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Fed up Froome denounces disc brake wheels on Instagram Reel

The four-time Tour de France champ insinuated that his recent Tour du Rwanda woes were down to slow disc brake wheel changes

We've had our first sticky bottle of 2023, now the pro cycling season has gone into yet another gear with Chris Froome's first dig at disc brakes... and it's only February! The Israel–Premier Tech rider and seven-time Grand Tour champion took to Instagram today to post a montage of mechanics struggling to change his wheels while a charging peloton breezed past him, accompanied by the simple caption: "Rim brakes > Disc brakes".

On Stage 5 of the Tour du Rwanda last week, 37-year-old Froome showed glimpses of his era-defining dominance of the 2010s and his famous solo Giro d'Italia win in 2018 when he launched an audacious attack 75km out from the finish; however, he needed two wheel changes and then crashed into a race vehicle in a day that was ultimately marred by misfortune, and ended up finishing over four minutes down on the stage winner. 

Chris Froome disc brake wheel change screenshiot 2 - via Instagram Reels

After the stage, Froome (fairly diplomatically) explained the wheel change issues: “I got a front wheel puncture and I didn’t have a team car behind me as they had already pulled the team car out. I managed to get another wheel from neutral service but it wasn’t really compatible with the bike so I had to stop again and change it with my team car. Then the peloton caught me and surged over the top of the climb and that’s where the lights went out for me.”

On social media today, however, Froome pulled no punches... 

While the post appears to suggest the disc brake wheels themselves are to blame for the slow wheel changes, some of his followers were quick to point the finger at the not-so-quick mechanics handling Froome's wheel changes, with one suggesting the caption should instead read: "Quick mechanic > Slow mechanic". 

As we've already alluded to, this is very much not the first time Froome has taken aim at disc brakes, and his problems extend far beyond allegedly slower wheel changes. Way back in 2016 he suggested “having different braking systems in the peloton would be more dangerous"; and when that ceased to be a problem as the whole peloton adopted disc brakes in the 2020s, Froome ramped up his disc brake doubts in 2021 when he said that the technology was not "quite where it needs to be yet" because the "...distance between the disc and rotors is still too narrow." 

> What’s wrong with Chris Froome’s disc brakes?

In March of last year, Froome said that he still regularly experienced issues with his disc brakes and had started wearing headphones so he couldn't hear them rubbing. In April his team mechanic concurred, saying: “Chris is not a huge fan. There’s the noise factor, it’s not super-reliable, wheel changes are way slower – so I think those are aspects that can improve."

So, what will it take to persuade Froome to get fully on board with the disc brake revolution? Well, the recent viral footage showing Tom Pidcock - of Froome's former team Ineos Grenadiers - expertly roaring down Tuna Canyon on his disc brake-equipped Pinarello Dogma might convince Froome that the extra confidence a rider may get from having more powerful brakes makes disc superior to rim brakes. Although Froome isn't half bad at going downhill himself, and was performing mind-blowing descents way before disc brakes were ubiquitous in the pro peloton... 

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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