THE CAUSE OF A CRASH – FAKE NEWS WHEN VIDEO PUNDITS GUESS WRONG

When disc brakes are - and aren't - the cause of a crash

By Zap

Ah yes, the wishy-washy opinion of another arm chair racing/technology expert…this time in the analysis of  Matej Mohoric’s frightening  Stage 9 crash at the Giro d’ Italia. Here we have “Pedaler” dissecting  the high-speed endo first with an admission that he doesn’t “want to be that guy to say his disc brakes locked up”  before going on  – and without any definitive proof – concluding that the crash was the fault of the Merida rider’s disc brakes.

What we find so  irresponsible about Pedaler’s guess is that it comes based on his assertion that “We know disc brakes on road bikes during a descent can overheat, seize and lock-up.”  Really?!  Is that opinion or fact? Who is the “we” that he refers to?

“I think, I’m not sure…but in my opinion I would have to go with the fact that his front caliper seized.”  

Over the course of the last decade, Road Bike Action  has probably ridden and tested more disc brake equipped road bikes than anyone. We’ve ridden disc brakes from every maker and in every type of conditions.  And,  while like any brake they too can  get over-heated that brings with it some added rubbing, we have NEVER encountered any disc brake that seized or locked up – as in NEVER!

 

Further, after Pedaler says he doesn’t “want to be that guy” who indicts disc brakes as the cause of the crash (before doing just that) he goes on to claim that just maybe “it could’ve been a fork failure.”  Or a  crack in the pavement (as has been reported in the race report below).  Or?!

“Matej Mohoric, one of the men credited with pioneering cycling’s now banned aerodynamic supertuck position, survived a horrific high speed downhill crash at the Giro d’Italia on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Slovenian was in his saddle when he hit a crack in the road on stage nine of the Giro, snapping his bike in two and landing on his head after a midair summersault.

Mohoric wanted to continue but was taken away in a neck brace. “He has been taken to the hospital by ambulance for radiological diagnostics,” said his team Bahrain Victorious in a statement.”

But perhaps our favorite part of this misleading video in when “Pedaler” posits yet another back-and-forth opinion….

“That doesn’t look like he overcooked the corner, then again, he might’ve overcooked the corner a little bit!”

 

THE BOTTOM LINE?

As we all know, the  world of road cyclists is rife with arm chair racers and engineers who feel emboldened to opine on topics of which they have no real experience. On any given group ride you can hear riders with no race experience second-guessing the performance of  everyone from pro peloton pack fodder to Tour de France champions. Part of the appeal of the sport really.

And although it was five years ago, we still well remember all the hysterical hoopla that was raised by so many disc brake detractors following Fran Ventoso’s accusation that a disc brake rotor gashed his knee in a crash which led to the UCI backtracking on disc brakes being allowed in the pro peloton.  This is the problem with unproven opinion taken as fact.

Yes, there were definitely some early teething problems when disc brakes jumped to road bikes. But over the years, the systems have  evolved and we have only seen marked improvements in their design and performance.  And as we all know, there are now more pro teams using disc brakes than teams that are not which surely must act as some measure of confidence in their performance. Sure, while anything can happen and anything can break, it makes to sense to assert as fact such an alarming accusation, what in reality, is just uninformed opinion.

Caleb Ewan taking his second stage victory at the 2021 Giro with trouble-free disc brakes. Photo: Bettini

We’re sure Pedaler means well his with video, and we appreciate his warning to cyclists about staying safe, but all of his self-contradictory messaging just comes across as careless and inflammatory.  We can assure that disc brakes are only going to get more predominant on road bikes, so the less misinformation that can be spread about them the better.

The fear factor of new technology has no merit in denying the improved braking performance provided by disc brakes.

Top Photo: Bettini

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