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RIP rim brakes: Ineos Grenadiers are finally racing on discs

Matthew Loveridge
20 Sep 2021

The WorldTour's final hold-out has given in to the inevitable

After holding out longer than most, the Ineos Grenadiers will finally be racing on bikes with disc brakes. Beginning with the Grand Prix de Denain one-day race in northern France on Tuesday 21 September (i.e. tomorrow), the team will roll out on shiny new Pinarello Dogma F Discs. This is a significant moment as it likely marks the beginning of the end of rim brakes in pro cycling.

Ineos were the last WorldTour team riding rim brakes while the rest of the peloton had already made the switch, this despite bike sponsor Pinarello already offering a disc model in its range in the form of the Dogma F12 Disc, the newly-launched Dogma F’s predecessor.

While Ineos hasn’t explicitly stated that rim brakes are dead, a press release from the team calls this the ‘the initial phase of the disc brake roll out’, making it clear that the writing is on the wall for traditional calipers.

Ineos head of technical partners Carsten Jeppesen says the team ‘will continue to develop the all-round disc package, optimising weight, the integration across Dura-Ace, and improvements in the quick release system’. The last detail is a key one as one of pro teams’ arguments against the adoption of discs has been the relative slowness of wheel changes where thru-axles have replaced old-school quick-release skewers.

Director of racing Rod Ellingworth notes that ‘rider feedback has been encouraging’ while Fausto Pinarello himself is fully onboard saying ‘I’ve been convinced about disc brakes since I started riding them myself and I’m happy the team is going to race on them in the final part of this season’.

Ineos has supplied photos of a Pinarello Dogma F Disc in full team livery and it is a truly mouth-watering thing.

It’s worth noting the bike is wearing an 11-speed Shimano R9170 Dura-Ace groupset, not the newly-launched 12-speed Dura-Ace R9270.

While the new Dura-Ace groupset does offer a rim brake option and has put in the odd appearance at pro races on Team DSM bikes in its disc brake guise, component availability remains limited at present. Shimano press officer Ben Hillsdon tells us we can expect to see Ineos Grenadiers training on the new groupset from the end of 2021 and using it in races for the 2022 season.

Images: Joris Knapen / Ineos Grenadiers