Team Lampre Merida var et av de første Pro Tour teamene til å bruke skivebremser på landeveissykkel. Den nye sykkelen som teamet bruker, Scultura Disc ble offisielt lansert på Paris - Roubaix. Men kort etter rittet ble bruken av sykler med skivebremser suspendert av UCI, les mer om hvorfor og våre tanker kring dette med skivebrems på landeveissykkel her:
Why did the UCI ban road-bikes with disc-brakes after the injury of Fran Ventoso at Paris Roubaix?
For 2016 the World Cycling Federation UCI announced a limited testing period of road-bikes with disc-brakes in professional road-racing. Directly after Paris-Roubaix, the quite conservative minded Pro Rider Association CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associés) demanded from the UCI that (due to the injury of Movistar rider Fran Ventoso) the introduction of disc-brakes into professional road-racing had to be stopped at once. The reaction of the UCI was almost immediate and they decided to temporarily suspend the usage of disc-brakes in road-racing.
So far, there is no valid prove that Ventoso’s injury were caused by a disc-brake rotor, it is not even clear if a rider with a disc-bike equipped bike was anywhere near him.
Is it true that road-bike with disc-brakes create additional accidents and injuries? / Are road-bikes with disc-brakes dangerous for riders/racers?
Every positive thing unfortunately can also have some negative aspects. There is no doubt about disc-brakes offering better brake control than traditional rim-brakes which have been the standard on road-bikes for a century.
Better controlled braking in all weather conditions is a clear safety improvement and prevents racers from crashing. The risk of being hurt by a disc-rotor of another rider when sliding on the ground during a crash is very unlikely. Not to forget that road-bikes have already other sharp-edged areas, such as chain-rings (with exposed sharp teeth) or wheels with bladed spokes where nobody seem to complain about the potential risks.
Does the use of disc-brakes at a road-bikes offer any benefit over traditional rim-brakes, or is just marketing / pushing by the bike-industry?
Improved wet weather braking performance, lower hand-forces during braking and better brake modulation offer additional safety for the rider when cornering and descending. There is no other vehicle on the globe rolling on wheels using a rim-brake. Disc-brakes are the standard in cars, motor-cycles and even in bicycles – just look to mountain-bikes where discs have been the common standard for a decade. Only road-bikes stick to old fashioned rim-brakes, mainly due to the weight benefit.
Why does it seem that the majority of pro-racers are not convinced by disc-brakes?
Road cycling is a very conservative and traditional sport. It is ironic that the pros who are complaining the loudest against the introduction of disc-brakes never tried them and therefor are able to validate their opinion. The improved safety of disc-brakes when cornering, in wet conditions and the prevention of crashes doesn’t seem to be a strong enough motivation for them.
So far the major concerns for teams and racers have been the handling of the logistics with different bikes/wheels-systems during racing, the speed of wheel changes if a defect occurs during racing and the additional weight of disc-brakes in comparison to rim-brakes. The potential higher risk during mass crashes where a rider could be hurt by a competitor’s bike’s disc-rotor was so far not the main concern.
How much heavier are road-bikes with disc-brakes versus traditional ones equipped with rim-brakes?
Up to today, the additional weight of a top-level road-bike with disc-brakes compared to the same frame-type and specifications but with rim-brakes is about 750 grams. At less expensive bikes the weight disadvantage might be slightly higher.
Even looking at the mid-term future with new road specific disc-brake generations already announced, there will remain an additional weight of at least 400 grams for the disc-versions.
Does the ban of the UCI now have any impact to anyone besides pro-racers using a road-bike with disc-brakes?
Disc-brakes were not certified for road racing prior to this year and there was no promise from any party that road-bikes will be legal at licensed road-racing after 2016.
2016 was announced by the UCI to be a test-period for disc-brakes in pro-cycling. Within this period, all positive and negative feed-back should be collected and a decision, if the discs will be homologated for road races for 2017, would be made.
After the UCI stopped this test-period with the ban dated April 11, 2016 we are is the same situation as we were before. Potentially the UCI ban might be just temporary, as the reason for Fran Ventoso’s injury is not yet confirmed to being caused by a disc rotor.
What are bike brands doing to reduce the risk of injuries potentially induced by disc-brakes? / What are bike brands going to improve the safety of disc-brakes on road-bikes?
This is not the main topic for the bike manufacturers, because bike brand are responsible for frame and fork development matching the requirements of disc-brakes. The current criticism is mainly linked to the sharp edges of disc rotors. The bike brands have to push the disc-brake suppliers - such as Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo - to round-off their rotors for getting an improved passive safety.
What are disc-brake manufacturers doing to reduce the risk of injuries potentially induced by disc-brakes? / What are disc-brake manufacturers going to improve the safety of disc-brakes on road-bikes?
The road disc-brake suppliers - such as Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo - have to round-off their rotors to improve passive safety. All current emotions against disc-brakes on road-bikes are based on the potential risk of getting hurt during a mass crash of the peloton by the rotors ”working like a knife”. Smoother edges of the rotors are not that difficult to realize and might calm down this discussion.
Why did TEAM LAMPRE MERIDA use disc-brakes while the vast majority of other teams stick to caliper brakes?
All other world-tour teams have disc-brake road-bikes ready for racing. The reason for not using them yet is mainly due to logistical challenges and the fear that the additional weight at the bike will impede the climbers.
For TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, the northern classic-races in April were a perfect testing ground. Our ambitions at these races are not very high, because the race-conditions do not match the strengths of our pro-racers. On the other hand, the conditions are so demanding that they offer the perfect testing ground. The discs allow the use of wider tyres for the cobbles and the weather is often challenging. Here discs offer a benefit when cornering. The feed-back of the riders was much better than to be expected and the logistic question-marks were not evident, it was a good trial for us.
What benefits does TEAM LAMPRE MERIDA see in the usage of disc-brakes in the pro-peloton?
Improved braking, especially in bad weather conditions will reduce the risk of being involved in crashes and offers additional safety for the racers. Being among the first parties using such kinds of benefits means having an advantage over slower reacting teams using the old technology.
What is MERIDA’s mid and long term plan with regards to disc-brake road-bikes?
Same as the whole bike industry, MERIDA is convinced that by 2020, the majority of road-bikes will be equipped with disc-brakes – because it is the more advanced brake-system and offers better functionality and active safety for the rider. The one remaining question is how quickly the different national markets will be ready to adapt the new technology. Some markets are more open to new developments, while others act more conservative. No matter how, MERIDA is convinced that already in 2018, disc-brakes will become a regular part in the peloton.
How did the UCI approve the usage of disc-brakes in the first place if it then ‘changes its mind’ this quickly? Were safety tests conducted prior to approving the usage of disk-brakes in the pro-peloton?
The UCI has had a lot of concerns around disc-brakes. This is why they announced that the end of 2015 and the whole of 2016 should be the “disc-brake testing period in pro cycling”.
The potential risk of injuries during crashes was not the main concern. The main focus was on neutral race-service, logistical challenges teams would face if they would run a mix of rim and disc-brakes bikes and wheels at the same races and some potential crashes due to the different braking performance of rim-brakes and disc-brakes used at the same race.
The current “hot potato” of passive safety during crashes was no major point so far, but the way the pro rider’s organization CPA pushed for a ban left no room for the UCI to react. Let us not forget that it is currently a preliminary ban.
Why have disc-brakes become the standard in mountain bike racing and riding while there seem to be issues in road racing? Are the advantages not transferable? How do the two disciplines differ?
Dirt, wet/slippery ground and real steep descents are an important part of mountain-biking. Lower hand-forces, better modulation and higher brake-power are strong arguments for disc-brakes. A further advantage is less need for maintenance due to usage of (closed) hydraulic systems.
Disc-brakes offer predictable performance and are not affected by external conditions. They are a significant safety and performance improvement for off-road riding.
This also applies to Cyclocross racing, were over the last 2 years discs-brakes have turned into the preferred brake system over the traditional rim-brakes.
In road cycling, the wet-braking performance is not that evident as many riders try to avoid riding in rainy conditions and as asphalt roads dry much quicker after a shower. Mountain-biking however is an all-year and all-weather sport.
Besides that, adding disc-brakes to road-bikes needs more effort than just adding the disc-mounts to frame and fork. With 12mm thru axles for front and rear and a new road specific interface for disc-calipers called flat-mount being now available, road-bike specific technology which is not just “copy /paste” from MTB-brakes, will improved safety and usability for the consumer.
We seem to be using disc-brakes on pretty much every moving vehicle in modern life. Why does it seem so difficult to add road-bikes to that list?
Road cycling is a quite traditional and conservative sport. The World-Tour racing has a high impact on the enthusiast hobby rider who believes that the pros are using the best material they can get.
Not to forget that road-bikes are very “basic” technical machines with the sexiness of simplicity. Everything is self-explaining and easy to adjust and maintain. Hydraulic actuated disc-brakes conflict in some way with this picture of the lean and simple mechanical machine called road racing bike.