They’re finally here. Disc brakes in the pro peloton, that is, with Team Sky’s Bernhard Eisel using the Eneco Tour to test a Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk.
Cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, announced in April that teams can use two races of their choice in August and September to test disc brakes, ahead of a further trial in 2016 and the expected legalisation of discs the following year.
Team Sky are one of two squads who have nominated the Belgian stage race to test disc brakes, along with Dutch UCI Continental-registered outfit Team Roompot.
While Team Roompot’s Isaac bikes are equipped with SRAM’s hydraulic disc brakes, Eisel is using Shimano’s hydraulic system on his Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk. The Austrian posted pictures of the disc-equipped machine on Twitter ahead of stage three, with the Dogma F8 Disk sporting Shimano’s easily-recognisable Ice Tech Freeza rotors, which have a series of fins cut into the rotor to reduce heat build-up, allowing for a smaller rotor size without affecting power or modulation.
The Dogma Disk F8 was launched in May and uses Shimano’s new flat mount disc standard. Pinarello say the key characteristics of the disc-ready frame remain the same as the standard Dogma F8 on which Chris Froome won the Tour de France, using the same geometry, aero-informed tube profiles and Toray 11001K carbon fibre.
Made me quite anti disc brakes as well. Just my opinion but I think we’d see a ton more injuries from mass pileups like that.
— Alex Dowsett (@alexdowsett) August 3, 2015
While Eisel announced himself as “quite excited” to be riding the Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk, the arrival of disc brakes hasn’t brought widespread joy in the pro peloton. Tweeting after avoiding a huge crash at the Tour of Poland, Movistar’s Alex Dowsett said he was “Really happy to have avoided that one, hope everyone’s ok… Made me quite anti disc brakes as well. Just my opinion but I think we’d see a ton more injuries from mass pileups like that.”
However, in all likelihood, disc brakes are here to stay. This is only the beginning.