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September 23, 2017
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  • tedder42

    We need protective guards on chainrings.

    • Marcus J

      Wow that was quick. This is about discs. Chainrings may or may not be a problem, but either way, that’s a different issue. We already have chainrings in races; discs are new and a decision whether to use them should be based on their own merits. Let’s say, for a moment, that it’s accepted that discs present dangers that rim brakes don’t. The point here is whether to accept those dangers, mitigate them or simply choose not to use discs.

      • tedder42

        Sure- but are they actually dangerous? We have one rider claiming that’s where the injuries are from. It seems weird we’ve never heard that about chainrings, or discs in mountain races. Doesn’t that seem strange from a rational point of view?

        Use another example- motos/cars hitting riders. It’s gotten worse but it’s not a new problem. If you’ve paid attention to cycling it’s been around for decades. Likewise, similar risks to discs have been around- in similar cycling events (mountain, cross) and in similar mechanical form (chainrings).

        • roklando

          Mountian bikers (and most times ‘cross as well) don’t tend to race on tiny roads in very tight groups of 150. When MTBers crash – unlike road racers – they hit a rock or a tree or the ground, rarely another bike, unless it’s their own bike which normally just flies off to the side. This would explain the lack of disc injuries in MTB and ‘cross.

        • Petr S

          actually, even mountain bikers have sometimes injury from brake disc… they just don’t race in big groups so often as road racers…

          included photo is from fall soon after start in WC XCO women race in Lenzerheide 2015 (https://www.facebook.com/jitkaskarnitzlovaofficial/ )

          I have disc brakes on my road cycle, but in peloton it’s just so dangerous…

      • Renzo Corsini

        Left leg wound with a left side rotor, doesn’t had any sense!!, clearly more possible a chainring wound, even you can saw the teeth there.

    • Darth Sidious

      You need a red herring to feed your avatar…

    • Ladders

      When was the last time you raced at speed on the little ring leaving the big ring exposed??

      • Mark

        This. If riders are using the little ring they are going slower (usually up a significant hill for the pros) were bike speeds are much slower and the amount of riders in a group is lower due to the bunch stringing out.
        Most (but not all) crashes in the peloton happen on flat straight roads were riders will be going fast in the large ring with the chain protecting the chainring. Yes chains can come off in crashes but aren’t most injuries to riders as a result of crashes due to the riders falling off the bike onto the tarmac?
        Compare protected chainrings to disc brakes in their current guise. No protection from rider limbs, completely exposed etc.
        I think disc brakes are a good thing for the consumer in their current guise. However, I don’t believe the technology as been suitably modified from mountain bike technology to account for the different dangers that occur in pro races.

  • Neil

    Good call. Two ambulance trips in the first race where there has been ‘significant’ usage. In saying that, about 10 other teams could be using disks if they wanted, but they’re not. Giant used bikes that were two years old instead if new ones with disks. What does that tell you about the desire for them in the peloton?

  • Michele

    Immediate reaction?

    Wow ..:. Imagine if the UCI could act so decisively when it came to other safety issues.

    Might need to get Viviani to pen an open letter. At least he’s in the fortunate position to be able to do so.

  • Willbert

    I don’t get the “Ooooh, but the chain rings are so sharp too!” argument. First, the big ring is usually covered with a chain. I doubt these guys race in their small ring often, and when they do they certainly aren’t doing 50kph. I’d like to meet someone who has injured themselves on the inner ring… so I can laugh at them. Anyway, the counter argument is that “Oooh, haven’t you seen them put their chains back on after a crash?” Of course I have, but the chain falls off after the impact. The bike is no longer traveling at 50+ kph and hardly poses as much of a danger at this point. Second, the chain rings are situated in the middle of the bike. During a crash there are plenty of other portions of the bike that will get in
    the way before you get to the rings. Like the wheels, crank arms, pedals, just to name a few. But remember, the chain still has to fall off after the initial crash and you still have to get past the other parts of the bike before you even get to a chain ring. Now picture someone riding 50kph towards a pile up with disc brakes. They are barreling at your exposed legs, back, arm or face with the tire first, and then the disc which is offset from the hub. Seems like there is a lot less margin of error there. Or, like Ventoso, you are coming up on a crash and now have to stop and avoid the exposed rear disc that’s aimed at your shin. You won’t see disc brakes harming riders during grand tour mountain stages because there won’t be any pileups. Nor will see them in CX races or mountain bike races. But you will see discs harming riders at races like Roubaix, and Flanders or the sprint finishes of the GTs where there is the possibility of pile-ups. Its inevitable and has already happened. People will occasionally get cut with chain rings, but I doubt they will reach the severity and frequency of injuries caused by discs. I am happy to see that the UCI is re-thinking their disc policy.

    • nycebo

      You’re argument ended when you said “usually” in your second sentence. One might say that motorcycles usually don’t run over cyclists so no need to find ways to improve rider safety there either.

  • geoff.tewierik

    So is the UCI going to ban cobbles as well? Did they see what they did to the face of Mitch Docker?

    How about Team cars? Sam Bewley has two broken bones in his hand because a Team car swerved at him and he took evasive action.

    How may injuries caused by motorbike riders in and around the peloton recently? Viviani was hospitalised at Roubaix, but no ban for motorbikes.

    Knee jerk reaction.

    • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

      True – knee jerk indeed
      But end result not so bad
      Who cares if they’re banned from racing
      They offered no significant benefit

  • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

    In a race I did in the 90’s a bloke got a good chainring laceration to the head… Along his eyebrow & up into his scalp

  • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

    Discs are over rated anyway – the movement in that direction was an industry driven con.
    Sure they look cool & impress friends
    *best feature is they’re clean and don’t drop black shit in rainy weather
    Calipers stop wheels effectively
    Braking performance is dictated by tyre footprint and user technique

    • Robert Merkel

      Calipers do not stop wheels effectively in the rain, particularly with carbon rims.

      The crash safety issue is important, and it may well be that some type of guard is required for road racing use (or, alternatively, the UCI might decide that the benefits aren’t worth it for racing). But, otherwise, discs are simply better brakes. They are better in cars, they are better on motorcycles of pretty much every type, they are better on mountain bikes, and they are better on road bikes.

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        Beg to differ

        • Sean parker

          You can differ all you like but unless you are in a bubble that has different physics in it i don’t see much getting around the diffrence in friction between calipers and discs in the wet.

          • Ronin

            He differs with Merkel’s claim that calipers do not stop wheels effectively in the rain. I differ as well. Of course they’re effective. What do you think has been effecting the stopping of bikes for the last 50 years in the rain?

            The point about the difference in friction is irrelevant. VDB never claimed calipers were better than discs in the rain.

            • Sean parker

              putting your foot on the back wheel to stop the bike in the rain is effective as well.
              The point is that neither using your foot, nor caliper brakes, is as effective as disc brakes.

              My point is relevant because VDB stated ‘Discs are over rated anyway’ and ‘caliper brakes stop wheels efectively’. Those statements combines are not true because caliper brakes have an inherent flaw in their efficiency in the wet. So disc brakes are not overrated, and caliper brakes aren’t always effective, when compared to better technologies.

          • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

            Tyre footprint fug hed
            There’s an interesting practical comparison test on that cycling webcast site with Matt Stephens.
            Check it out…
            I’ve got bikes with both.
            My opinion is better than yours!

            • Sean parker

              Nothing to do with tyre footprint. Everything to do with water v rim brake. You’re completely wrong in everything you say.

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        Bike & rider 85kg
        Granted better in some scenarios
        But then it’s sometimes a good idea to run a Rohloff
        To run a triple
        To run guards
        To carry a flippin umbrella

        Your one dimensional perspective is likely rooted in a need to defend your consumer choices

    • Chris

      You obviously don’t commute. I would take disc brakes any day.

      • Dave

        He’s also probably never taken a rim brake bike near a descent long enough to get brake fade as the cables stretch and the rubber pads get gummy.

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        That obvious is it?!
        … And let me guess- cars are the problem??

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        My view is that couriers are kings of cycling followed by commuters.
        I’ve been a licensed racer for over 20 years… Up to a UCI national Vuelta.
        I listen to and respect the opinions of pro riders like Fran Ventoso.
        I presume you are ignorant

        • Chris

          My apologies. Your cycling experience is so much better than mine. I humbly apologise. With a name like ‘dunny bowl’ I assumed you were talking sh t.

          • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

            That’s right

          • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

            He was full of shit?

    • Michael Sproul

      “the movement in that direction was an industry driven con.”

      Absolutely, heaven forbid, the last thing we want in pro-cycling is bike companies getting involved thinking they can run a few teams and maybe sell new bikes, offering a long term stable solution to the sponsorship problems most teams have, that sounds frightful…

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        Pro Cycling has persisted for over a hundred years now
        Is it dependent on bike companies tech advancement?
        Is it better for it?
        Many preferred the sport when it was free of the ignorant middle class consumer winkers driven by the need to define themselves as ‘serious cyclists’ cos their neighbors bikes are comparatively ‘crap’

  • roklando

    But we are all supposed to ditch our old timey bikes and buy the new ones with disk brakes because they are so much better!!! Sinyard is not going to be happy….

  • Velt

    A bit knee jerk imo. I have disc brakes on my bike and I think they are fantastic. I get the impression that there is peleton has an overwhelming negative attitude towards them, whether this is safety are just hating on a new/superior technology I don’t know.

    I had a look at the injury pictures in the other article and I’m really failing to understand how it occured. He claims he stayed on his bike but the injury is a u shape and on his left leg? How does he get that injury without completely mounting his leg over the back wheel of another bike. Even if one just came flying into his leg, how was he able to stay on with the angle the wheel would have had to come at him to sustain that injury. Very odd.

  • Dave

    Looks more like a spoke or chainring injury to me.

    A genuinely independent review to establish the circumstances and lift the temporary suspension is essential.

    • Jim

      Anything other than a cut a right angles to the leg will come off as U shape – a knife cut will be like a scoop and if he was moving his leg at the time it happened even more so.
      Might have been a spoke edge but it should be easy to tell – look for the disc brake covered in blood.

    • Douglas

      I agree. We need to know more about what caused this injury, and perhaps about other causes of injuries related to the design of bikes and equipment. A lot of the injuries which have been described no doubt occur, but how frequently? On my morning ride today (on a disc road bike) I tried to visualise what could have caused this injury to the left leg, when the discs are to the left of the wheel, and since no one fell, his leg must have come into contact with something on the right side of the other bike. I couldn’t. I don’t think it is possible. Nor do I see how it could have been caused by a spoke, given that he did not fall. Ditto a chain ring. As someone else said, a projection from a shoe, on the upstroke of the pedal could be the culprit but we just don’t know what caused it.

    • ebbe

      Agreed. Looks like he slammed his shin into a cassette to me: 11 teeth placed next to each other horizontally would create a serrated rip across (not along) the tibia, and then “eat” into the fles ripping a “slab” off upwards. Which is exactly how the wound looks. And the whole “left leg” thing is highly plausible is if were indeed a cassette. A disc would create a clean cut along (not across) the tibia, and it would be almost impossible to get this cut on a left leg.

      This is of course assuming both riders stayed upright and facing forward, not crashed with bodies and bikes flying all over the place. Luckily this was confirmed by Ventoso himself, who additionally admitted he did not actually see the disc cutting him but only noticed it after he had slammed his leg into the bike in front of him and ASSUMED it must have been a disc.

      Maes was not een close to a bike with discs when he crashed (says photographic evidence) so that’s a no brainer: No disc involved there.

      All in all: All the facts do check out for a cassette rip. Most facts do not check out or are unlikely for a disc cut. Also remember this is not the first time riders have flat out lied about riders being cut by a disc. It happend with a Cannondale rider a few months ago, when a chainring scrape was presented by his team mate as a disc cut.

  • donncha

    Amazed at the amount of people crapping on about ‘knee-jerk reactions” and “what about chainrings” etc.

    Let’s remember that 2016 is a year for the use of disc brakes to be EVALUATED in the pro peloton. Zero WT teams are using them and only 2? ProConti teams, so it’s very easy to suspend their use. It’s also the CPA, the official riders’ representative organisation, who have asked for a halt. Arguing that the UCI should ignore them and the riders should harden up is a bit hypocritical when you’re busy claiming concern for riders’ welfare when motos are involved.

    Also, disc use in MTB, or cross, isn’t relevant. When’s the last time you had a high-speed, multi-rider pileup in cross or MTB? Any of the races I’ve seen, riders are usually single file once the initial 200m sprint to the first bend is out of the way.

    As for motos, it’s nowhere near as simple a solution. You can’t run a race without motos, so you can’t just ban them all. Given the fluid nature of a race, particularly something like PR, there is also no magic wand you can wave and make all rider/moto interactions automatically safe. That’s not to excuse the accidents, just to point out that there’s no instant fix for the moto issue. Any change will take time, so complaining that the UCI hasn’t made an instant decision on motos is a bit stupid.

    • Hyun-ji Song

      Dang, didn’t know Lampre-Merida got demoted to pro conti.

  • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

    Just Saw photos.., read of Ventosos account.
    Positioning of discs on bike… Makes a big difference clearly (as compared to chainring position)
    Happy he’ll be ok – but horrifying wound for someone who did not even crash

    • velocite

      Compelling – until you actually think about it. How do you get an injury to the outside of your left leg from a disc on the rear of a bike in front of you? Ventoso hit something, and he may believe it was a disc, but I don’t, and won’t – until someone can demonstrate how it happened.

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        I didn’t think about it at all!
        Neither did Ventoso!
        (Excuse the sarcasm)

        You’ve not crashed much is all I can guess- that and you can ignore advice that doesn’t cater to your consumerist ‘needs’
        Needs derived from deep personality flaws ( advertising that does)

        • Ben Greeve

          He didn’t crash though, well didn’t come off his bike anyway.

        • Douglas

          No. You did not think about it. You need to explain how his left leg could have come into contact with a disc on the left hand side of another bike, when they were riding in the same direction, and there was no fall. If you give this a moments thought you will understand the problem.

          • ebbe

            Good thing some people still use their brains, rather than believing assumptions and rumours merely because it’s in the media ;-) Hitting your left leg on a disc on the left side of somebody else’s bike, with both bikes upright and facing forward, is nearly impossible even *if* you manage to quickly clip out. If you stay upright and clipped in, it’s completely and utterly impossible. Hitting a cassette with your left leg however…

          • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

            You Douglas are really unimaginative
            I guess you saw Sagan jump cancellara ‘without crashing’ but his left leg was out there flying around– easily far enough to straddle the back of a bike if it were stopped in front of him.
            You can condescend facelessy to me on a forum… But would you have the temerity to call Ventoso a liar to his face?

            • Douglas

              I don’t want to engage in personal comments, and edited out a comment about your response to Velocite, but given that comment you seem a bit thin skinned. I did think about it the possibility you mention and discussed it as I went on my morning ride yesterday. I tried straddling a disc road bike and rejected it. A one in a million possibility even for Sagan. I have not called anyone a liar. Ventoso did not know how his injury occurred. He said he did not notice it happen until afterwards. You would think he’d remember straddling another bike. Let’s hope there is a conclusive investigation.

  • kristin

    I wish this decision would have been made after seeing them tested in bad weather on a long technical descent in the Giro, and not P-R where group crashes are unfortunately destined to happen.

    • Dave

      Absolutely no confirmation, and plenty of evidence to suggest they were not – such as uninvolved observers pointing out the complete lack of Lampre-Merida or Direct Energie riders at the minor collision with Ventoso.

      This is shaping up to be a major egg-on-face episode for the UCI if they don’t grow a spine and rescind the ban immediately.

  • Mark

    I think the main thing that has been brought to light by this incident is the marketing managers at Shimano and Sram need a raise! The number of weekend warrior/casual type riders jumping to the defence of disc breaks is amazing. Having personally cut my arm on chainrings in a crash (10 stitches and 6 hours in hospital) I can can only advocate that adding another 2 sharp objects to each bike is not ok for racing, its not safe!

    Disc breaks have their place in road cycling. On recreational cyclists bikes doing casual riding. Not in a race scenario.

    • Marcus J

      The argument that bikes are already dangerous so we should dismiss the dangers of a proposed new component is a non-sequitur that most people would rarely apply to other situations in life.

      Also, it’s debatable whether discs would reduce the number of multiple rider crashes, especially if everybody had them. I’ve been in tons of criterium, track and road races and been a witness to or participant in quite a few crashes. Calliper brakes now are way better than they were in past decades, but does anyone think that has reduced the number of multiple rider crashes? Crashes are caused by people pushing the envelope. When the envelope is larger, they just move to the edge of it again and keep pushing like they used to! It’s quite within the bounds of possibility that discs would increase crashes, if they made riders more confident and therefore prone to riding closer together at higher speeds.

      It’s possible discs would make races faster, particularly down hills, but at increased risk of serious injury and more complicated mechanical implications, with no guarantee at all of reduced multiple rider crashes.

  • some1s_lucky

    I have had two significant crashes that resulted in a bladed spoke slicing off the skin that covers my ankle, the other crash resulted in my chain coming off and my calf being pinned under the chainring. I now have a scar there that looks a little like a shark bite. Neither were in a racing situation but there is no reason why they couldn’t happen. The same can be said for discs. I think this incident is more about being unlucky than being the norm.

  • if it aint broke dont fix it – we’ve been using rim bakes pretty much for a century on road bikes! I can see a place for disc brakes in the wet or on fast technical descents, but at the end of the day you can still use rim brakes in them situations! Just another gimmick to sell to the masses.

    • Ollie

      There was nothing ‘broken’ about using a single chainring and 3, 4 or 5 sprockets on your rear wheel, we still changed because double chainrings and bigger cassettes are better. A disc brake stops you better in the rain (especially vs carbon rims) and has better modulation, it’s therefore an improvement on a rim brake hence we’re adopting them.

      • nycebo

        Ollie, you’re wasting your breather. Haters gonna hate. But just keep using your disks and drilling past them down the mountains…or in the rain. There will come a time…1 year, 2 years, or whatever…where all these guys look back and don’t ever remember being AGAINST disks. It completely reminds me of index shifting in the 80s. What a hoot those guys were back then.

  • dsd74

    So if I understand some of the comments here and on other sites, the views and opinions of professional cyclists with many years of experience should be ignored, and instead we should listen to those of random people who most likely, at best, would be Cat 4 pack filler. Right… should we also seek medical opinions from random people on the street?

    And just out of curiosity, I’ve noticed that in cx there are still a lot of racers who still use cantis, or seem to switch between the two. Any reason for that?

    • ebbe

      CX-cantis are use for only two reasons: Worries abut weight (which is justified) and conservatism (which is not justified). Last year there was a third reason: Frame sponsor not having a disc brake frame available. But that is no longer the case for any of the bigger brands I think.

      But even most hardcore canti-believers have slowly started switching to discs, because they’re being thouroughly outbraked and outdescended by disc guys.

    • Ghisallo

      Indeed, as a hack amateur racer and racing fan, why would I ever consider my opinion about disc brakes to have any relevance for the pro racers putting life and limb on the line?

  • Lperdido

    This is a ridiculous debate and embodies so much of a mob mentality. If, as a consumer you preffer your road bike with disks, then have at it! But please respect the majority if pro racers or pack riders who don’t like them because of the obvious dangers in tight pack riding where pileups often occur. For me, it isnt even a debate of their effectiveness but rather their appropriateness in certain applications.
    Manufacturers are admittedly lobying hard to the UCI because they believe if it is common place, it will sway the common road bike consumer that it is a must… just like with 11 speed everything and electronic shifting. Are those two innovations better? Yeah, probably. But are they necessary for me to enjoy and get the most of my bikes? No!

    I am still quite content with my record 10 components on all my bikes where I dont feel as though I have a technological deficiency. I respect the opinion of those Pro cyclist who like the idea of disks but I ceriously doubt they would object to their removal from the peloton at this point.

  • enio

    Spokes are giant needles that can pierce a heart or brain, drivetrain/chainrings are in fact medievil hatchets with teeth, that can sever a head! Dissassembled cassete are shurikens, and cracked carbon frame is similar to vietnamese death traps(sharpened bamboo sticks)! Cycling is very dangerous, lets just ban a sport as a whole!


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