• Chris Froome of Israel Start-Up Nation (Chris Froome Youtube)Source: Chris Froome Youtube
Chris Froome broke the mould of pro cyclists just complimenting their sponsor's equipment, saying disc brakes weren't ready for the professional peloton and the handlebars needed some work on his new Factor Ostro VAM.
By
SBS Cycling Central

10 Feb 2021 - 10:32 AM 

Froome has spent the past 10 years on a rim-braked Pinarello at Ineos Grenadiers, but with the switch of teams has come the switch of bike as he's moved to Factor Bikes and disc brakes at his new team Israel Start-Up Nation.

In a video released on Monday on Froome's Youtube channel, the four-time Tour de France winner presented the features of his new main race bike, the Factor Ostro VAM.

He was complimentary about the majority of the bike and components, but Froome said he thought disc brakes weren't ready for road racing, also stating the handlebars needed a bit of work.

"Disc brakes, I'm not 100 per cent sold on them yet," said Froome. "I've been using them for the last couple of months and, performance-wise, they're great. You always stop when you need to stop. In the dry, in the wet, they do the job. They do what they're meant to do."

"The downside to disc brakes: the constant rubbing, the potential for mechanicals, the overheating, the discs becoming a bit warped when on descents longer than five or 10 minutes of constant braking.

"Personally, I don't think the technology is quite where it needs to be yet for road cycling."

"The distance between the disc and the rotors is still too narrow, so you're going to get that rubbing, you're going to get one piston that fires more than another, you're going to get these little issues. I don’t think the pistons quite retract the way they're meant to all the time. Quite often it’ll work on the stand and when the mechanic sorts it out, but once you get onto the road, it’s a different story."

Disc brakes have become the norm in the professional peloton in the past few years, reflecting the trend in consumer bikes in favour of the increased stopping power of disc brakes versus rim brakes.

"I accept that’s the direction the industry wants to go," Froome said. "We bike riders are going to have to adapt and learn to use them.

"If you’re not on disc brakes already, it's only a matter of time before you’re made obsolete and forced onto them."

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Froome also had a mixed review for the bike's rigidity, though he anticipated the issue would be fixed soon.

"You get out of the saddle, it feels like the power goes directly through the bike and propels you forward, which is what a bike is meant to do," said Froome. "One downside, the handlebars are a little bit flexible, but I hear from the guys at Factor that they are working on those."