[CR] KOF Bike Tech at Paris-Roubaix?

(Example: Framebuilders:Masi)

From: "Matthew 'Devotion' Bowne" <devotion_finesse@hotmail.com>
To: CR discussion list <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 01:02:37 -0400
Subject: [CR] KOF Bike Tech at Paris-Roubaix?

I am always thrilled to see certain old-school bike tech make it's way into the the contemporary European pro peloton...but this is one I didn't expect to see... Because of it's notoriously rough roads and brutal riding conditions, the "Queen of the Classics", Paris-Roubaix has often been a proving ground for new technologies.  (Remember the Rock Shox in the early 90's? The full suspension Bianchis, etc.?)  Well not only has Paris-Roubaix brought on the development of new bike tech, but recent years have also seen the return of some old ones.  Over the past few years, riders have been known to outfit their bikes with steel forks, wide skin-walled classic tubies, vintage cantilever brakes and other part mods that seem odd in the current peloton but certainly "on topic" to groups like ours.  Heck, even Lance has been known to run early Dura-Ace Ax calipers on a TT bike in recent history... Anyhow, below is one that I thought might be of interest to The List:


That's right, a rider on Team Milram rode a lugged steel fork with a 1" steerer tube!  KOF indeed! Have a look at the pic and note the "reducer" it needed to be coupled with to work with the over-sized headtube on the presumably carbon-fiber frame.   I can't help but wonder how this came to be...A team mechanic's late-night "McGuyver" move?  So why THIS fork? Are there not still master-builders who would jump at the chance to braze a (1 1/8") lugged steel fork for a pro riding in Paris-Roubaix? 

Anybody have any thoughts or insight as to how this came to be?  Any other examples of KOF builds or tech used by modern pros? 

Matthew Bowne
Surprised and Happy in
Brooklyn, New York