• Disc brakes will have a slow introduction to professional road cycling (Supplied)Source: Supplied
It's always interesting to me to see exactly which issues professional cyclists take to heart and discs brakes are just the latest.
Cycling Central
3 Dec 2015 - 1:56 PM 

Disc brakes are the issue de jour on which everyone has an opinion, with the road pros and its nominated voice, the effectively toothless Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) expressing doubts about expanded trials of an what is an already proven technology.

The CPA charged in with its view only after the International Cycling Union had said it would extend and expand this year's two-month trial into a more fully fledged one in 2016. A number of riders and teams also expressed their dissatisfaction with the process and technology.

UCI confirm a disc brake future for pro road cycling
After a trial period earlier this year the International Cycling Union has announced that the testing of disc brakes will be extended through 2016 with full adoption planned for 2017.

"It is not possible to test new technologies in races like the WorldTour where riders are struggling to the last to win or hold the position in the group, CPA President Gianni Bugno told Cyclingnews.

"What would happen if, as it always happens, there was a sudden stop in the group and the riders have two different braking systems with a different type of modulation? Surely, a fall."

"Organizers will not be able to ensure suitable (neutral service) wheels because of the two different braking systems. We run the risk of having a rider stuck a few kilometres from the finish line because (neutral service) hasn't a wheel for discs - we have to take into account that now the wheels will be 50 per cent normal and 50 per cent with disc," he added.

Unfortunately, I'm old enough to remember similar expressions of doubt, for example, over the introduction of integrated dual control shifting and braking levers, and it's that technology which informs my view on discs. In fact many of the arguments then were the same as they are now.

Those ranged from, yep, you guessed it, safety issues in the peloton in terms of braking and shifting imbalances, weight and the effectiveness of neutral support. There was even an argument that STI levers would take the "art' out of shifting gears.

Then there was the transition from leather toe clips to clipless pedals. You should have heard the retro-grouches on that innovation.

Today no one would argue about the effectiveness of those levers or clipless pedals, and both are an essential part of any professionals tool kit. 

My bet is that at the end of 2017 the same will happen with discs and the issue will fade into history, probably to be reserructed again sometime with the introduction of some as yet unimagined technology.