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Pro Bike: Taylor Phinney's BMC GranFondo GF01 Paris-Roubaix

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Taylor Phinney (BMC) will ride this BMC GranFondo GF01 in his second Paris-Roubaix this Sunday.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) will ride this BMC GranFondo GF01 in his second Paris-Roubaix this Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing won't really be necessary in terms of weatherproofing for what should be a dry Paris-Roubaix but it's still good for minimizing friction long-term.

Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing won't really be necessary in terms of weatherproofing for what should be a dry Paris-Roubaix but it's still good for minimizing friction long-term.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Elite Ciussi aluminum cages and bottles will keep Taylor Phinney (BMC) hydrated on Sunday.

Elite Ciussi aluminum cages and bottles will keep Taylor Phinney (BMC) hydrated on Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The unique looking fork on Taylor Phinney's (BMC) BMC GranFondo GF01.

The unique looking fork on Taylor Phinney's (BMC) BMC GranFondo GF01.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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50mm-deep Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubular wheels are the plan for Sunday.

50mm-deep Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubular wheels are the plan for Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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BMC integrates a sturdy-looking chain catcher into the bottom bracket shell on the GranFondo GF01.

BMC integrates a sturdy-looking chain catcher into the bottom bracket shell on the GranFondo GF01.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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BMC claims that the radical kink just ahead of the carbon dropouts acts as a sort of pivot when hitting big bumps.

BMC claims that the radical kink just ahead of the carbon dropouts acts as a sort of pivot when hitting big bumps.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Chain stays are enormous on the BMC GranFondo GF01.

Chain stays are enormous on the BMC GranFondo GF01.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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BMC uses a PF86 press-fit bottom bracket shell on the GranFondo GF01.

BMC uses a PF86 press-fit bottom bracket shell on the GranFondo GF01.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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External cable routing may not look as clean as internal setups but it's far easier to service when needed.

External cable routing may not look as clean as internal setups but it's far easier to service when needed.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rising American cycling star Taylor Phinney (BMC) is hoping for big things at this year's Paris-Roubaix.

Rising American cycling star Taylor Phinney (BMC) is hoping for big things at this year's Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Gel cushioning from fi'zi:k should help take the sting out of the cobbles - at least a little.

Gel cushioning from fi'zi:k should help take the sting out of the cobbles - at least a little.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The offset seat cluster and curious kinks and bends are all designed to help this area flex under load on the BMC GranFondo GF01.

The offset seat cluster and curious kinks and bends are all designed to help this area flex under load on the BMC GranFondo GF01.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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28mm-wide Continental Competition tubular tires front and rear for Taylor Phinney (BMC).

28mm-wide Continental Competition tubular tires front and rear for Taylor Phinney (BMC).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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As are many Shimano-sponsored riders here at Paris-Roubaix, Taylor Phinney (BMC) will use Shimano's older Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group on Sunday. Team mechanics said this would be the group's last race before switching over to the new stuff, though.

As are many Shimano-sponsored riders here at Paris-Roubaix, Taylor Phinney (BMC) will use Shimano's older Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group on Sunday. Team mechanics said this would be the group's last race before switching over to the new stuff, though.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Taylor Phinney (BMC) stands 1.97m (6' 6") tall but is using a 58cm frame for Paris-Roubaix. Note the tremendous handlebar drop and incredibly long stem.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) stands 1.97m (6' 6") tall but is using a 58cm frame for Paris-Roubaix. Note the tremendous handlebar drop and incredibly long stem.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The 3T Ergosum Team handlebars are double-wrapped with fi'zi:k tape. There's also fi'z:k gel padding underneath, too.

The 3T Ergosum Team handlebars are double-wrapped with fi'zi:k tape. There's also fi'z:k gel padding underneath, too.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 for Taylor Phinney (BMC).

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 for Taylor Phinney (BMC).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Taylor Phinney's (BMC) BMC GranFondo GF01 features a massive 150mm-long stem with a -17° angle that's slammed down atop the headset cover. Don't fret over the extra headset spacers - team mechanics planned to trim down the steerer right after we shot these photos.

Taylor Phinney's (BMC) BMC GranFondo GF01 features a massive 150mm-long stem with a -17° angle that's slammed down atop the headset cover. Don't fret over the extra headset spacers - team mechanics planned to trim down the steerer right after we shot these photos.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Taylor Phinney (BMC) has the 'power' field taped over on his SRM PowerControl 7 computer. Phinney is apparently going to go by feel on Sunday.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) has the 'power' field taped over on his SRM PowerControl 7 computer. Phinney is apparently going to go by feel on Sunday.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Taylor Phinney (BMC) gets a custom etched and anodized aluminum SRM PowerControl 7 computer.

Taylor Phinney (BMC) gets a custom etched and anodized aluminum SRM PowerControl 7 computer.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The BMC CompliancePost is designed to flex under load. Taylor Phinney (BMC) runs the 30mm-setback option.

The BMC CompliancePost is designed to flex under load. Taylor Phinney (BMC) runs the 30mm-setback option.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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BMC's number plate holders are only held on with double-sided foam tape yet according to team mechanic Ian Sherburne, they've only ever lost one - even when bikes are mounted backwards on top of the team car. Self-tapping screws mean the mechanics don't have to punch holes in the number plates any more, either.

BMC's number plate holders are only held on with double-sided foam tape yet according to team mechanic Ian Sherburne, they've only ever lost one - even when bikes are mounted backwards on top of the team car. Self-tapping screws mean the mechanics don't have to punch holes in the number plates any more, either.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The head tube area on the BMC GranFondo GF01 is massive but the fork's distinctive kinks and bends are meant to flex on rough surfaces.

The head tube area on the BMC GranFondo GF01 is massive but the fork's distinctive kinks and bends are meant to flex on rough surfaces.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A 175mm-long SRM Dura-Ace 7900-compatible power meter and 53/45T chainrings for Taylor Phinney (BMC).

A 175mm-long SRM Dura-Ace 7900-compatible power meter and 53/45T chainrings for Taylor Phinney (BMC).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7900 carbon fiber pedals for Taylor Phinney (BMC).

Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7900 carbon fiber pedals for Taylor Phinney (BMC).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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BMC has cleverly gotten around the need for long-reach calipers by angling the mounting hole. Clearance isn't fantastic beneath the outermost caliper arm but the pads easily reach around the 28mm-wide Continental tubular tires.

BMC has cleverly gotten around the need for long-reach calipers by angling the mounting hole. Clearance isn't fantastic beneath the outermost caliper arm but the pads easily reach around the 28mm-wide Continental tubular tires.
(Image credit: James Huang)

This article originally published in BikeRadar

Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team) had an impressive 15th-place finish at his Paris-Roubaix debut in 2012. Phinney is hoping for a podium spot this time around, though – provided team leader Thor Hushovd doesn't require his services – and he's hoping this BMC GranFondo GF01 is what will take him there.

BMC launched the GF01 endurance bike almost exactly a year ago with a radical 'Tuned Compliance Concept' shape that the company said provided increased comfort over the brutal Paris-Roubaix pavé. Various kinks and bends littered throughout the top half of the frame supposedly act as pseudo pivots under impact while the lower half of the frame is tremendously oversized – even more so than BMC's SLR01 road racing flagship – for precise handling and efficient power transfer.

It's an unusual aesthetic but it seems to work, although it's perhaps not the buttery smooth magic carpet ride one might expect. Instead, the GF01's TCC shaping is at its best when hitting obstacles hard and fast – which is perfect in this application since that's exactly what Phinney plans to do. That sort of riding is notorious for dropping chains, too, but the GF01's integrated chain catcher should help in that respect as well.

Given the intended consumer audience, BMC builds the GF01 with a taller front end and more relaxed positioning. Phinney – who stands 1.97m (6' 6") tall – therefore resorts to a 58cm frame and its shorter head tube, then compensates with a 150mm x -17° 3T ARX II Team stem to more closely replicate his normal fit. Like the frame itself, the position perhaps looks a bit strange and it definitely isn't something most riders Phinney's height can handle but then again, the 23-year-old prodigy of American cycling legends Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney isn't your average Joe, either.

The build kit is straightforward and mostly in-line (at least in concept) with what most riders here at Paris-Roubaix will use tomorrow. Among the highlights are a Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group (Shimano-sponsored riders apparently prefer the longer lever throws' reduced sensitivity on the pavé), 50mm-deep Shimano Dura-Ace carbon wheels wrapped in 28mm-wide Continental tires, 175mm-long SRM cranks with 53/45T chainrings, and a 44cm-wide 3T Ergosum Team carbon fiber handlebar double-wrapped with fi'zi:k tape and padded with gel.

The team was decidedly coy about Phinney's planned tire pressure at first: "Less than 8 bar," said mechanic Jürgen Landrie, "but definitely more than 4," added chief mechanic Ian Sherburne. We eventually coaxed a "ballpark" figure of 5.5 bar (80psi).

Phinney hasn't earned himself a fully customized paint job yet but SRM has treated him to a custom anodized and laser-etched PowerControl 7 computer, emblazoned with the USA Cycling logo and his name up front. Phinney has taped over the power field on the display, however, apparently deciding to race Paris-Roubaix on feel instead of numbers.

Total weight as pictured is 7.98kg (17.59lb).

Video interview with Taylor Phinney introducing his Paris-Roubaix bike in 2012.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: BMC GranFondo GF01, 58cm
Fork: BMC GranFondo GF01
Headset: Integrated, tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2"
Stem: 3T ARX II Team, 150mm x -17°
Handlebars: 3T Ergosum Team, 44cm (center-to-center)
Tape/grips: fi'zi:k bar:gel, double-wrapped
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ Shimano blue-compound carbon-specific pads
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ Shimano blue-compound carbon-specific pads
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7900
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7900
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7901
Crankset: SRM Wireless PowerMeter Dura-Ace 7900 Compatible, 175mm, 53/45T
Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB91 press-fit
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace WH-9000-C50-TU
Front tire: Continental Competition tubular, 28mm
Rear tire: Continental Competition tubular, 28mm
Saddle: Specialized Romin
Seat post: BMC CompliancePost, 30mm offset
Bottle cages: Elite Ciussi (2)
Computer: SRM PowerControl 7, custom anodized and etched
Other accessories: Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.97m (6' 6")
Rider's weight: 82kg (180lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 820mm
Saddle setback: 96mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 530mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 500mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 656mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 142mm
Head tube length: 196mm
Top tube length: 572mm (horizontal)
Total bicycle weight: 7.98kg (17.59lb) with computer