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Pro bike: Thor Hushovd's Garmin-Cervélo Cervélo R3 Paris-Roubaix

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An extra clamp on the seatpost is in place to prevent slipping.

An extra clamp on the seatpost is in place to prevent slipping. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) has been using at Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs features tall flanges and bladed carbon spokes that extend from one rim wall to the other but the M40 wheels he'll supposedly use on Sunday features more conventional looking alloy hub shells and stainless steel spokes.

The Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) has been using at Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs features tall flanges and bladed carbon spokes that extend from one rim wall to the other but the M40 wheels he'll supposedly use on Sunday features more conventional looking alloy hub shells and stainless steel spokes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Blacked-out Veloflex tires were mounted on Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR rims for Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) for Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs but he'll switch to massive 27mm-wide FMBs for Paris-Roubaix.

Blacked-out Veloflex tires were mounted on Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR rims for Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) for Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs but he'll switch to massive 27mm-wide FMBs for Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) is hoping to claim Paris-Roubaix victory on Sunday on this specially modified Cervelo R3.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) is hoping to claim Paris-Roubaix victory on Sunday on this specially modified Cervelo R3. (Image credit: James Huang)
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(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cervelo has opted for a 1 3/8" lower steerer diameter instead of the more common 1 1/2", saying it yields a better ride while still offering improved steering precision.

Cervelo has opted for a 1 3/8" lower steerer diameter instead of the more common 1 1/2", saying it yields a better ride while still offering improved steering precision. (Image credit: James Huang)
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According to Garmin-Cervelo team mechanics, Mavic's prototype M40s are remarkably tough and not only work best with fat tires (cyclo-cross!), there's a greater risk of rim damage if they're used on ultra-bad roads with narrower rubber.

According to Garmin-Cervelo team mechanics, Mavic's prototype M40s are remarkably tough and not only work best with fat tires (cyclo-cross!), there's a greater risk of rim damage if they're used on ultra-bad roads with narrower rubber. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) will reportedly ride these Mavic M40 wheels for Paris-Roubaix, complete with massive 27mm-wide FMB tubulars.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) will reportedly ride these Mavic M40 wheels for Paris-Roubaix, complete with massive 27mm-wide FMB tubulars. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mechanics have made these little number holders for years but Rotor now offers them as a standard item to consumers.

Mechanics have made these little number holders for years but Rotor now offers them as a standard item to consumers. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Cervelo bikes for Paris-Roubaix ultimately aren't all that different from standard machines save for the few millimeters of additional clearance - note the extreme position of the brake pad in the adjustment slots.

Garmin-Cervelo bikes for Paris-Roubaix ultimately aren't all that different from standard machines save for the few millimeters of additional clearance - note the extreme position of the brake pad in the adjustment slots. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) will use Shimano's latest carbon-bodied Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals for Paris-Roubaix.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) will use Shimano's latest carbon-bodied Dura-Ace SPD-SL pedals for Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Paris-Roubaix machine is fitted with the black version of SRAM's Red group.

Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Paris-Roubaix machine is fitted with the black version of SRAM's Red group. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A fi'zi:k Arione CX saddle is mounted atop 3T's anti-rotation Palladio Pro seatpost.

A fi'zi:k Arione CX saddle is mounted atop 3T's anti-rotation Palladio Pro seatpost. (Image credit: James Huang)
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fi'zi:k-sponsored pros have a number of options when it comes to saddle. Here, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) has opted for an Arione CX with a Twin Flex carbon shell mated to k:ium rails.

fi'zi:k-sponsored pros have a number of options when it comes to saddle. Here, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) has opted for an Arione CX with a Twin Flex carbon shell mated to k:ium rails. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The impossibly svelte-looking seat cluster of Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Paris-Roubaix machine.

The impossibly svelte-looking seat cluster of Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Paris-Roubaix machine. (Image credit: James Huang)
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As with previous R3 incarnations, this latest version features a seat tube that transitions in shape from round up top to rectangular down below.

As with previous R3 incarnations, this latest version features a seat tube that transitions in shape from round up top to rectangular down below. (Image credit: James Huang)
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3T's unique Palladio seatpost head is apparently a bear to adjust but once the position is set, it's virtually impossible for it to break free when ridden.

3T's unique Palladio seatpost head is apparently a bear to adjust but once the position is set, it's virtually impossible for it to break free when ridden. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The tapered head tube of Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Cervelo R3 Paris-Roubaix houses a slightly modified fork.

The tapered head tube of Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Cervelo R3 Paris-Roubaix houses a slightly modified fork. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Black Red front derailleur features a steel cage.

Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) Black Red front derailleur features a steel cage. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The chain stays on Cervelo's new R3 are especially massive. For reference, the Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR rims in the image are 52mm deep.

The chain stays on Cervelo's new R3 are especially massive. For reference, the Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR rims in the image are 52mm deep. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cervelo's BBright bottom bracket design is essentially an extra-wide version of BB30 with the non-driveside bearing pushed 11mm further out to allow for stiffer frames and additional axle support.

Cervelo's BBright bottom bracket design is essentially an extra-wide version of BB30 with the non-driveside bearing pushed 11mm further out to allow for stiffer frames and additional axle support. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Team mechanics are taking few chances with the weather, too, fitting even the brakes with sealed Gore Ride-On cables and housing.

Team mechanics are taking few chances with the weather, too, fitting even the brakes with sealed Gore Ride-On cables and housing. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic's aggressive Exalith sidewalls require special extra-hard pads (standard compounds would get shredded).

Mavic's aggressive Exalith sidewalls require special extra-hard pads (standard compounds would get shredded). (Image credit: James Huang)
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Gore Ride-On sealed cables will be very popular on Sunday in efforts to guarantee proper shift performance - even though the forecast is currently calling for warm, sunny, and dry conditions.

Gore Ride-On sealed cables will be very popular on Sunday in efforts to guarantee proper shift performance - even though the forecast is currently calling for warm, sunny, and dry conditions. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The chain stays on the Cervelo R3 start out very big and tall at the bottom bracket shell but taper to a very slender shape back by the dropouts.

The chain stays on the Cervelo R3 start out very big and tall at the bottom bracket shell but taper to a very slender shape back by the dropouts. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Cervelo riders will switch from their usual carbon fiber Arundel Mandible cages to the company's stainless steel model instead.

Garmin-Cervelo riders will switch from their usual carbon fiber Arundel Mandible cages to the company's stainless steel model instead. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) had an 11-26T SRAM PG-1070 cassette mounted up for Scheldeprijs but will switch to an 11-23T for Paris-Roubaix.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) had an 11-26T SRAM PG-1070 cassette mounted up for Scheldeprijs but will switch to an 11-23T for Paris-Roubaix. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Like most Paris-Roubaix contenders, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) will run tightlly spaced 44/53T chainrings for the cobbled classics. Some mechanics insist that such a setup doesn't require a chain catcher but the team will run them just in case anyway.

Like most Paris-Roubaix contenders, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) will run tightlly spaced 44/53T chainrings for the cobbled classics. Some mechanics insist that such a setup doesn't require a chain catcher but the team will run them just in case anyway. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A Rotor chain watcher provides a little extra insurance on the cobbles.

A Rotor chain watcher provides a little extra insurance on the cobbles. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Cervelo team mechanics insist that while they have a bunch of classics-style box-section aluminum tubular wheels at the ready, the majority of riders will only be using them as spares come Sunday.

Garmin-Cervelo team mechanics insist that while they have a bunch of classics-style box-section aluminum tubular wheels at the ready, the majority of riders will only be using them as spares come Sunday. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) is taking the conservative route, opting for an aluminum handlebar and stem.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) is taking the conservative route, opting for an aluminum handlebar and stem. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Naturally, Garmin-Cervelo team bikes are all outfitted with Garmin's Edge 500 computer.

Naturally, Garmin-Cervelo team bikes are all outfitted with Garmin's Edge 500 computer. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) bike is fitted with Rotor's 3D+ crankset with a solid outer ring for extra stiffness. Note the round shape, too, instead of Rotor's more recognizable elliptical Q-Rings.

Thor Hushovd's (Garmin-Cervelo) bike is fitted with Rotor's 3D+ crankset with a solid outer ring for extra stiffness. Note the round shape, too, instead of Rotor's more recognizable elliptical Q-Rings. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) has been using Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels in Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs instead of the carbon-rimmed M40s as Mavic has been suggesting in its teaser video but will supposedly make the switch for Paris-Roubaix. According to Garmin-Cervelo team mechanics, the Exalith sidewalls on the SLRs simply offer much better braking performance so they're a safer choice if there's a chance of rain and the M40 profile is actually so wide that there's an increased risk of rim damage if you don't run super-fat rubber.

Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) has been using Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels in Ronde van Vlaanderen and Scheldeprijs instead of the carbon-rimmed M40s as Mavic has been suggesting in its teaser video but will supposedly make the switch for Paris-Roubaix. According to Garmin-Cervelo team mechanics, the Exalith sidewalls on the SLRs simply offer much better braking performance so they're a safer choice if there's a chance of rain and the M40 profile is actually so wide that there's an increased risk of rim damage if you don't run super-fat rubber. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The special fork uses extra rake to balance out the rear end but the broader crown also provides heaps of extra tire clearance.

The special fork uses extra rake to balance out the rear end but the broader crown also provides heaps of extra tire clearance. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cervelo says the latest R3 frame geometry was designed so that all of its sponsored riders could still achieve the position they wanted. Here, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) slams his stem right on top of the upper headset cone but he still doesn't have to resort to a -17

Cervelo says the latest R3 frame geometry was designed so that all of its sponsored riders could still achieve the position they wanted. Here, Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) slams his stem right on top of the upper headset cone but he still doesn't have to resort to a -17 (Image credit: James Huang)

Norwegian powerhouse Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervélo) is hoping to continue the upward trend of 2009 and 2010 with a top-step finish at this year's Paris-Roubaix. Sure to help things along is the same basic formula bike sponsor Cervélo has employed for the last several years to great effect, now applied to its revamped R3 chassis.

Cervélo has indeed made some major updates to its venerable standard R3, including more exaggerated tube shapes throughout, a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 3/8" front end (rather than the more common 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" dimension that Cervélo says yields too harsh of a ride), carbon dropouts, and the company's clever BBright integrated bottom bracket standard – nearly identical to BB30 but with the non-driveside bearing pushed 11mm further out from the centerline of the frame for improved frame stiffness and axle support. Naturally, frame weights have dropped significantly, too.

Special changes to handle the cobbles and often – at least in years past – adverse weather conditions of Paris-Roubaix are surprisingly modest. Just as Cervélo has done under previous sponsored winners like Fabian Cancellara and Stuart O'Grady (2006 and 2007, both with Team CSC), chain stays have been lengthened by 10mm while a similarly massaged fork sports additional rake, longer blades, and a broader crown.

The combination yields extra tire clearance all around to accommodate the 27mm-wide FMB tubulars that Hushovd plans to run on Sunday and produces a longer wheelbase for more stable handling relative to a standard R3 while still maintaining overall balance between the front and rear wheels. Moreover, Cervélo says the frame is otherwise unaltered – meaning no special fiber lay-up schedules or additional bolstering – so the bike shouldn't feel all that different from a stock setup despite the highly unusual abuse Hushovd's machine is designed with withstand.

Coming from the Cervélo TestTeam side of the recent merger with Garmin-Transitions, Hushovd will also benefit from using similar componentry as in years past. SRAM's new Black Red group gets a new gloss black finish but is otherwise unchanged from the standard Red package while Hushovd should also be well accustomed to Rotor's clever 3D cranks (though here it's of the '3D+' variety to work with the BBright bottom bracket and gets a stiffer outer chainring than last year).

3T is carried over as well, with Hushovd running the company's ARX Team stem and Rotundo Pro bar – the same as last year – but switching from the company's carbon-shafted, two-bolt Dorico seatpost to an aluminum Palladio. Though we didn't receive any reports of Hushovd having seatpost-related issues last year, the Palladio's innovative head design should virtually guarantee against saddle slippage while mechanics will be able to clamp down more tightly on the aluminum mast. Just in case, though, they've also fitted an extra clamp atop the standard binder.

Hushovd has switched from Zipp to Mavic wheels but according to team mechanic Kris Withington, the two-time podium finisher plans on using the French company's latest M40 carbon wheels and enormous 27mm-wide FMB tubular tires for his next run at Paris-Roubaix. Similar in concept to the 303s Hushovd used last year, Mavic's new M40 sports a medium 40mm depth but an extra-wide profile that's designed for use with wider tires. The burly carbon lay-up is also supposedly tough enough to withstand the pounding of the pavé, too.

Interestingly, Hushovd was using Mavic's more conventional Cosmic Carbone SLR tubulars in the run-up to Roubaix the week prior. Withington says the SLR's new Exalith aluminum sidewalls still offer a very tangible advantage in braking performance – especially in the wet – and while the M40 apparently works great with wide tires, it's apparently so broad and wrap so far up the base of the tire that the team prefers them when used with more standard-width rubber.

Other changes include a move to Shimano Dura-Ace pedals, Garmin's Edge 500 computer, and Arundel stainless steel bottle cages. Naturally, Gore Ride-On sealed cables are fitted throughout, too.

Total weight has climbed relative to last year, too, from 7.10kg (15.65lb) to 7.62kg (16.80lb).

The bike has the pedigree and the guys at Cervélo seem to outdo themselves every year. On the day it comes down to Thor himself, but with a bike like this there can be no excuses from the world champion.

This article appeared on Bikeradar.com

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