I remember the surprise when the UCI suddenly allowed the use of disc brakes in the middle of hot and humid summer of 2011. Given the sudden nature of the announcement, most people assumed that the component manufacturers pushed the new regulation through the UCI in order to finally officially equip teams with disc brakes. Then came the 2011/2012 season and there were no disc brakes to be seen in Europe. A few pro riders were playing with them on the other side of the pond but that’s where it stopped.
Then came the 2012/2013 season and a fair amount of US pros were on discs, like Jeremy Powers and Tim Johnson. These were still cable-operated disc brakes, not the much anticipated hydraulic ones.
I can’t remember when exactly, but the photos of super secret hydraulic disc brake setups started to circulate, both from Shimano and SRAM and the arrival of disc brakes at the Euro pro cross scene seemed imminent. Most bike manufacturers have showcased their top-of-the-range bikes both with old-school and hydraulic disc brakes, which seemed to indicate that the breakthrough is yet to come.
Industry sources said that most US riders will be riding hydraulic discs and Lars van der Haar’s prototype Giant TCX with Shimano hydraulic discs were on display, too, at Eurobike, but most Euro teams are holding back and staying with the old, cantilever brakes.
Who do you think will be riding on discs this year? And what will be Sven Nys using on his Trek from January?
Don’t forget that my book about the 2012/2013 cyclocross season is still available!