Degenkolb opted to run the additional shifting options available with Shimano’s Dura-Ace 9070 drivetrain climbing and sprint shifters— ensuring that he could respond to accelerations from any position on the handlebars.

PIT PASS: John Degenkolb's Defy Advanced SL

April 17, 2014

Two weeks after taking his first classics victory at Gent-Wevelgem aboard his Propel Advanced SL, Team Giant-Shimano rider John Degenkolb backed up the result with a second-place finish at the Queen of the Classics, Paris-Roubaix. To tame the grueling 257-kilometer, cobblestone-riddled course known as the Hell of the North, Degenkolb opted to ride his Defy Advanced SL endurance road bike.

The Defy Advanced SL’s frame features endurance-oriented geometry and more rounded tube shapes to improve compliance and handling on rough roads. The junction between the seatstays and seattube is lower, which produces a leafspring effect that absorbs road shock and vibrations. The intergrated seatpost also helps produce a smoother, more forgiving ride on the cobbles. And as a sprinter, Degenkolb relies on the massive MegaDrive downtube and PowerCore bottom bracket shell for stiffness and pedaling efficiency, critical in moments like the Paris-Roubaix finale, when he won the field sprint for second in the Roubaix velodrome.

Paris-Roubaix’s uniquely brutal conditions require additional modifications to keep the bikes and riders out of trouble. Larger volume tires, an additional inline brake lever and multiple shifting options are all aimed at giving Team Giant-Shimano riders the fastest, smoothest ride over roads that are anything but smooth.

Here’s a look at the machine that carried Degenkolb to his second classics podium of the season.

Model: Defy Advanced SL, size medium
Frame: Advanced SL-grade composite
Fork: Advanced SL-grade composite, full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer
Handlebar: PRO Vibe, round bend, 42cm width
Handlebar Tape: PRO
Stem: PRO Vibe, 120mm length
Seatpost: integrated seatpost
Saddle: PRO Turnix, 142mm width
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Shift Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 11-25 tooth
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 53/39 tooth, 172.5mm length
Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace C35
Rear Tire: Vittoria Pave
Front Tire: Vittoria Pave
Bottle Cages: Elite
Computer: SRM PowerControl 7
Saddle Height: 73.7cm
Saddle Setback: 7.2cm