Bikes of Paris-Roubaix

Looking at the CT article on the winning (and 3rd) Trek bikes where they went 1x alleviate any chance of dropping rings over the cobbles and Sagan running mechanical for the day makes me wonder since it’s a flat race and you don’t need the range a double set gives you if a GRX setup or hybrid GRX/DA would be worthwhile for security.

Or if you’re on Campy could use a Ekar setup.

With Ekar, you will lose efficiency and/or outright top speed since the front chainring is so small.

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I thought there might be larger after market rings available.

Definitely no loss in efficiency with clutches in the mud today!

I thought the more interesting aspect was the fact they were riding the Domane with wider tyres. While admittedly most of us don’t ride cobbles, I wonder how many of us would lose little if any speed if we focused less on weight and more on a smoother ride. Certainly, given the state of much of the road network in the UK, sections of really smooth, slick tarmac where 25s are a delight are pretty few and far between.


There is still a conservative element to road cycling, both pro and enthusiasts. I’d always fit the widest tyres possible. 30mm aren’t really that big, but are for the pros. The current Domane can fit 38mm (officially) so I’d have wanted something like a 35mm for a race like that.
Ex pro Ted King, showed a photo on Instagram of what he’d use if he was riding P-R; they were wide tyres, about 40mm.

As for the cycling on the UK road network, I never use anything less than 28mm; pot holed, gravel strewn roads are no place for a lightweight skinny tyred race bike. Too many copy the pros when they’d be better off on a bike that suits the roads were they ride.


My guess is that the riders are riding the widest tires they can get decently aerodynamic rims for. That is, rims that still hold to the 105% rule. If you wanted to ride a 35mm tire you’d need a rim that was ~37mm wide to maintain good aerodynamics and nobody makes those at this point that I’m aware of.

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3T make 40mm wide wheels:

Pop them on something like a Cervelo Aspero and that could be a Paris Roubaix killer. Aero is so important in Paris Roubaix given how flat it is.

I reckon there will be some soon as fast gravel racing starts using them. Think of the open areas in the states where a bit of aero gainz will really help.

Those would be great on the cobbles, but it’s worth remembering that; only about 25% of the route of Paris-Roubaix is cobbled; the last 12-15km are on paved roads; and the finish is on a velodrome.
The sprint between Planckaert and Bauer in 1990 could have easily been lost if either of them had been on 40mm tires.

Also worth remembering that Matt Hayman won Roubaix on a Scott Foil aero bike, at an average speed of nearly 44 km/hr. The riders might slow down on the cobbles, but when they’re on the tarmac, they are absolutely flying.

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A shame the new GP5000 hasn’t been released with a 40mm variant!

I was kinda of thinking of the lay person such as myself doing the sportive. I’ve been signed up for the past 3 years but due to Covid or becoming a dad I haven’t been able to take part. One day!

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It is, it’s called Terra Speed :slight_smile:

Terra speed and Terra Dirt has the same casing as GP5000

Given the reports of the short lifespan of the Terra Speeds, I’d be concerned that they wouldn’t last the 260km of Paris Roubaix! :wink:

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I was down to do it this year, but pulled out for family reasons. I was seriously considering using my gravel bike with 32mm GP5000 TL.

I firmly believe that the Aeroad MVDP was riding lost him that race. It broke him. The new seatpost design may have a lot less compliance than before. And it wasn’t exactly pillow soft before. He was getting rocked on the cobbles, stomping on the pedals to keep his butt floating on the saddle. Absolutely nothing like his trademark souplesse.

That would indicate a problem with his tire pressure, not the frame / seatpost design. Unless he went from a suspension seatpost to a rigid one, the difference between two rigid ones is not going to be enough to cause what you are describing.

Sorry, I just think the seatpost could be a contributing factor. Canyon doesn’t have a competitive endurance bike like Specialized and Trek. If MVDP were on a domane, I think he would have won.

Also, this might sound a bit kooky but using tires for suspension is a bad idea. It simply doesn’t work well beyond small, high frequency bumps like paved road. MTBers tried it with Plus tires (3.0) and it didn’t work. At the pro level, the 5-10W you lose from running deflated tires on relatively smooth roads are a big deal, even if it is faster on cobbles. It’s way more efficient to suspend the rider the way the domane does. This way you don’t lose energy on smooth roads but you can still absorb big hits.


Sure they do…the Endurace. It amy not havea system like the FutureShock or the Iso system from Trek, but it is an endurance bike.

Well, on most road bikes that is the primary (really only) suspension you will get.

But my primary point was that a seatpost that damps more vibration is not gonna prevent a rider from getting “rocked” all over the cobbles. It simply doesn’t move enough to prevent that from happening. If MVP was bouncing over the cobbles (which honestly, I didn’t really see), it was because his tires were at the wrong pressure. For another example, see Moscon after he changed his bike w/ the flat…one of the reasons he went down shortly thereafter was because his spare bike had too much pressure in the tires and he couldn’t keep his traction.

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Yes. Until you fall off… which is slower than pretty much anything.

I think tyres are generally about the most important part of your kit, even more so at PR

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Also worth noting that Colbrelli was also on an aero road frame and using deep rim wheels, just like MVP.