While a significant proportion of the peloton is still nervous about the possible dangers of disc brakes, Roompot-Oranje Peloton is to become the first professional team to completely abandon traditional rim brakes in favour of disc brakes.
The Dutch Pro Continental team, which was the first to use discs in a professional road race last year, has cited the improved performance of disc brakes as the main reason for the change. Technicalmanager Henk Schipper also pointing out the cost and impracticality of having to have multiple incompatible bikes and wheels, and the need to make sure that the bikes and wheels are compatible with the racks on the team cars.
According to Schipper, disc brakes offer three major performance benefits over rim brakes.
“Discs mean shorter braking distance in the rain, better power when descending, and no distorted wheels from overheating. When riders from other teams begin to see the benefits, I think they will follow us.”
Watch: how to use your brakes properly
Scipper also said that for a team of Roompot’s size and stature, it was simply not practical to be constantly switching between rim and disc brakes, with bike sponsor Isaac having to work hard to get everything ready after the UCI only announced the extension of its disc brake trial in late November.
“A gradual transition from rim to disc brakes is not practical to do because you will end up with different bike frames and wheels. On top of that, the storage systems in the team trucks and roof racks on the team cars have all had to be changed.”
However, Roompot-Oranje Peloton might find themselves in the minority with their use of disc brakes, with major riders such as Chris Froome being wary of the dangers that disc brakes may pose in a bunch pile-up, while Fabian Cancellara has stated that he won’t use disc brakes in his final season as a proessional.