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Mike Barry on Paris-Roubaix Bikes

timv's picture
Mike Barry, father of pro cyclist Michael Barry, and recently retired builder of Mariposa bicycles, has a neat blog post about the bikes ridden by current racers on cobblestone stages and for daily training rides. He has some good specifics about setup and component choices for classic races such as Paris-Roubaix and relates his experience of riding one such bike on European back roads. http://bicyclespecialties.blogspot.com/2009/12/bikes-cobbles-and-mudguar... As an aside, I've had the great pleasure of chatting with Mike a couple of times when the Cirque du Cyclisme was held in Greensboro and he was showing bikes he had built. His work was absolutely top-notch and he's as nice a guy as you'll ever meet.

Comments

eebee's picture

Cyclists' Gatorback

I'm not a bicycle enthusiast as such, but that was an interesting link, timv. I checked out the cobblestone cycling video Mike Barry linked to in that blog entry. Those guys are nuts! That section across the mines at Arenberg looks like fun bordering on insane. My first thought is you'd really need a throwaway bike for that stretch. I see also the motorbike support has a hard time staying vertical too. I thought it was a long stretch to go to the trouble to lay down cobbles out in the middle of nowhere, then found out those stones were laid during Napoleon's time. The same wiki page says since they discontinued use of the mines under that path a few decades ago, the ground has started to subside and the path is now even worse! Another warped aspect of the whole race: "Until 1998 the entry to the Arenberg pavé was slightly downhill, leading to a sprint for best position. The route was reversed in 1999 to reduce the speed. This was as a result of Johan Museeuw's crash in 1998 as World Cup leader, which nearly cost his leg to gangrene." (From the Wikipedia Paris-Roubaix page)

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