Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Disc Brake Trial to Resume in June

Last month, after professional racer Francisco Ventoso of the Movistar team had his leg sliced badly - reportedly because of contact with another rider's disc brake rotor in a collision at Paris-Roubaix - the usually glacial-paced UCI shocked all by immediately banning disc brakes from the pro peloton. The move put an end to the long-awaited (by the bike and component industry) disc brake adoption for professional racing.

"Disc brakes are like giant knives - machetes" -- Francisco Ventoso
Apparently, after concluding that Ventoso's injuries were actually caused by a deli-slicer mishap during an unauthorized stop for a pastrami sandwich at a deli along the race route, the UCI is preparing to reverse course next month, letting the disc brake trial period continue.

Ventoso at the Roubaix Deli. Yes, they're being sued by Specialized.
When the trial period resumes in June, it is unclear at this time exactly how teams and riders will receive the news. The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) was heavily critical of the UCI for allowing disc brakes amid their concerns, and the concerns of at least some of the riders. Will those riders refuse to ride with discs when the trial resumes? Will they be allowed to refuse? One thing for sure is that the manufacturers aren't about to let up on the issue.

It is likely that we may see some changes to the brakes, though, to improve the safety - whether it is rotors with more rounded edges, or the incorporation of some kind of guard or covers for the discs.

The new rules for road disc brakes mean these Hydro "Machete Discs" will no longer be permitted on pro race bikes. Too bad - they were pretty cool.
Now if they can only do something to prevent riders from being killed or maimed by cars and motorcycles in the middle of the races. . .


  1. I think they should go to hydraulic rim brakes.

    1. I believe the real push for disc brakes - apart from the industry that wants us all to buy new bikes - is that there's also a lot of pressure in the racing crowd to go to carbon fiber rims - and rim brakes are LOUSY on carbon fiber rims.

  2. what the hell is so difficult about rounding he edges of the disc??

  3. "Now if they can only do something to prevent riders from being killed or maimed by cars and motorcycles in the middle of the races. . ."

    To be honest the UCI (whom i am not a fan of) don't have the same control over thez vehicles than the equipment. Often the number of vehicle is a choice from the organizer, not of the UCI.

  4. Just after WWII, Harden (in England) made hubs with very large, thin flanges that were called "Bacon Slicers". (http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=aa86b3f2-547e-40d9-9acf-facf5c798eb5&Enum=110)

    So let's see...If we have "Bacon Slicer" hubs and "Pastrami slicer" disc brakes, what component would be the "Cheese slicer"? Or the "bagel slicer"?

    Of course, if we wanted a kosher bike, we couldn't use the Pastrami Slicers with the Cheese slicers. And we couldn't use the Bacon Slicers at all (unless the bacon is made from turkey, beef or tofu).