Will 2017 be remembered as the year the professional peloton makes the switch to disc brakes? Introducing such a radical new product to the peloton was never going to be a smooth process, but that it has caused emotions to run so high has been surprising.
The UCI has now reinstated its disc brake trial and we’re seeing more race bikes being launched with disc brakes, including more recently the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc. This new bike is currently being put through its paces by the Cannondale-Drapac, which has released this behind-the-scenes video of the team conducting training sessions aboard the new bike.
What’s remarkable about the video is how normal (to our eyes at least) the bikes look, and how at home the riders appear to be on the bikes. Of course, this is a reasonably slickly produced video designed to promote the team on disc brakes, but there does appear to be no cause for concern amongst the team.
- Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Disc Ultegra
We’ve ridden and reviewed the new SuperSix Evo Disc, and been really impressed. Best of all, it has identical geometry to the regular rim brake race bike, so replicating fit and position isn’t a problem and the performance on offer is the same as we’ve come to expect from the Evo over the years.
Getting the weight down with light wheels and other parts shouldn’t be a big issue: we’ve tested disc race bikes that skirt around the UCI’s 6.8kg minimum weight limit.
Everyone has a view on disc brakes, especially the pros. In a recent interview with road.cc, Welshman Geraint Thomas said he was open to disc brakes and is realistic to their advantages, but he also says there’s no rush until the safety considerations are taken into account.
“I think disc brakes are a big advantage now and help with braking especially when it’s wet on steep descents,” he said. “But there’s no point in rushing it into the peloton, some people are on it, some aren’t,” he said.
If 2017 is the year when disc brakes become a common sight in the peloton, where will they make their first appearance? The Santos Tour Down Under is the traditional curtain raiser on the 2017 race season, but with the logistics, for European teams to get all their riders, bikes and kits to the other side of the world, will they hold back the rollout until the first race closer to home? The other option, and it’s one we’re hearing a lot on the grapevine, is a debut at the spring classics, races like Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders.
Watch this space, 2017 is going to be an interesting year.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.