The 2017 Rouleur Classic

The 2017 Rouleur Classic was the 3rd edition of the Rouleur Classic and I made my first visit to the show on Saturday to check it out.

The main draw of the Rouleur Classic is the stars of cycling who attend and are interviewed on stage. It’s a great way of getting to hear some of the world’s greatest speak in a small auditorium and often then get a chance to meet them in person afterwards around the show. Most of cycling’s greats are approachable and happy to have their photo taken with fans at the event.

This year Fabian Cancellara, Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso, Johan Museeuw, John Degenkolb, Tiffany Cromwell, Gerard Vroomen, Frank Schleck, Magnus Backstedt, Adam Hansen and many more were a great draw for the crowds. And as I understand, the crowds did indeed turn out, with exhibitors speaking positively about the volume of people attending.

Supporting the stars, was a great range of stands from cycling brands. Part of the limitations of the venue meant that exhibitors all had relatively small display areas, which in turn meant they had to pick carefully what they put on display and most had the pick of their ranges on show. The smaller scale of the venue seemed to make it feel much more “intimate” and I found that it was ideal for chatting to people on the stands and spent most of my day doing just that.

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I saw plenty of people I knew, met some people I’ve been emailing for years but had never previously met in person and saw some fantastic products – including some of my favourites. I spotted one or two celebrities but I’m not the greatest when it comes to recognising the stars of cycling.

So here’s a photo packed round up of my day at the Rouleur Classic. If you’ve not attended before it’s definitely one to add to your list for next year.

 

Factor’s O2 race bike is now available in this fantastic burnt orange ….. with 12mm through axles. Factor told me that the geometry between the disc and caliper versions is identical. It was a fantastic looking bike – great colour!

The Dura Ace Di2 build was topped off with Factors Black Inc brand finishing kit, including carbon wheels, that now include a Factor designed hub specially developed to run Ceramic Speed bearings.

The 3T Strada was one of the stars of the show, especially as Acqua Blue were at the show with Gerard Vroomen talking about how they’re going to race these bikes on the road next year. With SRAM announcing they’re going to support the team with 1x groupsets and also attending, there was a lot of buzz about the bike and about 1x groupsets in general. This bike below was custom painted by Alistair at Fat Creations for one of the Saddleback team’s personal bikes (hence the Enve wheels). It looked terrific and was pretty light too

Not a lot of clearance in the photo below,  I was told you can run 28mm tyres but there’s not a lot of room to spare. Interesting 1x Dura Ace build too!

A very slammed stem!

Some more of Fat Creations terrific custom paint jobs:

It was great to get another look at the Elite Direto, a product I’ve written about before

The new 2018 EF Education First Drapac Cannondale team kit launched at the Rouleur Classic and I have to say, I think it looks terrific and should really stand out in the peloton.

Tacx were there too, with their state of the art Neo, that I’ve reviewed here, plus the more affordable Flux, which competes around the same level as the Direto

Tacx also had a glimpse of their soon to be released subscription training platform featuring all of the library of climbs they’ve recorded. More on that soon.

The star of the Colnago stand was undoubtably the beautiful replica Arabesque, including a very rare (and valuable) 50th Anniversary Campagnolo groupset. People were virtually queuing to see this one

 

At a much more 21th century end of the Colnago heritage, this new aero Concept was built up with a SRAM eTap disc brake groupset:

And this C60 featured the now overdue FSA hybrid wireless groupset:

Zipp had a good stand featuring their striking NSW wheelset range, including the 202,303 and 404 NSW Disc as well as the 454 whale inspired wheels too. I really have a hankering to try the 303 NSW Disc, I think they’d be pretty special to ride.

Here’s the 3T Strada again on the Zipp/SRAM Stand:

It was great to see some wonderfully colourful jerseys on the Sportful stand. Sportful is a brand who’s products have consistently impressed me on review and it was great to get a look at their new R&D models too.

Plenty to like on the Cannondale stand including Rigoberto Uran’s Tour de France bike from the final stage into Paris…

 

 

Also on the Cannondale stand, one of my bikes of 2017 – the new Synapse, here in the top of the range Dura Ace Di2 spec. If I could buy any new bike right now (or review it) this would be at the top of my list. Fast, light, comfortable and fun to ride as I understand it.

Specced with Cannondale’s own super light cranks:

the Junction box in the down tube:

Also featuring ENVE stem and bars on this top of the range model

This unusual one off, is a custom paint job by Fat Creations and features dynamo lighting and a frame pump.

On the Lightweight stand was the new Urgestalt Disc brake bike. Add disc brakes to these famous wheels gives you fantastic stopping on some of the stiffest and lightest wheels (a lot of) money can buy.

This is the new Focus e-road bike that you may have seen in the press. With a total weight of 12.5kgs including the motor and the battery, it’s quite an achievement and can be ridden with out the motor and battery

Here’s the motor and battery unit:

The Castelli stand had lots of colour, which make a nice to counterpoint to so much carbon fibre on display!

These replica Mavic service cars were very cool and on sale for £40 as you can see…. The real car was parked outside the venue with a current Skoda Superb Mavic neutral service car next to it.

On the Mavic stand were a couple of Mavic neutral service bikes celebrated the much loved role Mavic’s mechanics play in pro cycling.

 

Of course as this year’s Rouleur Classic celebrated the Spring Classics there was a special “throne room” to recognise some of the winners of past and present.

Ex-rider Danilo Di Luca had one of his own brand’s bikes on display complete with Dura Ace Di2 and Zipp wheels….

Right underneath the bike were some of the blingiest shoes I’ve ever seen. There was also a display of hand made custom painted Sidi shoes on display too

Last but not least was this custom painted Factor Slick TT bike on it’s way to Pierre Latour, the French Champion that got diverted to the Rouleur Classic prior to it going to Pierre. The paint job is an homage to the French flag …


I’ll certainly be heading back to the Rouleur Classic next year and will make sure I get to sit in and listen to some of the stars too next time.

Thanks for reading