Visma-Lease a Bike rule out adjustable tyre pressure system at Paris-Roubaix

With GRAVAA not used, adjustable tyre pressure could be absent from the peloton at this year's Hell of the North

Clock17:00, Tuesday 2nd April 2024
The system used by the team last year allows on the fly tyre pressure adjustments

© Visma-Lease a Bike

The system used by the team last year allows on the fly tyre pressure adjustments

Visma-Lease a Bike have confirmed that they will not be using the adjustable KAPS tyre inflation system at this year's Paris-Roubaix.

One of the headlines of the 2023 edition of the cobbled Monument was the use of GRAVAA's KAPS (Kinetic Air Pressure System) hub base tyre inflation system that allowed riders to adjust their tyre pressures on the fly. With the course of Paris-Roubaix a hybrid of smooth tarmac and some of the roughest sectors of pavé in the region, regardless of your setup, it is impossible to have the correct tyre pressure for all parts of the course.

What the KAPS system allowed is for riders to run a higher tyre pressure whilst riding in between the race-defining cobbled sectors before dropping them down to provide better traction, grip and comfort over the pavé.

The system used a small pump that was powered by the kinetic motion of the wheel to allow riders to repeatedly increase their tyre pressure after a control valve let air out upon the press of a bar-mounted remote.

Although the peloton is trending to lower tyre pressures in general, the cobbled sectors of Paris-Roubaix take things to the next level with Lizzie Deignan claiming that on her way to victory in 2021 she was running just 33psi in her tyres. Running a tyre at this pressure is sure to be a benefit over the pavé but it will also cost excess watts when the road smooths.

It was unclear after last season's edition of the ‘Hell of the North’ just how effective the KAPS system proved to be for Jumbo-Visma, however, ahead of this year's edition they have revealed that the system will not be used.

An official statement from Visma-Lease a Bike read: “We are working together [with KAPS] since last year and they are finalizing the product now with our combined data. So not yet now, but soon available, as they will produce on a larger scale later this year for the consumer market.”

Only one other team used a similar system last year, with DSM using Scope's Atmoz tyre pressure control system. At the time of publishing DSM-Firmenich PostNL are yet to comment on if the team will be using the system this year however, it has not been spotted at the early cobbled classics which could be telling.

To keep up to date with all the latest tech news from the world of cycling head over to our dedicated tech news section of the GCN website.

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