Roubaix tech might not be what it once was, but it’s still the race that has team mechanics under the most stress. From extra bar tape to entirely different bikes, there is still no other race that requires the same level of technical prep as ‘The Hell of the North’.
Lotto Soudal have raced with the DT Swiss ARC wheels throughout the season, but switched to the wider ERC wheelset to match the wider 30mm tyre for Roubaix. A team mechanic told us Lotto Soudal race with tyre inserts.
The days of double bar tape almost seem a thing of the past, but not for a select few who still prefer the double wrap for racing across the pavé. Magnus Sheffield raced with the double wrap and some extra grip on his levers.
The Ineos Grenadiers raced with 30mm GP 5000 S TR and an Ineos staff member told us the team raced Roubaix with tyre inserts.
While the team raced on disc brakes, tubeless, and 12speed Dura Ace, some spare bikes had rim brakes, tubulars, and 11 speed.
Alpecin-Fenix mechanics were hard at work before the start. One mechanic told us the team opts to race without tyre inserts, despite MVDP racing on tubeless tyres.
Adding CO2 canister mounts and canisters. The team also raced with the classic Elite Ciussi cages.
The team was also spotted adjusting and measuring headsets. Many of the team raced on the H11 cockpit rather than the CP0018. The official explanation provided was that the team wanted to run an aluminium compression ring in the headset and a standard bung for extra compression on the headset. MVDP raced the standard CP0018 setup.
Arkéa Samsic had a similar H11 cockpit setup.
Some Alpecin-Fenix riders were on the Ultimate, while others raced on the Aeroad with external cable routing necessary to run the H11 cockpit on an Aeroad frame.
One Alpecin-Fenix rider had the Di2 sprinter shifters under the bar tops, a rather unconventional position compared to the drops or bar centre position we usually see.
Greg Van Avermaet has a custom BMC SLR-01
The bike has a marble effect paintjob.
And this motto on the top tub.
AG2R-Citroën mostly raced on Pirelli’s P-Zero TLR 30mm tyres.
Except Michael Schär who sticks with tubulars and the Bora One wheelset.
The team raced with a side mount bottle cages throughout, even on the largest of frames. Both the side load cage and the BMC proprietary cage had some extra grip, perhaps emery cloth, inside the cage for extra bottle retention.
Bora-Hansgrohe raced on a mix of S-Works Roubaix and S-Works Tarmac SL7 frames and 12-speed Shimano Dura-Ace throughout.
While both Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl and TotalEnergies raced on the Roubaix with 11 speed Dura-Ace Di2.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl riders all raced with a thru-axle tool taped to the seatpost.
The Roval teams all raced on Specialized’s new unreleased tubeless tyre.
Team Uno-X race on Dare VSRu.
Which has pretty tight tyre clearance with 30mm tyres.
We saw the new Trek domane MK4 yesterday, and the entire men’s team raced the same bike today. Mads Pedersen raced on tubular Pirelli P-Zeros.
Pedersen chooses Bontrager’s GR Elite alloy gravel handlebars with a 13° flare and 38cm wide. Pedersen also prefers his wireless blips on the rear of the bars.
While Jasper Stuyen has the blips up front.
Jasper Stuyen celebrated his 30th birthday today, and Trek treated him to a bike with the number 30.
Trek raced with 1x and 54t chainrings.
Standard Dura-Ace hubs for Team DSM, the Scope Atmoz tyre pressure management hub didn’t make the bikes today. The team does expect to use it on the cobbled stage of the upcoming Tour de France.
Unsurprisingly, there were no dropper posts at Bahrain-Victorious today.
Matej Mohorič ran a zero stack headset cap for the lowest position possible.
Bar wider tyres, Mohorič’s Merida Reacto aero bike had zero adaptions to help smoothe the notorious pave.
Merida does include its S-Flex seat post as standard, which is said to add some compliance to the seat post to aid with comfort.
Most of the team is racing on 12 speed Dura-Ace Di2, but Mohorič is sticking with 11 speed, at least for today.
Anthony Turgis opted to race with a 1x setup…
and a huge 55-tooth Dura-Ace chainring.
Matched to that, Turgis raced with an XTR rear derailleur, presumably to make use of the clutch built into the XTR derailleurs, but it could also be partly due to the 1x compatibility.
Another TotalEnergies rider opted for a GRX rear derailleur. GRX derailleurs are available in a 2x compatible option.
Maciej Bodnar was racing in what is widely rumoured to be the new S-Works 8 road shoes.
The shoes retain the BOA S3-Snap dials, but ditch the Velcro strap in the toe box and appears to feature a new heel. The upper and laces are also radically redesigned with less overlap at the top of the foot.
Jumbo-Visma raced with a 9070 11speed Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleur, now three generations old.