28 Mar 2017
FROM THE PRO PELOTON: RIM BRAKES V DISC BRAKES
Having finally been allowed into the pro peloton by governing body the UCI, in late 2015 on a trial basis, disc brakes were summarily banned after only four months, following a nasty injury to Francisco Ventoso (then Movistar) during the 2016 Paris-Roubaix.
The UCI are reintroducing discs to pro road racing in 2017, with a new stipulation that the rotors ‘do not contain any 90 degree edges, and are smoothed or chamfered.’ This could help minimize the chances of seeing more nasty injuries involving discs, even if the chainrings on every bike fit the banned description quite nicely…
There’s controversy over the deep cut on Ventoso’s shin actually having come from a disc. Only eight riders were using discs, and none reported any collisions. Also, the Spaniard injured his left leg after contact with another rider (neither fell). Discs are mounted on the left, and many observers believe the injury was more likely to have been caused by a chainring.
Another similar incident occurred at the start of this year’s racing, at the Abu Dhabi Tour in February. A crash that resulted in an injury to Team Sky’s Owain Doull – and some suspicious-looking scuffs to this race shoes – was initially reported as having involved Quick-Step’s Marcel Kittel, who was racing using discs that day. Similarly, later analysis suggested that the damage to the Welshman having been caused by a disc was unlikely. Nevertheless, the German reverted to rim brakes for the following day’s stage, and the controversy continued.
Whatever the UCI do next and however long the pro peloton takes to fully adopt the technology, disc brakes are becoming increasingly popular with regular riders. Here’s everything you need to know about the advent of discs.