Four years after disc brakes won their first WorldTour victory, Ineos Grenadiers announced that they would finally give up rim brakes and use disc brakes at GP Denain on Tuesday, possibly as a test for Paris-Roubaix early October and in the long term future.
The news is sure to ruffle rim brake purists who will quickly remember Egan Bernal’s Giro d’Italia victory and Richard Carapaz’s Olympic road race, both on rim-brake bikes. . But with the widespread adoption of technology in the racing and recreational aspects of cycling, Ineos Grenadiers’ decision is likely to completely accelerate the obsolescence of the rim brake concept.
Eighteen of the 19 men’s WorldTour teams have used disc brake bikes this season, and while the majority of them are fully committed to the tech, a few teams still use a mix of disc and rim brakes. So far, Ineos Grenadiers were the only team to have steadfastly remained on the rim brakes.
The team never explained their reasons, but it is widely believed that their motivation is based on weight – and the desire to stay as close as possible to the UCI’s minimum weight limit of 6.8kg. The team even replaced their Shimano Dura-Ace wheels with non-sponsored Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheels during the Tour de France 2019 in an effort to bring the weight of their Pinarello Dogma F12 bikes equipped with rim brakes to the limit of l ‘UCI.
However, this summer’s launch of lightweight Pinarello Dogma F may well be the key rhetoric behind the British squad’s change of course.
“We are always looking for ways to improve our equipment, technology and bike setup to ensure riders have the best options available,” said Carsten Jeppesen, manager of the team’s technical partners.
“Our relationship with Pinarello has always been based on a love of racing and innovation, and their work on the Dogma F Disc should allow our riders to race to their fullest.”
As to whether Ineos Grenadiers will take a hybrid approach in 2022 – using mostly disc brakes, but keeping the rim brake option for mountain days, as the UAE Emirates team did – we don’t not know yet, but Jeppesen is working on a “full disc package”.
“Working closely with Pinarello and Shimano, we will continue to develop the complete disc set, optimizing weight, integration into Dura-Ace and improvements to the quick release system,” he continued. .
Fausto Pinarello, who said in 2017: “We don’t think a high performance bike needs disc brakes,” has since reversed those opinions and has now fully supported disc brake technology.
“I have been convinced of the disc brakes since I started riding them myself and I’m happy the team is using them in the latter part of this season,” he admitted.
“The Ineos Grenadiers constantly strive for excellence in everything they do and we are delighted with the Dogma F Disc that we have developed with the team.”