During this weekend's mostly dry and sometimes even dusty Paris-Roubaix, several teams split their riders between road and cyclo-cross bikes, while others opted for road/'cross hybrids.
While Milram’s ‘cross riders sported full carbon creations (which we showed you last week from Ghent-Wevelgem), Caisse d’Epargne’s Pinarello ‘cross bikes were fairly mundane in comparison to their usual Prince speedsters.
The TIG-welded aluminium frames were built with butted 7005 tubes and augmented with carbon seatstay assemblies, while the matching forks used alloy crowns and steerer tubes – thus assuredly making them far heavier than the all-carbon forks on the Prince.
Since team sponsor Campagnolo don’t make cantilever brakes, Shimano stoppers were fitted at either end. Otherwise, Caisse d’Epargne continued to be one of just a handful of teams running Campagnolo Super Record 11 components (most are still on standard Record 11).
Road-'cross hybrids for others
Lampre and Katusha bike sponsors Lampre and Ridley carried over the unique road/‘cross hybrid machines they used last season.
Katusha mated their Ridley X-Fire ‘cross frames with mid-range road forks – complete with weighty aluminium crowns and steerers – in order to gain additional tyre clearance and bottom bracket height.
Save for the rear 4ZA cantilever brake, the rest of the bike is fairly standard-issue road fare including a production Campagnolo Record 11 group.
Wheels are the usual box-section aluminium tubulars with relatively wide tyres – here labelled as Vredestein but looking more like something from Dugast or FMB – and gearing is typically tall for Paris-Roubaix.
Most of the Katusha riders used hybrid Ridley creations based around their X-Fire frame
Lampre’s Wilier creations – the same machine Alessandro Ballan used to nab third place last year – required a tad more creativity.
A ‘cross bike seatstay assembly – flipped around so the empty brake studs face forward – was spliced in with other Wilier carbon road frame components to net some extra clearance and length while a longer fork is used up front to balance things out.
Long-reach brake calipers are used front and rear, and some Lampre riders also used a single supplemental brake lever on the bar tops for additional control on the pavé.
Lampre's Paris-Roubaix bikes combined attributes of road and 'cross frames