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December 14, 2017
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  • ebbe

    Don’t you just love it when the same group of people argue…

    “Disc brakes are no better at stopping/slowing you than rim brakers, because all you’ll do is skid your wheels”
    “Disc brakes are better at stopping/slowing you, but we don’t need better stopping any way”
    “Disc brakes are better at stopping/slowing you, and we need better stopping, but we all need better stopping/slowing at the same time”
    While they’re riding in groups of 200 guys ranging van 60kg to 85kg, who’ve been on a wide variety of pads, rims and brakes (some of which are known to be utterly inferior in terms of stopping/slowing) for years

    …and use all of the above arguments simultaneously and interchangeably

    Anyway, it’s good there’s now finally some sense being spoken in this discussion, because the longer this discussion went on, the more it was beginning to look like those nonsensical 90s rider protests against helmets (of all things) and their imaginary mortal dangers to rider safety.


    • Wily_Quixote

      I quite like the ‘preventative safety measures’ that need to be carried out on better brakes.

      Aren’t disc brakes ‘preventative safety measures’ for braking carbon rimmed bikes in the wet – and dry, for that matter?

      • ebbe

        Well, that’s not contradictory though. Seat belts in your car can save your life in a crash. However, if you d(r)ive your car into (deep) water, they might actually kill you. It all depends on the scenario. Any solution is usually a trade off between minusses and plusses. It’s up the engineers to come up with plusses better and reduce the minusses.

        What I was talking about is saying (at the same time): “Seat belts are unnecessary because an old fashioned piece of string will do” AND “Seat belts are much safer than a piece of string and can safe your life in a crash, but we need to look into the dangers if you drive into a river”. The latter is absolutely true and worth working on, but the former is just hysteria

  • Chris 987654

    Do we really want those stunning sweeping shots of the peloton flying through a medieval town in tuscany to be spoilt buy the aesthetic abomination that are disc brakes?

    • Carytb


    • Wily_Quixote

      So….. carbon fibre bikes look appropriate in mediaeval Tuscan streets?

      shouldn’t the riders be on horses if you are that worried about chronological and aesthetic congruity?

      • Chris 987654

        The aesthetic incongruity, there are plenty a beautiful modern bikes which complement the vistas in cycling and contribute to the beautiful ensemble. Discs are just a blight on the landscape.

        • Wily_Quixote

          You’d rather that pro’s had poorer safety equipment just to satisfy an anachronistic view of cycling?
          You must really hate them wearing helmets, too.
          Perhaps you should lobby for the return of the penny farthing. They were so handsome in those wool plus fours and jaunty caps.

    • Hazy78

      I love the look of disc brakes on bikes, the frames look much cleaner. Disc brakes are amazing.

  • alexvalentine

    If disc brakes offered a competitive advantage for road cycling pro riders would be adopting them without issue. The cycling industry is pushing discs hard to sell new stuff. Look at most of the new bike reviews on this site and other outlets, pretty much all disc all the time. Why would I want to INCREASE DRAG and ADD WEIGHT to road bike in order to improve the ability to slow my bike in bad weather conditions? Most amatuer riders are going to Zwift when its pouring rain out.

    • ebbe

      Complete disc brake bikes can easily be made within the UCI bike weight limit. Therefore, disc brakes don’t add weight (for any racer that needs to adhere to UCI weight limits).
      If done properly, disc brakes are actually more aerodynamic (and also much stiffer) than rim brakes. Until now, disc brake frames have only been modified rim brake frames, so engineers have not gotten the best out of the tech yet. But that will change quickly.

      • alexvalentine

        Wind tunnel data shows across the board that aero road disc frames have more drag than aero road caliper brakes. I have yet to see any real world weights showing pro disc bikes hitting the UCI weight limit, additionally disc frames usually require additional material to support the braking system. Just look at supersix evo weights comparing disc to non-disc versions.

        • ebbe

          Exactly as I said: Most disc brake bikes currently used in road racing are essentially rim frames with disc callipers bolted on. Therefore, they’re not optimised for discs brakes, but are optimised for rim brakes, which automatically translates to “worse” numbers on the disc brake versions. Your Supersix Evo example illustrates that quite nicely, so thanks for that. But your conclusions are about a year or two behind on the actual reality of the latest bikes coming out, and here’s some examples to prove that:

          Aero: Bikes designed from the ground up to be disc bikes are actually more aero, not less. Just look at the latest crop of wind-tunnel-designed triathlon bikes, they (almost all) have disc brakes AND are more aero (partially) because of that. An example on https://www.bikerumor.com/2016/08/19/first-look-parlee-ttir-disc-shields-calipers-first-major-disc-brake-triathlontt-bike/. (ps, Tri and MTB are where the innovation is, because there are less rules there. Followed by CX. Road tech has been the slowest to evolve for years)

          Weight: A disc brake system in stead of a rim brake system is about 500 to max 800 grams additional weight. Most (not all) current top tier rim brake road bikes can easily be set up under 6 kg, even sub 5 kg if you put on some fancy parts (depending on size of course). See http://road.cc/content/tech-news/197339-bauke-mollema%E2%80%99s-bike-makes-mockery-uci-weight-limit Now, bolt on a disc brake system and you’re still nicely on or under the UCI weight limit. And again: That’s even before any ground up redesign of the frame. You and I can walk into any Focus dealer today and buy a Focus Izalco Max Disc, bang on the UCI weight limit. See https://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/eighteen-of-the-best-disc-brake-road-bikes-for-2016.html

          Stiffness: Thru-axles. Enough said. And that’s even before redesigning chainstays, which happen to account for driving power transfer efficiency as well as serve as the disc brake platform

          • alexvalentine

            Bikes with rim braking can be made lighter and more aero than disc braking. Nothing you have shown disproves that statement.

            • ebbe

              Ah, trying the “argumentum ad nauseam” thing are you? Nice try, but maybe read the articles I sent before you repeat your alternative facts?

              I’ll explain it again, in three simple points, using your own words:

              1) “Bikes with rim braking can be made lighter…” – Yes, currently that’s true. But it’s also irrelevant since there is a 6,7kg UCI weight limit. Disc brakes bikes can be had at or below 6,8kg, and that’s as low as any pro can get anyway. There is no sense in going lighter (for a pro)

              2) “…and more aero than disc braking” – No, not on the latest bikes. Read the article I posted. It includes wind tunnel data, which you would have known if you would have read the article.

              3) You’re ignoring the stiffness argument, which is essential for heavier riders and especially sprinters. Ignoring this aspect because it does not suit you?

              • alexvalentine

                1) I have yet to see disc based bike in the pro peloton that hits the uci weight limit. I’m sure it can be done, but in practicality its not there. Additionally, the UCI limit might be lowered.
                2) A blurb in a bikerumor blog post about a single parlee frame TT is not an independent test. There are lot of other tests showing increased drag, including bikes designed for disc like the venge vias.
                3) Power transfer is not a performance problem. Stiffness is a matter of a lot of factors. (frame, wheels, etc)

                Sorry you feel so strongly about this issue.

                • ebbe

                  Wow, you really haven’t read the articles have you?
                  1) Again: You can walk into any Focus dealer today and buy one bang on the UCI weight limit, That you haven’t seen one means absolutely nothing. Other then the fact that you haven’t kept up with recent developments
                  2) It’s not only Parlee. If you would have paid attention to recent development, several large manufacturers have recently released new tri bikes with disc brakes and massively improved aero. That’s exactly what I said, and the Parlee was only one example of that. The fact that some older wind tunnel tests showed an increase in drag was, and I also explained this to you already, because older frames are not optimised for disc brakes. if you essentially use a frame optimised for rim brakes and bolt disc brakes on (which also includes the Specialized, that’s clearly essentially the same frame) of course it’ll perform less. If you put two water bags on the back of a horse, it’s still nowhere near as good for crossing the desert as a camel is ;-)
                  3) Yes, and one of these factors is the frame, most importantly the bottom bracket and chainstays. The same chainstays that are the platform for the disc callipers, so fortifying those at ‘the expense of’ seat stays and fork crowns is “killing two birds with one stone”. Oh, and now that you mention wheels: Yes, also disc brake wheels can be made more stiff AND more aero than rim brake wheels, since there’s much more freedom in shapes and measurements on a disc brake bike

                  I feel strongly about facts. Don’t feel sorry for that, but just come join me in the fact based world! ;-)

        • Youme

          This simply is not true anymore for the racing teams. They’re using discs that are now lighter and more aero than their brake counterparts. There is simply no reason to use rim brakes any longer. We’ve moved forward.

          • alexvalentine

            Every disc version of any bike in the pro peloton weights more than the rim brake version. The aero numbers vary based on the frame but in general adding a disc brake is not going to improve aerodynamics. Discs due allow for more creativity with wheel designs.

  • Mark Robinson

    Looks like Tommeke’s disc wheel has a brake track. Good to see the pros still riding their sponsors inferior products. As they will be when disc bikes are adopted within the peloton. Using the peloton to sell product to the man in the street is a slippery slope.

  • Dude pedalling

    Apparently Bernie Ecclestone is free. Max too. They know how to enforce evolutionary rule changes ….

  • DaveRides

    This is ridiculous. Riders are getting injured or killed in preventable race crashes every couple of weeks, and instead of using their ability to do something effective about that big issue (still no sign of even a single go-slow protest or minute’s silence, let alone a proper campaign) the CPA muppets are wibbling on about disc brakes which the UCI is inevitably going to deregulate whether the CPA wants them or not. Dumb choice of hill to die on.

    Things are rapidly approaching the point where the CPA should only be referred to by its acronym and not the words which originally constituted the acronym, just like the C in KFC. So long as cyclists keep on tolerating this rather than getting some external help to organise a proper union like real professional sports have, they will keep on getting the same old treatment.

December 14, 2017
December 13, 2017
December 12, 2017
December 11, 2017