Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha will tackle the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix on a brand-new Pinarello called the KOBH 60.1. Unlike many Paris-Roubaix race bikes of the past few years, the KOBH already incorporates many of the modifications teams have been making to their standard road machines to better withstand the typically harsh conditions.
So-called 'CenturyRide' geometry features slacker angles and a longer wheelbase for increased stability, slender arcing seat stays provide a softer ride on rough ground, and a slightly longer head tube affords a more upright stance as needed without overly compromising the traditional racing position – Flecha stands 1.81m (5' 11") yet the head tube is still a very reasonable 165mm long.
Clearance at both ends is increased as well over standard Pinarello road bikes and even has enough room – albeit barely up front – for Flecha's giant 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix Pro tubulars.
Naturally, Pinarello says the inclusion of 60HM1K carbon fiber – the same as used on the top-end Dogma 60.1 – and the frame's asymmetric shaping also maintains a high level of pedaling and handling stiffness for proper competition-level efficiency.
Consumers will be able to purchase the new KOBH 60.1 come this July but Flecha will already throttle his in competition this Sunday.
Flecha's frame features internal routing for his complete Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group, whose weather-ambivalent design may prove advantageous in the (unlikely at this point) event of inclement weather. Shimano's recently released remote shifter will also allow Flecha to shift rear gears from the bar tops – which will undoubtedly be useful on the cobbles.
Like most riders at Paris-Roubaix, the Spaniard will swap his usual carbon-rimmed aero wheels for more durable traditional hand-built ones. As has become virtually standard, box-section 32-hole Ambrosio Nemesis alloy rims are laced in a three-cross pattern with 14/15g double-butted spokes and brass nipples, all rotating around Dura-Ace hubs. Though fantastically durable and offering a smoother ride than deep-section rims, the Nemesis rims are also quite light at around 430g apiece.
Gearing is also specific to Paris-Roubaix's mostly flat parcours with 53/44T chainrings bolted to the Dura-Ace crankarms and a tight 11-23T cassette mounted out back.
Other gear is similarly conservative and not expressly aimed towards aerodynamics or light weight as is usually the case for road racing. The cockpit is an all-aluminum affair that comprises a Zero100 Servizio Corsa stem and Newton Shallow traditional-bend bar, both from Deda Elementi, and Elite's stout Ciussi Gel bottle cages should keep bottles in place even as Flecha is being relentlessly bounced around.
In addition, two layers of Prologo's gel-backed DoubleTouch tape are used for additional padding and mounted to the front derailleur tab is an AceCo K-Edge chain watcher with team-only anodizing and etching. Interestingly, the seatpost is still the stock carbon fiber bit, though.
Total weight for the package as pictured here is a somewhat unimpressive 8.22kg (18.12lb). But then again, even a substantially lighter bike would feel heavy if the rider has to carry it to the finish line – for Paris-Roubaix, it's all about survival.