One year ago, UCI approved the use of tire pressure management systems for use in pro road races.
The new technology allows riders to control their tire pressure in real-time during races, deflating for rough terrain and re-inflating for smooth asphalt. Scope Cycling calls its Atmoz system a game-changer for the sport. Then again, so does Hubtech, which offers the Kinetic Air Pressure System (KAPS).
At this Sunday’s iconic Paris-Roubaix race, two of the sport’s biggest teams — Jumbo-Visma and Team DSM — will see just how “revolutionary” these systems are. Team DSM will use Scope Cycling’s Atmoz tech, while Jumbo-Visma will race with the Hubtech system, WielerFlits reported.
“After intensive testing during training and races, we’re looking forward [to] seeing one of the most significant innovations of modern cycling into this iconic race to set a new standard in cycling and disturb the status quo,” Scope Cycling wrote in a press release this week. “Get ready for a thrilling race!”
While both the Scope and HubTech systems allow riders to adjust tire pressure while moving, they work a bit differently.
HubTech KAPS vs. Scope Atmoz
For HubTech’s KAPS system, it works with a pump in the hub, taking external air and pumping it into the tire, according to the company website. Theoretically, the system could be used an endless number of times to account for every literal bump in the road.
The Scope Atmoz system has a reservoir, but no pump. That means pressure can only be added from the reservoir, and therefore has a limited number of uses during the course, according to the WielerFlits analysis.
Either way, the systems give riders on-the-fly control over their tire pressure to accommodate various road surfaces. Press a remote control button on the handlebar, and a rider can change the air pressure in the tires as they ride.
A perfect testing ground at Paris-Roubaix
The Paris-Roubaix race challenges riders to race over smooth pavement, insanely rough cobblestone sectors, and some parts that nearly resemble singletrack.
Typically, racers manage the diverse terrain by opting for a middle ground of tire pressure. So the ability to change tire pressure throughout the course could offer Jumbo-Visma and Team DSM a significant advantage.
Team DSM nearly debuted the tech at the 2022 Paris-Roubaix, but made a last-minute decision against it. But this year, it seems likely that both Team DSM and Jumbo-Visma will finally put the tech through a real test.
It’s not clear which riders of both teams will sport the new gadgets this weekend. The two teams will decide that after their Paris-Roubaix course reconnaissance, according to WielerFlits.