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Video: reader films moment he says his leg was cut by disc brake rotor

Peter Curtis-Brown needed hospital treatment after sustaining deep wound to leg

A reader has filmed the moment he says the disc brake rotor of a fellow cyclist he was riding with caused a deep cut in his leg, which a week and a half later is still an open wound.

Peter Curtis-Brown sent us the above footage of the incident, which happened on Sunday 23 April when he was on a café ride with friends passing through Cholmondeley near Nantwich in Cheshire.

“It was a small social group ride and the group had split up at a junction,” he told us. “They were in the process of coming back together.

“As I slowed up the two riders behind me did not react in time and crashed into me. It was at very slow speed. I didn’t even fall off. The video shows the disc brake-equipped bike coming up my right-hand side.”

The 43-year-old, who works as a broker consultant for an insurance company and lives in Nantwich, was treated at Leighton Hospital in Crewe, and took this picture the following day.

Disc brake rotor injury 01 (picture courtesy Peter Curtis-Brown).jpeg

“The wound was cleaned and the skin unpicked out (very painful), with the whole process taking about three hours,” he said, adding that no other rider was hurt in the incident.

The bike that ran into Peter’s leg was a 2017 Specialized Roubaix.

The California-based firm has been at the centre of the controversy over the trial of disc brakes in professional cycling, with Lotto-Soudal rider Adam Hansen saying in January that the brand was trying to force the technology on the peloton before concerns over safety had been fully resolved.

> Lotto-Soudal pro Adam Hansen says Specialized is trying to force disc brakes on peloton

But last month, the company’s founder and CEO, Mike Sinyard, said he believed that disc brakes were “adding to safety, not danger, and if anything, the chainring on the front is a bit more dangerous.”

He predicted that all professional riders would be racing on bikes within disc brakes within two years, and that in future all road bikes would have them.

> Specialized boss Mike Sinyard says in future, all road bikes will have disc brakes

Peter sent the company photos of the disc brake rotor, on which blood can be seen, with the company asking him if he could provide a link to the video, but said he was "disappointed" with its response. 

Referring to the picture below, he told us: “This blade looks like it is designed to cut and if you look at the blood line I feel it influenced the severity of my cut.

Disc brake rotor (picture courtesy Peter Curtis-Brown).jpeg

“More work needs to be done to make these safer bearing in mind this is on a 2017 model bike being sold today!”

Peter said that his experience had led him to change his opinion of disc brakes.

“Prior to this incident I did not hold a strong option on the use of disc brakes,” he said. “I now feel that in their current state they are only suitable when riding by yourself.

“If they can do that much damage in such a low speed crash then they should not be on bikes that are going to be used in group rides whether that be amateur of professional.

“On a side note the injury has impacted me more that I first thought it would,” he continued.

“I can’t exercise at the moment as the wound is still open,” said Peter, who sent us this picture of how it looks 10 days on.

Disc brake rotor injury 10 days after (picture courtesy Peter Curtis-Brown).jpg

“I have had to withdraw from a triathlon I was due to compete in,” he added.

“I am going away this weekend and it was due to involve some open water swimming. I can’t do that now. I have not been able to go swimming at the gym so probably a month’s membership will go down the drain.”

We have contacted Specialized UK for a comment.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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