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Pro riders' association wants changes to UCI disc brake test

Published February 15, 2017

ESTAVAYER-le-LAC, Switzerland (BRAIN) — The Professional Cyclists Association is asking that the UCI honor its requests for changes to its disc brake testing in the pro road peloton. 

The UCI first began limited testing of road discs in the pro peloton in late 2015, then suspended the test last April, soon after the Paris-Roubaix race, where one rider blamed a leg injury on contact with a brake rotor.

The test resumed on Jan. 1, and several races have been won by riders using the brakes. However, the riders' group said the UCI has not complied with three requests it made prior to the test's resumption. Those requests were for rounded disc rotors, a safety guard over the rotors, and for the brakes to only be tested with all riders in the peloton using discs. 

In a press release Wednesday, the group said the "UCI was able to get good results" regarding the rounded edges, and that disc brake guard options are under consideration. But the group said it has not received a satisfactory response from the UCI regarding the request for an all-or-nothing test in the peloton.

The release quoted from a letter that CPA's Gianni Bugno sent to the UCI over the weekend.

"At this point, there is a reason to believe that it is not yet time to start these tests," Bugno wrote in the letter. "As we have said several times, we are not against the technological innovation, but we are worried above all by the safety of the riders on the road."

"We believe that the riders will finally agree and that at the end they will be happy to use these new technologies in the race, but only once the preventive safety measures that have been requested will be carried out ... We also asked that all the riders will be able to use a bicycle with disc brakes as soon as possible for the training. It would be ridiculous to test such equipment for the first time in the race. This first step seems to me logical and indisputable in the process, if we want to put this new system in place in our sport."

The UCI has not responded publicly to the CPA letter. An all-or-nothing test of discs would be difficult because some major team sponsors do not produce disc brakes or disc-compatible frames. Such tests would require teams to maintain fleets of disc- and rim-brake race bikes. 


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