Flanders tech: Picking bikes for the cobbles of the Tour of Flanders
The Tour of Flanders is a funny race when it comes to material selection. Many riders use it as a testing ground for Paris-Roubaix the following weekend and ride more compliant frames, wheels and tires. Others focus on maximizing performance and stick to their normal race frames, using larger section tires as their only concession to the brutality of the Belgian cobbles.
Sunday morning in Brugges, the favorites — and most of the peloton — chose straightforward race bikes with mostly 25mm tubulars. Two Skil-Shimano riders were riding cyclocross bikes with Di2. Others, like several FdJ riders, were riding Lapierre’s endurance-style Sensium as they have for the last several years.
Others used large Roubaix tires on their race wheels. Chain catchers were the other item that most teams have installed.
Be sure to check back for more Roubaix bike modifications and special equipment after the weekend!