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Degenkolb's Domane with Ultegra RX - Gallery

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John Degenkolb won Paris-Roubaix in 2015 on a 2014 Giant Defy. This year, he's racing on a current Trek Domane but with a just-released Ultegra RX clutch derailleur

John Degenkolb won Paris-Roubaix in 2015 on a 2014 Giant Defy. This year, he's racing on a current Trek Domane but with a just-released Ultegra RX clutch derailleur (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Trek has chain catchers stock on its bikes these days - but Degenkolb is hoping the Ultegra RX clutch derailleur renders it moot

Trek has chain catchers stock on its bikes these days - but Degenkolb is hoping the Ultegra RX clutch derailleur renders it moot (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bontrager just released these Aeolus XXX wheels in three rim heights and in rim- and disc-brake options

Bontrager just released these Aeolus XXX wheels in three rim heights and in rim- and disc-brake options (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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As with every rider in the race, Degenkolb has multiple bikes ready for him

As with every rider in the race, Degenkolb has multiple bikes ready for him (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Trek-Segafredo raced 28mm tubulars for the Tour of Flanders, and is racing these 30mm Vittoria tubulars for Paris-Roubaix

Trek-Segafredo raced 28mm tubulars for the Tour of Flanders, and is racing these 30mm Vittoria tubulars for Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Domane can handle these 30mm tubulars with plenty of clearance

The Domane can handle these 30mm tubulars with plenty of clearance (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sprinter shifters for Shimano's hydraulic levers have a slightly different design than those for rim-brake levers

Sprinter shifters for Shimano's hydraulic levers have a slightly different design than those for rim-brake levers (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bontrager XXX IsoCore bars have a vibration-damping internal sleeve to help contend with the cobbles

Bontrager XXX IsoCore bars have a vibration-damping internal sleeve to help contend with the cobbles (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Check out the clean mount for Shimano's Di2 junction box. No rubber bands here

Check out the clean mount for Shimano's Di2 junction box. No rubber bands here (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Degenkolb has sprinter shifters scattered on his handlebar

Degenkolb has sprinter shifters scattered on his handlebar (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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30mm tubulars are marked for one race

30mm tubulars are marked for one race (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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While others have used larger inner chainrings, Degenkolb has stuck with a 39T

While others have used larger inner chainrings, Degenkolb has stuck with a 39T (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Domane's rear IsoSpeed is adjustable with this tab. It can't be done on the fly, though, as you have to loosen the lower bottle-cage bolt to release it

The Domane's rear IsoSpeed is adjustable with this tab. It can't be done on the fly, though, as you have to loosen the lower bottle-cage bolt to release it (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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After testing with gebioMized and Trek, Degenkolb opted to run 170mm instead of his normal 172.5mm cranks for the cobbles

After testing with gebioMized and Trek, Degenkolb opted to run 170mm instead of his normal 172.5mm cranks for the cobbles (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Mechanic's handiwork keeps the junction-box mount tidy

Mechanic's handiwork keeps the junction-box mount tidy (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Domane frame can route any type of drivetrain or brake system

The Domane frame can route any type of drivetrain or brake system (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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As with everything else on the bike save the component group and the tubulars, the saddle is also a Bontrager product

As with everything else on the bike save the component group and the tubulars, the saddle is also a Bontrager product (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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IsoSpeed is a welcome technology on the cobbles

IsoSpeed is a welcome technology on the cobbles (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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When this lever is flipped up to the ON position, the clutch is engaged to greatly reduce movement at that pivot, effectively keeping the chain more stable

When this lever is flipped up to the ON position, the clutch is engaged to greatly reduce movement at that pivot, effectively keeping the chain more stable (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Ultegra RX, which comes in mechanical and Di2 variants, works like a normal derailleur but with one exception

The Ultegra RX, which comes in mechanical and Di2 variants, works like a normal derailleur but with one exception (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Trek-Segafredo has been testing this Ultegra RX Di2 clutch derailleur

Trek-Segafredo has been testing this Ultegra RX Di2 clutch derailleur (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)

This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), winner of the 2015 Paris-Roubaix, will be racing this year's edition of the Hell of the North aboard a Trek Domane equipped with a Shimano Ultegra RX805 clutch rear derailleur, among other modifications.

Degenkolb and other members of his Trek-Segafredo squad have been testing out the brand-new Shimano road clutch derailleur ahead of Paris-Roubaix. BikeRadar tailed the team on its Tour of Flanders recon ride to film Degenkolb trying out the Ultegra RX on his Domane. 

Trek-Segrafredo technical director Matt Shriver said he had been asking Shimano for a clutch rear derailleur for two years. Just like with Shimano's Shadow Plus clutch derailleur for mountain bike, the Ultegra RX is designed to reduce unwanted chain movement. 

For Shriver, there are two main benefits to the clutch at Paris-Roubaix: reducing or eliminating the possibility of dropping the chain, but also allowing for a smoother power application from the rider. 

The Ultegra RX805 has a manual on/off switch, so there is no changing settings mid-race.

When this lever is flipped up to the ON position, the clutch is engaged to greatly reduce movement at that pivot, effectively keeping the chain more stable

That said, Degenkolb has changed bikes mid-race at Roubaix before, and will likely do so again. Although the 250km contest has more than 50km of pavé, all the sectors come in the latter half of the race; the first half is a normal, flat-out road race on smooth roads. Last year Degenkolb started on a Madone aero bike with aero wheels, then switched to his Domane with fat tubulars for the second half.

Another unusual change for Degenkolb's Roubaix bike is the shorter cranks. Instead of his regular 172.5mm Dura-Ace cranks, Degenkolb is running 170s. The change was the result of pressure-mapping testing Trek-Segafredo did with gebioMized on Belgian cobbles. They found that Degenkolb's stability on the saddle improved on the cobbles (at the same power) by shortening the cranks.  

After testing with gebioMized and Trek, Degenkolb opted to run 170mm instead of his normal 172.5mm cranks for the cobbles

Another less dramatic but equally important change: bottles cages with a tenacious grip. While Bontrager has 19g XXX cages (that retail for $80), Trek-Segafredo uses $14 Bat Cages, which are designed for cyclocross and gravel. Turns out that keeping the bottles on the bike is more important to Roubaix competitors than saving 60g.

Mechanic's handiwork keeps the junction-box mount tidy 

 

 Frameset: Trek Domane with adjustable rear IsoSpeed
Stem: Bontrager XXX, 130mm
Handlebar: Bontrager XXX IsoCore, 42cm
Handlebar tape: Bontrager
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace 9170
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace 9170
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9150
Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RX805
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace 9170
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 11-28t
Chain: Shimano 9011
Crankset: Shimano 9100 53/39, 170mm
Pedals: Shimano PD 9100
Front wheel: Bontrager Aeolus XXX - depth to be determined, 6 shown here
Rear wheel: Bontrager Aeolus XXX - depth to be determined, 6 shown here
Tires: Vittoria Corsa 30mm Team
Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Pro
Bottle cages: Bontrager Bat
Computer: Garmin Edge 520