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UCI to recommence disc brake trial in 2017

Josh Cunningham
13 Oct 2016

Starting from 1st January 2017, disc brakes will once again periodically feature in the pro peloton.

Today it has been officially announced that the use of disc brakes will once again be permitted in the pro peloton as part of a trial. 

The trial will recommence from the 1st January 2017, after having been aborted part-way through 2016 due to safety fears. The decision comes after discussions between representatives of teams, riders and the industry, read a UCI press release. The Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP) are also said to be in support of the trial, which will be 'monitored and formally reviewed every month.' 

The press release specifies that the disc brakes in use should be modified from previous versions. The perimeter edge of the brake rotor should not contain any 90 degree edges, it says 'but smoothed or chamfered.'

The previous trial was called to a halt in April 2016 amid safety concerns and specifically after the Movistar rider Fran Ventoso claimed that he suffered lacerations to his leg after a crash at Paris-Roubaix that involved a collision with a disc rotor. 'Nobody realised they can cut, they can become giant knives?' he infamously said.

The incident provoked a strong response from lots of pro riders, who voiced their opinion via social media and the CPA, and the ban was quickly employed. A report in May suggested that the ban could be lifted as early as June, in time for the Tour de France, but that proved not to be the case, and a recent episode when Orica BikeEchange's Sam Bewley complained of having been burned by a disc rotor caused the concern to resurface. 

No matter, it seems that disc brakes are due to return to the pro peloton in some form next year. But whether the trial proves to be more successful than the last remains to be seen. 

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