Belgian star Tom Boonen fought off a desperate challenge from Italian Filippo Pozzato to claim his third Paris-Roubaix win on Sunday. BikeRadar’s technical editor, James Huang, was in Roubaix, France, where he spotted some interesting tweaks made to Team Astana’s bikes.
The squad’s Trek Madones were modified to gain a little extra stability and comfort as they departed from Compiègne.
Longer rear dropouts transplanted from elsewhere in the Trek company catalogue lengthened the chainstays while also providing a touch more tyre clearance up by the seatstay wishbone.
Rather than fit new tips to the existing Madone fork to balance out the rear, Trek continued their trend of fitting entirely different forks with more rake and length built in.
The subbed forks use carbon blades bonded to bulky alloy crowns with roughly 10mm of tyre clearance on all sides – far more than usual – and the non-tapered 1 1/8in alloy steerer tube requires a stepped-down lower headset assembly to fit the stock Madone head tube.
Though the forks aren’t so long as to require long-reach brake callipers, the pads had to be set nearly all the way down in the SRAM Red callipers in order to hit the rim properly.
Other changes from the usual road setups included fully sealed Gore derailleur cables and housing to maintain shift performance in adverse conditions, doubled-wrapped bars and aggressive gearing front and rear to better suit Paris-Roubaix’s mostly flat parcours.
Wheels were standard Paris-Roubaix fare with aluminium box-section tubular rims, low-flange DT Swiss hubs and fat Hutchinson tubular tyres.