Considering the number of comments we’ve received on the CPA statement about the dangers of disc brakes in the peloton, it’s a wonder it took so long for a counterpoint to surface. Last Friday, the WFSGI (World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry) released its initial findings on the matter, where it stops short of issuing its own opinion as statement and instead rely on professional assessments.
And of course this video (above, sourced here) of a team mechanic stopping a spinning rotor with his thumb and escaping unscathed, which followed the Owain Doull accident at Abu Dhabi 2017.
Regarding the Ventoso accident at Paris-Roubaix 2016, the WFSGI asked forensic doctor Ulrich Zollinger based in Bern, Switzerland to analyze the wound of Francisco Ventoso as well as the entire course of his accident. His conclusions state that the “injury caused by a disc of a disc brake couldn’t be reasonably explained” and that “Both the bottom-up impact and the jagged (toothed) lower wound edge are in contrast well explainable by the impact of the chainless front gear.”
The WFSGI also commissioned the German bicycle accident investigator Dirk Zedler to make and independent investigation & risk assessment of the same accident as well. His conclusion can be summed up as “it can be stated that the documented shape of the incision across the leg cannot have been caused by a brake disc during the ride.”
The WFSGI’s report says more than 15 million disc brake bikes have been sold, which includes all categories (road, ‘cross, mountain bikes, etc.), and that the UCI is looking into minimum performance standards for road bike brakes used in competition. These standards would help ensure bikes with disc brakes and rim brakes are on more equal footing, important since one of the main concerns is the difference between braking power that can cause issues in a tightly packed peloton. Another feature that’s already been implemented are the rounded rotors, which eliminates the sharp edge a stamped rotor can have.