While at the TRP booth looking over the prototypes for Aaron Gwin, we heard an interesting discussion about Shimano and the UCI working on guidelines for round-edged rotors. Having just been at Hope Tech and seeing their rounded discs for their new road bike braking mod, ears perked up and we started checking in with all the big brands.
Word is Shimano has been finalizing a rounded profile radius spec for disc brake rotors on road bikes. Once approved by the UCI, they’ll release the specs as open source and all brands will be moving toward that shape on the outside edge of the rotors to get them back in the pro peloton. It’s not necessarily going to be a new “standard” with defined radii or shaping, but the UCI will definitely want all the brands to be doing it…
Only two brands had something to see at Eurobike. Hope Tech’s were on display…
…and SRAM had a prototype behind the curtain. SRAM’s rotors are laser cut, which doesn’t put a lot of heat on it to distort the rotor, so to round it they’ll simply put it into a CNC machine to mill the the edge off the rotor.
SRAM’s plan is to have them shipping as early as October as a running change. They weren’t able to comment specifically about the actual rules or details they’re getting from the UCI.
According to Paul Lew, now with Edco and who sits on the UCI committee that looks at such things, here’s the status of discs getting back into the races:
“The disc brake test program will continue in 2017. This means we will see disc brakes again in the professional peloton for select races in 2017. Approximately one year from now the results of the test program will be evaluated. At that time next steps will be discussed. At this time there is no decision for a date when disc brakes will be approved as standard equipment for UCI competition.”
Is any of this actually necessary? We overheard several people in the know saying the actual event that led to the banning was not only of questionable accuracy, but that reactions were a bit too knee jerk quick. Besides, as the TRP guys said “have you ever felt a bladed spoke?” To which the SRAM guy added “yeah, they’re like small knives.”
As for the other two big brands, Campagnolo is not releasing technical information since their disc brakes are still under development.
Shimano’s tech rep said “We will of course follow the UCI’s recommendations and guidelines; we will have to. As you can tell, we are committed to disc brakes, I think it’s only a matter of time.”