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CHARLES LEE | 21st Oct 2016 | NEWS

The big hoo-haa about the adoption of disc brakes for road racing finally came to an end after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced its decision to recommence the trial of disc brakes on road bikes from 1 January 2017 onwards. According to UCI’s press statement, the use of disc brake is not without any caveat. The rotor disc that will be installed on the bikes shall not have 90-degree sharp edges. Also, the trial will be closely monitored and formally reviewed on a monthly basis.

The decision to reinstate the trial of disc brakes was a fruition of months of discussions with the various race teams, riders and industry representatives. The Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) were involved in the series of talks as well.

The statement from UCI said: “Following extensive examination of the equipment and a detailed safety report, it has been agreed with manufacturers that the trial will restart on January 1st 2017 exclusively with discs which should be modified to ensure the perimeter edge of the brake rotor does not contain any 90 degree edges but are smoothed or chamfered.”

The trial on the adoption of disc brakes took off in road racing events towards the end of the 2015 season and into the beginning of 2016. However, numerous complaints filed by various race teams, riders and organisations, such as the CPA and the AIGCP prompted the trial to be halted. The complaints were not without basis. Many were of the view that the rotor discs’ blade-like edges could pose safety issues to the riders.

In April 2015 after Spaniard rider Francisco Ventoso suffered a deep gash when he crashed into another rider’s rear rotor disc in the Paris-Roubaix race, President of the UCI’s Equipment Commission Harald Tiedemann Hansen confirmed that the UCI had completely suspended the adoption of disc brakes.

It was reported in May this year that the UCI was considering the reinstatement of the trial on disc brakes in June after the brakes underwent modifications to suit road racing.

The original vision of the UCI was to run a second phase of disc brake use in road events this summer and to then allow men and women professional riders to adopt the braking technology in races from 1 January 2017.