The riders of Team Sky are among a fortunate few whose bike sponsor attacked early in the season to equip them with brand new bikes for Paris-Roubaix. Rather than simply modifying an existing frame platform, Pinarello began working on the new KOBH 60.1 frames as early as last year in order to have the bikes ready in time for the classics. By all accounts, the effort was worth it and the riders are pleased with the new bikes.
“Pinarello started working on it I think late last year,” team rider Michael Barry told VeloNews. “Stephen DeJonge, one of our directors who has a lot of experience on the cobbles, tested it out and gave them feedback and all that, and they developed this bike,” he added.
Pinarello says the KOBH 60.1 was developed in conjunction with Team Sky, as a result of the team’s request for a bike made for the rigors of the spring classics. With a potential winner in Juan Antonio Flecha and an outside podium contender in Matthew Hayman, it’s no surprise that this new powerhouse team demanded bike frames to match its ambitions.
A bike to blast the Pave
“The chainstays and seatstays are different, to absorb the shock of the cobbles a little bit better, and the angles are a little more relaxed,” said Barry, describing the frame. He added, “Tire clearance is a little better, and overall it absorbs vibrations better and is less stiff than the Dogma.”
The KOBH 60.1 is at the same level in the Pinarello line to the Dogma 60.1, which is the bike Team Sky began the season with, and Dogma 60.1 road racing bikes are still the mainstay of the program. But in the same way Liquigas riders can use either Cannondale’s race-oriented SuperSix HiMod bikes or more relaxed and absorbent Synapses, and Specialized-sponsored teams have a choice between Tarmac SL3s and Roubaix SL2, Team Sky athletes now have an option for rough roads.
The same 60HM1K carbon fiber from Torayca is used in both the Dogma and the new KOBH, and both incorporate Pinarello’s Nanoally Technology, using the company’s EPS molding system.
However, the KOBH 60.1 differs from the Dogma and all other Pinarello bikes with a new geometry developed for the Northern Classics. Pinarello calls it CenturyRide, and it is designed to provide more shock absorption and comfort with the goal of delaying rider fatigue over long, rough courses. Pinarello claims the KOBH 60.1 achieves this without compromising lateral stiffness, saying it remains on par with that of the Dogma 60.1.
As Barry related, the KOBH has relaxed head and seat tube angles compared to the Dogma. Additionally, the head tube is taller, the fork rake is greater, and enough clearance to accept 28mm tires. The bike will be offered to the public in two different versions, one that will accept any standard mechanical component group and a specific model with internal routing for Shimano’s Di2 kit. Both versions will be available at Pinarello dealers in July.
Barry said that the new bikes are doing well so far. “Some of the guys raced on them in the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday and they thought they were great,” he said. “They handle as well as the dogma but on the cobbles they’re more comfortable to ride.”
With the new frames, plus a few details like remote Di2 shifter buttons and K-Edge chain watchers, there should be no limit for Team Sky.