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Change takes effect on 1 January and in part reflects how manufacturers are fitting them as standard

British Cycling has said that it will permit the use of disc brakes at all levels of competition on the road and at closed circuits from 1 January 2018.

The governing body says that the move is in line with its goal to get more people cycling both for sport and leisure, and reflects the way the bicycle industry is moving with bikes increasingly coming with disc brakes, which are generally considered safer on descents or in the wet than rim brakes, as standard.

> Everything you need to know about disc brakes

It means that for the first time, cyclists will be able to use disc brakes not only in sportives but also in competitive events such as races on the road or on closed circuits.

British Cycling’s director of cycling, Jonny Clay, said: “We believe we have made the decision with the best interests of domestic cycle sport in this country at heart.

“We know that buying a bike is a significant financial investment for people to make and with the cycling industry producing more and more bikes with disc brakes we felt it was only right that we amended our regulations to ensure that people can take part in any form of cycling, whether recreational or competitive, with one bike.

“We hope that this decision will encourage more and more people to get involved in competitive cycling.”

> Video: Road discs – What will they cut?

World cycling’s governing body, the UCI resumed its trial of the use of disc brakes in the peloton last year, and it will continue into 2018, when Professional Continental outfit Aqua Blue will be the first team to race exclusively on them.

Following claims of riders being injured in crashes by spinning disc rotors – though by no means all are convinced that cuts sustained are due to them – the professional cyclists’ organisation, the CPA, has asked for safety measures to be put in place, including guards.

> Disc brakes in the pro peloton: Riders demand better safety for disc brake rollout

At amateur level, in April 2016 after the UCI suspended its trial the organisers of the Etape du Tour said that disc brakes would not be allowed at that year’s edition of the event in line with French Cycling Federation rules.

Subsequently, however, the UCI clarified that disc brakes are allowed in mass participation events.

> UCI says disc brakes ARE allowed on bikes ridden in mass participation events

Great Britain joins USA Cycling, Cycling Canada and Cycling Australia in changing the rules to allow the use of disc brakes.

John Herety, team manager of the JLT-Condor cycling team, said: “The number of people riding disc brake road bikes is increasing all the time.

“British Cycling’s decision to allow the use of disc brakes in domestic road and closed circuit races in 2018 will help to remove a barrier that is currently preventing some people from getting into competitive racing and this decision will hopefully have a really positive impact on the future growth and sustainability of the sport.”

> 12 of 2018’s hottest disc brake-equipped race bikes

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.

10 comments

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Yorkshire wallet [1695 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes

Much ado about nothing in the first place.

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Scoob_84 [435 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Great news this - i can now race my Canyon Ultimate disc. 

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SteveAustin [92 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

OMG its gonna be a bloodbath!!!!

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BehindTheBikesheds [1310 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Tail wagging the dog, BC are a piss weak disgrace to the sport.

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700c [1191 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

Fine but how is current ban on discs acting as a barrier to those wanting to race? Are there people out there who don't feel confident riding without their disc brakes?! If so I suggest they shouldn't be racing anyway.

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David Arthur @d... [833 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

700c wrote:

Fine but how is current ban on discs acting as a barrier to those wanting to race? Are there people out there who don't feel confident riding without their disc brakes?! If so I suggest they shouldn't be racing anyway.

Clearly missing the point. I think it's more to do with people buying bikes with disc brakes and not being able to race them that is the issue

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rct [76 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
David Arthur @davearthur wrote:
700c wrote:

Fine but how is current ban on discs acting as a barrier to those wanting to race? Are there people out there who don't feel confident riding without their disc brakes?! If so I suggest they shouldn't be racing anyway.

Clearly missing the point. I think it's more to do with people buying bikes with disc brakes and not being able to race them that is the issue

I brought a new Skoda last year but the FIA won't let me race it in F1.

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BehindTheBikesheds [1310 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
David Arthur @davearthur wrote:
700c wrote:

Fine but how is current ban on discs acting as a barrier to those wanting to race? Are there people out there who don't feel confident riding without their disc brakes?! If so I suggest they shouldn't be racing anyway.

Clearly missing the point. I think it's more to do with people buying bikes with disc brakes and not being able to race them that is the issue

BC said they didn't want to force away people from racing because they might only have the one bike and that one bike might only have discs thus forcing them away, sorry but that is total BS. Since when did ANY competition rider only ever have one bike in the last, oh I don't know 25 years, a handful, maybe and that never stopped them riding.

Sure BITD you'd take your sprint wheels with you attached to the front axle but that has not being the case for many decades.

it's pandering to the manufacturers and coming up with a very spurious reason, stretching the imagination to the point it's clearly bollocks to justify the change in the rule. It's not about inclusivity at all which kind of flies in the face of their excluding people from their events if you don't wish to or feel the need to wear a helmet which in itself has now spread like a disease to bike clubs where many won't allow you to ride in the club if not wearing a plastic hat.

As I said, dog wagging the tail yet again and BC are a disgrace to the sport.

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Jimmy Ray Will [850 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

having just purchased the final part for my 2018 race bike, I am a little miffed by this announcement.

I am also interested that the decision was made without consulting national council... but thats probably a conversation for another time. 

There is no reason to make discs legal for road racing, but at the same time there is no reason not to make them legal for road racing either.

The positives for me are;

 - better braking options available

 - More inclusive sport - as much as you'd think 'racers' have a veritable stable of bikes in the shed, the truth is, many first try the sport at an early stage in their cycling and do only have one, maybe two bikes. A common route for riders coming in to the sport is from sportives, where they find their competitive nature is not being satisfied. You cna bet your bottom dollar that a lot of these people will have embraced disc technology faily early, so will indeed see the lack of disc inclusion as a barrier. 

 - less shit braking / mechanics. This is up for debate, but here is my theory. My rim brakes are very good. even with carbon rims andwet weather, they work pretty well. They work well because they are well maintained. A lot of peoples bikes are not well maintained. Far from it. Therefore I believe there are a lot of shit brakes in thepeloton, not because there are a lot of shit mechanics. disc brakes are very much fit and forget and apart from contaminated discs, their performance is all but guaranteed. I am talking about hydraulic discs her eby the way.

 - no more race wheel bolloxs! I can go carbon rim, tubless disc and run the same wheels all the time. super happy about that.

Negatives

- I have to spend more money on bikes.... 

- I have to put up with loads of chatter about sliced limbs

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700c [1191 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
David Arthur @davearthur wrote:
700c wrote:

Fine but how is current ban on discs acting as a barrier to those wanting to race? Are there people out there who don't feel confident riding without their disc brakes?! If so I suggest they shouldn't be racing anyway.

Clearly missing the point. I think it's more to do with people buying bikes with disc brakes and not being able to race them that is the issue

No I got it but but question that this is really the case. As per Behind the Bike Sheds who has de-bunked the rationale in his comment.