(Don’t) hit the road: Biobased fabric used to protect Tour de France cyclists

September 2, 2020 |

German cycling squad Team Sunweb will be donning protective, biobased jerseys at the upcoming Tour de France. The jersey fabric—trade named Dyneema—is made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene and produced by Dutch materials company DSM.

“Being 15 times stronger than steel on a weight for weight basis, Dyneema fiber offers an excellent solution to increasing the abrasion resistance of a fabric, reducing the severity of road rash in case of a crash, without compromising the rider weight or comfort,” Piet Rooijakkers, Head of R&D Team Sunweb, says in a statement. “What’s more, the new jersey can form part of a modular protection solution, where riders can easily take off or put on layers according to race and weather conditions. In this way, the new jersey will support our riders significantly in the Tour de France and beyond.”

Abrasion resistance dramatically improves safety for cyclists competing in the Tour de France, which on average sees 1.5 crashes per stage. During the race, cyclists often exceed speeds of 60 mph.

DSM introduced biobased Dyneema in May 2020. Its performance is identical to petroleum-based HMPE fiber, but with a fraction of the carbon footprint.   “The new cycling jersey with Dyneema will make a real difference to cyclists facing the dangers of professional competition, and help ensure the health of both people and the environment,” says  Wilfrid Gambade, President DSM Protective Materials.

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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