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Scheldeprijs: Last equipment shakeout session before Paris-Roubaix

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Michael Schär had to run a custom frame on account of his height when he rode for Astana last year and again has to be given the same treatment at BMC with this all-aluminum rig.

Michael Schär had to run a custom frame on account of his height when he rode for Astana last year and again has to be given the same treatment at BMC with this all-aluminum rig.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Jimmy Casper's (Saur-Sojasun) spare Gitane sits atop the team car at Scheldeprijs.

Jimmy Casper's (Saur-Sojasun) spare Gitane sits atop the team car at Scheldeprijs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Transitions riders set off from Antwerp on Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels, but in tubular form - which isn't available to the public.

Garmin-Transitions riders set off from Antwerp on Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels, but in tubular form - which isn't available to the public.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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An additional clamp around the base of the seatpost helps prevent slipping.

An additional clamp around the base of the seatpost helps prevent slipping.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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3T's new Dorico seatpost with additional setback has proven popular among its sponsored riders.

3T's new Dorico seatpost with additional setback has proven popular among its sponsored riders.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Transitions' Felt F1 machines haven't changed significantly in recent seasons - at least not on the surface.

Garmin-Transitions' Felt F1 machines haven't changed significantly in recent seasons - at least not on the surface.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Transitions) seatpost is topped with this fi'zi:k saddle - can't tell what model it is but it's not one that's currently available.

Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Transitions) seatpost is topped with this fi'zi:k saddle - can't tell what model it is but it's not one that's currently available.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Transitions rider Tyler Farrar is using a full Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain.

Garmin-Transitions rider Tyler Farrar is using a full Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrain.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) set off from Antwerp aboard his usual Felt F1 but we expect him to use the team's slightly tweaked variants come Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) set off from Antwerp aboard his usual Felt F1 but we expect him to use the team's slightly tweaked variants come Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) is using 175mm-long Shimano Dura-Ace cranks.

Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) is using 175mm-long Shimano Dura-Ace cranks.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Garmin-Transitions' team mechanics report excellent performance from the latest round of AceCo K-Edge chain watchers.

Garmin-Transitions' team mechanics report excellent performance from the latest round of AceCo K-Edge chain watchers.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Arundel Mandible cages hold tightly on to Garmin-Transitions' Camelbak Podium bottles.

Arundel Mandible cages hold tightly on to Garmin-Transitions' Camelbak Podium bottles.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Transitions) bars are wrapped with fi'zi:k's dual:tape.

Tyler Farrar's (Garmin-Transitions) bars are wrapped with fi'zi:k's dual:tape.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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We're not sure who makes the chain watchers on Milram's Focus Izalcos but it's similar to designs from AceCo and Rotor (not to mention the custom welded ones that pros have been running for years).

We're not sure who makes the chain watchers on Milram's Focus Izalcos but it's similar to designs from AceCo and Rotor (not to mention the custom welded ones that pros have been running for years).
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Milram is again using its Focus Izalco bikes as it heads into the last race before Paris-Roubaix.

Milram is again using its Focus Izalco bikes as it heads into the last race before Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Jimmy Casper's Saur-Sojasun spare Gitane is fitted with top-mounted brake levers - presumably for use during Paris-Roubaix.

Jimmy Casper's Saur-Sojasun spare Gitane is fitted with top-mounted brake levers - presumably for use during Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Eddy Merckx provided Belgian superstar Tom Boonen (Quick Step) with this custom painted machine for Scheldeprijs.

Eddy Merckx provided Belgian superstar Tom Boonen (Quick Step) with this custom painted machine for Scheldeprijs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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It's no secret that Eddy Merckx bikes are developed in conjunction with Pinarello and several stylistic cues are carried over.

It's no secret that Eddy Merckx bikes are developed in conjunction with Pinarello and several stylistic cues are carried over.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tom Boonen's (Quick Step) bike sports a traditional-style chain watcher.

Tom Boonen's (Quick Step) bike sports a traditional-style chain watcher.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tom Boonen's (Quick Step) Eddy Merckx frame is fitted with Tacx's new Uma bottle cage.

Tom Boonen's (Quick Step) Eddy Merckx frame is fitted with Tacx's new Uma bottle cage.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has finally moved away from his usual FSA handlebars and is now using Deda Elementi's new Rapid Hand Movement bend.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has finally moved away from his usual FSA handlebars and is now using Deda Elementi's new Rapid Hand Movement bend.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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CycleOps' new Joule 2.0 computers are fitted to the stems of the Omega Pharma-Lotto rigs.

CycleOps' new Joule 2.0 computers are fitted to the stems of the Omega Pharma-Lotto rigs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto riders swapped out their shallow-section tubulars from Ronde van Vlaanderen in favor of faster and lighter Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimates.

Omega Pharma-Lotto riders swapped out their shallow-section tubulars from Ronde van Vlaanderen in favor of faster and lighter Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimates.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Canyon's tapered OneOneFour steerer design uses an 1 1/4" upper diameter for even greater stiffness as compared to most tapered setups.

Canyon's tapered OneOneFour steerer design uses an 1 1/4" upper diameter for even greater stiffness as compared to most tapered setups.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Some Omega Pharma-Lotto riders pulled out their usual Canyon Ultimate CF SLX bikes for Scheldeprijs.

Some Omega Pharma-Lotto riders pulled out their usual Canyon Ultimate CF SLX bikes for Scheldeprijs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Milram's Focus machines were fitted with Lightweight wheels for Scheldeprijs but they're not likely to appear come Paris-Roubaix.

Milram's Focus machines were fitted with Lightweight wheels for Scheldeprijs but they're not likely to appear come Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Scheldeprijs's lack of cobbles allowed Euskaltel-Euskadi riders to use these rather narrow tires.

Scheldeprijs's lack of cobbles allowed Euskaltel-Euskadi riders to use these rather narrow tires.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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With all the bikes fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, the carbon fiber housing stop on the front of this Orbea Orca go unused.

With all the bikes fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, the carbon fiber housing stop on the front of this Orbea Orca go unused.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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William Bonnet (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) decided to use his Paris-Roubaix setup (a Colnago Cross Prestige) even though Scheldeprijs is held entirely on tarmac.

William Bonnet (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) decided to use his Paris-Roubaix setup (a Colnago Cross Prestige) even though Scheldeprijs is held entirely on tarmac.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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William Bonnet (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) set off from Antwerp with top-mounted brake levers. Though he clearly wasn't going to need them at Scheldeprijs, he likely just wanted to log some more time on an unfamiliar bike.

William Bonnet (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) set off from Antwerp with top-mounted brake levers. Though he clearly wasn't going to need them at Scheldeprijs, he likely just wanted to log some more time on an unfamiliar bike.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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William Bonnet's BBox-Bouygues Telecom sports massive tire clearance at either end on account of the road-sized tires in the 'cross-specific frame.

William Bonnet's BBox-Bouygues Telecom sports massive tire clearance at either end on account of the road-sized tires in the 'cross-specific frame.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R ran a fleet of Reynolds carbon clinchers at Scheldeprijs, all shod with Michelin tires.

Ag2R ran a fleet of Reynolds carbon clinchers at Scheldeprijs, all shod with Michelin tires.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Your guess is as good as ours as to what this substance is around the valve hole. Needless to say, there's likely no ratting going on here.

Your guess is as good as ours as to what this substance is around the valve hole. Needless to say, there's likely no ratting going on here.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Time's new iClic pedal has almost completely replaced the older RXS version in the peloton thanks to its snappier operation and easier entry.

Time's new iClic pedal has almost completely replaced the older RXS version in the peloton thanks to its snappier operation and easier entry.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R's Kuota KOM frame is very light at around 900g but apparently still strong enough for the rigors of Paris-Roubaix. The team used these last year and we expect them to do the same again.

Ag2R's Kuota KOM frame is very light at around 900g but apparently still strong enough for the rigors of Paris-Roubaix. The team used these last year and we expect them to do the same again.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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No surprise here to find a Force steel cage spliced on to a Red front derailleur as seen on this Ag2R Kuota KOM.

No surprise here to find a Force steel cage spliced on to a Red front derailleur as seen on this Ag2R Kuota KOM.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Ag2R's Kuota KOM frames are now BB30-equipped.

Ag2R's Kuota KOM frames are now BB30-equipped.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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SRAM's new PC-1091R chain has made its rounds through the peloton now with all sponsored teams appearing to have replaced the old PC-1090R model with this one. Additional chamfering supposedly makes for quieter operation and smoother shifting than before.

SRAM's new PC-1091R chain has made its rounds through the peloton now with all sponsored teams appearing to have replaced the old PC-1090R model with this one. Additional chamfering supposedly makes for quieter operation and smoother shifting than before.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Several SRAM-sponsored riders and teams are opting for the company's smoother and quieter running PG-1070 cassette over the PG-1090 PowerDome - though the mechanics may just be preemptively mounting these up in preparation for Paris-Roubaix.

Several SRAM-sponsored riders and teams are opting for the company's smoother and quieter running PG-1070 cassette over the PG-1090 PowerDome - though the mechanics may just be preemptively mounting these up in preparation for Paris-Roubaix.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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William Bonnet (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) may have been using his Paris-Roubaix bike for Scheldeprijs but opted for proper road wheels and tires to better suit the day's pavement.

William Bonnet (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) may have been using his Paris-Roubaix bike for Scheldeprijs but opted for proper road wheels and tires to better suit the day's pavement.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Michael Schär's custom frame borrows its fork from BMC's SLR01 and includes a tapered steerer tube - further emphasizing that the bike isn't a standard SLX01.

Michael Schär's custom frame borrows its fork from BMC's SLR01 and includes a tapered steerer tube - further emphasizing that the bike isn't a standard SLX01.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi's familiar black and orange Orbea Orcas await the start of Scheldeprijs.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's familiar black and orange Orbea Orcas await the start of Scheldeprijs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi mechanics must have had these wheels in storage as Shimano hasn't made these in years.

Euskaltel-Euskadi mechanics must have had these wheels in storage as Shimano hasn't made these in years.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi's bikes are fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 across the board.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's bikes are fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 across the board.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Extra electrical tape on the cages help keep the bottles in place on the cages of Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Extra electrical tape on the cages help keep the bottles in place on the cages of Euskaltel-Euskadi.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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This Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea Orca, on the other hand, uses thread-in cups with ceramic bearings.

This Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea Orca, on the other hand, uses thread-in cups with ceramic bearings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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This Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea Orca uses adapter cups (presumably from Wheels Manufacturing) to fit the Shimano Dura-Ace cranks inside the BB30 shell.

This Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea Orca uses adapter cups (presumably from Wheels Manufacturing) to fit the Shimano Dura-Ace cranks inside the BB30 shell.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Likewise, the rear end of Michael Schär's (BMC) custom machine is all alloy unlike the stock SLX01, which uses carbon seat stays.

Likewise, the rear end of Michael Schär's (BMC) custom machine is all alloy unlike the stock SLX01, which uses carbon seat stays.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Michael Schär's (BMC) super long legs dictate an aluminum seatpost.

Michael Schär's (BMC) super long legs dictate an aluminum seatpost.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A clever paint job is meant to emulate the stock BMC SLX01's carbon-aluminum joint but there are nothing but TIG welds to see here.

A clever paint job is meant to emulate the stock BMC SLX01's carbon-aluminum joint but there are nothing but TIG welds to see here.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The front end of Michael Schär's bike is clearly all aluminum as revealed by the visible weld beads. The tubing perhaps is borrowed from BMC's mountain bike range but none of the current models share the top tube's pronounced bulge at the head tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rotor's new chain watcher makes an appearance on Jimmy Casper's (Saur-Sojasun) machine.

Rotor's new chain watcher makes an appearance on Jimmy Casper's (Saur-Sojasun) machine.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Gent-Wevelgem's old mid-week position has now been taken over by Scheldeprijs, a Belgian semi-classic now in its 98th running. Though Scheldeprijs is held on comparatively smooth tarmac throughout its 205.4km (127.6mi) route, some riders and teams took it as one last opportunity to finalize equipment setups in a race environment with just four days remaining before Paris-Roubaix.

Some riders such as BBox-Bouygues Telecom's William Bonnet even opted to run their full Roubaix configuration (save for wheels). While most of his teammates set off from Antwerp aboard their usual Colnago CX-1 road machines, Bonnet departed on Colnago's full-on Cross Prestige cyclo-cross rig, complete with TRP EuroX Carbon cantilever brakes, top-mounted brake levers and massive tire clearance all around when fitted with his Campagnolo Bora Ultra deep-section carbon tubulars.

BMC's Michael Schär looked to be on his usual road machine though upon closer inspection it wasn't a BMC SLX01 Racemaster as it was painted to appear. Schär required a custom frame when he was racing for Astana last year on account of his 1.96m (6' 5") height and BMC has provided the same benefit for him this season.

Schär's bike turned out to be a full aluminum construct but with elaborately shaped tubes that closely mimicked those of the SLX01 (impressively so, in fact) save for the round seat tube and standard Easton aluminum seatpost. In addition, the front end bore a tapered head tube designed to accommodate the company's top-end SLR01 fork.

Likewise, Garmin-Transitions sprinter Tyler Farrar stuck with his tried-and-true Felt F1, complete with a complete Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group and Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR aero wheels. Still, Farrar's wheels were entirely stock, however, as they were a tubular variety that Mavic has yet to release to the public.

Sunday's far more brutal Paris-Roubaix is likely to bring with it a wholesale overhaul of equipment – say goodbye to the narrow tubular tires, paper-thin bar tape and mega-deep wheels and bring on the monster machines. Stay tuned as we continue to cover the latest tech from the spring classics.

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