is it at all possible, that some WT Pro riders actually *like* disc brakes?
Absolutley it is... and according to the most recent poll, the number of pros that fall into that category is about 15%.
My sole beef with discs in the pro peloton is simply this... the pro peloton is not asking for them. I'm not even talking about safety issues, which may or may not have been exaggerated, I don't care about that since I personally believe those issues are probably overblown anyway. It's that they are being pushed onto the highest level of road bikes by the manufacturers who want to sell disc braked bikes to the masses. And they may very well be better for the masses, let the masses decide. But it truly irks the manufacturers pushing discs that they can't show a picture of pros at the highest level of road racing crossing that grand tour finish line, arms raised in victory, with discs prominently focused upon in the picture that ends up on the front of the company's brochure. Marketing is THE reason manufacturers sponsor road racing, so damnit... they want the likes of their most elite riders on the bikes they thing they want to sell in the coming year. End of story.
If pros were yelling "We want discs, we want discs...", then I'd say... go for it. And they may very well do that down the road at some point. And if that happens, then great...if all the pros genuinely
want them. But the fact is, they aren't and they don't. At least not yet. Even in a very recent poll this has been shown yet again... not sure why this poll wasn't presented in the Pro Cycling thread, maybe it was, but in any case... here are the results once again...
From Cycling Tips article... Dec 2, 2016
Of the nearly 550 respondents who have answered the survey thus far, less than 16% want to resume disc brake testing given the proposed UCI conditions. Almost 44% will only support testing if all of the CPA’s conditions are met, and the remaining 40% don’t want disc brakes at all, period.
And the three conditions they speak of are:
1) that the rotors be rounded at the edges
2) that the brake systems be covered with a guard
3) that everyone has to use them (no mish mash with some riders using rim brakes and others using discs).
So, I personally happen to like the current crop of road bikes with rim brakes, I just do, shoot me. They work just fine for all my uses. There are a whole lot of changes that have to be made to a road bike frame to accommodate discs, and I've listed those elsewhere before. But as soon as the manufacturers can force discs into the peloton, and make no mistake, they are being forced as opposed to being asked for by the vast majority of the pros, that will virtually spell the end of the high end rim braked road bike going forward. The marketing circle will be complete and the sales reps won't have to squirm around an awkward conversation when the loaded mamil walks into the shop asking to buy "what the pros ride". And the "mountainization" of road bikes will be complete.
I have nothing against discs as to their function and purpose in various applications. But I truly resent the manufacturers forcing them upon the pros when they're not being asked for. And it's not like the pros "don't know what they're missing". C'mon... they pro cyclists... they know that the latest tech is or they don't care, either way is fine. If they wanted it, they'd ask for it I'm sure. Or at least ride it when it's stuffed in their hands.