Pro bike: Johan Vansummeren's Cervelo R3 Mud

Lanky Belgian goes for second Paris-Rouabix win on modified Cervélo

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) had the ride of his life when he won Paris-Roubaix in 2011. The lanky Belgian will try for his second cobblestone trophy on Sunday – and he'll again be on a Cervélo R3 that's been modified to tackle the punishing pavé.

Cervélo has applied its long-running – and highly successful – Paris-Roubaix formula to the latest R3, which now has an official name: the R3 Mud. Longer stays lend more tire clearance out back while the standard fork is swapped for one with longer legs for the same effect. Extra fork rake evens out the altered rear center to maintain the same fore-aft weight balance, too, plus the longer wheelbase that results from all the changes lends extra stability overall as well.

Few bike makers dare to go as skinny with the seat stays as Cervélo

Given Vansummeren's success on the bike, then, it's rather surprising that he's downsized from a 61cm frame to a 58cm, which has gained him 25 additional millimeters of drop but also cost him 9mm of reach. Never fear, though, as 3T has supplied the lanky Vansummeren with a colossal 150mm-long ARX Team stem with an aggressive -17° angle. Add in the 865mm saddle height and what you get is an enormous 178mm of handlebar drop.

Garmin-Sharp has stuck with its proven Mavic M40 wide-profile carbon tubular wheels and 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tires this year along with 3T cockpit components, another fi'zi:k Antares saddle, and – of course – a new Garmin Edge 510 computer to record Vansummeren's data along the way.

Also carrying over are a pair of Arundel stainless steel cages and Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing throughout.

Cervélo's r3 head tube isn't as long as many companies' so-called 'endurance' chassis but it isn't terribly short, either. here, johan vansummeren (garmin-sharp) uses an undersized 58cm frame but still needs a 150mm x -17° stem to get the bars where he wants them:
Because the R3 has a tall head tube, Vansummeren rides a 58cm frame instead of a 61 and uses a 150mm stem — which is still a -17

The team has since switched from SRAM to Shimano, though, and Vansummeren will use the company's previous-generation Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group (the new 9000 version is still not only in short supply but also requires a longer freehub body so it'll take a while for the wheel fleet to refresh). Several Shimano-sponsored teams and riders – including two-time winner Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard-Trek) – have suggested that the system's longer throws are actually an advantage since Di2's buttons can sometimes be too sensitive on the pavé.

Vansummeren has also switched to a more conventional two-bolt 3T Dorico seatpost in place of the secure – but somewhat convoluted – 3T Palladio, moved to a carbon fiber 3T Rotundo bar instead of the alloy version he used in 2011, and has gone with a beefier Rotor 3D+ crank setup that includes the company's solid 'Aero' outer elliptical Q-Ring chainring plus the matching 'Aero' solid spider.

Total weight without the computer or bottles is 7.62kg (16.8lb).

Chain stays start out big and tall near the bottom bracket before tapering down dramatically at their midsections:
The chain stays are massive behind the bottom bracket. And note the Gore Ride-On cable liner

Complete bike specifications
FrameCervélo R3 Mud, 58cm
ForkCervélo SL
HeadsetFSA Orbit IS-2 integrated, 1 1/8-to-1 3/8" tapered
Stem3T ARX Team, 150mm x -17°
Handlebars3T Rotundo Team, 44cm 
Tape/gripsfi'zi:k bar:tape, single wrapped
Front brakeShimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads for Mavic
Rear brakeShimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads for Mavic
Brake leversShimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
Front derailleurShimano Dura-Ace FD-7900
Rear derailleurShimano Dura-Ace RD-7900
Shift leversShimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
CassetteShimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-23T
ChainShimano Ultegra CN-6701
CranksetRotor 3D+, 180mm, w/ Aero spider and 53/44T Aero Q-Rings
Bottom bracketCervélo BBright
PedalsShimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7900
WheelsetMavic M40 tubular
Front tireFMB Paris-Roubaix tubular, 27mm
Rear tireFMB Paris-Roubaix tubular, 27mm
Saddlefi'zi:k Antares w/ k:ium rails and carbon fiber shell
Seat post3T Dorico Team
Bottle cagesArundel Stainless (2)
ComputerGarmin Edge 510
Other accessoriesGore Ride-On sealed cables and housing, Rotor chain catcher
Critical measurements
Rider's height1.97m (6' 5")
Rider's weight76kg (167lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t)865mm
Saddle setbac105mm
Seat tube length, c-t580mm
Seat tube length, c-c535mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem)665mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical)178mm
Head tube length199mm
Top tube length581mm (horizontal)
Total bicycle weight7.62kg (16.80lb) w/o computer or bottles
James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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