Zipp News

Back 4.10.2012

Perfect bike, perfect day

Tom Boonen’s historic victory in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix was a show of the Belgian superstar’s incredible power and determination. But it also demonstrated his and the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team’s savvy use of technology.

Boonen’s win gave him the second "double" of his career, as he has now won the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in the same season twice. He’s the only rider in men’s road racing history to do that. The Zipp® 303 completed its own historic “double” in the two famed Cobbled Classics. The Zipp 303 also was ridden to victory in the 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

It all started several years ago with a daring drive to design carbon wheels that were aero and light yet tough enough to thrive on France and Belgium’s famously rocky roads.

Carbon wheels simply won’t work on cobbles, critics contended. But Zipp undertook years of testing and development, and the results proved the power of persistence. Now, the Zipp 303 has been the victorious wheelset in five of the past six Flanders/Roubaix races.

Proper bike position is everything. To meet the needs of Omega Pharma -- Quick-Step Cycling Team members including Boonen, Zipp designed a new 140 mm length version of its rock-solid Service Course SL stem. The 140 mm stem is an example of Zipp using pro sponsorship for product development. The 140 mm Service Course SL will be available for purchase this spring.

As for a handlebar, Boonen has settled into using the Zipp Service Course CSL, one of Zipp's bars specifically designed for the needs of pro riders.

The Service Course CSL has Zipp’s new Super Short Reach drop bend to place SRAM® RED control levels within easy reach. Other nice touches include an ovalized top section for greater comfort and an ergonomic bend on the drops angled outward by 2 degrees for a better wrist position. Boonen also has switched from a 46 cm to a 44 cm bar for a better aero-position – perfect for a solo effort into Roubaix.

For Paris-Roubaix, Boonen stayed with the carbon Zipp SLSpeed seatpost for Roubaix. The SLSpeed is lightweight (185 grams), stiff and highly adjustable... and durable.

Brake pads
Rain threatened during Sunday’s race – riders had to be prepared to face dust, mud, or both. The Zipp Tangente Platinum Pro Brake Pad, developed by Zipp and SwissStop®, was designed to be the all-purpose pad for carbon braking surfaces. The result was a pad that retains consistent performance for the many light brake touches required in pro racing as well as reliable stopping power, even on rain-soaked roads.

Boonen’s Specialized® Roubaix also was equipped with the new SRAM RED – 2012 groupset.

Speaking before his historic win, “Tommeke” summarized it all succinctly: “The bikes and Zipp wheels are perfect.”

To learn more about the Zipp wheels, bars, stems, seatposts and accessories used by pros visit your local Zipp dealer or