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National federation cites safety as reason for its actio

Spain has reportedly joined France in banning bikes with disc brakes from road bikes in all road cycling events, including sportives.

El Periodico reports that sources within the national cycling federation, the RFEC, have confirmed that they are “absolutely prohibited” both in competition and in “marche ciclotiurista” – sportive rides.

Officials accompanying such events, whether of a competitive nature or not, will be able to expel any participant who turns up with a bike equipped with disc brakes.

Rafael Coca, president of the RFEC’s technical commission, told the newspaper: “Even if it is discovered once the event has begun [the rider] will be asked to leave for safety reasons, just the same as if they had started without a helmet.”

The move comes less than a fortnight after the UCI decided to halt the trial of disc brakes within the professional peloton after Movistar rider Fran Ventoso claimed to have been badly cut by one in a crash at Paris-Roubaix.

> Fran Ventoso: Disc brakes should never have been allowed in peloton

The following week the French cycling federation, the FFC, said that it would ban them from all events falling under its jurisdiction, which includes mass participation rides such as L’Etape du Tour, with El Periodico reporting that the action was taken in response to a request from the insurance industry.

> Disc brakes banned from French sportives including L'Etape du Tour

Coca told El Periodico that the regulations were “clear, precise and forceful,” and added that the RFEC would seek to send up to six officials to events to ensure that they were complied with.

“The official checks that everything is in order, that a doctor and ambulance are present if an accident happens, that participants who do not belong to the federation have a licence and provisional insurance for the day of the event, that all riders wear a helmet and, from now on, they will be rigorous about equipment and in particular disc brakes.”

While the RFEC’s rules relate only to organised events, the suggestion that insurance companies are behind moves to exclude disc brakes from them does raise a point that could be of relevance to many British riders who head to places such as Mallorca for training camps.

That is, will there come a point when the hotel operators and others hosting or leading such camps are required by their insurers not to let people participate in them on bikes with disc brakes?

> Have disc brakes really led to injuries in peloton

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

56 comments

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KiwiMike [1298 posts] 1 year ago
16 likes

Farcical. No other word for it.

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cdamian [152 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Well, that buggers up my plans and hotel bookings a bit.

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MarkD03 [3 posts] 1 year ago
13 likes

Insane.

Why have these cycling authorities/regulators become so paranoid about  bikes equipped with disc brakes?

One pro rider gets a nasty cut in a crash that may or may not have been caused by a disc rotor. There appears to be no proof or substantive evidence.

Get on a bike with disc brakes and go ride it...better brakes and really not dangerous or unsafe.

'...shakes head in disbelief'

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mythbuster [35 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

This is just like a conspiracy. It is completely senseless and baseless. Is cycling regulated by trogolodytes, or are they all in someone's pocket?

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dodgy [226 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

The pro cycling peleton, it's the tail that wags the dog. I don't care what they choose to ride, but  it's likely to start impacting again on what I'm able to buy. I thought the consumer was finally starting to get the bikes they want. The way it's looking, next season you'll see major manufacturers cutting back on disc equipped bikes and they'll return to being a niche offering from smaller companies.

 

 

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gforce [57 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I'm waiting for my local train station to outlaw disc brakes from the bike racks...

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drosco [313 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I'm not sure why all the hysteria? There's no compelling evidence that riding a bike with discs is inherently unsafe unless I'm missing something.

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WolfieSmith [1380 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

It's a tricky one isn't it? I suppose with the disk being the sharpest item on the bike they've erred on the side of caution - whether the Roubaix injury was caused by a disk or not. 

Disks are perfect for solitary mtb riding and racing. The riders are spaced more and even on mass starts there are more protective pads.  For road events  I don't see why the risk couldn't be acknowledged for a spaced field of competitors in a sportive. Whatever brakes you use you accept the risk when you sign up. 

For pro racing it makes more sense to ban them. Can you imagine if the whole field had had disk brakes in that Cancellara pile up in last year's TDF? With 10+ riders hitting each other at 40mph + with disks? Only a fool wouldn't consider them an extra risk. 

I am sympathetic to those that have chosen slightly firmer braking and now have to return to 'troglodyte' technology to ride the Etape. If we leave the EU in June we might all have to switch our front brake lever to the left to ride in France too! 

Funnily enough the only time I've come off the bike on a hill in recent years was when ascending; getting blown into a ditch by a cross wind near the top of the Cat and Fiddle. If only I'd had the extra surface area of disks on my standard road wheels. I could have flown over the ditch completely. That's the power of disk brakes for you.  yes

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fukawitribe [1926 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
WolfieSmith wrote:

It's a tricky one isn't it? I suppose with the disk being the sharpest item on the bike they've erred on the side of caution

They may have done, but it's not.

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neil60 [3 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

This is farcical and is getting out of hand. The UCI need to show some leadership and get a grip. To date their only response has been a knee jerk reaction to a rant from Fran Ventoso, with unsubstantiated claims.

Come on UCI, sort it out!!!!

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neil60 [3 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
WolfieSmith wrote:

It's a tricky one isn't it? I suppose with the disk being the sharpest item on the bike they've erred on the side of caution - whether the Roubaix injury was caused by a disk or not. 

Disks are perfect for solitary mtb riding and racing. The riders are spaced more and even on mass starts there are more protective pads.  For road events  I don't see why the risk couldn't be acknowledged for a spaced field of competitors in a sportive. Whatever brakes you use you accept the risk when you sign up. 

For pro racing it makes more sense to ban them. Can you imagine if the whole field had had disk brakes in that Cancellara pile up in last year's TDF? With 10+ riders hitting each other at 40mph + with disks? Only a fool wouldn't consider them an extra risk. 

I am sympathetic to those that have chosen slightly firmer braking and now have to return to 'troglodyte' technology to ride the Etape. If we leave the EU in June we might all have to switch our front brake lever to the left to ride in France too! 

Funnily enough the only time I've come off the bike on a hill in recent years was when ascending; getting blown into a ditch by a cross wind near the top of the Cat and Fiddle. If only I'd had the extra surface area of disks on my standard road wheels. I could have flown over the ditch completely. That's the power of disk brakes for you.  yes

I can't agree that a disc is the sharpest thing on a bike. The front chain ring has Multiple sharp teeth and is totally exposed. Should chain rings be banned too?

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StoopidUserName [309 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

Maybe the bike manufacturers should show some balls and threaten to sue? 

 

Peloton muppets aside, a sportive?!?!?!?!?!??!?!!?!? Really??? Think of all the badly maintained bikes on a typical sportive (and all the stories you hear of idiots not doing up their QR properly) and they decide to ban discs??!? 

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DaveE128 [885 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

I have had quite a few bikes with disc brakes. I've ridden them for years. They aren't sharp. Sure you could probably remove skin with them, but you could do that with brake levers, chains, chainrings, cassettes, caliper brakes, bottle cage bolts, quick releases, stem bolts, some saddles, light mounts, gear levers, etc etc.

This really is ridiculous. Some guy says he was injured on a disc brake, (but didn't see it) after crashing into the back of another bike, who also says another rider was injured by brake discs, when it has been clearly shown on this website that none of the bikes in that collision had discs, and all the traditionalist institutions who have been resisting new technology for years, suddenly take the excuse to ban the brakes that lots of riders are already using.

 

Also, did I read somewhere that Ventoso said he has never seen anyone crash because of lack of braking performance? Presumably he deliberately rode into the back of the rider in front then?!

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700c [1130 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Not a particular fan of discs but this is knee-jerk. Amateurs should be able to ride the braking system they want. The safety is being debated for the pro's but that has no bearing on sportives, where there's surely more risk arising from inexperienced riders, poor prepatation, ill health, weather, road conditions etc.

The problem is, with the UCI suspending their trial, how will they do a proper study to see if they're safe or not for pros? There's one alleged incident which has led to this action but that's all the excuse the pro's need, who weren't supportive of discs in the first place.

The UCI and pro rider politics shouldn't have any bearing on decisions made for amateurs.

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mortbone [29 posts] 1 year ago
10 likes

I've worked in A&E for over 14 years and I've seen people impaled by bike levers, bar ends and the odd velodrome wooden board but I've Never seen a disc brake rotor injury. 

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Carton [387 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
WolfieSmith wrote:

It's a tricky one isn't it? I suppose with the disk being the sharpest item on the bike they've erred on the side of caution - whether the Roubaix injury was caused by a disk or not. 

They erred on the side of the status quo. The side of caution would be the side of the better brakes.

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DaveE128 [885 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Just to illustrate my point that disc brakes are not actually that sharp, this photo may be of interest:

http://d4nuk0dd6nrma.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/shimano-u...

They really aren't giant knives, are they? I'd like to see anyone who says that they are try and cut potatoes with them.

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CXR94Di2 [1695 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Farcical, no evidence to back up this hysteria.

If the UCI and all other cycle bodies were concerned about rider safety they would ban races on cobbled roads, ensure the road surfaces were cleaned of loose grit also remove all solid objects that riders might hit . Did you see how many riders fell on the recent classics. Hell you can get a very nasty road rash/burn from hitting the very substance you're racing on. There are so many pointy bits on cycles that will cause injury. Disc brakes have been around for years on bikes. How many incidents have been reported were disc brakes caused serious injury, very few indeed.

These irrational knee jerk decisions will impact on the industry I am sure

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Ush [932 posts] 1 year ago
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drosco wrote:

I'm not sure why all the hysteria? There's no compelling evidence that riding a bike with discs is inherently unsafe unless I'm missing something.

Since when did the UCI look for compelling evidence before making a ruling on anything? Heck, it's not just the UCI, most decisions are if not evidence-free, then at least evidence-poor. Just take a look at the helmet debate: eff all evidence that they do anything yet the number of people and governing bodies that are prepared to swear that their head-woo saved lives is astounding.

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cdamian [152 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
neil60 wrote:
WolfieSmith wrote:

It's a tricky one isn't it? I suppose with the disk being the sharpest item on the bike they've erred on the side of caution - whether the Roubaix injury was caused by a disk or not.

I can't agree that a disc is the sharpest thing on a bike. The front chain ring has Multiple sharp teeth and is totally exposed. Should chain rings be banned too?

I think my seat is sharper than my discs: Fabric ALM

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Ush [932 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
MarkD03 wrote:

Insane.

Why have these cycling authorities/regulators become so paranoid about  bikes equipped with disc brakes?

it does seem like some investigative journalism would be useful:
1) Is it just this one incident?
2) What do other riders say?
3) What is the link between the UCI and the manufacturing industry? i.e. is there some sort of shakedown going on?

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bendertherobot [1435 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

The links are fairly well established I would have thought. The Peloton is both a testing ground and a shop window. It's massively useful for selling us stuff.

Now, most of the time, there's a benefit to the pro, marginal or otherwise. And that benefit may well benefit us. 

And then there's discs. There's no doubt that the manufacturers want us to buy them and, even before the pro's had them, we've been doing so. 

But it's perhaps the first true reverse in terms of the pro's being told to use something that they don't necessarily need for what they do, so that we can buy them in order to use then for what we do.

In other words, what we define as a road bike and road cycling is changing. We're talking about over simplistic generalisation when it comes to discs and the pro peleton, in this regard, may be about to diverge from what some might call everyday cycling.

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cdamian [152 posts] 1 year ago
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Pauldmorgan [233 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

This is a daft knee jerk reaction with no evidence to back it up. Amateur riders will be safer with brakes in which they have confidence. There doesn't tend to be a much in the way of large groups riding very close to make this kind of incident (Ventoso's) very likely.

I saw a lot of crashes on decents at last year's Etape Du Tour. Head injuries and collarbones, lots of skin lost. Some of them (either from talking to people or direct eyeball witness) was from tyre blowouts which are usually caused by dragging brakes and overheating rims: not a problem with discs.  People should have choice. 

We need more information on who in the insurance industry is forcing this madness on cycling on a nation by nation basis. 

 

 

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joules1975 [461 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
bendertherobot wrote:

The links are fairly well established I would have thought. The Peloton is both a testing ground and a shop window. It's massively useful for selling us stuff.

Now, most of the time, there's a benefit to the pro, marginal or otherwise. And that benefit may well benefit us. 

And then there's discs. There's no doubt that the manufacturers want us to buy them and, even before the pro's had them, we've been doing so. 

But it's perhaps the first true reverse in terms of the pro's being told to use something that they don't necessarily need for what they do, so that we can buy them in order to use then for what we do.

In other words, what we define as a road bike and road cycling is changing. We're talking about over simplistic generalisation when it comes to discs and the pro peleton, in this regard, may be about to diverge from what some might call everyday cycling.

 

This .. maybe.

Disc brakes are not being driven by the manufacturers, they are being driven by us, the consumers. The moment disc brakes went onto cyclocross bikes we lapped them up, as they were at the time the only thing close to a road bike with discs. As a result, sportive style bikes with discs started appearing and the manufacturers started pushing for discs on the pro scene.

Once rim manufacturers really start to play about with the fact that a braking surface is no longer required, it wouldn;t surprise me if disc brake wheels actually start becoming more aerodynamic than rim brake wheels.

Add in the fact that to deal with the current histeria, disc fairings will become required before discs are allowed back into racing, and there is suddenly another way for manufacturers to play with aerodynamics (or at least a legal way to more easily deal with the current relatively un-aero nature of the disc brakes themselves).

So ... up shot ... there will come a point when disc brake bikes are better not just for the brakes, but also for aero, and suddenly the pros will want them. 

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Mungecrundle [803 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

The Spanish authorities have had a few days to carefully consider their position and have had time to look at evidence and to consult expert opinion. I'm really looking forward to them publishing this as an explanation to an otherwise obtuse decision.

Boy am I going to have 'doh' moment when I find out that the brakes I thought were safer because they stopped me a little bit sooner with a little more control and a little less effort are actually psychopathic killers waiting to savage any cyclist they can reach.

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Pipeyrw [3 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Isn't there a simple answer to this?  

 

Surely it's not beyond the wit of the disc manufacturers to put a rounded edge on the rotor, thereby reducing the risk of cuts??

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Discbrakesarebetter [1 post] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'm riding the Morzine Grand Trophee sportive in June, I have disc brakes and contacted the organisers to see if I could still ride it. They said that discs were only banned from pro races and not mass participation sportives. This is an FCC sanctiones race.

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bendertherobot [1435 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Pipeyrw wrote:

Isn't there a simple answer to this?  

 

Surely it's not beyond the wit of the disc manufacturers to put a rounded edge on the rotor, thereby reducing the risk of cuts??

Undecided. Two said they'd look at it, the other thought it might be more dangerous. We are talking about a thin edge here, rounded or square should make little difference.

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wycombewheeler [1099 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

No banning of rim brakes after the fabio feline Incident? On the theme of worse brakes being safer they could all just wear shoes with a high friction surface and slow Dow gradually.

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