After a few years of nearly every major bike manufacturer introducing a disc brake-equipped road bike into the line, bike racing’s governing body has taken a big step in making disc brakes a reality in pro road racing. In a statement released on the organization’s website on April 14th, the UCI has announced that they will begin allowing professional road cycling teams to test out disc brake-equipped bikes starting in August and September of 2015. Specifically, teams will be allowed to use disc brakes at “two events of their choice” during those months. Additionally, testing procedures will continue through 2016 with an eye towards making disc brakes the standard equipment choice beginning in at the 2017 racing season.
Here’s the official statement from the UCI’s website:
The UCI and WFSGI study the introduction of disc brakes to professional road cycling
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) announce that, following numerous consultations with different stakeholders, tests will begin this season with a view to introducing disc brakes to professional road cycling in the future.
During the 2015 UCI professional road season, all teams will have the opportunity to use bikes with disc brakes at two events of their choice during August and September. The testing will continue in 2016 at all events on the UCI professional road calendar and, if the experience is satisfactory, disc brakes will be officially introduced to the UCI WorldTour in 2017. The aim is to eventually introduce disc brakes to all levels of road cycling.
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “Although disc brakes have been used for around a decade in mountain biking and for the last two years in cyclo-cross, their introduction to road cycling must be carefully studied in collaboration with all those who are directly concerned. That includes riders, teams and manufacturers. This step is part of the UCI’s desire to encourage innovation in order to ensure cycling is even more attractive for spectators, riders, bike users and broadcasters.”
“The industry is delighted by this news and also thanks the UCI for the very positive collaboration. This decision will further develop innovation and create new possibilities for the bicycle industry as well as additional performance for the riders. There is still some fine tuning to do on detailed requirements for the procedure, but it is very exciting to finally have reached this decision. The remaining open topics such as neutral race support or the UCI and Teams protocol will be tackled soon,” states WFSGI Secretary General Robbert de Kock.
Further information regarding detailed procedures will be communicated at a later stage.
About the UCI:
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body for cycling recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The UCI’s mission is to develop and promote cycling, in close collaboration with National Federations, as a competitive sport, as a healthy recreational activity or as a means of transport.
The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) is the world authoritative body for the sports industry officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the industry representative within the Olympic Family. The WFSGI is an independent association with no objective of economic character for its own gain and formed by sports and sports-inspired leisure brands, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, national/regional federations, industry and trade associations and all sporting goods industry related businesses.