Home

Good morning all 

I foolish went and booked myself on the Paris - Roubaix Challenge ride for this year. Well I have just had the email saying its a month away!

Have bought a Specialized Diverge Comp gravel bike to do the ride on, and training on that is going well.  

Just wondering if the collective had any useful tips for the ride? 

6 comments

Avatar
StraelGuy [1510 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Not done it myself but I gather double wrapping your bars for extra shock absorbtion is rather de rigeur.

Avatar
Scottish Scrutineer [26 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

High volume tyres that can provide more absorption.

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [885 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

In terms of bike and equipment, I don't think you really need to make any changes to the  Specialized Diverge Comp, the Future Shock and 38mm tyres will provide ample cushioning on the cobbles. Going tubeless would be a good shout but with such big volume tyres you'll probably be able to get away with inner tubes

Otherwise, there's not much that can prepare you for the pave. It's brutal, but it's great fun. You'll love it. 

Avatar
LaVieEnVelo [33 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I'll be there with a group again and the advice i give is to:
double bar tape because it knackers your wrists;
maybe double your shorts for a similar reason;
use wider, softer tyres for a slightly smoother ride (you'll see many on mtb or cx bikes) ;
add extra tape to bottle cages because they tend to rattle out.
You probably want to give everything a general tighten up before you go and maybe carry a multitool for a mid-ride tighten if necessary.

If you see me (look for the La Vie en Vélo van) and need help then i will have everything on board the support vehicle for help!

See you there!

Avatar
IW [1 post] 6 months ago
2 likes

In addition to the good advice above, here’s a things I’ve learned on 3 (puncture-free) Paris Roubaix Challenges:
Riding on the cobbles with a loose grip on the tops, churning a higher gear at a lower cadence than you would at the same speed on tarmac reduces the risk of dropping the chain, increases rear tyre grip and spares your wrists and backside some of the worst the pavé has to offer. There are a couple of good GCN training vids on YouTube on this subject that I found very useful. 

500ml bottles will stay in adapted bottle cages - big bottles might not. 

Safety pin or zip jersey pockets closed. You’ll know why when you’ve ridden your first sector! 

Keep your wits about you at the start of the Arenberg sector: a descending road, huge, uneven, damp cobble setts and riders on the midi route experiencing their first taste of pavé combine to produce a rash of punctures, flung bidons and mini pumps and panicking riders hitting the brakes or making for the sanctuary of the adjacent footpath. If you hold your nerve and resist giving it the white knuckle death grip you’ll be ok. 

It costs nothing to thank the hardy locals marshalling road junctions as they stop traffic and wave you through. Chapeau to all of them. 

It’s a magical day out. Savour it. I can’t go this year and I’m envious. 

Avatar
LaVieEnVelo [33 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

That's excellent advice, IW. I'll pass it on to the group that I'm taking. Many thanks.

IW wrote:

In addition to the good advice above, here’s a things I’ve learned on 3 (puncture-free) Paris Roubaix Challenges:
Riding on the cobbles with a loose grip on the tops, churning a higher gear at a lower cadence than you would at the same speed on tarmac reduces the risk of dropping the chain, increases rear tyre grip and spares your wrists and backside some of the worst the pavé has to offer. There are a couple of good GCN training vids on YouTube on this subject that I found very useful. 

500ml bottles will stay in adapted bottle cages - big bottles might not. 

Safety pin or zip jersey pockets closed. You’ll know why when you’ve ridden your first sector! 

Keep your wits about you at the start of the Arenberg sector: a descending road, huge, uneven, damp cobble setts and riders on the midi route experiencing their first taste of pavé combine to produce a rash of punctures, flung bidons and mini pumps and panicking riders hitting the brakes or making for the sanctuary of the adjacent footpath. If you hold your nerve and resist giving it the white knuckle death grip you’ll be ok. 

It costs nothing to thank the hardy locals marshalling road junctions as they stop traffic and wave you through. Chapeau to all of them. 

It’s a magical day out. Savour it. I can’t go this year and I’m envious.