Race Tech

UCI to allow widespread use of disc brakes in pro peloton in 2016

Professional teams permitted to continue trial of disc brakes across all divisions

Disc brakes will be allowed in the professional peloton throughout 2016 after the UCI approved the continuation of their trial for next season.

Teams were allowed to test disc brakes at two races of their choice in the latter half of the 2015 season, and after meeting with the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), the decision has been taken to continue the trial across all divisions of UCI professional cycling throughout 2016.

Disc brakes will be permitted for use across all divisions of professional cycling – WorldTour, ProContinental, Continental, women’s – in 2016

It means, while disc brakes will not be officially sanctioned until at least 2017, their use will be permitted in both the men’s and women’s professional peloton.

A UCI statement read: “The use of disc brakes will be carefully monitored throughout the year with a view to definitely allowing them to be used in professional road cycling from 2017.”

Buyer’s guide: disc brake road bikes

As Shimano and SRAM already have disc brake systems in place, and Campagnolo are set to follow suit very shortly, it could mean disc brakes are in widespread use in the pro peloton no later than spring.

Bike manufacturers have responded by ensuring they have a disc-ready race bike available for their sponsored teams to use, and any brand missing a race-worthy machine in their range will surely be working on one. Canyon, for instance, showed a prototype Ultimate CF SLX at the Eurobike trade show in August.

Disc brakes were initially trialed in the peloton in August and September 2015 – here is Bernie Eisel’s Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk from the Eneco Tour

Team Sky were among the teams to trial disc brakes in 2015, with Bernhard Eisel using the Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk at the Eneco Tour, while Ben Swift has been spotted riding a disc-equipped machine in winter training ahead of the 2016 campaign. Will Team Sky will be one of the early adopters of disc brakes in the peloton?

Team Sky’s Bernhard Eisel testing disc brakes at Eneco Tour

With the UCI’s latest announcement giving teams licence to choose whether they use disc or rim brakes, we will watch with interest to see how many take up the disc option and in what races. We’ll also likely begin to head more feedback from riders as to the pros and cons of disc brakes in the peloton.


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