Well folks, instead of rushing to the keyboard and banging out a blog post on this subject, I thought I would give it a few days to digest the pictures and information from the recent Taipei cycle show. Also, good to let the dust settle and collect one’s thoughts! Perhaps, like many other lovers of Colnago, when the pictures started beaming over from the show my initial thought were WOW, just taking in the whole visual impact from the pictures and information. To be honest, I really didn’t know what to think. I was pretty much sitting on the fence.
However, to be honest, after a few days of revisiting the pictures and getting my head around the whole ‘disc’ concept, It completely dawned on me just how good this disc breaking system is. My mind immediately went back to the Colnago prestige which I recently had on test ride from the lovely guys at Windwave who are the distributor for Colnago within the United Kingdom. That bike also came with disc brakes and functioned extremely well. In fact, the stopping power was immense and you could quite easy stop on a dime as our American friends would say.
So, with that in mind, why shouldn’t the principles of disc braking be applied to a road bike? Ok, getting over the initial visual hit of the disc brakes being on a Colnago C59, it really doesn’t look that bad! In fact, it gives it quite a beefy and meaningful look. Folks, I really think we need to be honest with ourselves here, this is the future…… embrace it! Ernesto has taken this by the short and curlies and placed it on a thoroughbred Colnago road frame. A frame with immense creditability if the name ‘Colnago’ didn’t quite hit the spot for you! Even at 80 years of age, this guy is still at the cutting edge of race bike R&D and it’s Italian!!!! What ever bike you ride or whatever team you follow, this has got to be commended!
So, how will disc brakes improve the international world of cycling and perhaps improve your own personal game? Well, this is my view of it all. Firstly, you get fantastic stopping power. I also remember when Ducati and MV Agusta upped their game with Brembo callipers, wow, could that sport bike stop. Not only could they stop, they also look drop dead sexy! So, come on folks, if the guys in the motorcycle world can get all worked up to a finally tuned orgasm, why can’t we! In months and years to come, this kit will look sexy with carbon fibre lust. You can just see it now!
Sorry, I digress slightly. Ok, what other benefits can we expect. Well, perhaps this will also free the hand of carbon fibre wheel builders etc. At the moment, they have to work in strength and of course rigidity within the carbon layup to allow for a strong and compliant brake surface. How many times have you attempted a tricky technical descent on a pair of carbon wheels which are either wet or incredibly hot. It’s no fun, that’s for sure! Or when the wet grit attaches itself the soft brake pads and then makes indentation marks on your rims every-time you apply the brake. Have you ever put your fingers over a pair of glowing hot carbon rims. We all know the braking issues. Also, we all remember the problems Geraint Thomas from Team Sky faced on stage 12 of the 2011 Tour de France, not funny. Especially, when he could of seriously injured himself or gone over the edge. Even the commentators were talking about carbon wheels being used in various conditions.
So, with this in mind, the whole disc concept will enable wheel builders to produce lighter and more agile wheels if they don’t have to take into consideration the whole braking surface issue. And….how about this, using a pair of latex inner tubes on a pair of carbon clinchers! At the moment, most carbon wheel builders will always warn against latex tubes with carbon clinchers. I have spoken at great length on this subject to Carbon Sports (Lightweight Wheels) and Michelin tyres. Also, Campagnolo warn against using latex inner tubes with their Hyperon clinchers! so, even this is great news!
Folks, we could waffle on about this subject all night discussing the pros and cons, but I just feel the future is very much all about disc brakes! Very thought provoking…Ciao!