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
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

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
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.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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