Chris Froome wary of disc brakes in the peloton in 2016

The two-time Tour de France champion says it should be 'all or nothing' when it comes to riders using disc brakes in races

Chris Froome (Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Team Sky's Chris Froome is concerned about safety and the use of disc brakes this 2016 season, which began on Tuesday with the Tour Down Under in Australia.

The world governing body, the UCI, in November allowed teams to use discs or calipers as they wish in the 2016 season. The rule applies to all teams, from WorldTour to continental, and all races.

"I tried them on mountain bikes but not on the road bike," Froome told La Gazzetta dello Sport (opens in new tab) last week. "However, as a matter of safety, I say that they should be used by everyone or no one at all. Having a group different brake systems would increase the dangers."

Sky tested disc brakes at two races late last summer with Ben Swift and Bernie Eisel, but have yet to roll them out for the 29-man roster. It is unclear if teams will begin to use them in the ongoing Tour Down Under or Tour de San Luis in Argentina.

Watch: Chris Froome talks 2016 plans

The hurdles to overcome include the unit's weight, aerodynamics and safety. Another issue, which Froome was likely referring to, is the braking differences between disc and caliper systems. Some argue that discs could create big braking differences in the peloton, while others say those differences already exist between the braking power of Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo calipers.

Another issue is that while Shimano is leading the way, Campagnolo has yet to roll out disc brakes for teams’ race bikes. So at this point, Froome's wish of all or nothing is only possible if the professional teams stick to calipers.

Other stars have also expressed their concern, as well. Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) said that he does not want to change his ways in his final season and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) explained that riders will need time to learn how to brake with discs.

"You can't have the bunch with disc brakes and the other half with normal ones, that would cause carnage because the braking points are different," said Eisel, who is now helping Mark Cavendish in team Dimension Data.

"There will be a lot of work to do in the next one or two years. I'm guessing everyone will be on them by 2018, earliest 2017."

Froome has yet to race. He begins his season at the Herald Sun Tour in Australia on February 3.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.