Paris roubaix challenge, april - what to expect / prepare for?


New Member
Mar 8, 2016
I'm prepping for my first ever long route sportive the Paris Roubaix.

I've checked out strava segments (a closing lap in the famous velodrome looks amazing btw- can anyone do it in <27 secs? ) and i thought this guide was useful, but I was hoping to get some first-hand tips / experiences from any members who have ridden Roubaix?
Aside from making sure that everything is very well attached to my bike , what else should I prepare for?!

I have not done the Sportif but I did most of the route many years ago for fun, so, please take my comments with a "grain of salt" and also I see these kind rides as challenges rather than social events.

1. Avoid the other 4,999 riders if it is wet
2. I would go hard from the start to put the less experienced riders behind me
3. I would ride my 28 mm tubeless Schwalbe Pro One if it is dry or maybe even wider tires to help absorb the Pave bumps but more importantly to help minimize pinch flats. Almost all of the additional comfort that you can obtain from a given bike comes from wide supple tires. If it is wet I would opt for Schwalbe S-One or some specific tubulars like the FMB Paris Roubaix or maybe Challenge Paris Roubaix or Strada Bianca. Riding a 23 mm tire would be a big mistake. I suppose a 25 mm could maybe work.

Depending upon your fitness the distance is either a challenge or not. If this distance (what is the Sportif about 163 km?) is in uncharted waters for you (meaning you never went this far), take a couple rest stops and eat a bit. If the distance is comfortable, then you need no advice.

I was actually considering flying over from the USA to do this event because it looks like a lot of fun but all the hotels seemed to be booked and the logistics were a problem.

GL and have fun!!!

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