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Are disc brakes contributing to crashes in the pro peleton this year?

  • 25-08-2021 6:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭


    I hope you are all well.

    I was watching the Vuelta yesterday.

    Roglic attacked his other GC rivals, and pushed it on the decent.

    He took a corner fast, seemed to lock the rear disc brakes and slid out and off the road.

    Luck for Primoz, he wasnt badly hurt.

    My question is.. at the World Tour level, where disc brakes are nearly universal, are their use and or misuse contributing to some of the nasty crashesin the last year or two?

    Is it that riders are more used to rim brakes and need time to adapt or are the disc brakes too powerful at the speed and power produced on roads by World Tour Riders ?

    Whereas on gravel roads, mountain bike tracks, in wet and slippery commuting weather.. discs are much more suitable...

    Thank u!




  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Misjudging a corner is simply misjudging a corner.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    they do something like 20,000 Kms a year, they would have no problems with disc breaks, apart from “G” Thomas, he would fall off a rocking horse

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,627 ✭✭✭✭dahat

    Primos took chances on a risky descent, no fault on disc breaks for me.

    So to answer your question I don’t think so.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,240 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    there may be a nugget of an interesting question there if you were asking about a neophyte amateur who took a corner too fast, overestimating how good the brakes would be; but the example given was primoz roglic, who is far from a neophyte amateur.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    They were saying the roads were sandy for the descent - Mas wasn't looking too hot on it either, and I heard an interview with Elissonde where he said the descent was dodgy and he eased right off once he knew the win was gone.

    tbh someone mentioned Thomas earlier, but Roglic has a tarmac magnet all of his own...

  • Registered Users Posts: 546 ✭✭✭sbs2010

    From the small amount of the Olympic Road race I saw, I got the impression that the vast majority of riders were on rims brakes.

    Anyone else see that or did I just get it wrong?

    Assuming it was mostly rim brakes does that suggest the pros really prefer rim but are forced to use disc by their teams?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,744 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    Plenty of discs at the Olympic RR here.

    Pros at the Olympics will ride their "work" bikes or at least a version of the same painted in, say , national colours. If there were more rim braked bikes than usual, it may be more reflective of what the non-pro riders are using.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    A lot are still swapping for climby stages, but it's getting less (given they have to bring most rim brake bikes up to minimum weight anyway). Olympic RR could've been complicated by lack of on road support.

    After all the nonsense about crashes and the damage rotors will do, the biggest issue remaining seems be punctures/ swapping wheels, but even then that's down to when relying on Neutral Service.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Rim / disc / bicycle / motorbike - If you're braking mid-corner then you've already made a mess of things. Roglic was pushing on and had had a couple of close calls on previous corners, imo he just fell due to lack of grip, nothing to do with his brakes.

    (having said that disc brakes suck and rim brakes rule all, viva les rims!!!)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28 bwdbwd

    Think most posters just jumped on your Roglc example and disagreed with you .. which probably was bike handling related etc.

    However, for all the major pile ups we've seen this year, I think that disc brakes have played a role - the concertina or accordion effect, is happening at a much faster pace and riders can't react in time to it, therefore causing more to hit the deck

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭Arequipa


    Thanks for the replies...

    I think you are right about the mass peleton crashes..

    If you are screaming along on a GT Stage and nerves and tension is high.. a clipped wheel, squeeze of powerful brakes and the guys behind have nowhere to go...

    I am no expert but I find earlier versions of disc brake bikes solid but heavy.. whereas a light frame with rim brake feels lighter and faster..

    What annoys me about the disc brake phenomenon... is that bike companies are creating a whole new market & need to buy new bikes, wheels, rotar,hydo cables and shifters etc...basically giving up on rim brakes...

    And regarding Roglic looks to me like he might have locked up his rear brake?

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,240 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    What annoys me about the disc brake phenomenon... is that bike companies are creating a whole new market & need to buy new bikes, wheels, rotar,hydo cables and shifters etc...basically giving up on rim brakes...

    isn't shimano coming out with a 2x12 groupset in a few weeks? i.e. this is nothing new.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,744 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    Schroedingers disc brake - simultaneously no better performing than a good quality rim brake ( and sure the braking is limited by tyre grip anyway) yet also far more powerful.

    Over the past decade, all sorts of things have been blamed for causing an increase in crashes :

    -Disc brakes

    -Looking at power meters

    -Riders spending too much time on Zwift

    -Mark Cavendish

    -GC teams going to the front in sprint finishes

    - The UCI

    -Puppy paws

    -Mobile phones & social media

    -TV helicopters

    Letting the actual causes aside, do we know that there are more crashes this year? One of the cycling statistics websites has started capturing data on riders injured in crashes and the numbers involved, but only has data for a year so far ( I think).

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭Arequipa

    I think some crashes are caused by stress, anxiety and mistakes..

    I think some riders are better bike handlers thsn others..

    It is very noticeable on big Alpine decents.. riders like Mike Woods, Richie Porte.. go a lot slower and gingerly downhill..

    While guys like Nibali, Sagan, will actually attack on decents...

    Maybe disc brakes are so powerful.. they feel they can brake later and more reliably.. particularly in Wet weather.. when discs are undeniably more effective

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,715 ✭✭✭Large bottle small glass

    You want data?

    Anecdotes and bias are the currency around here baby!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,264 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    There's no way that the mass pile ups can be blamed on disc brakes. Performance levels of the entire peloton and team tactics/ demands by DS's of everyone being up the front are far bigger, in the long list of contributory factors

    The initial disc brake scare stories were about all the damage that the rotors would do in a crash. I'm not aware of any evidence from said mass pile ups.

  • Registered Users Posts: 709 ✭✭✭wowy

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,266 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell

    True, but the shift to disc brakes is particularly craven. If you want/need to move from 11 to 12 speed, you just need a new groupset most of the time. Discs? You need a new everything. New frame, new wheels, new groupset.

    Whatever about them causing crashes, they're definitely contributing to an unprecedented amount of lameness in bike design. Most of the bikes in the pro Peloton now look like they've hit every branch of the ugly tree.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 38,785 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    Out of curiosity, what is the objection to discs? Personally I don't find them that intrusive in the side profile of a bike. In general, they have better stopping power than rim brakes. Also rim brakes wear out the wheels and for carbon wheels are crap in the wet (although discs often squeal in the wet but still stop better than rims).

    So, why are people so against them?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,277 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    My main objection originally was they were bolting disc to frames that weren't designed to take them. But now disc only frames are around I now have 2.5 disc bikes and 2.5 rim bikes

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,717 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    eh - you have a bike with disc on one wheel and rim on the other?

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,277 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    Yep my old mtb had a disk mount fork. So managed to get an old wheel and front disk cheap so put it on. rear has hydraulic magura rim brakes.

    I remember the fork twist on early disk brakes.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,266 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell

    Aside from the sheer ugliness, they're adding more complexity and expense to maintenance for little or no net benefit.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,733 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    I'll second the complexity of maintenance. My sram shifter/brake lever died and I got a rather expensive replacement and it's working again but I shouldved cut my losses.

    The bike/frame it's for though is an absolute blast to cycle though so there is that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,033 ✭✭✭✭Richard Hillman

    Pogacar was switching between disc and rims in the TdF. I wonder are many riders doing that.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Majka was on a Colnago with rim breaks today.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,171 ✭✭✭Rechuchote

    Sean Kelly's right. You really need to train in the corrida with Dublin drivers to know how to duck and dive and dodge and swoop and brake by standing on your front wheel and swivel around cars.

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  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,266 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell