April means one thing in the world of professional cycling, classics. Specifically this weekend is the Queen of the Classics: Paris-Roubaix, pretty much a big mess of mud, old brick roads, really expensive bikes and really skinny dudes.
Nothing do the major cycling news sources love more than to cover the tech
of a big race. Since we’re all tech geeks at heart, we’ll all read article after article about how FMB and Hutchinson tires are re-labeled Bontrager and all the true classics riders ride nothing but 32 spoke wheels. We’ll pretend for a moment this weekend that the classic 32 spoke low-profile rims are really faster than carbon rims and get all nostalgic.
Saxo Bank has realized the importance of the pre-race bike tech coverage, and now employs European male models
to lube Fabian’s chain.
I mean check out that leather jacket and mullet! Style on top of Style
However apparently unknown to velonews and the like, Roubaix is not just a city in France this weekend. It is also the name given to countless small races across America that either have at least one half mile section of brick, dirt road, or shitty pavement.
In our case this weekend will play host to the Roubaix in Hillsboro Illinois. Since Cycling news and Velonews both refuse to do a tech article on the Team Panther Roubaix bikes, I’ll do a little one here…minus any male models.
The Ridley Domocles, a bike born in Belgium, named in Greek, and made in Taiwan, is perfectly suited to the cobbles of any Roubaix.
The bars are wrapped with extra filthy bar tape, the added dirt helps with shock absortion.
It can be long waiting for the team car on the narrow streets of any Roubaix, so Uberti has opted to bring a spare tube and sewing kit.That way when a puncture occurs, he can easily un-sew the tire, replace the tube, re-sew the tire, re-apply base tape, and re glue the rim…instead of waiting for the car.
No chain guide here, as Chris Uberti never shifts.
As you can see Uberti has spared no expense with the choice of Vittoria Rally tubular tires ($15). The green color helps the tires glide over cobbles, as scientifically proven by Vittoria
These rims may be labeled Easton, but upon some closer inspection they are determined to be Ambrosios, the only bike company that actually goes out with sledge hammers to break up perfectly smooth roads to ensure people still buy their rims.
This is where all the power goes…the pedals. Uberti chose to go with Mountain Bike Pedals, because he plans on getting off his bike and walking a lot.
Don’t worry there will be a follow up tech article detailing how beat up my bike got from the one mile section of brick in downtown Hillsboro.