A leaked conference call by the UCI suggests that the disc brake trial will resume next month

With many bike manufacturers having invested significant resources in disc braked road bike models, a wholesale permanent banning of the use of discs at the highest levels of competition was never likely to be an option.

The UCI halted its trial of the use of disc brakes in professional road races following a nasty accident in which Movistar rider Fran Ventoso’s leg was badly cut during the Paris-Roubaix race, requiring surgery.

Ventoso claimed that the injury was due to falling onto a disc rotor. This has been followed by the banning of discs by the French and Spanish national federations from amateur events held on their soil.

Watch: what do the pros think of disc brakes?

Now, according to James Huang of the CyclingTips website, the trial is set to resume in June. Huang’s report is based on the leaked contents of a private conference call between the UCI and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, which acts as an industry body for sports manufacturers.

It is suggested that a stipulation for the restart of the trial is that rotors should have rounded edges rather than the sharp machining which is now more usual. It’s also possible that the UCI will dictate that they should have purely circular shapes without the waves or notches which many designs include, to make them a bit less like circular saw blades.

According to Huang, the UCI may also move on some of its design rules, which could pave the way for aerodynamic covers to be introduced on disc brake calipers and rotors.

  • mt

    The UCI should really step up to the mark and just ban crashes.

  • Lseven

    Was there not also a bad injury from a chainring this early season or end of last? Why didn’t they ban chainrings? Rounding the edges on the disc seems a simple and likely effective solution. I’m not sure taking the notches out is necessary/helpful but guess it can’t hurt. Not that sure of the point of them anyway. They really need to focus on cutting down on crashes. Fewer radios might help, fewer motor vehicles almost certainly will.

  • Haribo

    If one were a cynic, one might think that the focus on ‘dangerous’ disc brakes was just a distraction from the real dangers – the support motorbikes and cars. Banning disc brakes would give the illusion that the UCI give a damn about rider safety, without actually upsetting the status quo.

  • harry

    I’d have thought it should be safety, not necessity.

  • The issue should be more about necessity rather than safety, but If manufacturers already wasted their time making discs available on road bikes, let sponsored teams use them. UCI made good decision by haltering trial on disc brakes that occurred from one suspicious incident, but still they need to reconsider their involvement in dictating the shape of the disc for now, because it will only be more costly for the teams and manufacturers. Surely disk brakes have their benefits ( efficient late downhill braking, better braking power in poor conditions) but they should remain as a choice of selection for every pro-cyclist.

  • jeffoffline

    sooo… how does this effect all the sportives that over reacted and banned disc brakes?

  • Chris

    Agreed, that problem seems to have been pushed into the long grass. Nobody has come out saying what has been done, if anything . Any action taken on Motos yet?. Does Brian Cookson actually exist? The silence is deafening.

  • Chris

    Agreed, that problem seems to have been pushed into the long grass. Nobody has come out saying what has been done, if anything .

  • Haribo

    Why is there so much focus on what is a relatively minor injury compared to other injuries in peloton crashes this year alone?

  • Jay

    UCI should have never so haphazardly abandon the trial now they are caught in the middle and look like clowns having to resume it again . Pretty indecisive from such a large organisation.

  • NitroFan

    The manufacturers decision to invest in and expand their product line (which they will attempt to charge a premium for!) was theirs alone and should be neither here nor there as far as the UCI and national federations are concerned.