Record components from the Ergopower levers…

Interestingly, all of the team bikes for Paris-Roubaix are fitted with older 10-speed Campagnolo Record components from the Ergopower levers… (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 34 of 56

…down to the derailleurs, cranks, chain and cassette.

…down to the derailleurs, cranks, chain and cassette. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 35 of 56

Nearly every bike at Paris-Roubaix is equipped with some sort of chain watcher up front.

Nearly every bike at Paris-Roubaix is equipped with some sort of chain watcher up front. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 36 of 56

This BBOX Bouygues Telecom rider is going extra big with 53/48T chainrings.

This BBOX Bouygues Telecom rider is going extra big with 53/48T chainrings. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 37 of 56

Supplemental top-mounted brake levers offer extra control is a rider is on the cobbles and someone crashes ahead of him.

Supplemental top-mounted brake levers offer extra control is a rider is on the cobbles and someone crashes ahead of him. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 38 of 56

The team are playing it safe in terms of durability when it comes to the bikes but the wheel selection is decidedly aggressive. And no, Michelin still doesn't make tubulars.

The team are playing it safe in terms of durability when it comes to the bikes but the wheel selection is decidedly aggressive. And no, Michelin still doesn't make tubulars. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 39 of 56

A fleet of Lapierre bikes await a wash and tune after a Française des Jeux recon ride the day before Paris-Roubaix.

A fleet of Lapierre bikes await a wash and tune after a Française des Jeux recon ride the day before Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 40 of 56

There's a lot of room in between that tire and the seat tube.

There's a lot of room in between that tire and the seat tube. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 41 of 56

Flattened chain stays are designed to flex a bit over rough terrain - of which the riders will see plenty.

Flattened chain stays are designed to flex a bit over rough terrain - of which the riders will see plenty. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 42 of 56

Another Paris-Roubaix bike, another chain watcher.

Another Paris-Roubaix bike, another chain watcher. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 43 of 56

Française des Jeux team bikes are further customized with more clearance over the top of the tire, thus requiring long-reach brake calipers.

Française des Jeux team bikes are further customized with more clearance over the top of the tire, thus requiring long-reach brake calipers. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 44 of 56

These look like extra-long dropouts but they're actually stock equipment on the Lapierre S-Lite frame.

These look like extra-long dropouts but they're actually stock equipment on the Lapierre S-Lite frame. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 45 of 56

Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux) will use 53/44T chainrings for Paris-Roubaix, as many of his competitors.

Frédéric Guesdon (Française des Jeux) will use 53/44T chainrings for Paris-Roubaix, as many of his competitors. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 46 of 56

Française des Jeux riders will apparently use Hutchinson Road Tubeless tires on race day now that larger sizes are available.

Française des Jeux riders will apparently use Hutchinson Road Tubeless tires on race day now that larger sizes are available. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 47 of 56

Team mechanics were fitting 28mm-wide Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless tires to all of the team's race bikes the day before the start.

Team mechanics were fitting 28mm-wide Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless tires to all of the team's race bikes the day before the start. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 48 of 56

Even with Road Tubeless' impressive durability, scores of spare wheels are still a requirement at Paris-Roubaix.

Even with Road Tubeless' impressive durability, scores of spare wheels are still a requirement at Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 49 of 56

Team mechanics were also adding some latex sealant as extra protection.

Team mechanics were also adding some latex sealant as extra protection. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 50 of 56

Teammate Matthieu Ladagnous will seemingly use Lapierre's new X-Lite frame instead.

Teammate Matthieu Ladagnous will seemingly use Lapierre's new X-Lite frame instead. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 51 of 56

The Lapierre X-Lite is fitted with a new Easton fork that features a tapered carbon steerer tube.

The Lapierre X-Lite is fitted with a new Easton fork that features a tapered carbon steerer tube. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 52 of 56

BMC will field both Pro Machine SLC01 frames and their new Racemaster SLX01 bikes (similar to this one from the Tour of California) at Paris-Roubaix.

BMC will field both Pro Machine SLC01 frames and their new Racemaster SLX01 bikes (similar to this one from the Tour of California) at Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang/Cyclingnews.com)
Image 53 of 56

Canyon Bicycles have supplied their Silence-Lotto riders with slightly modified Ultimate AL frames specifically for use at Paris-Roubaix.

Canyon Bicycles have supplied their Silence-Lotto riders with slightly modified Ultimate AL frames specifically for use at Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: Canyon)
Image 54 of 56

Not that the riders will have time to look at this but Canyon have included an outline of all of the cobbled sections of this year's parcours.

Not that the riders will have time to look at this but Canyon have included an outline of all of the cobbled sections of this year's parcours. (Image credit: Canyon)
Image 55 of 56

A graphic on the down tube mirrors the appearance of the cobbles below.

A graphic on the down tube mirrors the appearance of the cobbles below. (Image credit: Canyon)
Image 56 of 56

The special frames feature longer front triangles for a more stable wheelbase but additional tire and chainring clearances where needed.

The special frames feature longer front triangles for a more stable wheelbase but additional tire and chainring clearances where needed. (Image credit: Canyon)

Race tech: Paris-Roubaix, April 11, 2009

Subtle tweaks for Rabobank Giants

Rabobank sponsor Giant have adopted a familiar formula for the team's TCR Advanced SL ISP bikes at this year's Paris-Roubaix. Special aluminum dropouts extend the effective chain stay length by 7mm for additional tire clearance and more stability while new alloy fork tips with an extra 7mm of rake do the same up front. The forks themselves also have a slightly altered shape to confer a smoother ride while on the pave.

Most of the team will use Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 components though Sebastian Langeveld and Joost Posthuma will set off on the electronic Di2 version. On those bikes, the wires are routed internally through the frame courtesy of a pair of team-only access holes and the battery is mounted to two dedicated rivnuts on the non-driveside chain stay.

There are few surprises when it comes to the rest of the team's gear. Standard 32-hole Dura-Ace hubs are laced with Sapim butted stainless steel spokes and brass nipples to Ambrosio Nemesis aluminum box-section rims for a lightweight yet durable set of wheels that also yield more predictable braking performance than carbon. Wrapped around them are Vittoria's popular Pavé EVO-CG tubulars with a fat 27mm casing and slight file tread.

All of the team bikes we spotted were fitted with 53/44T chainrings and 11-23T cassettes to suit Paris-Roubaix's flat and fast course.

Total weight for Langeveld's bike is 7.58kg (16.71lb).

BBOX Bouygues Telecom expecting bad weather?

While most of the teams seem to be pulling out only slightly modified road bikes – or even just their standard rigs with cobble-specific wheels and tires – BBOX Bouygues Telecom riders were preparing to attack the course on full-blown mud machines.

We noted ample tire clearance throughout on the team's carbon framesets along with significantly extended chain stay, seat stay and fork lengths as compared to their usual road bikes. TRP EuroX Carbon cantilevers with carbon-specific pads were fitted at either end along with supplemental top-mount brake levers while top tube-routed cables keep control lines relatively safe from contamination.

Gearing is of the usual Paris-Roubaix variety with leg-busting 53/48T chainrings and 11-23T cassettes. Interestingly, team bikes were equipped with 10-speed Campagnolo Record, not the latest 11-speed stuff. The roughly 25mm-wide 'Michelin' Pro2 Race tubulars (Michelin doesn't actually make tubulars so these obviously come from elsewhere) continue the worst case scenario theme but interestingly, they were mounted to standard Campagnolo Bora Ultra wheels complete with deep-section carbon tubular rims.

Française des Jeux goes tubeless

We've long thought that Hutchinson's Road Tubeless technology was an ideal technology for Paris-Roubaix's tire-eating cobbles but it is only now that one team, Française des Jeux, has decided to use them across the board on race day.

Team mechanics were seen replacing the team's usual 23mm-wide Hutchinson Fusion 2 Road Tubeless tires with massive 28mm-wide Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless tires the Saturday before the race. The design is already inherently more resistant to catastrophic punctures than traditional clinchers – and nearly as safe as tubulars if a rider does completely lose pressure – and the team went one step further by adding in some latex sealant.

Most of the team will opt for Lapierre S-Lite frameset with its more generous chain stay length, fork rake and wheelbase for a more subdued handling and flattened chain stays and curved seat stays for additional flex over the cobbles. Additional tweaks include a higher rear brake bridge and longer fork blades for additional tire clearance, thus requiring long-reach brake calipers.

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 componentry – and just a smattering of select 7800 bits – will be used throughout save for Matthieu Ladagnous who will use Di2. 53/44T chainrings and 11-23T cassettes will be the theme for the day.

Silence-Lotto's Canyon Ultimate Al Pavé

Silence-Lotto bicycle sponsor Canyon have released some preview information on the bikes their riders will use at this Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Leif Hoste and his teammates will use a modified version of Canyon's Ultimate AL frameset, suitably dubbed the Ultimate AL Pavé.

Paris-Roubaix-specific tweaks will include a 10mm-longer top tube for a longer and more stable wheelbase, extra clearance on the driveside chain stay to accommodate the riders' preferred 46T inner chainring, a lighter and softer-riding One-One-Four SLX carbon fork borrowed from their Ultimate CF SLX frameset, and extra clearance between the chain stays to allow for cushy 28mm-wide tires.

Otherwise, the special Ultimate AL Pavé will reportedly use the standard version's 7005-series shaped and butted aluminum tubeset, including for the asymmetrical 'Maximus' seat tube which flares out further on the non-driveside for additional drivetrain rigidity while still leaving enough room on the other side for a front derailleur.

Canyon will also give the bikes a special graphics package. A large decal on the top tube lays out each section of pavé while the underside of the down tube creates a virtual reflection of the cobbles below.

"Since I was a young racer I was always fascinated by Paris-Roubaix, with the incredible racing of Francesco Moser and Roger De Vlaeminck," said Canyon founder Roman Arnold in a press release. "We are proud to have Canyon in Paris-Roubaix and wish the riders of Silence-Lotto, and the rest of the racers a safe and successful 106th Paris-Roubaix."

BMC to utilize two-platform approach for Paris-Roubaix

Wild card Pro Continental team BMC will outfit their riders with two different modfied framesets for Paris-Roubaix: the traditional Pro Machine SLC01 carbon fiber flagship plus the newer aluminum-and-carbon Racemaster SLX01. Team riders will be evenly split between the two.

A team press release makes no mention of specific frame modifications though all of the bikes will reportedly be fitted with special forks provided by team sponsor Easton. The carbon forks feature wider crowns for extra tire clearance and the lay-up has been modified to yield a softer ride. Team media official Georges Leuchinger says the team first tested the forks at KBC-Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde early last month and were satisfied enough to run them at Roubaix.

Other Paris-Roubaix-specific gear will include new 11spd-compatible 44T inner chainrings from Campagnolo and new 25mm-wide tubular tires from Continental.