FEATURE: A glimpse into the future – Disc Brake success

Thu 14 Sep 2017

Former Czech road race champion Roman Kreuziger became the first ORICA-SCOTT rider to win a race on a disc brake equipped bike when he stormed to victory at the Otztaler Pro 5500 in Austria.

It was the first time a rider from the Australian outfit officially raced with the new technology following trials with a number of riders in training.

The one-day race was a new edition to the UCI professional calendar with a unique route that includes four Alpine passes and 5,500metres of climbing.

The parcours provided an ideal setting for Kreuziger to get the best out of his Shimano DuraAce equipped SCOTT Addict SL and put the 2017 disc brake model through its paces.

“Leading up to the race I had been using the Addict with disc brakes whilst training in the mountains in Livigno in Italy,” explained Kreuziger. “I had really good sensations with the set up and spoke to the team’s technical director Kevin Tabotta about the possibility of using the bike for Otztaler and we decided that it would be worth a try.”

“With so much climbing and descending forming the parcours we knew that this race would be a great opportunity to test this technology in a real race situation and be able to definitively analyse the positives and negatives in terms of performance.

“Obviously on the descents the disc brakes give a significant advantage. You don’t lose as much tyre pressure and it’s possible to save between ten and twelve seconds braking time when travelling at 60-70kph. For me this evens out the added weight to the bike, I was using a SCOTT Addict frame that is for climbing and not as stiff as the Foil, but if anything the disc brakes actually added to the stiffness.

“Overall I think it is a positive innovation and improves braking in both hot and wet conditions and I am happy with the performance.”

Still in the developmental phase within the professional peloton and the subject of passionate debate amongst cycling traditionalists, disc brakes retain the ability to divide opinion.

Janosch Wintermantel Coordinator for Road and Triathlon Bike Marketing at SCOTT believes the technology increases both safety and control for the rider.

“At SCOTT we strongly believe that disc brakes not only provide more safety, but a new way of winning more seconds and more possibilities to decide a race,” said Wintermantel. “The superior control of disc brakes give riders the trust in their bike in all weather conditions and the chance to hold their speed until the last possible moment.”

“This is the first time a SCOTT sponsored athlete used disc brakes on a road bike. The bike was launched at the beginning of the year, but we had to wait until now to get the new DuraAce disc brakes to be able to achieve almost the same weight levels as the rim brake version.

“I think Roman’s win in Austria speaks highly of the strengths of this bike. He had a super light bike for the climbs in the Addict and the superior control of the disc brakes allows for a noticeable difference also on the downhill."

Photos courtesy of Mario Stiehl