Gear

Roubaix tech gallery: Chain catchers, fat tires, and road bike suspension

To handle the season's roughest, toughest classic race, riders and teams resort to all manner of tech tricks to smooth out the ride at Paris-Roubaix.

The battle for plush took center stage at Paris-Roubaix this year.

Within the tech pits at this year’s Paris-Roubaix, we again saw technological innovations and mechanical tinkering aimed at creating a plush ride across the pavĂ©. Team Sky’s new Dogma K-10 stole the show with its new HiRide suspension system, which featured thud-bumping suspension elements in the front fork and atop the rear seat stays. Mechanics said the suspension allowed the squad to opt for narrower 27mm tires, rather than go full plush with 28mm or even 30mm rubber.

Deeper in the pits we saw other innovative tech solutions for shifting and drivetrain maintenance. K-Edge chain catchers abounded, as mechanics tried their best to keep the chains on big rings. Trek-Segafredo again used its 1x SRAM RED eTap AXS big chainrings, with riders opting for a 52-tooth ring up front.

We saw other personal touches in the pits. Sep Vanmarcke and Jens Keukelaire opted for super-stiff integrated stem/handlebars. Matteo Trentin mounted his Shimano Di2 climber switches to the front of his bars. Wout van Aert had an additional brake lever on the tops of his handlebars. John Degenkolb had a photo of his family on his stem. Scroll through the gallery below for a close look at these special bikes.