New UCI rule allows customers to spend more money

November 30, 2015 § 57 Comments

The UCI Rules Committee announced that professional teams will be allowed to use disc brakes in all races for 2016. “We think this will help cyclists at all levels spend more money,” said committee chairman Snookie van der Sluit in a press release.

“There is a significant need for disc brakes among manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers in every market segment,” said van der Sluit. “And disc brakes allow them to meet the need for more customer expenditures, which is a key component in making cycling even less affordable as a sport or recreational activity while simultaneously accelerating the twin trends of planned obsolescence and product incompatibility.”

Reactions in the cycling world were generally positive. “I don’t give two fucks what we ride, all my shit’s free,” said Fabian Cancellara when asked about the rule change.

Mike Sinyard, president of Specialized, was equally enthusiastic. “I’d definitely give two fucks, probably even ten,” he said. “Although braking performance in wet conditions is offset by the greater weight and the pain-in-the-ass factor of through-axles, getting every pro on a disc brake is crucial if we’re going to make weekend warriors insecure about not having the latest trick shit. And that’s the fulcrum behind every meaningful bike purchase these days.”

Simon Mottram, CEO of Rapha Clothing for Gentlemen and Gentlegirls, saw huge opportunities in the new rule. “Cyclists have shown a huge appetite for spending more money, and the fact that disc brakes are better in the rain, an environment in which no one with a brain ever rides, is a key sales point. Now the flabby flabber who only goes out when it’s 65 and sunny can buy a whole new bike and wheelset to feel better about the possibility of riding in the rain, even though the actual chances of him doing it are zero. And we have a new line of disc gentlemen rainy pink clothing to go with it, a cute motif of baby whales with pink spouts.”

Derek Bouchard-Hall, the new CEO of USA Cycling, gushed about the new ruling. “Expensive? Yes. Requires replacement of your current $15k wheel quiver? Yes. A guarantee that fewer kids will get into cycling? Yes. More ad revenue as manufacturers and retailers seek our platform to tout the new technology? YEEESSSSS!!!”

Frumpy McDangle, local trail boss for the South Bay Sunday Fritter Crawl, was more circumspect. “I’m sure it’s a great idea,” he said, “but I haven’t bought a new piece of bicycle equipment since they came out with derailleurs, so unless it helps me with my morning dump I’ll probably pass.”



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§ 57 Responses to New UCI rule allows customers to spend more money

  • Brian in VA says:

    I’m with Frumpy McDangle on this one. Although I’m sure they’re cool and all, I’m going to stick with my old standbys.

    Unless they’re full carbon, made of 100% high quality carbon.

  • Tom Paterson says:

    The Morning Dump Assistance Index… this is Catch-22 territory.
    And for $2.99 per month? I could almost feel guilty…

  • crackingmyselfupinsocal says:

    unless you’re racing crits, not an issue… one can only hope this will lead to more road races.

  • tonymanzilla says:

    i agree about the ridiculous costs, but disc brakes work, and have been stopping mtn bikes very well for many many years. cork on carbon truly sucks.

    • fsethd says:

      I don’t know what the brake pads on my full carbon rims which are made of 100% carbon are made of, but they stop fine. Not as well as a good slab of pavement or a parked car, but I’ve got zero complaints. FastForward super uber awesome technology, maybe? I don’t know.

  • Winemaker says:

    I don’t know about this disc stuff…sounds suspiciously like Frisbee to me.

    The old steel road bike doesn’t go faster as each year goes by; why would I want to spend money on something to make me stop quicker?

  • GlennM says:

    man, i still race on canti’s on my cross bike and despite the ‘widespread’ use of disc brakes on CX bikes, i would say over 80% of the dudes and dudette’s in NorCal (that’s Northern California to the uninitiated) cross scene are still on cantilevers!

    So, with the announcement, I can see us Cat 6’s still on calipers for a bit..

  • dangerstu says:

    Though not typically an early adapter, I’ve reached that age where stopping quickly with out throwing my self down the road has become important, this is from someone who was happy to ride Cycle Speedway bikes on the road and indeed race Cycle Speedway, but I digress.
    Disc brakes are just better in any situation not just in the wet, being able stop consistently with just one or two fingers, rather than a full four fingered depth grip, is a huge performance / safety advantage.
    I’ve been riding them on the road for a year now and won’t be going back to tech from the 1800’s anytime soon.

    • fsethd says:

      Things ultimately get adopted on a large scale because they are better, cf. derailleurs, clip-in pedals, and of course carbon (but only if it’s 100%). As a consumer you get sucked in, even if it doesn’t really make YOU any better. Hey, I ride a carbon bike and wheels … it’s just so funny to watch people hand-wring about the cost of entry even as they stampeded en masse towards more expensive stuff. In this case, disc brakes make the entire bike and wheelset obsolete. Boom. Who did that really help? Besides Mike Sinyard et al. …

      • dangerstu says:

        Nobody is making anyone scrap there existing wheel or bike collection and forcing you to race with discs.

        I had exactly the same conversation about index shifting 25years ago at the start of my local 10 mile TT, how it was a gimmick designed to obsolete wheels.

        As far as escalating costs did you see this article on this year’s uk 10 mile TT champs bike

        As far as more Sinyard not that I want to defend him, his company is selling an aluminum bike specifically aimed at crit racers.

        • fsethd says:

          Well, of course they are. If I don’t get the full carbon disc brakes that are 100% carbon, people will think I’m not as good as Chris Froome. All of my extramarital affairs will dry up. My children will stop not going to the weekend crits they’ve never been to. And index shifting is a scam. That’s why I use the old hand derailleurs from back in the 30’s, when stuff was made to last. Hard men. Hard times. Good times. Hand me a cig, willya?

        • Tom Paterson says:

          As a dedicated scrounger, I picked one item listed above, that Zipp 900 tubular rear disk. Cheapest street-cloud price, about $900 if they have one. Meanwhile, these are actually available, apparently, at over $1600 from a few places. Expensive, mores if one plans on being an honest supporter of their sport– and of course, their Friendly Local Full-Service Bike Shop… and paying one’s fair share of taxes, of course.

          So forth and so on with that article– the point being? Yes, you can race “cheaper” but dissing the technology needed to be competitive while bragging about getting it for pennies on the dollar and/or donated seems a little disingenuous here, for all the valid points of objection touched on so far.

          Having avoided becoming a heavily damaged or non-living statistic on a few occasions when my iron-age rim brakes failed to function due to “wetness”, I have long awaited the advent of “real” disk brakes for road bikes. Maybe they’re almost here? Let the beta-testing commence!

          Oh yeah: cable-actuated, please (this preference will likely become more obvious at the first big GT mountain stage, 2016, not ever to wish misfortune on others).

          • fsethd says:

            The biggest soft spot in the “Under 1,000 pounds” story is that it leverages all of the top-end, highest dollar technology, i.e. aero. That technology would not exist without a fat base of consumers paying full retail–leaving this dude to scrounge his way to victory. It’s like saying, “I built my Ferrari from old junkyard Ferrari parts, only cost $5k.” Well … what do you think those junked Ferraris sold for?

            It also highlights that it’s the exception that proves the rule. Could a team outfit itself this way? What happens when the 10-yr. old one-part breaks? Quit the race because no one has Shimano 9-speed cassettes?

            Fact is that high end stuff is developed in order to sell high end stuff. It’s why sailing has categories that use identical *standard* equipment, because the arms race would otherwise make sailing impossible for all but the richest of the richest of the rich. Which is what cycling is becoming, or has become.

            Also, I just bought some uber-cool full carbon Zipp 100% carbon bars, which I can stare at while I’m off my bike.

  • jorgensen says:

    I can see it now, disc front, caliper rear for the budget minded.

  • bejoneses says:

    Are you kidding? It’s one more, semi-legitimate excuse for not going fast. That’s gotta be worth a few $K to Masters racers…

    My pads were rubbing…

  • Matt Smith says:

    My predicament pretty much only represents me and maybe two other people on this planet, but last year I sold my cantilever cross bike, my road bike, and my track bike. I now have a thru-axel equipped, disc brake cyclocross bike that has geometry suitable for cross, long road rides, and riding to and from the bar. And it’s just soooo sweet because I have smooth tires for mostly smooth roads and bumpy tires for most bumpy trails. I can race crits one day and then rip trails the next, all with one bike!

    I am fanatically pro-UCI and fanatically pro-pointless upgrades unless, of course, I’m not. And I’m almost always not.

    • fsethd says:

      Pointless pro upgrades are almost always awesome, except for when they aren’t. I too only have one bike. Oops, make that zero bikes as it’s in the shop.

  • Bill Stone says:

    Seth, this is your chance to upgrade!!! You would not have fallen but for the inability to course correct by a two fingered automatic air brake that would have held you suspended in air while you corrected away from the pavement.

    • fsethd says:

      I’m drafting the complaint as we speak. It’s like when I went to the Prius dealer. “This is the time to buy.” “Really? You’re not going to have any more next month?”


  • pvannuys says:

    Brilliant enough to send to my friends at BRAIN. Discs will sell until Neil deCrass Tyson explains lever length vs torque to Matt Lauer, live. So your lite road wheels and rim brakes can be your secret in the hills for a long time.

  • Wily says:

    Haha! You hit the mark on this one Wanky. I’m not spending money to slow myself down… I’ll let time do that. As for the safety aspect of disc brakes making it easier and safer to stop I believe the opposite is true. Less braking power is safer because I’m am not inclined to go balls to the wall down hill when my brakes are shit. You know how you were telling me how much more carefull and aware of your surroundings you are when riding helmetless? Same philosophy.

    • fsethd says:

      I didn’t fall off my bicycle coming down VdM because of inadequate braking, that’s for sure.

  • Wily says:

    Braking is not the problem in the sport of cycling.

  • dan martin says:

    I tend to agree with Frumpy. We all know that taking the morning dump is the crux of all successful bike rides. Bloating is way more important than braking.

    • fsethd says:

      Yep. Looking for Carbon Disc Bowel Breakers in 2016, chocolate flavor with candy corn … G$? You listening?

  • channel_zero says:

    Members of the UCI tech committee are alleged to have been seen on holiday in Majorca drinking wine out of SRAM emblazoned crystal and Shimano branded dinnerware.

    Good thing bike races are won by slowing down the fastest.

    • fsethd says:

      Exactly. As Stathis pointed out, the number one problem facing pro cycling today, and indeed all levels of cycling, is braking speed. So we’re fortunate that this has been addressed in time for the Christmas credit card debt season.

  • TomH says:

    Of the World Tour races I’ve watched on TV, the rainy weather crashes seem mostly caused by losing tire traction — not some inability to brake hard enough!
    In fact, braking hard might exacerbate the problem.
    I suppose calls for front & rear anti-lock bike brakes might not be too far behind :roll eyes:

    • fsethd says:

      Of the World Tour races I’ve not watched on TV, rainy weather crashes seem mostly caused by the same thing that causes dry weather crashes: 190 insane people going max speed on two dimes, inches away from the other idiot, or less. The solution isn’t disc brakes, it’s giant puffy Michelin Man outfits for all riders so they can bounce off their incus bones, hop back up, and pedal some more. Plus moto helmets and Kevlar groin protectors. Then we wouldn’t need brakes at all. It would be like a bounce house. We could zoom downhill at 60, careen off onto our face a-la Red Kite Brady Descending Champ, and instead of tearing off our face we’d just brush off and hold some more descending clinics. I’m running for next year’s UCI technical committee chairdogship, by the way, and would appreciate your support.

  • 900aero says:

    So my rim brakes that have never failed me are now obsolete because of hydraulic discs just like the ones on my mtb that have failed several times, routinely need “bleeding” and adjustment and make awful noises?

    Sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

    • fsethd says:

      Look, if your road brakes have never failed it’s because you haven’t pushed them hard enough. Try stopping after you ride over a cliff. Bet your “good old rim brakes” won’t slow you down for shit.

  • Dogg says:

    Disc brakes are Fugly 👎🏾

  • Can I get this entire text on a tee shirt atmo?

  • Jamie Smith says:

    Alas, the dumbing down of bike handling. Rather than learn how to control the bike (as we’ve been doing since forever), people are looking for a magic pill. Sorry, but discs are not it.

    Great blog post.

  • dominicwatts says:

    Reblogged this on Dominic Watts and commented:
    This pretty much captures my thoughts on the matter of disc brakes on road bikes. I will accept, because I’ve been told often enough by people who MTB, that they have revolutionised mountain biking but this is road biking we’re talking about.

    • fsethd says:

      The last time I lived through a revolution was when I started cooking a couple times a week.

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