This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Paris-Roubaix rookie Ruben Zepuntke will tackle his first professional Hell of the North Sunday aboard a Cannondale Synapse with fat, 30mm FMB tubulars on team-only, heavily spoked Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 wheels.
The Mavic wheels feature 24 spokes front and rear, compared to the consumer 16 and 20 spokes, respectively. Still, the stones of Paris-Roubaix are brutal.
"We go into Paris-Roubaix each year expecting to break four or five or six wheels," said Cannondale-Garmin mechanic Geoff Brown. "We send them back to Mavic and they rebuilt them for next year."
To accommodate the massive 30mm FMB tubs, Brown installed low-end, long-reach Shimano calipers on the rears of the team Synapse frames.
"We have had those sitting around in a drawer since 2010 or so, and when we started to do Paris-Roubaix gear testing a while ago, they did the trick," Brown said.
As for the 30mm FMBs, Brown said that as racers and the industry continue to push for stiffer bikes and more aero wheels, "you have to find your cushion somewhere," and thus the big tubulars have replaced what used to be the standard 28mm Paris-Roubaix width for the team. Cannondale-Garmin will likely use sealant in the tires, though Brown declined to name what brand or brands he was considering.
As with many companies' endurance bikes, the Synapse features a taller head tube than straight-ahead race bikes. Brown says that -17 stems do the trick for his riders, without them having to go down a size to get their desired, low position.
Click through the gallery above for a close look at Zepuntke's bike.
Complete bike specifications
Frameset: Cannondale Synapse
Stem: FSA OS99, 12cm
Handlebar: FSA, 42cm
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear brake: 2010 Shimano
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
Crankset: Cannondale SLSL2 with FSA rings, 175mm, 53/44T
Pedals: Garmin Vector (not set up as power meter)
Front wheel: Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 - team edition with 24 spokes
Read wheel: Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 - team edition with 24 spokes
Front tubular: FMB Paris-Roubaix, 30mm
Rear tubular: FMB Paris-Roubaix, 30mm
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Seatpost: FSA SL-K
Bottle cages: Arundel (2)
Rider's height: 184cm (6ft)
Rider's weight: 76 kg (168b)
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 77.5cm
Tip of saddle to center of bar: 58cm
Saddle-to-bar drop: 10cm
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