Specialized accepts blame for Niki Terpstra’s Roubaix wreck

Failed pre-production part and miscommunication to blame for Paris-Roubaix crash

A pre-production part and a chain of miscommunications lead to a crash that took Quick-Step racer Niki Terpstra out of this year’s Paris-Roubaix, according to Specialized.

Unlike other racers using the Specialized Roubaix, Terpstra opted to use a rigid cartridge in place of the suspension steerer system known as Future Shock
Tim De Waele / Getty Images

Like many riders sponsored by Specialized, Terpestra tackled the cobbles aboard the Roubaix, which uses a spring housed in a cartridge in the steerer tube to provide 20mm of suspension to take the edge off rough roads. 

Unlike other Roubaix riders, Terpestra opted to run a rigid cartridge in place of the stock version, or the stiffer, pro-only spring used by Quick-Step teammate Tom Boonen during the Classics.

As first reported by Cycling Weekly, this equipment change necessitated the creation of a prototype rigid alloy cartridge for the 2014 Paris-Roubaix winner.

According to Specialized, this pre-production unit was not intended to be raced. Through a series of unfortunate miscommunications it was never replaced with a version engineered to withstand the rigors of Paris-Roubaix.

The stock Specialized Future Shock uses a spring housed in the steerer tube to provide 20mm of suspension

While this failed part took the 32-year-old Dutchman out of the race, he was lucky enough walk away from the crash with nothing more than a few cuts and bruises.


Specialized notes that since the failed component isn’t found in production Future Shocks, there is no failure risk to Roubaix owners.