UCI approves testing of disc brakes in the professional peloton

UCI green lights tests of disc brakes in pro races in August and September, with possible introduction in 2017 WorldTour

Professional cycling teams have been given the go ahead to test the use of disc brakes on road bikes at the end of the 2015 race season.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirmed on Tuesday that it has given the green light for the use of disc brakes during selected events in August and September 2015. Each team will be allowed to use disc brakes at two events of their choice during those months.

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The testing and review process will then continue throughout the 2016 season. “If the experience is satisfactory,” said the UCI in a statement, “disc brakes will be officially introduced to the UCI WorldTour in 2017. The aim is to eventually introduce disc brakes to all levels of road cycling”.

The decision to test the use of disc brakes on the road was made after the UCI and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) had consulted with various interested parties in professional road cycling.

UCI president Brian Cookson commented: “Although disc brakes have been used for around a decade in mountain biking and for the last two years in cyclo-cross, their introduction to road cycling must be carefully studied in collaboration with all those who are directly concerned.

“That includes riders, teams and manufacturers. This step is part of the UCI’s desire to encourage innovation in order to ensure cycling is even more attractive for spectators, riders, bike users and broadcasters.”

Ridley X-Night 30 Disc cyclocross bike

Disc brakes are already commonplace on cyclo-cross bikes

WFSGI Secretary General Robbert de Kock was positive about the decision. “This decision will further develop innovation and create new possibilities for the bicycle industry as well as additional performance for the riders,” he said.

“There is still some fine tuning to do on detailed requirements for the procedure, but it is very exciting to finally have reached this decision. The remaining open topics such as neutral race support or the UCI and Teams protocol will be tackled soon.”

The use of disc brakes on consumer bikes has slowly been gaining momentum, with several major manufacturers introducing models equipped with the brakes in the past few years. However, the use of disc brakes by professional racers will undoubtedly accelerate the interest in using them by consumers.