Pro bike: Tom Boonen's Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4

This article originally published on BikeRadar

This year's Paris-Roubaix was slated to be a showdown between two giants of the spring classics – 2013 Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard-Trek) and 2012 Paris-Roubaix winner Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). But sadly, Boonen is now out of the race after a nasty crash on Sunday. Even worse, team sponsor Specialized had built the Belgian rider a gorgeous custom painted S-Works Roubaix SL4 that will now never be ridden across the pavé.

Boonen's Paris-Roubaix bike-to-be is the production version of the 'Project Black' machine he rode in last year's edition and is more of a true race bike than ever before. Specialized's unique vibration-squelching Zertz elastomeric inserts and slim, curvaceous seat stays are present as always but the front triangle is now a virtual carbon copy of the harder edged Tarmac SL4. As a result, it's now not only comfortable but more efficient than one would usually expect of an 'endurance' bike.

Custom tweaks blur the race vs. endurance bike lines even further. Specialized supplies Boonen with a special "60 Pro" frame geometry with nearly the same top tube length as the company's standard 61cm size but with a head tube length barely longer than on the consumer-spec 54cm for a far more aggressive fit than is typical – something that Boonen has said in the past is necessary for his sensitive back.

This year's bike is far showier than last year's stealthy all-black finish and kicks off the start of the company's new Specialized Edition program. Tucked within the Belgian-inspired black, red, and yellow motif are the names and years of past Paris-Roubaix winners inside the front triangle, a course cheat sheet on the top tube calling out all 27 secteurs of pavé, plus Boonen's name boldly emblazoned on the seat tube.

The build kit is virtually identical to what Boonen used last year, including a SRAM Red 2012 group, Zipp 303 Firecrest carbon tubular wheels wrapped in 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tires, Look KéO Blade pedals, a 155mm-wide Specialized S-Works Chicane saddle with carbon fiber rails, and Specialized's latest S-Works carbon crankarms fitted with specific SRAM Red 2012 chainrings (still with a 39T inner ring, too, since mechanics hadn't yet gotten around to doing the final setup for Sunday when Boonen crashed).

Zipp provides the cockpit components as well, including the SLSpeed carbon fiber seatpost, 140mm-long Service Course SL forged aluminum stem, and a CSL aluminum handlebar double-wrapped with Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix tape plus an extra layer of padding up top. As with his Tarmac, Boonen again was to use a 42cm-wide (outside-to-outside) bar as off-season testing found it to provide better aerodynamics without sacrificing his ability to breathe.

Total weight is pictured is 7.34kg (16.18lb) without the Garmin Edge computer – which to everyone's dismay will still read zero when the winner of Paris-Roubaix crosses the line on Sunday.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4 Paris-Roubaix, size "60 Pro"
Fork: Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4, 1 1/8-to-1 3/8" tapered
Headset: Cane Creek for Specialized, 1 1/8-to-1 3/8" tapered
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL, 140mm x -6°
Handlebars: Zipp CSL, 42cm (o-o)
Tape/grips: Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix, double wrapped
Front brake: SRAM Red 2012 w/ Zipp Tangente Platinum Pro carbon-specific pads
Rear brake: SRAM Red 2012 w/ Zipp Tangente Platinum Pro carbon-specific pads
Brake levers: SRAM Red 2012 DoubleTap
Front derailleur: SRAM Red 2012
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red 2012
Shift levers: SRAM Red 2012 DoubleTap
Cassette: SRAM PG-1070, 11-26T
Chain: SRAM PC-1091
Crankset: Specialized S-Works Carbon, 177.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: CeramicSpeed
Pedals: Look KéO Blade
Wheelset: Zipp 303 Firecrest tubular
Front tire: FMB Paris-Roubaix tubular, 27mm
Rear tire: FMB Paris-Roubaix tubular, 27mm
Saddle: Specialized S-Works Chicane, 155mm
Seat post: Zip SLSpeed, 20mm setback
Bottle cages: Tacx Tao (2)
Computer: Garmin Edge
Other accessories: Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.92m (6' 4")
Rider's weight: 82kg (181lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 820mm
Saddle setback: 100mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 570mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 525mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 650mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 130mm
Head tube length: 175mm
Top tube length: 595mm (horizontal)
Total bicycle weight: 7.34kg (16.18lb) without computer

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