Specialized used the spring classics to debut its brand new tyre, the S-Works Hell of the North tubular, and it was used by Tom Boonen in his last ever race. A 28mm version of the Turbo Cotton clincher tyre will also be available.
Specialized has named its new 28mm tyre, available in tubular and clincher versions, after the fearsome Paris-Roubaix’s nickname the Hell of the North. It earned this name because of the scene that met organisers after the first world war, the battlefields of which the route passes through.
Specialized says the new tyre has been “specifically made for the Classics and will be raced by our athletes, notably at Paris-Roubaix.” It uses a “next generation” Gripton rubber compound with a 290 TPI Turbo Cotton casing that Specialized says isn’t the same as FMB’s tyre - it’s not uncommon to see FMB tyres being disguised as other brand tyres at this race. It weighs 290g.
There’ll also be a clincher version of the tyre which joins the existing 24 and 26mm S-Works Turbo Cotton tyre range. It’ll use the same latest Gripton rubber compound with a 320 TPI carcas construction and weigh a claimed 260g.
The Hell of the North tubular will cost £80 and the S-Works Turbo Cotton 28 will be £58.
Tyre choice and width is critical at this race with 55km of pave, but interestingly, probably because of such dry conditions, we’ve seen a subtle decrease in tyre width from 30mm to 28mm.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.