Stage - 2 ENECO Tour 2015
  • scottmanning

    “In April the UCI then made this official”
    Yeah I was really hoping it was an April fools joke. ;-)

    I don’t oppose it, I just don’t want them to become manditory.

    • jules

      I’d say the big question is: Who and when will they use them? there seems to be an assumption by some that as soon as they become legal, everyone will fit them. they might, or they might not..

  • scottmanning

    “Advocates for their use say that the brakes are more powerful and,
    unlike the more standard mechanism, continue to function well in the
    wet. They believe there will be fewer crashes as a result.”

    Thing is there is only a limited amount of grip available. By simply adding “more power” you transfer that extra stress to the contact patch. If I can over do it and loose traction with rim brakes, I’m at the limit already. More power isn’t going to help here. The crash video shown on CT the other day proves this with riders loosing traction and coming down one after the other trying to stop in time.

    It’s about modulation you’ll say – fine, but modulation isn’t mentioned above.

    • jules

      it’s a non-issue anyway. I’ve seen these kinds of problems when I did the 50km Around the Bay ride. wow, never again… last I checked pros don’t grab a handful of brakes every time someone sneezes or they suddenly feel like they’re going too fast.

      • Abdu

        Worst crashes I’ve ever seen are on the Around the Bay. Crowd newbies into tight bunches, mix them up with good riders expecting everyone to be sensible and randoms with no knowledge of buchriding, make them nervous then tired, and watch what happens.

        • jules

          or just Beach Rd generally. every time I wander down there I see the ambos hauling someone into the back of their van.

    • velocite

      I suspect that they really do mean modulation.

      But, off topic, the use of “loose” for ‘lose’, or for that matter ‘loosing’ for ‘losing’, is becoming very common. Is this an American thing or just a mistake? Not meaning to pick on you particularly.

      • scottmanning

        Nope… I just suck at spelling. Lose it should be. Although it could be said that a rear end in the wet is quite loose.

        • velocite

          Indeed: a loose rear end is not to be wished!

    • Albert

      The move to discs will tie in nicely with 25c / 28c tires becoming standard.

      • jules

        the thing is that tyre grip isn’t necessarily what limits braking power though – rather the torque needed to rotate the bike forwards (on its front wheel). putting wider tyres on won’t change that limit.

        • PsiSquared

          And the point shows how better modulation can be key. It allows one to more consistently brake near the limit.

        • caliente

          In the wet, a larger contact patch won’t hurt!

    • Bex

      doh! you took my reply with your last sentence. do they not mention modulation in these news snippets because it’ll go over the heads of the average punter? it is overly simplistic to say more power is better when it comes to braking.

      • scottmanning

        Either way, they are still gawd ugly and who needs to add hydarulics to the maintenance equation? Yeah, ok , they don’t HAVE to be hydraulic, but refer to point one.

        • Bex

          that’s the good thing about them though. they don’t need anywhere near the maintenance a cable does. Set-up and forget.

          • scottmanning

            What’s not set and forget about cable? Cable doesn’t need maintenance at all. I ride 15’000kms a year and the only maintenance they get is new cables once a year – just beacuse. Hydarulic is probably the same frequency (but I don’t know), however chaning fluids is a whole lot more drama than simply pulling a cable. You are also talking high pressure hydraulic hoses/seals/master and slave cylinders etc. How lot to go wrong as they age.

            • BenW

              Age? My Hope Mono Mini seals on my MTB lasted 7 years before packing in and leaking everywhere. Pros will require more maintenance, sure, but it won’t be that bad.

              • Spider

                agreed, never had a single issue with any MTB system in the decade+ that I’ve been running them. set and forget. When they first came out, you needed to bleed the system of air contamination – but these days….nothing!

                • Peter

                  Set and forget? You’ve been far luckier than my experience. I had a $5k~ 2012 MTB with hydraulic disc brakes and part of the reason I sold it was the brakes. The manual recommended at least yearly bleeding, more often in dusty or wet conditions, and they never ran completely silent. The bleed process was a nightmare and you have to buy a bleed kit in addition to pads and fluid. Cables are so much easier, quieter and lighter.

                  • Peter, as I mentioned elsewhere on here I still use a rear Hayes hydraulic brake that came on a bike I bought in 2002, the front one only lasted 12 years. Hope and Shimano stuff are also fit and forget I find. You change pads [very] occasionally and that’s it. Avid however are sadly the usual SRAM unreliable and not worth fixing rubbish.
                    I may have bled brakes once this century, you certainly do not have to bleed annually just because manual says so. You only do it if it needs doing, e.g. if brakes get spongy. I live in the UK, so wet conditions are not rare and we have flooding in parts during this summer’s week as it happens.

                    One thing you do need to be aware of is not squeezing levers if a rotor is not between the pads as the pad distance may reset. So place a shim in brake if wheel is out when travelling for example.

    • Shane Stokes

      Scott, the main point is rim/brake grip in the wet. It’s long been recognised that carbon rims do not match alloy rims when braking. Discs should at least level this out, regardless of tyre grip.

  • Winky

    I’m not convinced that the pros won’t cook the rotors and brake fluid on the long, hard descents. When racing down a descent, they scrub off speed late and hard, and at high speeds. It’s a lot of energy to get rid of very quickly. The desire for small, light and aero set-ups will lead to compromises.

    • MikeP

      Scrubbing off lots of speed quickly isn’t the issue – discs and rims are both good for this. Long descents with constant braking are the hard thing for brakes as heat is generated faster than it can be dissipated.

      I’d much rather be using ventilated metal discs with finned calipers and hydraulic oil designed for high temps than a carbon rim in which the resin will go past the glass transition temperature after just a few minutes of hard braking!

      • winkybiker

        I’ve heard that view regarding dragging brakes, but I don’t think it is the whole story. When descending at constant speed with brakes dragging, the rate at which energy needs to be dissipated is mostly function of how much vertical (i.e. potential energy) you are losing with time that has to be converted to heat by the brakes and discs and then radiated into the atmosphere. Descending faster (but still at constant speed) will require brakes to be hotter for an adequate rate of energy transfer into the air at equilibrium. Modifying factors include the energy that is disippated by air resistance and the rate of airflow over the brakes.

        When descending race-fast, and braking hard for hairpins, the brakes are required (for short periods) to spill energy at a far higher rate. They are slowing the rider dramatically (dissipating kinetic energy) as well as having to shed the potential energy during that portion of the descent. OK, the brake gets relief from higher cooling airflows and significantly benefit from overall more energy lost to general wind resistance as a result of the higher speeds, but the peak temperatures (which are all that matter – averages are meaningless) may still be way higher. The peak temperatures will be reduced (smoothed) as the size of the “heat sink” increases. But vice-versa. The heat sink is roughly proportional to the mass of metal (calipers and discs) being heated. All things being equal, the desire for smaller and lighter brakes will result in higher tempertatures. This is possibly the limiting factor, rather than the mechanical strength of smaller and lighter calipers and discs. I hope that the manufacturers get this right. A couple of highly publicised brake failures will put a dent in their marketing.

        Useful analogy: Sportbikes have massive twin discs (often as big as they can fit in the wheel diameter), whereas motocross race bikes have much smaller and lighter single discs. Sure the MX bike is lighter, but the main issue is that sportsbikes are ridden much faster, requiring extreme energy dissipation under braking.

      • A grizzly bear

        GCN had a video where they rode the brakes (disc brakes) down the tourmalet and they still worked just fine.

  • Holby City

    Disk or disc?

    • Sean

      Obviously disk it’s quite clear in the first line of the article. I’m surprised Shane didn’t point out the safety concerns of using disk brakes.

      • Jaybo

        the 1s and 0s will fly everywhere when you have an accident :~(
        might cop some in the eye…

    • Jaybo

      disc – circular object :D

      (disk – magnetic media)

    • Arfy

      Historically the English word “disc” came from the old Latin word “discus”, so the first British use was “disc”. Meanwhile, over in America, Noah Webster set about changing the form of English words to more closely resemble the way people actually spoke, and it seems that “disc” was one that changed form to become “disk” which IBM then popularised when they launched the first “disk drive”. So really it depends if your English language allegiance is closer to the old Oxford or Webster’s dictionaries.

  • Andy B

    Matt Brammeier is probably wishing this came sooner..

    • Sean

      They wouldn’t have helped him, he was simply going too fast.

      • jules

        he already had his back wheel in the air – the higher that gets, the more you lead with your head!

        • Sean

          exactly. Daves skull is the only skull I know of that would withstand that kind of impact.

          • jules

            not that it would… don’t worry ;)

  • Guenther Antonio

    bullshit!

  • Paul O’Connell

    I was just trying to find out where and when they were going to be used yesterday, perfectly timed article. I still find the opposition to their introduction somewhat bemusing.

    • Whippet

      It is also interesting that road cyclists are so open to marketing suggestion. On Eurosport last night Kirby asked Brian Smith what he thought of the disc brakes in the Eneco Tour. Smith replied that they were only used to appease the manufacturers. The Cookson quote in the article confirms this: “I think it is such an important part of what we are trying to do, to look at new technology, to embrace it rather than to resist it.” The opposition comes from those who aren’t keen on making changes merely for the sake of making more money.

      • jules

        I’m unsure whether you’re supporting or opposing discs there, but the motivations of manufacturers shouldn’t influence UCI decision to allow/prohibit their use. only safety of riders.

        • Whippet

          I’m replying to you Jules, but also to Paul below. I don’t support of oppose the use of disc brakes. I use them on my mountain bike, but won’t be purchasing them for my road bike in the near future. It seems to be a solution without a problem. My calliper brakes already have enough stopping power to lock up the wheels and cause skidding.

          To be fair to the UCI, the reason disc brakes haven’t been in use until now was in part because of concerns about safety.

          • “To be fair to the UCI, the reason disc brakes haven’t been in use until now was in part because of concerns about safety.”

            Nope, it’s because the UCI has always resisted progress. This is why the new stuff usually comes from other sports disciplines such as mountain biking, triathlons or even skiing. But even then, they tried to strangle the MTB race scene and set it back years as it was.
            The roadie culture has always liked to revel in tradition and to resist change. They need to adopt what’s best and not simply stick with what was done in the 1920s or whenever.

            I live somewhere with steep hills and random wet weather, so I won’t be buying a new road bike without discs. Why? Because of genuine real world safety concerns, not made up nonsense by self important UCI men in blazers.

            • Robert Merkel

              If we let the manufacturers have carte blanche riders would be racing in fully enclosed faired recumbents that cost six-figure sums, and races would be decided by who had the biggest computer to run CFD code on.

              Road cycling is a sport, with rules. Changes to the rules – including equipment rules – should be considered carefully to see whether they actually improve the sport.

              • Rules like having to wear white socks or shorts needing to be above the knee for example?
                Not to mention that insisting on using inferior braking technology should not not need careful consideration before being replaced with something better. Tech which is already mainstream and also race proven in other aspects of cycling.
                it’s absurd that we can easily cheaply buy better kit that the elite athletes are allowed to use, because of fuddy duddy rules.

                The UCI is is horribly traditional and reactionary body, much less so of late thankfully. But the nasty and spiteful way they treated Obree in the 90s because he dared to be different and progress the sport was simply shameful.

                BTW, your opening paragraph is a textbook example of reductio ad absurdum, so well done for that bit of nonsense.

                • Sean Doyle

                  The UCI has a mandate to make sure that racing isn’t decided by equipment. It’s in the best interest of the sport that it doesn’t become an arms race.

                  You’re reacting as though your throat has been cut. Just calm down a bit dude. Disc brakes are coming whether we want or need them or not.

                  • You’re comparing my thinking the UCI was run by idiots to someone murdering me. Interesting how your mind works. !!

                    Basic progress is not an arms race, another far fetched comparison either. Oh and if the UCI’s mandate was really as you say it is, then everyone should be riding the same bikes with the same kit.

                    • Sean Doyle

                      Its a figure speech meaning your sounding very upset and irate.

                      If you noticed with the hour record for a while there it had to be with a certain style of bike. Only recently have they relaxed that a bit. The mandate is there. What some csll progress is always debatable. It may turn out in the end that disc brakes are a better set up. Your absolution is fine just chill a little.

                    • If you noticed with the hour record, nobody bothered with it for a very long time until the UCI last year relented on its dumb policies regarding how it could be attempted and reinstated previous records.
                      As for their rules, they were happy to quickly change them to spite people who were not UCi lickspittles.

          • Paul O’Connell

            Agree with you. Unless you need a new bike or you would really benefit from them because of the terrain you live in, there’s no need to go and buy them. Caliper brakes do work very well. But having the choice to be able to have them is great.
            I live in a very hilly area that gets a lot of rain and has pretty marginal roads. I was buying a new bike anyway. It didn’t make sense to spend on a marketing heavy caliper brake bike when I could get a handmade custom with discs for the same price. (and given kids have stopped me from racing for a while, UCI approval wasn’t a big deal)

            • Whippet

              Seems quite reasonable Paul. It’s interesting to see the lack of reasoning in some of the opinions on the topic though. The hubbards got all excited as soon as the marketing began. The pro cyclists were not calling for disc brakes. We can buy bikes that are under the UCI minimum weight, with tubeless tyres with much more volume than the pros are using, and with disc brakes already. Engineers at Giant even claim that the double diamond frame design is not ideal. These technologies are rare, however, in road bikes. That is because the manufacturers know that people will buy what they see the pros riding.

              To quote the Bike Snob NYC: “99% of us wankers don’t need them [dick breaks]…”Then as soon as you get used to dick breaks, yours will be totally obsolete when they introduce road bike ABS.” I am not against disc brakes, but let’s keep it real: It’s all about the marketing. If you are concerned about safety, please advocate for ways to improve road safety. My brakes do not worry me; drivers worry me.

              • Whippet

                To follow up on the marketing value of pro cycling, look at the bikes in the bunch on your next ride. You will surely see Specialized, Giant and Trek. But manufacturers who don’t have their bikes in the world tour don’t sell as many: Scapin, Storck, Masi, Orbea, Felt, BH, Bottecchia etc. The lobbying effort to change the UCI’s rules were not aimed at the safety of the riders.

              • Paul O’Connell

                Yeah, but he lives in New York . . .

                Some of this lies in the ole Henry Ford adage – If I’d given people what they wanted, they’d have asked for faster horses.

                I agree, it doesn’t need to be UCI legal for us to own and ride them and I’ve had mine for two years now. However, being UCI legal will help with scale and technological development. There’s still no Dura Ace opposed piston hydraulic Di2 setup. Ridiculous and overkill I know, but it’d be awesome to ride.

                Also – much of this doesn’t come down to need but rather want for someone like me, most consumers indeed.

                As for cars – quite! I’m not sure whatMatt B thinks about that. He hit that car pretty hard in Utah, but would he have shot off the edge of the hill otherwise?

      • Paul O’Connell

        I’ve got three race bikes. Shimano discs, Dura Ace calipers, Super record calipers. I’d take the dura ace over the super record any day and the discs over the dura ace any day. Yes, people will make more money out of this. But they’ll make more money out of it whether it’s a new set of discs or a new “insert made up BS about a different headset or bottom bracket standard”. The difference to my mind with this one is that it’s actually a substantial performance improvement. We haven’t had one of those in the road cycling world since the STI lever or the clipless pedal. Everything else since then has been pretty marginal. Yes, lighter and better and faster and a whole lot of amazing technological improvements – but nothing that has made as much of a difference as this. They are a lot better.
        As for former british greats who I’d be interested to hear on this – what does Boardman have to say on the matter? He’s always been about the technology for the sake of performance improvement.

        • MattF

          The voice of reason. Proper spelling too.

          Pro road cycling is such a conservative sport. You don’t see too many mountain bikes sold nowadays with cantilever (rim) brakes! As you point out, they provide a quantum leap in performance rather than the marginal, cosmetic nonsense that is constantly inflicted on us by bike manufacturers. In two or three years time this will be a non argument. Those who put safety ahead of aerodynamics and vanity will have moved on.

          • Adam

            I was having this conversation with a friend the other day, I have disc brakes (Shimano rs685) on my cross bike (sometimes used with road tyres) and DA 9000 callipers on my road bike, I really don’t feel the difference in braking in effecting my safety in the slightest.
            I’d love to see a scientific study of the performance and see how much difference it actually makes.

            • I find caliper brakes on road bikes distinctly inferior and simply rubbish in the wet.
              I would have bought a Venge, but it rained during my 20km test ride and quickly realised I didn’t want to go back to 90’s quality braking. Now waiting for a disc version.
              Going downhill on my girlfriend’s caliper equipped road bike is frankly scary on steep downhills, that I fly down with disc brakes.

              • Winky

                You think calipers are rubbish in the wet? Ever tried cantilevers? Complete pants.

                • Indeed they are. Moved on from them 20 years back and replaced them with magura hydraulic brakes.
                  V- Brakes however are quite impressive for cable operated rim brakes. I used them on Alpine downhills more successfully than others who had Hope disc brakes which in those days weren’t up to Alpine length descents.

                  • Winky

                    My mountain bike has Avid Ti V-brakes and they’re great. My experience with cantis is on my tourer that I use for a winter commuter here in Vancouver. The brakes are downright scary in the (not infrequent) rain. So, I’m shopping for a winter commuter that will also do winter club rides. Needs to have race geometry (from a fit perspective – don’t so much care if the handling is a bit slower) hydro discs and fender mounts. That combo is not as common as one might think.

                    • Fairly easy to come by of late I’d say.
                      Specialized Roubaix can take mudguards [fenders] as can the Trek Domane, Volagi Liscio, BMC GF02 as can many others.
                      Eyelets/rack mount may be hidden or removable, so not obvious that they are suitable for your needs.
                      I think manufacturers are finally realising that only a very small percentage of keen cyclists want an actual race bike for road riding.

          • Paul O’Connell

            We normally hang out at VSalon. More engineering, less marketing. The writing and grammar are both far superior at Cyclingtips though.

        • MattF

          The voice of reason. Proper spelling too.

          Pro road cycling is such a conservative sport. You don’t see too many mountain bikes sold nowadays with cantilever (rim) brakes! As you point out, they provide a quantum leap in performance rather than the marginal, cosmetic nonsense that is constantly inflicted on us by bike manufacturers. In two or three years time this will be a non argument. Those who put safety ahead of aerodynamics and vanity will have moved on.

        • BenW

          “As for former british greats who I’d be interested to hear on this –
          what does Boardman have to say on the matter? He’s always been about
          the technology for the sake of performance improvement.”

          He also has a bike company here in the UK, part of Merida apparently. So, who knows.

        • BenW

          “As for former british greats who I’d be interested to hear on this –
          what does Boardman have to say on the matter? He’s always been about
          the technology for the sake of performance improvement.”

          He also has a bike company here in the UK, part of Merida apparently. So, who knows.

      • scottmanning

        Exactly…

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        It’s all about selling a bunch of new, disc-equipped bicycles to the punters for sure. Remember Spinaci..the bar extensions that were all the rage..until the UCI banned them? The punters ditched them instantly, despite the fact that UCI rules had nothing to do with them using the bars – they just no longer looked “pro”. The bike makers are drooling at the prospects of making all those punter’s bikes instantly obsolete and it seems Cookson and Co. are happy to let them. The UCI’s “primacy of man over machine” rhetoric is getting ever more faint.

  • jbal

    what a nightmare for mechanics! oil, bleeding, brakepads, ffuuuckkkkk

    • PsiSquared

      Yeah, if this is a nightmare for mechanics, then the mechanics aren’t that good. Bleeding disc brakes isn’t an overwhelming, onerous task.

      • jbal

        have you talked to any mechanics in the pro tour? I had spoken to 4 pro tour mechanics, they all cursed at disk brakes in anticipation of their workload increasing 10 fold.

        • PsiSquared

          It’s natural to fear the unknown or to rue a change in routine, but dealing with disc brakes is not an insurmountable task. Mountain bike teams manage it, and road racing teams will adapt and manage it. If they’re not up for it, there are likely jobs elsewhere.

        • Chris Coote

          Front brake systems will be pre-bled at the service course, and bolt-on and off. Rears won’t be (internal frames anyway) but it is a 5 minute task. Wheels will be pre-mounted with discs as they are with tubs currently. nothing much is done on the road if it can be helped. Mechanics whinge regardless. When you can just plug in a cable and bolt on a pre-bled shifter then half your work is done. changing wheels is just as easy, with practice, and so I can’t see from a mechanical POV why discs will create more work, especially on the road. Everyone shat themselves with the introduction of Di2. now so common.

          • jules

            bleeding hydraulics is no big deal. unnecessary either on a regular basis. the most frequent reason I need to do it (MTB) is when I use tyre levers to push pistons back and rock them, breaking the seal and letting air in. I’d imagine the pros will have a better set up for that though.

        • Adam

          I have a good friend who works with a World Tour team and he has the same view, I don’t think anyone I spoke to at the mechanics truck welcomed the idea, riders included.

          The thing I cant get my head around (might be being short sighted) is the problems that will occur with wheel changes, difference in axle length/type, rotor size, rotor width etc

          • Warwick

            Wheel changes aren’t that big a deal really. If a Qr is used theres actually less steps, loosen QR, remove wheel, insert new wheel, tighten qr and you’re away. No adjusting brakes as with rim brakes.
            Regarding: axle length/type, rotor size, rotor width etc. Teams will only use one “standard” so no issue swapping wheels. The use of neutral service seems pretty rare these days, and in a lot of team cases they seem to be happy to swap bikes for anything more major

            • alexvalentine

              Everyone I know with road disc has problems with pad rub. My disc cross bike is very picky about wheel placement in order to not have rubbing. With rim brakes this is not an issue since the rider can adjust on the fly.

              • Chris Coote

                That’s because most first-generation calipers are sliding single piston. The later Shimano and SRAM are opposed piston, meaning they self-centre. no brake rub. again, no problems.

      • campirecord

        You may not have worked with a technical crew at a UCI event. This is purely a marketing move. Just washing 8 bikes sometimes twice a day is a pain, then discovering shit from a little discreet ding during a 6 hour ride while the rider is sleeping is a nightmare, every bike has to go through check and as seen some don’t always get fixed properly when you see failure in the first hour. Now imagine a swift wheel change and proper UCI caravan comissaire surveillance, you will see more cyclist than ever in the caravan, that’s just going to be the new thing, excessive bike load will also be a given on larger team cars with lower braking power. All this will become an extra cost to sponsors, you imagine a world tour brand is asking 200$ more because the bike is amazing ? More like because they need to churn out a few millions in free frames. The wheels they just keep turning. There is a lot of plus on disc but don’t kid yourselves, there are plenty of issues too. The gain is minimal. Now let’s all see disc in your community crit series=massive pile ups every night. People will love it.

    • Rodrigo Diaz

      You’d think that if convenience was such a big issue no one would use tubulars. I maintain my disc and rim braked road bikes at about the same rate (twice a year pad change at most, cable changes and bleeding once/year unless something catastrophic happens, like a bad crash that damages the cables or lines).

      The only exception? Switching between carbon and aluminium rims is more inconvenient with the rim brakes, even with the Swiss Stop pads.

      • Discs are less fuss than that even. I’ve got a Hayes rear disc brake that is now 13 years old, changed pads 2 maybe three times, put it on another bike and that’s about it. I keep wondering about upgrading it to something newer/lighter, but the damn thing just keeps on working. Front was a bit rubbish though as it only last 12 years before the caliper corroded. ;)
        Disc brakes are pretty much fit and forget for the ones I’ve used Hayes, Shimano and Hope. Unless you foolishly buy SRAM/Avid which are rather pants and easier to replace than fix.

  • Duncan Farrow

    I was out for a ride this morning and got amongst a group where a couple of the riders had disc brakes. Obviously I was amongst riders I didn’t know but I was suddenly aware of bits of spinning metal sticking out of their bikes. It would be an unusual and unlucky accident but I can imagine some nasty gash or slice resulting from a pile up involving a bike with disc brakes. And on long descents, there is the added bonus of burns from hot rotors. Time will tell but at the moment I’m not convinced that the posited less accidents compensates for the possible increase in severity of such accidents.

    • Sean

      Its a good thing bikes don’t have chain rings or spoked wheels.

    • Chris Coote

      Oh that old chestnut. If you have your hand or bit that is contained by skin near another bike’s rotor you’re in more sh1t than Ned Kelly anyways. there’s spokes hiding there and chains and stuff. choose your injury of you fall into another person’s bike…….

    • Duncan Farrow

      Well I’m hoping that disc brakes won’t make racing more dangerous. I hope it makes it safer. I’m just not sure that the data is yet in to make a strong claim either way.

    • Yancey

      Disc brakes could be made slightly thicker with fully radiused edges if cutting is a real risk. This will make them no more dangerous than any other part of the bike. To be burned by the rotor it will have to be hot from braking which only occurs often during descents. I would speculate that when riders crash on descents they crash in ones and twos mostly and don’t land on or near their bike (due to speed, impact with barriers, and rider movement away post crash due to speed). I just don’t see the occurrence rates for the burn risk being very high at all for road racing. Where the most crashes and pileups happen (sprinting and flat stages with road furniture) the rotors won’t be warm as people are not braking in those situations.

      • xrider3464

        Uhmmm… just ask Ryan Trebon (and that was a cyclecross race)….anyone that wants to be under a sprint pile-up is welcome to it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5d7c22e58836b98eb972a46af317c420f376a6a8099f81239d4c829355ea87e2.jpg

        • OverIt

          I love the disc road brake and I hope we don’t, but I’m thinking we will see more of these sorts of injuries. People say,
          “oh but you’ve got spinning spokes and chain rings”, I say, the big ring is mostly use in the peloton anyway, therefore is covered by a chain, and as for spokes, some of the bladed ones are sharpish, but, but not razor sharp and as exposed as a rotor. That calf cut above could ruin a career if it severed an Achilles tendon. And it’d be easy to inflict just running up back of a standing rider in a pileup.

          I think the solutions to these issues are there, but no-one is talking about it much. A slight increase in rotor diameter (with edge radius, and mandatory ‘round’ shape) to avoid the pads wearing a sharp edge would reduce risk a lot. Or maybe we need some sort of lightweight guard like Moto-X bikes use (aero debate aside),

          We seem to gauge approval on many things by an acceptable % risk. Pity the person who the odds don’t favour on a given day.

    • Eat More Lard

      Have a look at this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JplymlruPZ8 at around 3 mins in. The not particularly scientific but interesting test of chorizo vs. disc rotor and vs. spokes.

  • Sean

    So now when a rider touches his brakes, he’ll lose 300 places.

    • mt

      Only if Phil is calling the race ;-)

  • Adrian

    I’m surprised by mixing disc with legacy systems. For those that have actually used quality disc brakes – much like those that have used electronic shifting – there’s no going back. The difference in modulation and power is a qualitative change (as Paul O’Connell notes in the comments). In the dry the difference between disc and high quality calipers might not be that noticeable (not convinced but I have no experience), but a decent descent, in the wet, if I was on calipers I would want to make sure I was not behind anyone on discs, I think the braking difference will be dramatic and akin to having someone in a bunch on the track with brakes on their bike.

    • jules

      it’s easy to overstate the different in braking. descending on a bicycle is not like MotoGP racing – you need to leave a wider margin of error when braking for a corner on a bicycle. so you aren’t usually braking at the last minute like Kevin Schwantz on his RGV500. I dunno that this would be any different if you were on discs. the limiting factor is typically the need to leave some room for error when braking, that doesn’t change with discs I don’t reckon.

      • Adrian

        We’ll have to see :) I know descending on a mtb with discs on a long downhill I brake late and hard because it’s faster, but as you say, will be interesting to see how it translates. I think if this does happen then there is a risk for those on calipers. But I hope not. (And I hope it doesn’t confuse the value or otherwise of discs becoming standard.)

        • Nath

          Braking with a MTB on trails is very much different than on the road with a road bike. The differences offroad between caliper and disc are heightened due to the terrain. Having a smooth bitumen surface effectively removes that element and the comparison between systems is lessened.

          • Nope it’s definitely the brake not the terrain that makes the big difference.
            Traction on both on/off road can vary enormously, both can be very grippy, both can be slippery and every variation inbetween.

    • Paul O’Connell

      There’s a difference wet and dry – and I’m talking here about winding descents that are 6 – 10% on average, sometimes as much as 20 – 25%. I tend to brake a lot later than the other guys I ride with (with one notable exception and he’s a killer descender) and therefore over a long descent, descend faster. In the dry the difference is noticeable, in the wet the difference is massive. On very steep descents the difference is big – because you’re going so quickly moving your braking point by small fractions of a second means big differences (one time I forgot I was on a caliper bike, braked where I normally braked, and ended up in someone’s front garden on a 25% descent). The reason I decided to go to discs was a terrifying experience on a descent, in a race, in the wet, on carbon tubs. There’s much less difference in dry weather on descents that are smoother (i.e. fewer corners or more sweeping bends) or less steep.

    • Chris Coote

      And Quality is the word here. Opposed-piston, floating caliper (common on the block mount calipers recently introduced for high-end road) with good rotors and pads (OH! the pads!) then the road bike will be changed forever. ultra-light rims with tubulars will be lighter at 50mm than currently at 30mm. expect to see zoomy Froomy accelerating on a climb at the same rate on 50’s as he is now…… Imagine what he will do on a set of 25mm carbon disc tubs!

  • ed

    they completely ruin the look of a road bike – fine for a mtb or cyclo cross but not for a road bike.

    • Roger That

      I was of the same opinion. But now I like the look of road bikes with disc brakes. Calipers are weird-looking little clumpy bits stuck on ruining the flow of the frame ; ) I’m hanging out to get disc brakes.

      • Winky

        Tend to agree. I’m slowly warming to the aesthetic.

    • Rodrigo Diaz

      LOL. Sorry, not ridiculing this notion but this reminds me of so many others similar statements:

      Giant Compact frames, and all the subsequent non-horizontal top tube bikes
      Aerobars
      Deep wheels
      Anatomic bars
      Integrated seatposts
      Big diameter tubes
      Non-round tubes
      Curved seattube conforming wheel circumference shape
      Too large saddle-to-handlebar drop

      Etcetera

      Ride whatever bike pleases you :)

      • Winky

        A lot of that stuff IS still ugly!

      • rosco

        Large saddle to handlebar drop has never ever been ugly.

        • Rodrigo Diaz

          No? Have you seen Coppi’s or Merckx’s bikes? Very small drop. Some traditionalists have complained about the comparatively short top tubes and larger drop in contemporary bikes (post threadless steerer).

          Moulton’s maximum drop was 12 cm on a 60 cm frame. I use 13 on a 57.5, and wondering about going to 14.

    • Chris Coote

      This is a very important point as well. If it looks like a commuter, then so be it. Cycling is VERY parochial. There are very clear rules for this stuff that MUST be taken seriously. I am very keen to see a professional rider on a disc bike, and pass judgement on whether he is Looking Fantastic.

  • Scott s

    Discs are very efficient……. At removing fingers

    • Spider

      Don’t put your fingers in there…put them around the shifters like everyon else. Cyclingtips – learn something new everyday.

    • Warwick

      Fixed gear bikes are far better at removing fingers than discs. Yet we don’t see lots of four fingered trackies walking around everywhere ;-)

    • Chris Coote

      Prove that statement.

      • Scott s

        Google it : )

  • mt

    The pro peloton adoption of disc brakes will be interesting to follow as their use is rolled out. Overheating…. doesn’t appear to be an issue on continued employment down the Tourmalet http://youtu.be/JplymlruPZ8 as tested by GCN. Discs do a pretty average job of slicing salami as well! ;-)
    Going from rim brakes on carbon rims
    ( Tarmac SL4) to disc brakes/ carbon wheels (25mm) on the new Tarmac, I found braking was necessary much later and felt smoother into the corners ( this could also be due to the New Tarmac handling as well) with only feather touching of the brakes. To translate that possibly to the pro peloton, I can see time advantages – albeit in seconds- due to less loss of speed descending/cornering – and where seconds count, this may encourage a wider adoption. It will be good to follow…I’m already a covert!

  • JPA

    Looking forward to hearing what “The Secret Pro” has to say about all of this….. where is he anyway?

  • SilverD

    I am the only one
    who is extremely tired with the abuses of marketting in cycling ?. In
    the past decade, when fashion and technology was to make bikes and helmets
    increasingly lightweight, were crying from the rooftops, to the UCI annulled
    down the weight limit of 6.8
    kg. Now,
    suddenly, it seems that the best bike is not longer the lightest, but more
    aerodynamic, and has disc brakes. All
    this goes against the idea “lighter is the best”, which sold us as the key to
    winning races, suddenly no longer important. And the UCI, follows the current course.

    It gives
    particular grace, the paragraph downplaying the issue of insecurity of having
    two different brake systems in the bunch:

    “I
    am not a technical expert but …
    the performance of the brake disc Which is maybe a little bit better than the
    best rim brakes does not really bring a big effect to the whole
    difference.”

    I
    say, if the difference is so little, then what justifies, regardless of sales
    and market issues, incorporating disc brakes in the peloton?

    What
    is the limit price of bicycles, if longer a top-end bike, carbon fiber, with
    “aero” box and electronic groupset costs almost as a Yamaha R6, how much we pay in
    the future, for the same thing plus disc brakes?.

    • Sean Doyle

      That is purely because weight was a lazy man’s marketing tool. Its relatively easy to make light bikes these days and the ‘arms’ race was getting out of control really. A lot of the companies just didn’t have to technical know how to be pushing those limits. Now aero is the new marketing tool but it’s also has a more realistic benefit. Up to a point of course and some of the marketing going on with this is just laughable.

      Discs I don’t know really. I’ve not ridden a proper disc road bike. I have ridden my mtb with slicks and the only real advantage I can see is in wet weather with carbon rims and to a lesser extent aluminium rims. Purely for not having a system dependant on a clean flat surface running through the worst of road grime at times it’s probably a good thing. I’m never an early adopter so by the time I try it it should be sorted on best set up’s.

      • Paul O’Connell

        Love your take on weight and aero. Well put.

  • Chris Coote

    Give me an aero bike with discs and you’ll see a wad of cash. Trek Bikes, Step uo with a Madone 9 disc, though I bet that is hiding somewhere already.

    • I’m eagerly awaiting a Specialized Venge with discs. I was looking for a comfy bike to cope with our crappy UK roads and tried a Venge by accident whilst waiting for the guy with the Roubaix to return the one he borrowed. After all why would I try a aero bike when I need comfort?
      The roads around the shop [in different city from where I live] were so much smoother than back home I took the Venge off road [hard pack and softer sections] to see what it was like on the usual crappy surface and it was still pretty good. Then I took Roubaix on same route. The Venge was waaaay faster unsurprisingly, but I had really bad hand and foot tingly numbness from the Roubaix after a mere 22km ride – the roads were not in fact smooth, the Venge just made them seem so. This made no sense considering the remit of the bike designs and I had the Specialised store check tyre pressures. 85psi on Venge and 95PSI on Roubaix. So comfort and speed as I already knew from MTBs are certainly not mutually exclusive.
      Now seeing as the Venge also went off road with no problem [other than rubbish caliper braking], where I misjudged jumping a water bar at one point [because of said crappy brakes] and really whacked back rim without a snakebite happening, was much faster overall and soooo much fun to ride, I wanted one there and then. Luckily it rained during test and I was quickly reminded how poor calipers brakes were, plus I had to use a whole handful of brake [in dry] rather than just one finger to slow down on steep descents.
      So now staying with my Crux and a spare pair of light wheels until a disc Venge comes out.
      [Tried loads of other bike makes whilst looking, but Specialized bikes fit my proportions the best and luckily rode the best too.]
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/68db7b6886a10eebaadf8b92c891b54b4b17b49dff71f85610e836e642ec7dde.jpg

      • Sean Doyle

        So you went from 23mm tyres at 85psi to 25mm tyres at 95psi and you can’t figure out why the Venge felt more comfortable?

        • Sigh! I guessed the reason was to do with tyre pressure which is precisely why I got shop to check and confirm it. As I said in previous post.

          Missing the point BTW. No need to buy a bike with a comfy frame when you can simply use lower pressures. Bike will roll better too. The nonsense about stiffer/more rigid=faster bikes was put to bed 20 years back in mountain biking. Rock hard tyres on real world [non smooth] surfaces are slower, more uncomfortable and thus more fatiguing.

          • Sean Doyle

            Yes. Just the way you wrote it, didn’t make it clear you understood what was going on there.

            • If I hadn’t understood, I wouldn’t have had the store check the tyre pressure would I?

  • Scott

    I honestly believe that 90% people questioning the worth of disc brakes haven’t actually used them

  • John
  • Derek Maher

    Hmm,Mixed braking systems among teams.Should be hairy stuff on the Alpine and other decents.A touch of rain and mayhem.

  • Peter

    Disc brakes in the pro peloton solves the problem of manufacturers needing to sell more bikes, not the problem of poor current braking systems.

  • This seems apposite….

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