Pro bike: Ruben Zepuntke's Cannondale Synapse

30mm tubulars with low-end brake for clearance on Paris-Roubaix bike

Paris-Roubaix rookie Ruben Zepuntke will tackle his first professional Hell of the North Sunday aboard a Cannondale Synapse with fat, 30mm FMB tubulars on team-only, heavily spoked Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 wheels.

The Mavic wheels feature 24 spokes front and rear, compared to the consumer 16 and 20 spokes, respectively. Still, the stones of Paris-Roubaix are brutal. 

"We go into Paris-Roubaix each year expecting to break four or five or six wheels," said Cannondale-Garmin mechanic Geoff Brown. "We send them back to Mavic and they rebuilt them for next year."

To accommodate the massive 30mm FMB tubulars, Brown installed lower-end, long-reach Shimano calipers on the rears of the team Synapse frames. 

"We have had those sitting around in a drawer since 2010 or so, and when we started to do Paris-Roubaix gear testing a while ago, they did the trick," Brown said.   

Cannondale-Garmin's ruben zepuntke is riding his first paris-roubaix this year:
Cannondale-Garmin's ruben zepuntke is riding his first paris-roubaix this year:

As for the 30mm FMBs, Brown said that as racers and the industry continue to push for stiffer bikes and more aero wheels, "you have to find your cushion somewhere," and thus the big tubulars have replaced what used to be the standard 28mm Paris-Roubaix width for the team. Cannondale-Garmin will likely use sealant in the tires, though Brown declined to name what brand or brands he was considering.

As with many companies' endurance bikes, the Synapse features a taller head tube than straight-ahead race bikes. Brown says that -17 stems do the trick for his riders, without them having to go down a size to get their desired, low position.

Click through the gallery above for a close look at Zepuntke's bike.

Complete bike specifications

  • Frameset: Cannondale Synapse
  • Stem: FSA OS99, 12cm
  • Handlebar: FSA, 42cm 
  • Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace 
  • Rear brake: 2010 Shimano 
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-25T
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 
  • Crankset: Cannondale SLSL2 with FSA rings, 175mm, 53/44T 
  • Pedals: Garmin Vector (not set up as power meter)
  • Front wheel: Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 - team edition with 24 spokes
  • Read wheel: Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 - team edition with 24 spokes
  • Front tubular: FMB Paris-Roubaix, 30mm
  • Rear tubular: FMB Paris-Roubaix, 30mm
  • Saddle: Fizik Antares
  • Seatpost: FSA SL-K
  • Bottle cages: Arundel (2)

Critical measurements

  • Rider's height: 184cm (6ft)
  • Rider's weight: 76 kg (168b)
  • Saddle height from BB, c-t: 77.5cm
  • Tip of saddle to center of bar: 58cm
  • Saddle-to-bar drop: 10cm
Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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