If there is one thing we can be certain of in 2016, it is that more disc-equipped road race bikes will be unveiled. With the UCI extending its disc brake trial, this season could very well be the turning point for disc road bikes at the top level of the sport. Or it might not, time will tell.
While some manufacturers have suitable race bikes (Specialized, Focus) many of the bicycle brands involved with the WorldTour have yet to release a suitable disc-equipped road bike. Here then are some of the bikes we might see being released at some point this year.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc
Cannondale was busy last year. It launched the Slate, the overhauled CAAD12 in two versions (one with discs), and, of course, the updated SuperSix Evo. While the Cannondale pro cycling team could race the CAAD12 Disc, that’s very unlikely. They’ll be wanting a disc version of the SuperSix Evo, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the US company developed one at the same time as the regular rim brake version.
Giant TCR Advanced Disc
Giant has invested in disc brakes in a big way, with a total transformation of its Defy endurance range - most of the models are only available with disc brakes. It’s an ideal bike for racing Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, but for regular road stages, most of the Giant-Alpecin team choose the lightweight TCR Advanced or slippery Propel aero bike. Giant last year introduced an updated TCR - but has it also developed a disc version at the same time that it has yet to unveil to the world? Another option is the Propel, that's the oldest bike in the company's road bike range now, but if it did that it would be the first aero road bikes used in the pro peloton (other companies have recently designed aero disc bikes, but none that sponsor a pro team).
Canyon Ultimate CF Evo Disc
Having shown a working prototype of an Ultimate with disc brakes at Eurobike last year, it’s probably highly likely that Canyon is close to production with this bike and we could see it being raced, and possibly on sale, at some point this year. Canyon, of course, did just launch an updated Ultimate CF SLX last summer, but looking at the UCI’s approved equipment list, Canyon has had another version of this bike, labelled the CF EVO with a different fork (EVO F37) approved at the same time. We’d guess at this being the Ultimate Disc.
Scott Addict Disc
Scott supplies two professional cycling teams in the WorldTour peloton and if either of them wants to ride disc brakes, currently their only choice is the Solace. It’s a sportive/endurance bike with a more upright riding position than the racier Addict, which is fine for the cobbled classics. For all other events like stage races, Scott probably needs to launch the Addict Disc. The Addict has been out since 2013 which is a long time in the bike world, because they probably started developing it two years before that.
BMC TeamMachine SLR Disc
Swiss company BMC knows what it is doing with disc brakes, with its endurance platform the GranFondo having been offered with disc brakes for some time now. That’s of little interest to the team, though, as they predominately race the lightest bike in the range, the TeamMachine SLR01. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth now, it hasn’t been updated since it was launched in 2013, so could it have been working on a disc brake version ready to launch in 2016?
Trek Emonda Disc
Trek has dabbled with disc brakes on road bikes, with its Domane endurance road bike being offered with discs for a couple of years. With its bigger tyre clearance and bump-absorbing IsoSpeed decoupler, it’s a natural choice for tough races like Paris-Roubaix. Fabian Cancellara is one of the racers who favours the Domane for regular road stages, but he has declared he won’t be racing disc brakes in his last season. Most of the Trek Factory Racing team though opt either for the aerodynamics of the new Madone, or the low weight and stiffness of the Emonda. Out of the two, the Emonda (first registered with the UCI in late 2013) is probably the most likely to get a disc brake makeover.
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.