Peter Sagan to ride Paris-Roubaix on a Specialized S-Works Roubaix with mechanical gears

2018 winner rolls back the years with 'old' Dura-Ace setup that could give him the advantage on the cobbles

Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix bike
(Image credit: Specialized)

This is the bike Peter Sagan will use when he hopes to win Paris-Roubaix for a second time this Sunday.

The Slovak former triple world champion, who won the 'Hell of the North' in spectacular style in 2018, will, as expected, ride an S-Works Roubaix, Specialized's Classics bike that - as the name suggests - is designed for the cobbles.

However, what wasn't expected at all is that it would be equipped with Shimano's 'old' mechanical Dura-Ace 9120 groupset, especially as new Dura-Ace 9200 has just launched.

Peter Sagan Roubaix

(Image credit: Specialized)

At the top level of cycling, teams almost exclusively ride electronic groupsets. This has become the norm in recent years to such an extent that the new Dura-Ace 9200 and Ultegra 8100 groupsets are Di2 only.

However, Sagan has famously refused to use something simply because it has become the norm. When he won in 2018 he used a rim-brake version of the S-Works Roubaix - a pro-only version since the production Roubaix was only available as a disc-brake bike.

The reasons for using mechanical over Di2 haven't been revealed, but we can only guess that Sagan prefers the positive feel of the mechanical shifters over the electronic buttons, especially when cobble vibration makes accurate shifting that much trickier.

Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

He forgoes the satellite shifters that can be run on the tops of the bars - a better hand position for steering over such treacherous sectors as Arenberg or Carrefour de l'Arbre - but clearly, it's a decision he's thought carefully about.

Despite the high-profile launch of new Dura-Ace we have very rarely spotted it in the WorldTour peloton.

Elsewhere, Sagan's set-up looks reasonably standard.

peter sagan

(Image credit: Specialized)

He's riding tubulars, but that's not considered regressive for Paris-Roubaix, even though road tubeless has made big advances in the last few years.

The wheels are the Roval CLX 50s, shod with Specialized's Turbo Cotton 'Hell of the North' tubulars, probably in a 28mm width, the same size that he used in 2018.

Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

As for the ratios, he's using a standard 53t chainring but a 42 or 44 closer-ratio inner ring. With no climbs as such, and an inner ring possibly not used at all, the unwieldy jump down to a 39 is unnecessary.

Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

The cassette looks like a standard 11-28.

In 2018 Sagan used a Pro Vibe carbon handlebar, and he's using the same model in 2021. He's swapped out his old favourite Zipp Sprint SL stem for an unbranded Specialized model this time.

Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix bike

(Image credit: Specialized)

To complement the Future Shock 2.0 suspension damper at the front of the S-Works Roubaix, Sagan has his bars wrapped with Supacaz Super Sticky Kush - another long-term favourite piece of kit.

Sagan uses a Specialized saddle - the Romin Evo.

He's using a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt computer.

The dark green sparkle custom paint scheme features the legend 'Sagan' at the rear of the top tube.

Can Sagan himself roll back the years, as he has done with his equipment set-up, and return to the top step of the podium?

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1