With the spring classics in full swing, the kings of the kasseien are competing with big tires, big rings, and big cassettes.

At the E3 BinckBank Classic in Harelbeke, Belgium, many team leaders like Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale), Davide Ballerini (Astana) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) lined up with 54-tooth big rings paired to 11-28t and even 11-30t cassettes. On the other end of the spectrum were SRAM’s sponsored riders: Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven rode a 48t big ring and Katusha’s Willem Jakobus Smit turned a 50t, thanks to the 12-speed wireless group’s 1ot small cog.

Harelbeke’s 204km course features 15 hills, including a few found in the Tour of Flanders like the Taaienberg (650m, 10% average, max 19%), the Paterberg (400m, average 13%, max 20%) and Oude Kwaremont (2.2km, 4% average, max 12%).

With 9 cobble sectors — including four of the 15 hellingen — on tap at Harelbeke, racers chose a mix of 25-28mm tires. Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale) ran a 26mm front and 28mm rear.

Astana raced on Wolfpack Tires, the boutique brand founded by rubber wiz Wolfgang Arenz, who helped develop compounds for Continental, Specialized, and Schwalbe.

One new piece of tire tech: a prototype digital pressure deflator gauge used by EF Education First. Instead of measuring while inflating with a pump or compressor, which is fairly standard, this piece paired a digital gauge to a manual dial for deflating.

Scroll through the gallery for a detailed look at the bikes of the 2019 E3 BinckBank Classic.

E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
H3 on an S5: Team Sunweb’s Roy Curvers marks out the key points in the Harelbeke classic. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Most kilometer notes mark climbs or cobbles, but some just indicate road work or danger, like the “!” at 108km. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
New twist on an old practice: EF Education First uses a digital gauge deflator to set precise pressure. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
A prototype deflator with a digital gauge. This lets a mechanic pump all tires with a compressor, then deflate to a rider’s preferred setting. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
CCC had aspiring riders on hand at E3. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
The machine of CCC’s Greg Van Avermaet. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
While many team leaders went with a 54t big ring, Van Avermaet stuck with the trusty 53t. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Numbers help mechanics keep track of each rider’s primary, secondary, and often tertiary bikes. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Integrated bar/stem combos are great; just be sure of your measurements, as there is no swapping out stems here. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
The original sprint shifters are slightly smaller than the latest generation that works with hydraulic Shimano Di2. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Van Avermaet goes for a middle-of-the-road 26mm tubular. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Ag2r’s Oliver Naesen has the unusual setup of 26mm in the front and 28mm in the rear on his Eddy Merckx. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Ag2r’s leader Naesen pairs a 54t big ring to an 11-30t cassette. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Business in the front, a little more comfort in the back for Naesen. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Katusha Alpecin’s Jakobus Willem Smit races the biggest of SRAM’s three big-ring options, a 50t. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
SRAM’s AXS cassette goes down to a tiny 10t cog. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Smit’s new bike has already found the ground. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Trek-Segafredo’s Jasper Stuyven flies the custom colors of Trek’s Project One program. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Stuyven opts for SRAM’s middle option of 48/35t chainrings. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Not your ordinary stock paint job. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Not your ordinary stock nameplate: Sonny Colbrelli of Bahrain-Merida. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Colbrelli uses the wider sprint shifter required for hydraulic Di2 systems. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
You have your own logo on your computer, too, right? Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Because ‘slippery in the wind’ can also mean ‘slippery in the hands,’ this rider has some grip tape added to the tops. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Sport Vlaanderen’s Piet Allegaert chooses to keep his tops bare. Like saddles, it comes down to rider preference. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Speaking of saddle preference, Allegaert goes for a wide cut-out. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Representative of the H3 peloton at large, Allegaert and another teammate ran 28mm tires, while the rest of Sport Vlaanderen opted for skinnier tubulars. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
As complicated as some bike technology is, sometimes tape is still the best option. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Exhibit B in the ‘simple solutions are often best’ category. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Roompot-Charles prints its stickers, thank you very much. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Slam that masked stem, Jesper Asselman. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
And more Power to you and your masked saddle, Lars Boom. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Go ahead with your ‘narrow is aero’ self, Jan Willem Van Schip. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Yes, this is how Van Schip rolls. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Gauge, schmauge. How do my tires feel? Loic Vliegen is far from alone in hand-checking his tires. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Astana is racing on Wolfpack Tires, a boutique German brand founded by Wolfgang Arenz, a man who knows what he is doing. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
It wasn’t that long ago that 28t cogs were remarkably huge in the pro peloton. Now 30t cogs are not uncommon. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Yes, sometimes even WorldTour guys race ‘old’ tech. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Many WorldTour racers are hesitant to embrace disc brakes. Astana’s Hugo Houle, being a Canadian, is familiar with Argon 18 and is happy to race with discs. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Israel Cycling Academy’s Conor Dunne gets a bike to celebrate his Irish national title. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Dunne gets it done with a 54t chainring. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Most Israel Cycling Academy riders used 28mm tubulars. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Jurgen Roelandts (Movistar) has a tidy EPS junction box mount. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
25mm and 28mm tires were the most common widths at E3. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
The matching Power2Max power meter is a nice touch. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif
E3 BinckBank Classic tech gallery
Chad Haga (Team Sunweb) goes for a straightforward build of 53/39t and 11-28t gearing on his Cervélo R5. Photo: Ben Delaney / Roll Massif