Pro bike: Tom Boonen's Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) isn’t taking many chances with his gear this Sunday as he shoots for his fifth Paris-Roubaix victory. Whereas the punishing pavé can sometimes prompt riders to experiment a bit equipment-wise, Boonen will use nearly exactly the same Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4 that he won on in 2012.
Boonen’s Roubaix SL4 uses the same vibration-reducing design as stock versions, complete with those distinctively squiggly seatstays and Zertz elastomer inserts front and rear. Boonen rides a much more aggressive geometry, called ’60 Pro’ – which essentially features the reach of a standard 61cm frame but with a front end that’s roughly 8cm lower than usual. Couple with a 140mm-long Zipp SLSpeed molded carbon fiber stem, Boonen has more than ample room to stretch out his sensitive back.
The unmistakable rear end of the specialized s-works roubaix sl4:James Huang/Future Publishing
Most of his componentry has also carried over from before, including the Zipp 303 carbon tubular wheels, 177.5mm-long Specialized S-Works carbon fiber cranks (with 53/46-tooth chainrings), Look KéO Blade pedals, Tacx Tao aluminum cages, and SRAM Red brakes and transmission – although the latter has been updated to 11-speed and now uses an 11-28T PG-1170 cassette instead of last year’s 11-26T one.
Boonen’s fit is essentially unchanged from last year as well, with one notable exception: his saddle height appears to have increased by about 10mm.
Anatomic-bend bars and high-mounted levers for tom boonen (omega pharma-quickstep):James Huang/Future Publishing
That said, we still noticed a few key differences from years past. While the bars are still double-wrapped with another layer of padding up top, that Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix tape is now wound around a Zipp SL-70 Ergo flat-topped bar. Boonen has swapped his traditionally shaped Specialized Chicane saddle for the company’s more modern Romin model (which could explain the height difference) and his long-standing 27mm-wide FMB handmade cotton tubular tires now wear Specialized-made tread patterns and rubber compounds, plus slightly more volume.
Both tires were stamped with 28mm markings when we visited the team hotel Friday afternoon before Paris-Roubaix. VeloNews reports, though, that Boonen will run a 30mm-wide rear tire on Sunday.
Tom boonen’s (omega pharma-quickstep) tubulars feature specialized treads glued on to handmade cotton casings from legendary maker fmb:James Huang/Future Publishing
Specialized provided Boonen last year with a specially painted Roubaix SL4, featuring colors inspired by the Belgian flag, a stripe of past victors’ names wrapping around the inside of the main triangle, and the four-time winner’s name featured proudly on the seat tube. This time around, it’s all business with a gloss black paint job and basic white logos.
Tom boonen (omega pharma-quickstep) will once again ride his tried-and-true specialized s-works roubaix sl4 at paris-roubaix. save for a few very minor changes, it’s an identical setup to what he used last year:James Huang/Future Publishing
We unfortunately weren’t permitted to weigh Boonen’s bike this time around but it should come in very close to the 7.34kg (16.18lb) figure we recorded last year.
Complete bike specifications
Frame: Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4, ’60 Pro’
Fork: Specialized S-Works Roubaix FACT
Headset: Cane Creek integrated, 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in tapered
Stem: Zipp SLSpeed, 140mm x -7°
Handlebar: Zipp SL-70 Ergo, 44cm (c-c)
Tape: Specialized S-Wrap Roubaix, double-wrapped with additional padding on top
Front brake: SRAM Red w/SwissStop carbon-specific pads
Rear brake: SRAM Red w/SwissStop carbon-specific pads
Brake levers: SRAM Red 22 DoubleTap
Front derailleur: SRAM Red 22
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red 22
Shift levers: SRAM Red 22 DoubleTap
Cassette: SRAM PG-1170, 11-28T
Chain: SRAM Red 22
Crankset: Specialized S-Works FACT, 177.5mm, w/ SRAM 53T and TA Specialites 46T chainrings
Bottom bracket: Specialized OSBB
Pedals: Look KéO Blade chromoly
Wheelset: Zipp 303
Front tire: FMB/Specialized tubular, 28mm
Rear tire: FMB/Specialized tubular, 28mm
Saddle: Specialized S-Works Romin, 155mm
Seatpost: Zipp SLSpeed, 20mm setback
Bottle cages: Tacx Tao (2)
Other accessories: Garmin Edge 510 computer, Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing, SRAM chain catcher
Rider’s height: 1.92m (6ft 4in)
Rider’s weight: 82kg (181lb)
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 830mm
Saddle setback: 95mm
Seat tube length (c-t): 460mm
Seat tube length (c-c): 450mm
Tip of saddle nose to center of bars (next to stem): 650mm