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Roubaix Wheels

stumpy paulstumpy paul Posts: 197
Who has done this before?

What wheels did you use? :? How did thye fare?



  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    if you are talking about the Roubaix Sportive you can use any wheel you like but the people who ride it for a living generally have 32 spoke aluminium rims shod with tubulars or wide clinchers. The people I know who have done it said the ride was carnage with bottles,riders,broken wheels and bikes lining the route. You take your Lightweight Carbon rims at your own peril. Paul Hewitt built Wiggo a set of rims for Roubaix last year so Paul may be worth speaking to.
  • Fully aware of what the pros ride - just trying to decide whether I can get away without the expense of having 32 spoke handbuilts done or whether people have managed it on other wheels. Clearly the best wheels will be staying at home!
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    What have you got? Remember that if the cobbles are crucial, the ride is mainly on very flat and dull roads where you don't want to push some tractor wheels all day long, so don't go to any extremes. That said, the pros look as if they fly across but the cobbled sections are brutal. A pair of Kysriums with 25c tyres should be fine, keep the pressure a bit lower than usual.
  • Last time I used 32h open pros on Ambrosio hubs, built by Harry Rowland with 28mm Panaracer Paselas. I've seen folk use 23s. theres not that much difference when you get to the Arenberg anyway, 28mm vs 23mm is like saying a magnum 44 hurts less than a shotgun.
    \'You Come At the King,You Best Not Miss\'
  • dombo6dombo6 Posts: 751
    The wider tyres are less for comfort but to stop the wheels going between the cobbles, wearing down the sidewall and puncturing.

    I was chatting the other day with an ex-pro who won it a few years back and he recommended using 27mm tyres. These are wide enough to stay out of the gaps between the cobbles and so minimise sidewall abrasion.

    For comfort he recommended putting pipe lagging under the handlebar tape; but then he's a big lad so if it was me (5'8" with smallish hands) I'd just use a double layer of thickish tape.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've ridden it a few times and whilst strength and durability of the wheels are important, your tyre choice and pressure is more critical. Essentially, fit the fattest tyre you can at the lowest, safest pressure. Something like a 25mm Krylion or a 28mm 4 Seasons at 5 bar is good, but it's still gonna hurt! Double wrapped or gel bar tape and good gloves are essential - your hands and wrists take a hammering too. Last few times I rode Ksyriums SLs, but if we go this year, more likely I'll ride a cross bike with 32mm tubs! It also depends on road conditions and how much tyre clearance you have - if there is any moisture and little room, then the dirt build-up under the fork crown and brake caliper can grind you to a halt - ideally you need at least a couple of mm. Finally, ditch your fancy-dan lightweight carbon bottle cages and get something that holds a bottle reliably like a Tacx Tao - I lost a bottle one year on Arenberg - it was 32 degrees and I suffered badly between the feed stations.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • le_patronle_patron Posts: 491
    Agree with Croxted, theres only so much you can do and half the point is to feel the pain !

    I rode it in '06 when it was very hot, and ride Flanders every year. I never put anything specific on and it's fine. The P-R pave is nasty though, so I don't use race wheels, just cheaper normal training wheels.
  • le_patronle_patron Posts: 491
    ...just to add, i would be tempted to add double bar tape if I did it again. But having done it once I think that's enough for me. It is hard-work and not to be approached lightly.
  • Thanks all.

    Was asking 'cos hev done Flanders and needed little extra except pave tyres - but I know P-R pave is worse.

    Got the info I wanted I reckon.

    I'm not trying to avoid the pain, I know it will hurt, but I want to make as sure as I can that my day isn't cut short by equipment failure. i want to feel the lot :lol:
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