Disc brakes in Chris Froome's firing line after Tour du Rwanda woe

Froome takes aim in an Insta reel after slow wheel change that brought his long solo break to an end

Chris Froome 2023
(Image credit: Con Chronis / Getty Images)

Just when you thought the disc brake argument was done and dusted, they're back in the headlines. An Instagram post by Chris Froome suggests he's still yet to be convinced by them, after his long solo break at the recent Tour du Rwanda was brought to an abrupt end by a laborious wheel change.

The reel he posted shows an epic overhead shot of Froome out alone on stage five, apparently bound for victory, then cuts in closer to a motorbike shot showing the effort on his face as he pumps out a rhythm on the pedals. Then suddenly, he has ground to a halt, with a service course staffer attempting, without much luck, to swiftly change his front wheel, as the bunch bears down from behind. Break over.

The Israel-Premier Tech rider's caption needs little interpretation: "Rim brakes > Disc brakes", it says, followed by a trio of melting-face emojis.

Froome has voiced his dislike for disc brakes in the past. Reviewing his Israel team bike in 2021, he said he wasn't "100% sold" on disc brakes yet. The performance is great, he conceded, before adding: "The downsides to disc brakes [are] the constant rubbing, the potential for mechanicals, the overheating… personally I don't think the technology is quite where it needs to be yet."

While later in the season he was in a more conciliatory mood, saying he and the team had ironed out most of the issues he'd had, disc brakes were back in Froome's sights again last year in another social media video. It was the again the issue of pad rub and alignment which the four-time Tour winner was having trouble with.

“We’re riding Shimano at the moment. I hear the new 12-speed Shimano has sorted out some of these issues,” he says in the video. “But I think with the older stuff with the 11-speed, [I’m] still getting a lot of rubbing… getting one piston firing more than another one, which always puts things out of alignment.

Setting up his comments, Froome joked, "My entertainment with disc brakes continues".

We have a feeling we've still not heard the last of it.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.