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QuickStep's S-Works Roubaix shows undercover Specialized tubeless tech

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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

Yves Lampaert's S-Works Roubaix (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

The bike was sporting brand new tubeless Roval wheels and Specialized tyres (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

The stem cap can be rotated to adjust the Future Shock 2.0 front suspension system (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

54-46 on the front for the flat roads of Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

Disc brakes all round here (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

A look at the cassette on Lampaert's bike (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

The front view of Lampaert's S-Works Roubaix (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

A close-up of those new tyres (Image credit: Future)
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Specialized S-Works Romin Evo Mirror

S-Works' 3D-printed Romin Evo Mirror saddle (Image credit: Peter Stuart)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

A couple of big rings on the front plus a chain catcher – all necessities for Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 all round for QuickStep-AlphaVinyl (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

A tubeless valve was a dead giveaway for what QuickStep are planning on Sunday (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

Interior cable routing, as standard on modern bikes (Image credit: Future)
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Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's S-Works Roubaix

Another look at those new tubeless tyres from Specialized (Image credit: Future)

This weekend QuickStep-AlphaVinyl will be using hitherto unseen tubeless technology from Specialized, revealed on Yves Lampaert’s Specialized S-Works Roubaix after the team’s final recon ride for Paris-Roubaix on Friday afternoon.

The S-Works Roubaix features much of the spec as QuickStep used last year, even opting to remain on older generation Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 groupsets, with some of the team staff explaining that the team hadn’t fully tested the newest generation Dura-Ace 9200 on cobbles amid concerns of dropped chains.

Concealed at the wheel of Lampaert's bike, though, was a tubeless valve, despite the current generation of Roval Rapide CLX 32 and 50 wheelsets being tubeless incompatible since 2020.

On asking the team staff, Cyclingnews found that the wheels were yet-to-be unveiled new tubeless Roval wheels, accompanied by an entirely new tyre from Specialized.

Called simply Project Black, the tyres revealed no spec, pressure or sizing details on the sidewall, though we would speculate the tyres were 30mm in width.

Speculation has spread that alongside a new top tier tyre from Specialized, the brand has also experimented with tubeless foam inserts for road bikes. The foam inserts would reduce impact damage to the rim, but also reduce air loss incurred from ‘burping’ – where a large compression of the tyre leads to air escaping from the bead.

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl's S-Works Roubaix

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl's S-Works Roubaix showcases new Specialized tyres (Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere on Yves Lampaert’s build we see some interesting spec choices, including a bulky 54-46 chainring combination – helping to ensure itself to straight chainlines, and less chance of chain drop on the cobbles. 

Unlike some teams still favouring aerodynamic bikes at Paris-Roubaix, QuickStep has opted for Specialized’s comfort-orientated Roubaix, named for the race itself. 

The Roubaix uses an adjustable front suspension system below the stem called the Future Shock 2.0. On Lampaert’s bike the shock has had a small stretch of sandpaper placed on top of the stem cap, which is also where the shock’s stiffness can be adapted by rotating it.

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl's S-Works Roubaix

The stem cap can be rotated to adjust the Future Shock 2.0 front suspension system (Image credit: Future)

The Roubaix is accompanied by Specialized’s S-Works Romin Evo Mirror saddle – the latest in Specialized saddle technology which uses 3D printed Mirror padding composed of 22,000 struts and 10,700 nodes.

Specialized’s move to tubeless tyres continues the now almost ubiquitous switch from tubular tyres toward tubeless tyre technology for the race, with Team DSM even experimenting with a pressure-management system to adjust tyre pressure while riding.

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Peter Stuart has been editor of Cyclingnews since March 2022, overseeing editorial output across all of Cyclingnews' digital touchpoints.


Before joining Cyclingnews, Peter was the digital editor of Rouleur magazine. Starting life as a freelance feature writer, with bylines in The Times and The Telegraph, he first entered cycling journalism in 2012, joining Cyclist magazine as staff writer. Peter has a background as an international rower, representing Great Britain at Under-23 level and at the Junior Rowing World Championships.