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Some of the most interesting disc-equpped road bikes on display at Eurobike

Like it or not, disc brakes on road bikes aren't just happening, they're here right now and available in huge numbers for 2015. Up top is a huge gallery of some of the latest bikes from Eurobike, the world's biggest bike show, but we've picked a selection to give an idea of the different choices currently available.

The majority are carbon fibre endurance bikes, but there are some aero road bikes and even steel and aluminium options too. That most manufacturers are using their endurance and sportive models for introducing a disc road bike is down to several reasons. One is that these bikes are ridden by cyclists who don't need to worry about adhering to the UCI's rules for professional road racing, and that second has to do with chainstay length. 

The space between the rear dropouts has to be wider to accommodate the disc rotor. On a frame with short chainstays, chain line issues can occur. With the longer chainstays of an endurance bike there isn't a problem, but a race bike with short stays the chain line can impact shifting performance in certain gears. Shimano actually recommends a minimum 415mm chainstay length. A typical race bike has chainstays closer to 400m in length - a Cannondale SuperSix Evo  for example has 405mm chainstays

Most manufacturers are using regular quick release axles front and ear but some are using thru-axle systems borrowed directly from the mountain bike world, and some are using thru-axles at both ends while some are only using them at the front. Both Focus and Colnago however have developed road-specific thru-axles that aim to be quicker and easier to use. 

The majority of the bikes we saw were running Shimano's hydraulic disc brakes, which is perhaps not really a surprise given the impact of SRAM's long-running disc brake recall which has been in the news this year. We do expect to see plenty of SRAM-equipped models in 2015, quite a few manufacturers are offering them, but most simply didn't have them on their stands.

On the rotor size debate, most bikes were sporting 140mm rotors front and rear, largely because that's what Shimano recommend. We've had some interesting chats with people and there are some saying that 140mm simply isn't large enough to dissipate the heat effectively, even with Shimano's finned Ice-Tech rotors, and that 160mm is a better choice. We'll have to see how this debate plays out. 

Ridley Fenix Disc

Belgian manufacturer Ridley have launched the new Fenix Disc and Jo got to ride it at the demo day earlier this week, and has passed his first ride impressions on it, which you can read here. Ridley have followed the lead set by most other manufacturers and used their endurance road bike platform, a bike built for distance, comfort and cobbles, for their first disc offering. 

Parlee Altum Disc

Parlee lifted the lid on their all-new range of Altum road bikes at Eurobike. This new range of frames replaces the Z5 and will be available in three versions, including a disc model. Unfortunately Parlee didn't quite have time to get the frame built into a complete bike for the show so we'll have to make do with this frameset hanging off the display stand.

This isn’t the first disc road bike Parlee have offered, they launched the Z-Zero Disc last year.

This Altum Disc uses DT Swiss thru-axles front and rear but interchangeable plates allow the rear dropouts to accept a regular quick release setup. The frameset, that’s frame, fork and seat post, will cost £3,299.

De Rosa Corum Disc

Another really interesting bike from the Italian company, this time oversized steel with disc brakes. We didn't see many steel bikes with discs at the show, most were of the carbon variety, so it's good to see a bit of variety.

De Rosa’s Corum is part of the Italian company’s ‘Black Label’ bespoke range of hand-built frames, each can be made to measure and completely customised. 

 

The frame is made from an oversize TIG welded 18MCDV6 tube set with a carbon fibre tapered fork and a 86mm bottom bracket. The frame will take a mechanical or hydraulic disc brake set. It's using regular quick releases and is built up here with an Ultegra Di2 groupset with mechanical disc brakes. 

Colnago V1-r Disc

Colnago showed the C60 Disc but more interesting is the V1-r Disc. You see, most disc road bikes we've seen have been endurance bikes (longer wheelbases, relaxed angles) with disc brakes, but the V1-r is a race-ready aero race bike, and there aren't that many aero road bikes with disc brakes on the market at the moment. We got the full lowdown on the new bike yesterday, which you can read here. 

Like the Focus, the new V1-r uses a thru-axle fork, but pairs that with a regular quick release rear end. We're going to get some more info on the HexLock thru-axle used on the V1-r when we chat to Colnago today. 

Focus Cayo Disc

Here's the new Focus Cayo Disc. Mat was at the launch of this bike so you can get the full skinny on it there. Focus reckon it's the lightest disc road frame currently available with a sub-900g frame weight, and a 380g fork. It uses their own thru-axle standard at both ends. 

Focus have devleoped their own Rapid Axle Technology (RAT) thru-axle system which is insanely easy to use - I shot a short video showing how easy it is to operate, which I'll feature in a standalone article in the coming days. The video is just six seconds long. That's how easy it is to use. You simply open the lever, rotate 90 degrees, and slide it out. 

They've used a 15mm axle because they found they could manufacturer a fork with a single weave of carbon fibre looping around the closed dropout, which apparently wouldn't have been possible if they had used a smaller diameter axle. 

The head tube has been beefed up with some considerable width where it tapers into the top tube, and all the cables and brake hoses are routed through the small plate on the front. 

Merida Ride Disc 7000

Merida first showed a prototype disc-equipped road bike last year but here is the final production model. There'll be several models, this is the Disc 7000 with a Shimano Ultegra group set with 685 hydraulic disc brakes and DT Swiss R24 Spline wheels with 25mm Continental Grand Sport Race tyres. They claim it weighs 7.6kg which is about on the money for a current carbon framed disc bike.

Like the majority of manufacturers, Merida have used their endurance Ride model as the platform for their foray into disc brakes. That’s largely because these bikes aren’t raced by professional cycling teams that have to adhere to UCI rules, and also because most generally have longer chainstays  - for a longer wheelbase - that doesn’t provide the chain line issues that can occur with short chainstays.

Merida have also decided that thru-axles are the way forward, but like Colnago’s V1-r, they’ve only used it on the front. It’s a regular quick release rear axle. The prototype they showed last year had a conventional quick release axle so they've clearly changed their mind along the way, and developed this new fork with a 15mm thru-axle. 

Worth mentioning is the fact Merida have given the frame discrete mudguard mounts, making it a great option for British conditions as a winter trainer or daily commuter.

Raleigh Revenio Disc

Raleigh's Revenion Disc uses an aluminium frame with the same geo as the regular Revenio, but adds disc brakes. They've opted for traditional quick release axles and unlike the majority of the bikes we've seen, they've placed the rear disc caliper on the outside of the seatstay. There'll be a range of bikes including this model with TRP Spyre mechanical discs.

The Revenio bikes have a more relaxed geometry than standard road bikes so you get a fairly upright ride position. The on-trend 25mm tyres used across the range are designed to provide a bit more comfort and reduced rolling resistance.

Taps into the versatily that we like on road bikes, with rack mounts.

 

Bianchi Impulso Disc

A lot of the disc-equipped road bikes we've seen feature carbon fibre frames, but there are several aluminium, and even steel, frame options for those that don't want, or can't afford, a carbon model. This is Bianchi's new Impulso Disc and it looks really good. It uses the same C2C geometry as found on the Infinito CV so the ride should be good. 

There's no hydraulic disc brakes though, instead they're going with Avid's BB7 mechanical discs. 

Those Italians do like an anniversary. 

KTM Revelator

KTM do disc brakes on road bikes as well, giving their Revelator model the disc treatment for 2015. They're using a 15mm front axle and also borrowed directly from the mountain bike world is the 142mm wide rear end with a 12mm axle.

KTM have chosen to give the new bike thru-alxes front and rear

It's a pretty smart looking bike it has to be said, is available in a range of colour options and this integrated seatclamp is a nice detail. 

Argon 18 Krypton XRoad

The brand new Krypton XRoad from Canadian manufacturer Argon 18 is their new road disc offering, but they've pitched it as far more than just a road bike, and describe it as being ready to tackle any terrain. So think 'gravel' bikes and that sort of influence, which means big tyre clearance and the sort of geometry that should make it stable when handling over a bit of rough stuff. 

De Rosa Idol Disc

The new Idol now available with or without disc brakes, here is is the discs. Full carbon fibre frame and fork, Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with hydraulic discs, 140mm rotors front and rear, and regular quick release axles. 

 

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We'll be updating this article with a lot more disc-equipped road bikes so be sure to tune back in for more. 

Click here to read all of our stories from Eurobike 2014 - the world's biggest bike show.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

49 comments

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njmoffat [27 posts] 1 year ago
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It's a yes please for the De Rosa Idol from me!

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Joelsim [1963 posts] 1 year ago
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De Rosa Corum for me.

Nice bike from Raleigh too except the crap welding.

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localsurfer [197 posts] 1 year ago
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I'd love to know if pro riders really want discs. They'd never say, of course, because sponsors, but whenever I've ridden a closed-road sportif it's noticeable how little I use/need brakes with no traffic or traffic signals/roundabouts to get in the way. I assume pro riders use them even less.

But they're heavier, make wheel changes more awkward, different standards.. would a racer want this?

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joemmo [1146 posts] 1 year ago
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Re: the chainline issues - we're just talking about the cassette being 2.5mm further to the outside than on a standard road hub. Is it really significant or is it just a case that cross chaining small to small is a bit crunchier than normal?

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STATO [477 posts] 1 year ago
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joemmo, it means the cross chain ability is reduced by another gear. Specialized got round this by offsetting the rear ends... (proprietary rear wheel, thats worked well for them in the past..) the idiots

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DavidC [134 posts] 1 year ago
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localsurfer wrote:

I'd love to know if pro riders really want discs. ... But they're heavier, make wheel changes more awkward, different standards.. would a racer want this?

Agreed. I think it says a lot that European cyclocross riders have stayed away from discs en masse — although I expect manufacturers will up the ante with the pros, ie. bonuses for results on disc bikes.

If discs don't have a great advantage over rim brakes off road, then am I to believe that discs are really so much better in far less harsh and more forgiving conditions?

It does seem a contradiction that discs are near-universal in mountain biking and still far from standard at the top level of cyclocross, but they're not exactly the same sport anyway, and mountain biking in general has always chased trends and whatever is new.

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koko56 [330 posts] 1 year ago
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DavidC wrote:

and mountain biking in general has always chased trends and whatever is new.

And road cycling has not?

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JumboJuice [23 posts] 1 year ago
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So sad for SRAM... missed the opportunity to compete with Shimano on road disc brake in 2015...

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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Joelsim wrote:

Nice bike from Raleigh too except the crap welding.

And the external cabling. And the QR axles. And I'm not convinced about the placement of the rear brake caliper. Other than that...

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barbarus [202 posts] 1 year ago
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The thing about MTB is you can build up a lot more speed. Gradients are more extreme, suspension and larger tyre volumes carry you across bumps much faster. The upright riding position is much more suited to going fast down narrow, steep and twisty singletrack. After which you often need reliable, modulated braking. Discs make sense.

When it comes to road bikes, I've ridden my disc braked charge plug round the fairly smooth blue trail at my local trail centre. It was slow. OK I didn't have the most suitable tyres (28s) and although the discs were nice, most of my decelerating was achieved by simply stopping pedalling!

By contrast, on the road, I love the discs. I get reliable consistent modulated power even in the worst weather at the greatest speed. And my rims still look new.

The pro peleton clearly doesn't "need" discs. But on some technical fast descents, for particular riders who are that way inclined, discs may enable the limits to be pushed.

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noether [96 posts] 1 year ago
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It seems that manufacturers will finally recognize 2 segments in the market: 1. all-out race road-bikes, which might or might not adopt thru-axles (although Focus' RAT system is a writing on the wall) 2. endurance/ gravel bikes of the Argon type with a more relaxed geometry and which will be equipped with disk-brakes, thru-axles front & rear AND clearance for wider tires, and then I don't mean 28mm but 35-40mm. The dilemma for manufacturers regarding the latter will then be that a customer will no longer need to buy 2 bikes, but can do with one with 2 sets of wheels. The adoption of disk brakes on type 1 bikes is simply a matter of a UCI decision.

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truffy [653 posts] 1 year ago
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barbarus wrote:

The thing about MTB is you can build up a lot more speed.

Funnily enough, I've read the exact opposite argument as an explanation as to why applying disc brakes to road bikes is more complicated than for MTB. But then I don't race, and I don't bomb down hills (or, at least, try not to!)

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crazy-legs [704 posts] 1 year ago
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DavidC wrote:

I think it says a lot that European cyclocross riders have stayed away from discs en masse...

...If discs don't have a great advantage over rim brakes off road, then am I to believe that discs are really so much better in far less harsh and more forgiving conditions?

Discs in cross are not universal because they're still fairly new (only a couple of years since the UCI made them legal and only really a year since Shimano/SRAM started producing discs for road/CX (closely followed by SRAM recalling all theirs).

Bear in mind that a top CX rider has at least 3 bikes, each bike has at least 3 sets of wheels - that's a HUGE amount of kit and there simply wasn't the stock available to supply them all in terms of both the discs and the wheels - again it's only very recently that manufacturers have started making road disc-brake wheels. It will change - the riders want it, the sponsors want it - but at the moment the limiting factor is very much supply.

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barbarus [202 posts] 1 year ago
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Sorry, that wasn't clear. What I meant is that off road, you build up more speed on an MTB than you do on a cyclocross bike. I was suggesting why MTBers might have embraced discs more readily than the cyclocross circuit.

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Binky [116 posts] 1 year ago
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It's my birthday tomorrow. I have nothing planned, so if you want to pop over with a CX bike, I'll try to act surprised

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 1 year ago
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The Parlee looks nice, and that KTM is interesting, I don't like De Rosa anyway, so we're seeing more and more, but how many of these are true hydraulic discs or just yet more mechanic disc systems. Not many true hyd. yet ....

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David Portland [83 posts] 1 year ago
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Quote:

The space between the rear dropouts has to be wider to accommodate the disc rotor.

This isn't exactly true -- there's room for a rotor on the end of a 130mm OLD hub (Eastway's disc road bike from last year had a 130mm rear) but it's a lot easier all round to go to 135mm and take advantage of the fact that there are lots (and lots) of disc-ready hubs available in that size already. Given that it's only really an issue for bikes with really short chainstays and 53/39 rings (ie race bikes) there's no compelling reason for manufacturers to stick with 130.

Pedantry ends  3

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 1 year ago
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Can someone develop a plastic hat that doesnt encourage bees to sting my head please, thats an actual problem that needs fixing.
Braking on a race bike isnt.

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 1 year ago
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Can someone develop a plastic hat that doesnt encourage bees to sting my head please, thats an actual problem that needs fixing.
Braking on a race bike isnt.

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 1 year ago
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Can someone develop a plastic hat that doesnt encourage bees to sting my head please, thats an actual problem that needs fixing.
Braking on a race bike isnt.

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fukawitribe [1430 posts] 1 year ago
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localsurfer wrote:

I'd love to know if pro riders really want discs. They'd never say, of course, because sponsors, but whenever I've ridden a closed-road sportif it's noticeable how little I use/need brakes with no traffic or traffic signals/roundabouts to get in the way. I assume pro riders use them even less.

But they're heavier, make wheel changes more awkward, different standards.. would a racer want this?

Here's a small but interesting cross section of views

http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/08/bikes-and-tech/stopping-progress-...

Over the recent years there have been quite a few articles on there about discs in CX and on road bikes, worth a look.

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Gizmo_ [1333 posts] 1 year ago
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So, I'm starting to be convinced that hydraulic discs on a road bike might not be as crap as the cable ones on my hybrid and CX.

What's that? The industry hasn't worked out what sort of hub axle I'll need, potentially meaning I'll be stuck with the cycling equivalent of a daisy-wheel typewriter? You bunch of absolute idiots. The RAT system looks good. Let's all do that.

http://xkcd.com/927/

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paulrbarnard [182 posts] 1 year ago
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"Raleigh's Revenion Disc combines the same carbon frame as the regular Revenio, but adds disc brakes. "

Am I missing something here? The pictures sure look like a welded frame

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Bez [587 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm happy to review the De Rosa Corum any time you feel like it. No, really. You just have to ask.

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Al__S [960 posts] 1 year ago
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In fact, given that's awful lot of bikes that you clearly need to review, I'm, like bez, happy to help out. Seriously.

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AdyM [10 posts] 1 year ago
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I don't think the weight argument is really valid. I'm sure when rim manufacturers no longer have to worry about braking surfaces and heat flow the rim weights will decrease, so they could be even faster than conventional setups!

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Pimpmaster Jazz [16 posts] 1 year ago
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There's some interesting comparisons being made to mountain bikes here. It does make one wonder whether some of you have actually ridden an mountain bike...  3

Quote:

If discs don't have a great advantage over rim brakes off road...

They do. Massively. A separate surface for braking on, specifically designed for purpose? Away from the ground? Less prone to buckling? Yes please! Let's be clear here - the latest mountain bike brakes are nothing short of amazing.

Quote:

The thing about MTB is you can build up a lot more speed.

I realise that this is now taken out of context, but most mortals won't get over 40mph on a mountain bike - the terrain prevents it. However descending from an Alpine pass on a road bike is a different kettle of fish...

The two major problems I see with discs on performance road bikes (and not tourers or CX bikes - I think discs would be great there) are that 1; bikes will be have to be redesigned to fit and support disc brakes (not a massive problem, to be fair) and 2; brakes will be too powerful. A road tyre has a very small contact patch - I would be concerned that, certainly in the rear, over-braking / sliding out could be an issue.

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pz1800 [23 posts] 1 year ago
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don't actually give a toss if 'the peleton' will use them or not. I'm about as far removed form a pro rider as I am from a dolphin. I've been using discs on a CX bike for commuting for the past 18 months, and I will never buy another bike without them - so that's at least one bike I will have to replace. I welcome the fact that the big manufacturers are starting to offer discs on their bikes; it's all going to get easier and better from now on.

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IanW1968 [251 posts] 1 year ago
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PJ
I'm not convinced they are even more powerful, definitely in wet or muddy conditions that you may regularly experience on a commuter or tourer.
But in the dry on a sporting race bike, rim brakes benefit from much greater leverage enough to lock either wheel and skid or endo without trying too hard.

Happy to have discs available but I hope rim brakes stick around for the appropriate applications.

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herrow [16 posts] 1 year ago
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Well I rode a hundred mile charity sportive on Sunday, it started off sunny which was fine with rim brakes, nearly new brake pads and clean rims. Then it rained, when approaching junctions, some of them downhill I had to pull extremely hard with all my fingers wrapped round the brake levers it took a worrying amount of time for the brakes to bite and slow me down. After years of riding disc brakes on mountain bikes I never worried about braking and could happily brake in all conditions predictably going back to riding road bikes with rim brakes can be frightening.

I welcome disc brakes on road bikes, they are safer, being predictable in all conditions, you don't have to cripple your hands gripping the brake levers in the hope you will stop and there is less wear and tear on the rims, also disc pads seem to last a heck of a lot longer.

There are no downsides to disc brakes on road bikes in my eyes and unless you are racing and have to abide by uci rules. I find my riding much more enjoyable when I'm not shi***ng myself trying to stop on wet rims our for cars pulling out in front of me but each to their own.

It rains at weekends too or do most rim brake advocates only ride when its guaranteed not to rain? There are no guarantees with BBC weather forecasts, it was supposed to be nice on Sunday! Admittedly I do ride to work every day too so would really benefit I regularly struggle to stop the bike quickly in the wet if drivers pull out in front of me. And the thing about tyre contact area on the road is crazy, yes you could lock up your wheels and they could skid out from under you buy you can do that with any brake with enough force. You'll adapt that's what people do, you'll apply less force but get greater breaking performance and after years of riding the lack of death grip on the brakes levers will reward you with non crippled fingers.

More discs, sooner and cheaper please!

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