Shimano R785 hydraulic disc brake for road bikes – first ride

Much has been made of the UCI’s refusal to allow hydraulic road disc brakes in road racing, although interestingly, the same brake will be raced this month by cyclo-cross luminaries including Marianne Vos, Lars Van Der Har and Niels Albert.

Andy Schleck, a guest at Shimano’s press camp in Sicily, spoke in favour of hydraulic disc brakes for road racing (Pic: Sirotti)

The World Sporting Goods Federation, the industry body that represents manufacturers like Shimano, believes the UCI’s concerns are two-fold, and involve over-heating, and the speed differential on approach to corners in wet conditions between riders with disc brakes and those with rim brakes (the latter forced to employ a two-phase braking system that first involves ‘scrubbing’ water from the brake track).

Andy Schleck (Team Trek), twice a runner-up in the Tour de France, and the ‘winner’ in 2010 following the disqualification of Alberto Contador, was a guest at Shimano’s press camp, and told journalists that professional riders also suffered from overheat brake tracks on carbon rims.

“That’s a problem we have now and it’s a problem we could get rid of if only we could have the disc brake,” Schleck said. He added that the heat also softened the glue used to attach tubular tyres, and said in extreme cases this softening could cause the tub to roll off the rim in sharp corners.

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