Why is no one using disc brakes in the tour?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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gceniza
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by gceniza

I find it interesting right now that despite the UCI approving the use of disc brakes in the pro tour, almost no one is using them other than to pose for sponsor photos. It seems like every replay I've been watching of the races in Europe so far, nearly every team is racing on rim brakes. I'm not intending to start yet another endless disc vs. rim debate ... personally I could go either way. While I do think at some time road disc braking is going to be standard, the fact that the pros are not fully accepting them today is surprising and could be telling of what they feel about the current state of the technology.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Ya think
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bilwit
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by bilwit

why would they

AJS914
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by AJS914

I believe that the UCI isn't allowing discs right now.

pros are not fully accepting them today is surprising


They have sorted out wheel changes yet. There are multiple attachment standards (QR, thru-axel) and rotors need to be aligned with calipers. You can't just throw on any wheel on any bike and be assured of it working.

Unless the pro peloton standardizes they can't even think of going to discs. Even if they do I'm not sure how they will deal with the caliper/rotor alignment issue. Drive mechanic's crazy trying to get all the wheels for the team into the same alignment?

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F45
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by F45

Because rim brakes are a better engineering solution for the great majority of road riding.

Maybe if there was a rainy day in the mountains with technical descents then some riders would consider them (if permitted).

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Calnago
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by Calnago

They're allowed. The pros just don't really see a need for them. Combine that with the logistical and mechanical issues they present in a race environment and the only reason for their adoption in the pro ranks becomes one of marketing.
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CrankAddictsRich
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by CrankAddictsRich

From a performance standpoint, I actually think that quite a few pros like them and use them... it certainly seems that way based on training photos that I've seen. I suppose those could be staged for sponsor's sake, but I fold quite a few riders on instagram on even on rides when no official photographers are present, many of them are using disc brakes. IMO, it all comes down to the fact that disc brake wheels aren't easily swappable... They perform great, but the performance improvement is really only noticeable in wet conditions and to the pros, who make their lives based on winning races, none of them want to take the risk of not being able to get a speedy wheel change and get going again as quickly as possible. I had a disk brake road bike for a while and had 3 wheel sets... swapping wheels as a pain and always involved re-aligning the caliper to the rotor.
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grover
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by grover

Mavic Neutral Service are equipped with disc brake wheels.

The agreed upon disc brake spares are
- 12x100 thru-axle front
- 12x142 thru-axle rear
- 160mm rotors front and rear
- 11 speed cassette (spacing close enough to use interchangeably on sram/shimano/campagnolo)

If the team uses something different to that they will not be able to use neutral spares. They'll have to take a neutral bike or wait for the team car/team mate.

solarider
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by solarider

One of the main issues until now has been differential stopping speeds and distance between rim and disc brakes. Either the whole Peleton goes disc or nobody should as this could lead to accidents (a tacit admission that discs offer superior braking power). Now that all 3 groupset manufacturers have a disc offer this might change.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

the above is not the reason. It is "inertia". Change comes slowly. While few will be on disc brakes this year a few more will use them next year and so on. As pointed out the standards are agreed 100x12mm front/142x12mm rear. If the pro switched to tubeless tyres they will be stopping less often for wheel changes. Also the mechanics have to learn new tricks and that is another inertia issue to keep teams on rim brakes.

I support a race team and they are using IRC tubeless tyres. There was one race with off road sectors that some riders punctured on (the team mechanic though had not topped up the sealant as tubeless is new tricks for him) and apart from that race wheel changes have not been needed which is a first. So when teams adopt all the new tech and the mechanics learn all the new tricks they need you might find teams making the switch.

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by fromtrektocolnago

i just did an amateur race in the french alps la vaujany oisans, the little brother to the marmotte which will take place in a few days. i only noticed one bike with a disc set-up, everyone else virtually was on cantilevers. same was true on my training rides the week before whee we went up alpe de huez and col de la morte etc, most everyone i came in contact with was on cantilevers not disc.
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ghisallo2003
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by ghisallo2003

Are you sure you mean Cantilever?

mattr
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by mattr

CrankAddictsRich wrote: it certainly seems that way based on training photos that I've seen.
Training isn't racing. They are also (possibly) using clinchers. Probably don't have a mechanic on hand either. Might have to train in all weathers.

I'd have a disc bike for training /commuting on in a shot (If it wasn't going to cost me a 1500 quid to convert.)

CrankAddictsRich
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by CrankAddictsRich

mattr wrote:
CrankAddictsRich wrote: it certainly seems that way based on training photos that I've seen.
Training isn't racing. They are also (possibly) using clinchers. Probably don't have a mechanic on hand either. Might have to train in all weathers.

I'd have a disc bike for training /commuting on in a shot (If it wasn't going to cost me a 1500 quid to convert.)


Yes, that's exactly my point. It seems that in training, many of them choose disc brakes, which to me, indicates that they see value to the performance that disk brakes provide... but they aren't willing to choose that advantage in races when it comes with the disadvantage of much slower wheels changes.
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Marin
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by Marin

I think they are using disc in training because that's the only place where they can show off their sponsored disc bikes.

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