The only other team to join Lampre-Merida in lining up at the start of the Tour of Flanders last week with a full fleet of disc brake bikes, Dutch squad Roompot-Oranje Peloton was riding an as yet unreleased Isaac Element SL Disc frameset. While they didn’t make the cut for another weekend of Classics and cobbles at Paris-Roubaix this weekend, the Pro Continental team did fare a bit better with 5 of 8 riders making it all the way to the finish, and 47th place being the best finish on disc brakes rolling in with the main peloton.
From the bike perspective, Isaac has been building carbon frames and forks for more than 15 years, and sells their bikes across a fairly limited EU market in their Netherlands home, the rest of Benelux, Germany & Spain. The standard Element SL is their lightest and raciest carbon bike on offer and is the standard weapon of choice of Roompot. They do sell a carbon disc brake endurance road bike, but the additional of an Element SL Disc for the team, suggests that disc brakes will make it to their light bike for consumers too in the near future…
Roompot’s Element SL Disc bikes bear a strong resemblance to the rim brake bikes. From the headtube back to the same thin seatstays and asymmetric chainstays the frames look essentially the same. From there these disc brake bikes get completely revised dropouts with 12mm thru-axles, and a curved end to the seatstays to leave plenty of room for a chainstay-located flat mount disc brake caliper.
The Roompot bikes were set up with a mix of disc brake wheels from Fast Forward. While most of the team was rolling on the 45mm deep FFWD F4D tubulars built on Centerlock DT 240s hubs, there were a couple of bikes with deeper 60mm F6Ds (which technically aren’t yet offered for disc brakes.) As with many wheels from European companies, the FFWD rims might be made in Asia, but actually building the wheels often takes place in Europe; here by FFWD in Holland. And a touch of electrical tape keeps the rattling at bay over the cobbles.
The Isaac bikes were fitted with SRAM’s Red Hydro drivetrains, and like Lampre the team was using 160mm rotors, in theory to match up with universal support wheels (although it wasn’t clear if the Shimano neutral support cars had the correct axle standard on the disc wheels on their roofs.) The team was all riding on Zipp Service Course SL alloy bars & stems and carbon seatposts with a mix of Selle Italia and Fizik saddles, seemingly based on rider preference. The team’s forks look to borrow the shape from Isaac’s endurance road Boson Disc bike, but they do get a redesigned axle interface that allows for adjustment of the position of the QR lever on the other side of the thru-axle for quick and accurate positioning.
Out back we can get a closeup of the tread of the team’s 28mm Vredestein Fortezza Senso T tubular tires with their smooth center section and ribbed shoulders. You can also see in the background that while the team all started on disc brakes, unlike Lampre, Roompot had their standard rim brake bikes on the roof of their chase cars too, in case they ran into any problems out of the cobbled roads.