Suspension is being used by Pinarello’s road bikes to combat the harsh cobblestone roads of Europe.
It is the first time a production road bike has used suspension in a UCI race, debuting on the weekend at the Tour de Flanders road race that precedes the Paris-Roubaix.
The rear suspension unit, fitted to Team Sky’s Pinarello Dogma K8-S bikes for Flanders and prepared for next week’s Paris-Roubaix, is developed by Jaguar.
Despite the suspension unit, the frame weighs only 900g. The DSS 1.0 Dogma Suspension System is a shock-absorbing pivit point at the top of the seat stays and works in conjunction with flexible flat carbon chain stays (copyrighted “Flexstays”).
Jaguar’s engineers applied their advanced aerodynamics knowledge and experience in ride and vibration analysis to help create an overall performance increase of 4.6% and 50% improved comfort for the riders over rough terrains from the previous Dogma K model.
Sir Bradley Wiggins said the Dogma K8-S’s performance benefits were “game-changing” for cyclists.
Eight Team Sky riders used the technology on their bikes at the Tour de Flanders including Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard.
Wiggins said: “I’ve never ridden anything like it on cobbles before, which is the most extreme terrain you can ride a bike on. The way it feels, its aerodynamics, stiffness, and improved flex in the rear, is game-changing for cycling.
“This is the first time anyone has gone out there, looked at the demands of the cobbles, and made a bike specifically for that job.
“It was really noticeable in testing between the guys on the K8-S to the others that weren’t. It gives us lots of confidence and a huge advantage on the cobbles.”
Fausto Pinarello, CEO of Pinarello, said: “The DOGMA K8-S can reshape the world of road racing.
‘The DOGMA K8-S absorbs only the necessary shocks of the road to allow you to keep pedalling regularly with optimum power and precision. It is the perfect bike for the cobbles.”
The DOGMA K8-S has been subjected to several months of laboratory and practical tests, using accelerometers, powermeters and GPS instrumentation, to ensure rider safety and performance efficiency of the new frame.
In March, Wiggins and Christian Knees, tackled the long and regular cobble sectors on the last 130km of the Paris-Roubaix route, where comparative tests were undertaken with the previous DOGMA K frame.