Cofidis follows the 'almost standard' theme for Paris-Roubaix
By James Huang
There are no fancy carbon
wheels to be found here
Mavic's Reflex tubular
rim was a popular choice
A tight 11-21T cluster
Just in case you weren't
sure what bars Scheirlinckx was using
The Time Ulteam Ti Carbon
Like many of the riders in this year's Paris-Roubaix,
Cofidis' Staf Scheirlinckx set off from the start in Compiègne aboard
what looked to be a reasonably stock-looking machine. As we've all now
come to realize, though, Scheirlinckx' Time VXS bore a few visually
subtle modifications intended to ease the 259.5km (161.2mi) journey
into the Roubaix velodrome.
A little extra room was added at both ends to provide a slightly longer
wheelbase for stability while the bottom bracket height was supposedly
raised just a bit for ground clearance over the unforgiving cobbles.
The stock VXS Translink's semi-integrated seatpost was swapped in favor
of a more conventional setup and Scheirlinckx' fork was fitted with
an alloy steerer instead of the usual carbon one. Given the fork's telltale
fade-type paint (and the relatively hefty 8.0kg (17.6lb) complete bike
weight), we're guessing the crown was alloy as well.
Scheirlinckx's componentry choices also reflected a number of popular
Paris-Roubaix trends. The traditionally built wheels utilized Mavic
Reflex aluminum tubular rims laced with 14g stainless steel spokes to
standard Campagnolo Record hubs. The associated tires were giant 27mm-wide
Vittoria Pavé tubulars.
Gearing was decidedly flat land-friendly: Scheirlinckx' long 177.5mm
Record crankarms were fitted with a 53/48T combination and the rear
cassette was similarly tight at 11-21T. Given the close spacing up front,
no supplemental chain watcher was necessary. Most of the rest of the
bike was also Record-equipped, including the team edition Ergopower
levers, brake calipers and rear derailleur (Scheirlinckx used a Chorus
The appearance of standard Record componentry wouldn't normally catch
our attention (after all, the Italian company is the official team sponsor)
were it not for the fact that Scheirlinckx and other teammates have
regularly been seen on other occasions with prototype versions of Campagnolo's
electronic groups. As was the theme for the day, Cofidis apparently
opted for the conservative route and equipped each of the bikes we saw
with standard mechanical bits.
After so many years of real world testing (we've seen the Campagnolo
electronic stuff as early as 2003)
we'd honestly be surprised if the still-unreleased package had any remaining
bugs but as always with Paris-Roubaix, it's better to be safe than sorry.
As it turns out, that conservative approach appeared to work out quite
well: Scheirlinckx arrived
at the Roubaix velodrome in the first major chase group with George
Hincapie and finished 15th on the day, just 5' 12" down.
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