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Lotto-Soudal pro Adam Hansen says Specialized is trying to force disc brakes on peloton

Aussie rider claims “Tom Boonen was against disc brakes last year, now he’s retiring this year and loves them”

Lotto-Soudal’s Adam Hansen has weighed into the disc brakes debate by pointing the finger at US bike brand Specialized for trying to force the controversial technology on the peloton.

The Australian has been competing this week in the Abu Dhabi Tour and was the designated representative of the professional cyclists’ association the CPA on the race, which finishes today.

Two UCI WorldTour outfit currently have Specialized as bike sponsor – Bora-Hansgrohe, which has world champion Peter Sagan on its roster, and Quick Step Floors, whose line-up includes one of his predecessors in the rainbow jersey, Tom Boonen.

It was one of Boonen’s team mates, Marcel Kittel, who was in the news following the opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, however, when Team Sky’s Owain Doull claimed that in a crash one kilometre from the line a disc brake rotor from the German sprinter’s bike had “sliced through” his shoe “like a knife.”

> Video: Team Sky's Owain Doull says disc rotor "cut through" his shoe "like a knife" in Abu Dhabi Tour crash, but video casts doubt on claim

Overhead camera footage suggested there was no contact between Doull and Kittel’s bike, but the following day the Quick Step Floors rider switched to conventional brakes “out of respect” for his fellow professional cyclists.

> Marcel Kittel ditches the disc brakes after Owain Doull controversy – and wins Abu Dhabi stage

The UCI reintroduced its trial of disc brakes this year after it was suspended following 2016's Paris-Roubaix, where Movistar rider Fran Ventoso blamed one for a deep cut to his leg sustained during a crash.

While disc brakes are now required to have rounded edges to reduce the risk of injury, the CPA has said that most of its members are opposed to the technology in its current form and want to see further protective features such as covers introduced.

Hansen, making it clear he was speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the CPA, believes that there is pressure from manufacturers to get disc brakes into the peloton, singling out Specialized.

He told SBS: “I do believe – and this is just my opinion – that Specialized is pushing.

“Tom Boonen was against disc brakes last year, now he’s retiring this year and loves them.”

His own Lotto-Soudal team’s bike sponsor Ridley now produces disc-braked versions of its Noah SL and Fenix SL models, but Hansen said: “We’ve got bikes where we can have disc brakes, none of us want to use them.

“The other teams, they all have the option to use them but no-one is. I don’t want to be picking on sponsors or anything, but this is Specialized riders that are using them.”

The 35-year-old, who at the Vuelta last September completed a record 16th consecutive Grand Tour, revealed that the CPA was also concerned about the legal implications of disc brakes, with the riders’ union discussing the question of where liability would lie in the event of a an incident.

He said: “If you look at it as the riders are saying we’re against it, the UCI allows it … what happens if a rider did have a fatal injury from it? Who is liable for that damage? It can’t be Kittel that’s for sure.

“But if the UCI deemed it safe and it turns out it wasn’t safe in some sense, to me it seems the UCI is liable for it.

“From the industry side, I do think the bike manufacturers are pushing for it,” Hansen continued.

“They have brought it out. I know the fans they want to ride what the pros are riding, we’re not riding disc brakes and all the top line bikes [are] now with disc brakes, so in that sense I do know the manufacturers do want the riders to use disc brakes.”

He added: “It’s not that we don’t want disc brakes, or improvement in bike manufacturing, it’s just put a cover on them and then were all happy.”

> Video: Road disc brakes; what will they cut? road.cc takes an unscientific approach

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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49 comments

Avatar
Johnnystorm replied to IanW1968 | 7 years ago
4 likes
IanW1968 wrote:

New brakes =

New frames

New wheels

New Groupset

= lots of money for the company.

 

  Off course they're promoting it. 

What else would you expect of a company that required people to buy things as the basis of their business?

Are we suggesting there should be a standard bicycle design that never changes, otherwise any update is a cynical sales ploy?

It's the feeblesness of the excuses given that amuse me the most. "someone's going to die from a disc injury" ignoring all the other possibilities they encounter.

Avatar
trohos replied to Johnnystorm | 7 years ago
1 like
Johnnystorm wrote:
IanW1968 wrote:

New brakes =

New frames

New wheels

New Groupset

= lots of money for the company.

 

  Off course they're promoting it. 

What else would you expect of a company that required people to buy things as the basis of their business? Are we suggesting there should be a standard bicycle design that never changes, otherwise any update is a cynical sales ploy? It's the feeblesness of the excuses given that amuse me the most. "someone's going to die from a disc injury" ignoring all the other possibilities they encounter.

To not say lies to us. Yes lefty, isospeed, brain, countervail, di2, etap ,oval rings and many more is innovation, but don't tell me that disc brake or 29" wheels is innovation.

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet | 7 years ago
8 likes

"what happens if a rider did have a fatal injury from it?"

Seriously? If you're willing to accept potentially plunging off a cliffside or getting run over by a moto then I'm pretty sure the risk of death my disc brake isn't that close to mind.

Avatar
stephen connor | 7 years ago
5 likes

Lotto Soudal and Movistar are both using Campag, who have only prototype disc brakes so far. So for any Campag equipped team to say they have complete access to disc brakes is not true. Both Lotto Soudal and Movistar have come out against disc brake. Team Sky, who have not got disc compatible frames this year, have also complained about disc brakes.
There may well be danger surrounding disc rotors but none of the so disc related injuries have been proven yet, one have actually been prooved to be false.
If the teams, alot of whom are riding for big frame manufactures' eponymous and sponsored teams, refuse to ride the latest expensive developed product of the manufactures' how many manufacturers will want to contine sponsoring teams?

Avatar
mrmo | 7 years ago
5 likes
Quote:

Since all bicycles have to comply with the UCI 6.8 kg limit and there is a whole group of people ready to service your bicycle, I cannot think many reasons  why a pro-rider wouldn't want disc brakes

 

And what benefit do they bring to pros? I can see them being perfect for riding on shitty roads and mud, i wouldn't go back to cantis or v brakes on the mtb. On a road bike bit meh. 

 

No one is pushing brakes on track bikes, what you need for pro level racing and the sunday club run are worlds apart. 

Avatar
cyclisto | 7 years ago
3 likes

Since all bicycles have to comply with the UCI 6.8 kg limit and there is a whole group of people ready to service your bicycle, I cannot think many reasons  why a pro-rider wouldn't want disc brakes

Avatar
SingleSpeed | 7 years ago
2 likes

Year before last they were still using essentially XT post mounts, then came Flat mount.

ok so a lot of the R&D has already been done but it's nowhere near a road optimised system right now, you're still using essentially Disk Brake Version 2.0.

 

The girls and boys at good 'ol Specialized are pushing the product and want the public to be the test subjects.

Avatar
EddyBerckx replied to SingleSpeed | 7 years ago
2 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

 

The girls and boys at good 'ol Specialized are pushing the product and want the public to be the test subjects.

 

rubbish.and virtually nobody rides what the pros ride anyway - how often do you genuinely see a 10k bike on the road?

Avatar
SingleSpeed replied to EddyBerckx | 7 years ago
3 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:

rubbish.and virtually nobody rides what the pros ride anyway - how often do you genuinely see a 10k bike on the road?

 

What even is that? Sorry let me explain team sponsorship slowly for you.

 

Manchester united wear Kit and then the fans buy a replica.

McLaren Mercedes make Formula One cars the fans buy an E-Class.

Specialised teams ride 10k Tarmacs the fans go out and buy the 105 Tarmac or an Allez.
 

 

Avatar
Griff500 replied to SingleSpeed | 7 years ago
5 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:

 

What even is that? Sorry let me explain team sponsorship slowly for you.

McLaren Mercedes make Formula One cars the fans buy an E-Class.
 

I take it you don't watch F1? (McLaren Honda make F1 cars. Fans buy anything except Honda)

Avatar
trohos replied to Griff500 | 7 years ago
1 like
Griff500 wrote:
SingleSpeed wrote:

 

What even is that? Sorry let me explain team sponsorship slowly for you.

McLaren Mercedes make Formula One cars the fans buy an E-Class.
 

I take it you don't watch F1? (McLaren Honda make F1 cars. Fans buy anything except Honda)

Maybe in your country.

Avatar
SingleSpeed replied to Griff500 | 7 years ago
3 likes
Griff500 wrote:

I take it you don't watch F1? (McLaren Honda make F1 cars. Fans buy anything except Honda)

 

No I really don't, but I was highlighting the principles of sponsorship deals and manufacturers telling you what you need...Like in MTB the front mech is essentially dead and it's coming to the Road soon (via CX).

 

Certainly MTB is much more of an earlier adapter sport, perhaps this is due to the fact parts wear out at a significantly faster rate. but once the trails you happily rode on a 27 geared,100mm, 26" hardtail the industry will tell you is now essentially imposiible on anything less than a 140mm, 650b enduro bike with 100cm wide handlebars!

Some people buy into it, I think it's refreshing that on the Road people are a lot less likely to fall for the marketing push.
 

Avatar
trohos replied to SingleSpeed | 7 years ago
2 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:
Griff500 wrote:

I take it you don't watch F1? (McLaren Honda make F1 cars. Fans buy anything except Honda)

 

No I really don't, but I was highlighting the principles of sponsorship deals and manufacturers telling you what you need...Like in MTB the front mech is essentially dead and it's coming to the Road soon (via CX).

 

Certainly MTB is much more of an earlier adapter sport, perhaps this is due to the fact parts wear out at a significantly faster rate. but once the trails you happily rode on a 27 geared,100mm, 26" hardtail the industry will tell you is now essentially imposiible on anything less than a 140mm, 650b enduro bike with 100cm wide handlebars!

Some people buy into it, I think it's refreshing that on the Road people are a lot less likely to fall for the marketing push.
 

Hey singlespeed, believe me, this is the reason i Quitting mtb. Before some years a gram of weight could make a huge difference, now a 29" hardtail high end bike weights 9.5 kg. A 0.5mm in chainstays could change dramatically the bike handling, now most of the mtb bikes had 43.5-45 chainstays. A handlebar with incorrect width may cause neck problems, now a normal width in mtb is 65cm. A top tube for a small person was 55cm now is 58-60cm. They told that a bike with 70-70.5 head angle is super for climbing, now the most bike have 68-69.5 hed angle. I make a bike fitting before some years,now is useless...

Avatar
SingleSpeed replied to trohos | 7 years ago
0 likes
trohos wrote:

 

Hey singlespeed, believe me, this is the reason i Quitting mtb. Before some years a gram of weight could make a huge difference, now a 29" hardtail high end bike weights 9.5 kg. A 0.5mm in chainstays could change dramatically the bike handling, now most of the mtb bikes had 43.5-45 chainstays. A handlebar with incorrect width may cause neck problems, now a normal width in mtb is 65cm. A top tube for a small person was 55cm now is 58-60cm. They told that a bike with 70-70.5 head angle is super for climbing, now the most bike have 68-69.5 hed angle. I make a bike fitting before some years,now is useless...

[/quote]

 

 

AHEM!!! I think you'll find my Niner Hardtail weighs about 7.4kg.

As for the bloke about MTB being about Kit not being fit...XC Racing is just about still alive, courses are more technical than ever and certainly round these parts XC racers are destroying a number of the road race series' and have gone on to race CAT 1! (OK so XC is a bit niche in the UK compared to the US or Europe for some reason people thing we live in the Alps given the amount of padding and suspension they take to trail centres)

Avatar
trohos replied to SingleSpeed | 7 years ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:
trohos wrote:

 

Hey singlespeed, believe me, this is the reason i Quitting mtb. Before some years a gram of weight could make a huge difference, now a 29" hardtail high end bike weights 9.5 kg. A 0.5mm in chainstays could change dramatically the bike handling, now most of the mtb bikes had 43.5-45 chainstays. A handlebar with incorrect width may cause neck problems, now a normal width in mtb is 65cm. A top tube for a small person was 55cm now is 58-60cm. They told that a bike with 70-70.5 head angle is super for climbing, now the most bike have 68-69.5 hed angle. I make a bike fitting before some years,now is useless...

 

 

AHEM!!! I think you'll find my Niner Hardtail weighs about 7.4kg.

As for the bloke about MTB being about Kit not being fit...XC Racing is just about still alive, courses are more technical than ever and certainly round these parts XC racers are destroying a number of the road race series' and have gone on to race CAT 1! (OK so XC is a bit niche in the UK compared to the US or Europe for some reason people thing we live in the Alps given the amount of padding and suspension they take to trail centres)

[/quote]7.4kg for 29"? What parts use?

 

Avatar
Kadinkski replied to EddyBerckx | 7 years ago
4 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:
SingleSpeed wrote:

 

The girls and boys at good 'ol Specialized are pushing the product and want the public to be the test subjects.

 

rubbish.and virtually nobody rides what the pros ride anyway - how often do you genuinely see a 10k bike on the road?

 

What a moronic comment. Only 2% of bikes that Specialized sell cost over £5k retail - they're not particularly interested in selling £10k bikes. Do you even understand marketing? 

Avatar
EcoRacer replied to EddyBerckx | 7 years ago
0 likes
StoopidUserName wrote:
SingleSpeed wrote:

 

The girls and boys at good 'ol Specialized are pushing the product and want the public to be the test subjects.

 

rubbish.and virtually nobody rides what the pros ride anyway - how often do you genuinely see a 10k bike on the road?

I beg to differ, I see 10k bikes at every amateur race and sportif here in the country. (Norway) But there are a lot of people with a bit too much cash here. 

Avatar
SingleSpeed replied to EcoRacer | 7 years ago
2 likes
EcoRacer wrote:

I beg to differ, I see 10k bikes at every amateur race and sportif here in the country. (Norway) But there are a lot of people with a bit too much cash here. 

 

We don't see many 'pro level bikes'  not 10k in the SW, but round here I'd say most summer bikes I see are in the 3k-6k range.

It was eye watering when we rode out in Girona. Colnago Ltd Editions with Super Record and 'Lightweight' wheels just propped up outside a cafe.

Avatar
Kadinkski | 7 years ago
5 likes

I hated disc brakes 4 months ago. Now I love them. Big deal.

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