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British Cycling to allow use of disc brakes in all road and circuit races

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

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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