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Mark Cavendish to race disc brakes this season?

There’s been a game of musical chairs amongst the professional teams during the off-season with many of the WorldTour outfits swapping bike and equipment sponsors, with Mark Cavendish’s Dimension Data team switching from Cervelo to BMC for the 2019 season.

- 2019 WorldTour race bikes - all the changes to this year's professional peloton

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The Swiss bike brand will provide the South African team with a choice of bikes, including the brand new disc-only Timemachine Road (above), the all-round and versatile TeamMachine, and the brand new Timemachine TT bike. According to a post on the Enve website, the main bike of choice will the TeamMachine (pictured below) which is available with rim or disc brakes.

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Previous equipment partners to Dimension Data stay on board, so the BMC frames will be equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets with Rotor 2InPower cranks. Enve remains a key partner, providing carbon fibre wheels and handlebars. That leaves Selle Italia to supply saddles and Vittoria the saddles.

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Mark Cavendish has been campaigning aboard a Cervelo S5 for the past couple of seasons and has been pictured riding BMC’s new aero bike, the Timemachine Road. This new aero bike is only available with disc brakes and the Enve website reports that Dimension Data will embrace disc brakes for 2019 with a full fleet of disc-equipped team bikes.

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“We’re excited about the move to disc brakes with Dimension Data. We’ve had fully developed disc brake road wheels in our line for a while now, and this now allows us to show that technology on the big stage,” said Jake Pantone with ENVE.

“By pulling off the brake track, we can further refine the materials and lay-up for each wheel. Similarly, we can shape the rim where it meets the tire to provide a better aero transition from the tire to the rim. The SES disc line-up in which the Dimension Data team will be running is an advantage”, added Pantone.

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We’ll have to wait until the first race of the season to see whether the team do all compete on disc-equipped bikes. Given Mark Cavendish has never raced disc brakes in his career up to this point it does seem hard to imagine he would be happy making the switch, given how he’s famously very fussy about his bike setup. Who knows, maybe he’ll fully embrace the discs? If he doesn’t, the only other bike he can ride without discs is the non-aero Teammachine SLR01.

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For the time trials, it looks like BMC has just pulled the covers off a brand new time trial bike. It’s so new it doesn’t appear on the UCI’s list of approved equipment yet. The new Timemachine TT (not to be confused with the Timemachine Road) looks to be clearly based on the triathlon version but with a few necessary changes to ensure it meets the UCI’s strict rules governing bike design.

The storage and hydration modules have vanished and there’s a new external seat tube arrangement that gives the back of the bike a very distinctive appearance. Up front is the same hinged fork design with the stem integrated into the frame for a very flat top tube from front to back. The brakes are concealed inside the fork with flaps for access and the rear brake is mounted underneath the chainstay.

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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.