Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Video: Man from Katusha says disc brakes don’t cut your skin

Pro team's communications manager demonstrates stopping a disc brake with a bare hand

Team Katusha Alpecin’s communications manager Philippe Maertens has posted a video on Twitter demonstrating that you can stop a fast-revolving disc brake rotor – at least one of those with non-square edges used by the professionals – with your hand.

Maertens turns the cranks of a Canyon Aeroad CF SLX, gets the rear wheel spinning fast, and then uses the palm of his hand on the edge of the disc rotor to stop the wheel without damaging his skin. He's not putting his bodyweight or any momentum into his effort, so you could argue that it's not a particularly realistic crash scenario.



This follows on from Tom Boonen’s claim last week that he (and anyone else) can stop a disc fast-spinning brake rotor with his hand.

“I maintain that they are not dangerous,” said Boonen. I’ve dared to stop a wheel at 60 kilometres an hour with my hand.”

Several pros, including Team Sky’s Owain Doull, have raised safety concerns about the introduction of disc brakes.

On the other hand, the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), the body that represents many of the biggest manufacturers in the bicycle industry, says that, “Evidence on cuts under racing conditions is not available since there has been no reported accident with disc brakes so far.”

We conducted our own not-entirely-serious research which you can watch here. 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Latest Comments