It seems that for 2022, experimental tech innovations are back in vogue within the pro peloton. First Mohoric dropped it (his saddle height) like it was hot to win Milan-Sanremo with a daredevil descent of the Poggio and now team DSM are piling on the pressure with a €3,000 on-the-fly inflation hub.
The Scope Atmoz has reportedly been in development for two years, and has already been granted approval from the notoriously hard to please UCI.
The system can inflate and deflate a tyre, using an air reservoir housed within the hub which is linked via a hose to a tubeless rim. Mechanical valves open and close to control the pressure within the tyre, and the rider is able to view front and rear pressure via a compatible head unit thanks to ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity.
To inflate or deflate their tyres, the Team DSM riders will have a button on their handlebars. What isn’t clear, however, is the speed at which the system can change the tyres pressure, or how quick the reservoir is to refill; and if it doesn’t refill, how many times a rider can use the system within a race.
The system will undoubtedly add some weight to each wheel, but as the majority of the device is housed down at the hub, the effect on how the bike rides shouldn’t be significant.
Tyre pressure is rather important to pretty much any racing cyclist. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to win on the road, gravel or downhill on a mountain bike, if you have the wrong air pressure you’ll either be going too slowly to win, or you’ll be crashing as soon as there is a corner.
Paris-Roubaix is the race on the road calendar where tyre pressure matters the most. Aside from rolling resistance and cornering grip, you’ve also got to get over some of the roughest cobbled sectors in the world. Finding the balance between speed, comfort and cornering grip is very tricky and Roubaix is a race with a lot of perfectly good tarmac, so you can’t just deflate your tyres to super low levels.
A rider would therefore have a significant advantage if they could start the race with higher pressures before lowering those pressures before the cobblestones arrived, with Scope claiming “up to 30 watts of reduced rolling resistance.”
Our hot take though: the Scope Atmoz won’t be winning Roubaix. Lorena Wiebes has a good shot if the second edition of the women’s race comes down to a sprint, but we’re not sure whether DSM will be supplying all of their riders with the tech, or just the men’s team. Of those, previous winner John Degenkolb will likely be the leader, but he was a little off the pace in Flanders.