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Tech gallery: Weird and wonderful gear at Paris-Roubaix

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Shimano-Alpecin's John Degengolb went with Giant's Defy Advanced SL over the aero Propel for Paris-Roubaix

Shimano-Alpecin's John Degengolb went with Giant's Defy Advanced SL over the aero Propel for Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Bretagne-Seche rode Look 675 Light frames with 58mm American Classic wheels and 27mm Challenge Paris-Roubaix tubulars

Bretagne-Seche rode Look 675 Light frames with 58mm American Classic wheels and 27mm Challenge Paris-Roubaix tubulars (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Along with Katusha's Kristoff, the entire Movistar squad went with the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

Along with Katusha's Kristoff, the entire Movistar squad went with the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Clincher treads (with clincher-specific pressure ratings) were glued to the hefty 30mm tubular casings. Actual pressure was more like 5-5.5bar

Clincher treads (with clincher-specific pressure ratings) were glued to the hefty 30mm tubular casings. Actual pressure was more like 5-5.5bar (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Shimano-Alpecin had 30mm tubulars for Paris-Roubaix

Shimano-Alpecin had 30mm tubulars for Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Better knock on wood! MyKnoaky is a good-luck charm product made by former pro Andreas Klier. This one is glued to Degengolb's bike

Better knock on wood! MyKnoaky is a good-luck charm product made by former pro Andreas Klier. This one is glued to Degengolb's bike (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Shimano-Alpecin zip-tied the Di2 wire down, just in case

Shimano-Alpecin zip-tied the Di2 wire down, just in case (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Pioneer has made quick strides into the pro power meter ranks, offering left/right measurement incorproated into Dura-Ace cranks. Note the covered magnet on the frame just left of the bottom bracket

Pioneer has made quick strides into the pro power meter ranks, offering left/right measurement incorproated into Dura-Ace cranks. Note the covered magnet on the frame just left of the bottom bracket (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Sebastian Chavanel started on this Scott Addict cyclocross bike with tubeless Schwalbe G-One

Sebastian Chavanel started on this Scott Addict cyclocross bike with tubeless Schwalbe G-One (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Bar-top levers were a common sight this year

Bar-top levers were a common sight this year (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Sagan's camo Tarmac stayed atop the car Sunday

Sagan's camo Tarmac stayed atop the car Sunday (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Double tape for Peter Sagan

Double tape for Peter Sagan (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Tinkoff-Saxo riders had 28 and 30mm tubulars on hand

Tinkoff-Saxo riders had 28 and 30mm tubulars on hand (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Tinkoff-Saxo Bank's Peter Sagan switched from his camo Specialized Tarmac to this Roubaix

Tinkoff-Saxo Bank's Peter Sagan switched from his camo Specialized Tarmac to this Roubaix (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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The one SRAM-sponsored WorldTour team this year, AG2R uses the company's Quarq power meters

The one SRAM-sponsored WorldTour team this year, AG2R uses the company's Quarq power meters (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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28mm rubber for Movistar across the board

28mm rubber for Movistar across the board (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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In stark contrast to Cofidis triple-wrapping bars, Movistar had a few bare carbon bar tops, like here on John Gadret's bike

In stark contrast to Cofidis triple-wrapping bars, Movistar had a few bare carbon bar tops, like here on John Gadret's bike (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Degengolb ran a single bar-top brake lever to feather speed on the cobbles without having to leave the tops. Ditto for changing gears with the Di2 switch

Degengolb ran a single bar-top brake lever to feather speed on the cobbles without having to leave the tops. Ditto for changing gears with the Di2 switch (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Most IAM riders had 30mm Schwalbe One tubulars for Paris-Roubaix

Most IAM riders had 30mm Schwalbe One tubulars for Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Cannondale-Garmin's sea of green Synapse endurance bikes

Cannondale-Garmin's sea of green Synapse endurance bikes (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Katusha mechanics use a jig to ensure each of a rider's multiple bikes are identical in terms of fit

Katusha mechanics use a jig to ensure each of a rider's multiple bikes are identical in terms of fit (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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On-fire rider Alexander Kristoff choose to race his aero bike, the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, with the only concession to the harsh terrain being 28mm tubulars

On-fire rider Alexander Kristoff choose to race his aero bike, the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, with the only concession to the harsh terrain being 28mm tubulars (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Former Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren feels the double tape wrap on Kenneth Van Bilsen's handlebars

Former Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren feels the double tape wrap on Kenneth Van Bilsen's handlebars (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Some teams have cleaner solutions than others for mounting Di2 junction boxes. The excess tape to the left of the stem is to mount a Polar watch, which is used in place of a standard cycling computer

Some teams have cleaner solutions than others for mounting Di2 junction boxes. The excess tape to the left of the stem is to mount a Polar watch, which is used in place of a standard cycling computer (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Orica-GreenEdge's Luke Durbridge had a Shimano Action Camera mounted under his stem

Orica-GreenEdge's Luke Durbridge had a Shimano Action Camera mounted under his stem (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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The increased clearance is readily apparent, even over the top of 28mm tubulars

The increased clearance is readily apparent, even over the top of 28mm tubulars (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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The Gallium Classics Edition has a new lay-up for vibration absorption and increased clearance

The Gallium Classics Edition has a new lay-up for vibration absorption and increased clearance (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Argon 18 rolled out a Classics Edition of its Gallium endurance frameset for Paris-Roubaix

Argon 18 rolled out a Classics Edition of its Gallium endurance frameset for Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Bora-Argon 18 switched to the mud-shedding Pavé version of the Speedplay Zero pedal

Bora-Argon 18 switched to the mud-shedding Pavé version of the Speedplay Zero pedal (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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But Astana's back-up wheels were the trusty old Corima metal hoops

But Astana's back-up wheels were the trusty old Corima metal hoops (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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As with every other team in the race, Astana had deep carbon race wheels (with 28mm Specialized tubulars)

As with every other team in the race, Astana had deep carbon race wheels (with 28mm Specialized tubulars) (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Johan Vansummeren and his teammates opted to start on their standard road bikes, however

Johan Vansummeren and his teammates opted to start on their standard road bikes, however (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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AG2R had a couple set of cyclocross bikes at the ready for the team. This is the back-up bike of former Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren

AG2R had a couple set of cyclocross bikes at the ready for the team. This is the back-up bike of former Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Boxing gloves might be a performance advantage on the cobbles

Boxing gloves might be a performance advantage on the cobbles (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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All aero, all the time for Kristoff, with 60mm Mavic Cosmic CXR wheels

All aero, all the time for Kristoff, with 60mm Mavic Cosmic CXR wheels (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Clearance with Shimano Direct-Mount calipers is better than standard Dura-Ace calipers. Here, though, the number-plate mount is what comes closest to the tread

Clearance with Shimano Direct-Mount calipers is better than standard Dura-Ace calipers. Here, though, the number-plate mount is what comes closest to the tread (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Jonas Ahlstrand's perch for Paris-Roubaix. Ouch

Jonas Ahlstrand's perch for Paris-Roubaix. Ouch (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Cofidis rider Jonas Ahlstrand didn't have the tidiest tape job around his Di2 sprint shifter

Cofidis rider Jonas Ahlstrand didn't have the tidiest tape job around his Di2 sprint shifter (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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About half of the Cofidis riders choose bar-top brake levers for their race bikes

About half of the Cofidis riders choose bar-top brake levers for their race bikes (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Three rolls of bar tape expands the bars to nearly 15m in circumference

Three rolls of bar tape expands the bars to nearly 15m in circumference (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Cofidis won the extra bar tape competition, hands down. You're looking at three rolls of tape here

Cofidis won the extra bar tape competition, hands down. You're looking at three rolls of tape here (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Despite the careful measuring with multiple gauges, seemingly every rider checked pressure with their hands

Despite the careful measuring with multiple gauges, seemingly every rider checked pressure with their hands (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Tinkoff-Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel had his front 28mm Specialized tubular set to 4.4bar/64psi

Tinkoff-Saxo Bank's Matti Breschel had his front 28mm Specialized tubular set to 4.4bar/64psi (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Air pressure is perhaps the most hotly debated topic right before Paris-Roubaix

Air pressure is perhaps the most hotly debated topic right before Paris-Roubaix (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Schwalbe G-One 'Tubeless Easy' is a new option from the German company

Schwalbe G-One 'Tubeless Easy' is a new option from the German company (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Brandle and Chavanel choose tubeless, while their teammates went with 30mm tubulars

Brandle and Chavanel choose tubeless, while their teammates went with 30mm tubulars (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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IAM Cycling's Matthias Brandle said he put 5bar/72psi in his 30mm tubeless Schwalbes

IAM Cycling's Matthias Brandle said he put 5bar/72psi in his 30mm tubeless Schwalbes (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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At the start of the 2015 Paris-Roubaix, two riders checked out Sylvain Chavanel's air pressure on his tubeless Schwalbes. Note that Chavanel is on a cyclocross bike

At the start of the 2015 Paris-Roubaix, two riders checked out Sylvain Chavanel's air pressure on his tubeless Schwalbes. Note that Chavanel is on a cyclocross bike (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Saddle height, angle and fore/aft measurements are controlled for

Saddle height, angle and fore/aft measurements are controlled for (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Saddle height, angle and fore/aft measurements are controlled for

Saddle height, angle and fore/aft measurements are controlled for (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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IAM Cycling's Heinrich Haussler doesn't need a name sticker on his bike

IAM Cycling's Heinrich Haussler doesn't need a name sticker on his bike (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Each Cannondale-Garmin rider has a slightly different cockpit set up. This one had a layer of gel underneath the tape

Each Cannondale-Garmin rider has a slightly different cockpit set up. This one had a layer of gel underneath the tape (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Most teams have some sort of stem or top-tube list of cobbles sectors. Some, like Trek, are custom-made stickers. Most are stick handmade like this. The first number is where in the race the sectors come, the second is the difficulty rating, with a higher number meaning harder

Most teams have some sort of stem or top-tube list of cobbles sectors. Some, like Trek, are custom-made stickers. Most are stick handmade like this. The first number is where in the race the sectors come, the second is the difficulty rating, with a higher number meaning harder (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Wiggins Elite bottle cages had grip tape to help pursuade his bottles to remain in place over the cobbles

Wiggins Elite bottle cages had grip tape to help pursuade his bottles to remain in place over the cobbles (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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In the trend of 'sprint shifters in unusual places', Wiggins had one on each underside of the handlebar tops

In the trend of 'sprint shifters in unusual places', Wiggins had one on each underside of the handlebar tops (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins had a few modifications on his Dogma K8-S

Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins had a few modifications on his Dogma K8-S (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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As with with the length of each PRO stem, Team Sky labels the compression rating of each elastomer

As with with the length of each PRO stem, Team Sky labels the compression rating of each elastomer (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Team Sky's new Pinarello Dogma K8-S was the one bike in Paris-Roubaix with elastomer suspension this year, but it wasn't the first. Trek has a similar design 10 years ago

Team Sky's new Pinarello Dogma K8-S was the one bike in Paris-Roubaix with elastomer suspension this year, but it wasn't the first. Trek has a similar design 10 years ago (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Precision width measurement on the San Marco Concor

Precision width measurement on the San Marco Concor (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Jürgen Roelandts' self-advertising Selle San Marco Concor

Jürgen Roelandts' self-advertising Selle San Marco Concor (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Marcel Sieberg has a big of griptape on the platform of his Look pedal

Marcel Sieberg has a big of griptape on the platform of his Look pedal (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Lotto-Soudol's Marcel Sieberg has evidently taken a liking to Specialized's new Power saddle

Lotto-Soudol's Marcel Sieberg has evidently taken a liking to Specialized's new Power saddle (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Andre Greipel's massive 53/44 rings combine with the wide, four-arm Campagnolo/SRM spider for a lot of negative space at the cranks — and a good view of the K-Edge chain catcher that doubles as an SRM magnet holder

Andre Greipel's massive 53/44 rings combine with the wide, four-arm Campagnolo/SRM spider for a lot of negative space at the cranks — and a good view of the K-Edge chain catcher that doubles as an SRM magnet holder (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Luca Paolini's saddle setback? 5.5cm from the BB center

Luca Paolini's saddle setback? 5.5cm from the BB center (Image credit: Jason Sumner)
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Trek's Jasper Stuyven had a unique Di2 configuration: All three buttons on the right (sprint, both standard shifters) shifted the rear derailleur up. All three left buttons on the left shifted down. And the front-ring shifts were handled entirely by the climb switch next to the stem

Trek's Jasper Stuyven had a unique Di2 configuration: All three buttons on the right (sprint, both standard shifters) shifted the rear derailleur up. All three left buttons on the left shifted down. And the front-ring shifts were handled entirely by the climb switch next to the stem (Image credit: Jason Sumner)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Although Paris-Roubaix's 'Hell of the North' moniker originally referred to the bombed-out state of post-war Northern France, many riders today consider the description perfectly apt for the bone-shaking cobblestone race. With more than 57km of pavé during the 253km event from Compiegne to Roubaix, team mechanics broke out fat tubulars, handlebar gel and extra bar tape, and bar-top brake and shift levers of various configurations. IAM Cycling star Sylvain Chavanel took the start on a cyclocross bike with new 30mm Schwalbe G-One tubeless tyres.

At first glance, 2015 Paris-Roubaix champion John Degenkolb of Giant-Alpecin had a fairly straightforward machine with a Giant Defy Advanced SL frameset, Shimano C35 wheels, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group and Pioneer power meter. But a closer look revealed a few tricks, like 30mm Vittoria-branded tubulars with clincher treads glued on, a single bar-top brake lever, a Di2 climb switch mounted next to the stem and a little good luck, 'knock on wood' token glued to the frame. MyKnoaky is a good luck charm product created by former pro Andreas Klier.

While Cofidis won the award for most ridiculously fat handlebar tape job — their triple wrap brought bar circumference to nearly 15cm and dwarfed the hoods — perhaps more surprising was the appearance of aero bikes at Paris-Roubaix. Both Tour of Flanders champion Alexander Kristoff and the entire Movistar team rode the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, with wide tubulars the only concession to the stones. Movistar rider John Gadret rode the Canyon integrated aero handlebar with most of the tops bereft of any tape at all.

With an eye to the chance of wet, muddy cobblestones, weather is always the number one topic at Paris-Roubaix (it was dry this year). But a close second is tyre pressure. While every rider is different — based on their weight, plus weather, tyre size and personal preference — all riders run much lower tyre pressure than at any other road race of the year. Most riders were in the 4.5-6bar/64-86psi range.

As with his teammate Chavanel, IAM Cycling rider Matthias Brändle told BikeRadar that he had mechanics put 5bar/72psi in his 30mm tubeless Schwalbes.

Click through the massive gallery above for a look at the unique bikes of The Hell of the North.

Paris-Roubaix champion John Degenkolb's good luck charm

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