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Pro bike: Fabian Cancellara's Leopard Trek Team Issue Madone 6-Series SSL Paris-Roubaix

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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Shimano's Yumeya brake pad holders feature milled-out bodies and gold-anodized titanium hardware. Note the pad position in the brake arm slots, too, indicating the extra tire clearance.

Shimano's Yumeya brake pad holders feature milled-out bodies and gold-anodized titanium hardware. Note the pad position in the brake arm slots, too, indicating the extra tire clearance.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Brand-new Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals are installed for Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) run at Paris-Roubaix.

Brand-new Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals are installed for Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) run at Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek team liaison Ben Coates says Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) prefers the mechanical version of Shimano's Dura-Ace group for the cobbled classics.

Trek team liaison Ben Coates says Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) prefers the mechanical version of Shimano's Dura-Ace group for the cobbled classics.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Shimano's Yumeya YM-SP91 housing is said to be 10g lighter per meter thanks to the use of aluminum wires instead of steel ones.

Shimano's Yumeya YM-SP91 housing is said to be 10g lighter per meter thanks to the use of aluminum wires instead of steel ones.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The E2 head tube on Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Trek Madone houses a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" carbon steerer.

The E2 head tube on Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Trek Madone houses a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" carbon steerer.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) hopes his subtly modified Trek Madone 6-Series SSL will carry him to his third Paris-Roubaix victory.

Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) hopes his subtly modified Trek Madone 6-Series SSL will carry him to his third Paris-Roubaix victory.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The front hub uses a carbon fiber body and straight-pull bladed stainless steel spokes.

The front hub uses a carbon fiber body and straight-pull bladed stainless steel spokes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur gets the Yumeya treatment for Paris-Roubaix.

Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Shimano Dura-Ace rear derailleur gets the Yumeya treatment for Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The main pivot bolt, cable anchor bolt, pulley bolts, housing end cap, and even the cable end cap are all gold on Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Trek Madone. Check out how the cable anchor bolt is drilled out, too.

The main pivot bolt, cable anchor bolt, pulley bolts, housing end cap, and even the cable end cap are all gold on Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Trek Madone. Check out how the cable anchor bolt is drilled out, too.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Giant 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars are Leopard Trek's tire of choice for Sunday.

Giant 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars are Leopard Trek's tire of choice for Sunday.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) is using an extra-long 140mm Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon stem slammed right on top of the headset.

Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) is using an extra-long 140mm Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon stem slammed right on top of the headset.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A carbon fiber shell and titanium rails helps keep Bontrager's new Team Issue saddle light.

A carbon fiber shell and titanium rails helps keep Bontrager's new Team Issue saddle light.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) rides a smaller frame size than would most consumers of his height so a tall seatmast cap is required to achieve his desired saddle height.

Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) rides a smaller frame size than would most consumers of his height so a tall seatmast cap is required to achieve his desired saddle height.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager's new Team Issue saddle uses a similar shape to the company's old RXL model but with a few updates based on more recently collected data, a carbon fiber shell, titanium rails, and extra-firm padding.

Bontrager's new Team Issue saddle uses a similar shape to the company's old RXL model but with a few updates based on more recently collected data, a carbon fiber shell, titanium rails, and extra-firm padding.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Trek Madone 6-Series Paris-Roubaix was fitted with standard Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon fiber tubular wheels when we visited the team hotel two days before the race. The shallow rim section and massive 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars glued on to them should provide a smooth ride.

Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Trek Madone 6-Series Paris-Roubaix was fitted with standard Bontrager Race XXX Lite carbon fiber tubular wheels when we visited the team hotel two days before the race. The shallow rim section and massive 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars glued on to them should provide a smooth ride.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Leopard Trek team bikes are fitted with experimental hardened steel rear derailleur hangers in an effort to get more stiffness for better shift performance and increased durability in crashes.

Leopard Trek team bikes are fitted with experimental hardened steel rear derailleur hangers in an effort to get more stiffness for better shift performance and increased durability in crashes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara's Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur gets gold anodized Yumeya titanium bolts.

Fabian Cancellara's Shimano Dura-Ace front derailleur gets gold anodized Yumeya titanium bolts.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The slightly modified Bontrager carbon fork now has more than enough room for the team's 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars.

The slightly modified Bontrager carbon fork now has more than enough room for the team's 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Tucked behind the outer silicone rubber seals are Enduro's new XD-15 angular contact cartridge bearings with Grade 3 silicon nitride ceramic balls and machined nitrogen steel races for a smoother spin but better durability than radial cartridges.

Tucked behind the outer silicone rubber seals are Enduro's new XD-15 angular contact cartridge bearings with Grade 3 silicon nitride ceramic balls and machined nitrogen steel races for a smoother spin but better durability than radial cartridges.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager's new carbon tubular wheelsets - one with a 50mm profile and another with a 36mm one - are very wide, measuring roughly 25mm across.

Bontrager's new carbon tubular wheelsets - one with a 50mm profile and another with a 36mm one - are very wide, measuring roughly 25mm across.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The new 36mm-deep Bontrager carbon wheels feature a very wide profile and a particularly blunt nose.

The new 36mm-deep Bontrager carbon wheels feature a very wide profile and a particularly blunt nose.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek team liaison Ben Coates says Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) will make a last-minute decision whether to use these 36mm-deep prototypes in Paris-Roubaix. According to Coates, Cancellara and the rest of the team have thoroughly tested the new wheels on the cobbles and they're supposedly held up very well.

Trek team liaison Ben Coates says Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) will make a last-minute decision whether to use these 36mm-deep prototypes in Paris-Roubaix. According to Coates, Cancellara and the rest of the team have thoroughly tested the new wheels on the cobbles and they're supposedly held up very well.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The edge of Bontrager's prototype 36mm-deep carbon Classics wheel features a notably blunt edge - likely designed to help ward off pinch flats.

The edge of Bontrager's prototype 36mm-deep carbon Classics wheel features a notably blunt edge - likely designed to help ward off pinch flats.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek Bat cages are supplemented with friction tape to prevent bottles from ejecting on the cobbles.

Trek Bat cages are supplemented with friction tape to prevent bottles from ejecting on the cobbles.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The gold hardware theme continues on with the water bottle bolts.

The gold hardware theme continues on with the water bottle bolts.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Bontrager all-carbon forks on Leopard Trek's machines use slightly longer blades and a bit more rake to provide extra tire clearance and also even out the additional length of the modified chain stays.

The Bontrager all-carbon forks on Leopard Trek's machines use slightly longer blades and a bit more rake to provide extra tire clearance and also even out the additional length of the modified chain stays.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager's DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor inserts into a special pocket in the non-driveside chain stay of Fabian Cancellara's Leopark Trek Madone 6-Series.

Bontrager's DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor inserts into a special pocket in the non-driveside chain stay of Fabian Cancellara's Leopark Trek Madone 6-Series.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Shimano Dura-Ace crank had curiously standard 53/42T chainrings fitted when we visited the team hotel two days before Paris-Roubaix. Team mechanic Roger Theel insists this is what the big Swiss rider will run on Sunday despite the inner ring being unusually small for the parcours.

Fabian Cancellara's (Leopard Trek) Shimano Dura-Ace crank had curiously standard 53/42T chainrings fitted when we visited the team hotel two days before Paris-Roubaix. Team mechanic Roger Theel insists this is what the big Swiss rider will run on Sunday despite the inner ring being unusually small for the parcours.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) had both a Bontrager Node 1 and SRM PowerControl 7 computers mounted on his bike two days before Paris-Roubaix but we have a hard time imagining it'll stay that way come Sunday.

Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) had both a Bontrager Node 1 and SRM PowerControl 7 computers mounted on his bike two days before Paris-Roubaix but we have a hard time imagining it'll stay that way come Sunday.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Chain watchers have become practically standard equipment for Classics bikes.

Chain watchers have become practically standard equipment for Classics bikes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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AceCo provided Leopard Trek with custom etched and anodized K-Edge chain watchers. You can just see the 'Trek' logo peeking out behind the chainring.

AceCo provided Leopard Trek with custom etched and anodized K-Edge chain watchers. You can just see the 'Trek' logo peeking out behind the chainring.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Leopard Trek mechanic Roger Theel applies a dab of cyanoacrylate glue to keep the edges of the friction tape from peeling off.

Leopard Trek mechanic Roger Theel applies a dab of cyanoacrylate glue to keep the edges of the friction tape from peeling off.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Leopard Trek mechanic Roger Theel trims the edges of the friction tape applied to one of the team's bottle cages.

Leopard Trek mechanic Roger Theel trims the edges of the friction tape applied to one of the team's bottle cages.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The friction tape on Leopard Trek's bottle cages had to be applied by hand, one by one.

The friction tape on Leopard Trek's bottle cages had to be applied by hand, one by one.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) is using Bontrager old-style anatomic bend for Paris-Roubaix.

Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) is using Bontrager old-style anatomic bend for Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

Swiss powerhouse Fabian Cancellara has already won Paris-Roubaix twice but if he were to do what most people expect of him on Sunday, it'll not only be his third cobblestone but the first one for American bicycle brand Trek – and the company is definitely very eager to add this long-elusive monument to its trophy case.

Trek has supplied Cancellara with the Team Issue Madone 6-Series SSL – essentially the same as what consumers can already purchase but subtly tweaked to better handle the rigorous demands of the pavé. Trek team liaison Ben Coates wouldn't go into specifics but based on what Trek has done in the past (and our own measurements), company engineers have increased the chain stays, fork length, and rake by a few millimeters, lending extra tire clearance all around and more stable footing on the cobbles.

Team bikes also get experimental rear derailleur hangers machined from hardened steel. The stiffer material not only improves shift performance slightly but also makes it more likely that Cancellara's bike will still be in tune after a crash – albeit with a minor weight penalty and the increased likelihood of dropout damage in a really bad wreck.

Speaking of shifting, Cancellara has passed over Shimano's ultra-techy Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group for the cobbled classics despite the benefits of weatherproof adjustments and optional bar top-mounted satellite shifters. Coates says Cancellara simply prefers the mechanical setup for the cobbles (and neither he nor team mechanic Roger Theel would elaborate further) but other Shimano-sponsored mechanics we spoke to suggested that the Di2 system could occasionally get "confused" on especially bumpy sections of pavé if the system is anything but perfectly adjusted – tough to say at this point if that conclusion is real or perceived but we'll bring you more on this situation as we get additional information.

Nevertheless, Cancellara's Dura-Ace setup was suitably hopped up with Shimano's rarely seen Yumeya package, including gold-anodized titanium hardware all around, milled-out and polished aluminum brake pad holders, and lighter-weight YM-SP91 housing plus Teflon-coated cables.

Much of the rest of Cancellara's bike is filled out using bits from Trek's in-house component and accessory arm, Bontrager, including the old-style anatomic-bend aluminum Race Lite handlebar, a long 140mm Race XXX Lite molded carbon fiber stem, bar tape, and a traditionally shaped Team Issue saddle recently developed using feedback from the Leopard Trek team.

According to Bontrager soft goods brand manager Tom Kuefler, the new Team Issue perch uses a similar shape to the company's old RXL model but updated with a carbon shell, new titanium rails, and extra-firm padding based on rider requests.

Interestingly, Cancellara's bike was fitted with Bontrager's ultralight Race XXX Lite shallow-profile carbon tubular wheels when we went to visit the team hotel two days before the race –more commonly seen on alpine stages of grand tours and something veteran mechanic Julien DeVriese never would have allowed at RadioShack, said Coates. However, Coates says that extensive testing by the team on the Roubaix cobbles has demonstrated their surprising toughness – though the massive 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tubulars surely help, too.

Cancellara has a second set of Bontrager prototype carbon tubulars at his disposal if he chooses to use them on Sunday: a shallower version of the 50mm-deep prototypes we've previously spotted in the Leopard Trek camp. These share the extra-wide profile (roughly 25mm across), rounded nose, and blunt edges specifically engineered for impact resistance but with a shallower 36mm profile.

Coates wouldn't speculate which wheels Cancellara would use during the race but he did stress that neither of the new designs are simply rebadged rims from Zipp, HED, or anyone else. Instead, he says they're the result of the company's own exclusive in-house research and development including countless passes over the Roubaix cobbles and lots of high-speed camera work to learn more about what exactly happens to wheels during impacts (something Zipp also said it did during development of its groundbreaking 303).

Finishing touches include Speedplay Zero Titanium pedals, Enduro's latest XD-15 angular contact ceramic bottom bracket bearings – supposedly the most durable Trek has ever tested in its in-house lab, ceramic or otherwise – a custom anodized and etched AceCo K-Edge chain watcher, customized Trek Bat bottle cages, a Cane Creek headset, and not one, but two computers: a Bontrager Node 1 and an SRM PowerControl 7 (surely only one will make it to the start line).

This story first appeared on Bikeradar.com

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