Unfortunately, my schedule did not allow me to make a stop in Taiwan for the Taipei Cycle Show on my way home from China a couple days ago. From the few pictures I have seen today though, it looks like I missed a good one. I’ll try to cover a few of the highlights from the Taipei show next week… if I am able to catch up and find a bit of free time.
For now, I just want to mention one bike that debuted at the show. Cyclelicious points out that the Colnago C59 Disc road bike has been getting a lot of attention in Taiwan this week. Interesting, but the fact that a major bike company displayed a disc brake equipped road bike should not surprise anyone. The disc equipped Liscio model from Volagi garnered much attention recently during the high profile lawsuit brought on by Specialized, and it is widely known that Shimano, SRAM, and others are actively working on disc brakes for the road market. There are many advantages to using disc brakes on the road, especially with the popularity of carbon rims, which don’t offer an ideal braking surface under the best conditions (and perform extremely poorly in the rain). Without the constraints of structural and heat issues associated with rim surface braking, I think we can expect to see innovations in lightweight aero-profile wheels that will more than compensate from a performance standpoint for the additional weight of disc brake systems.
Currently, the only stumbling block to widespread acceptance of disc brakes for the road is approval by the UCI. McQuaid and company approved the use of disc brakes for cyclocross racing in 2010, so hopefully they will come to a similar decision for road racing soon. Carlton Reid wrote in a BikeBiz piece yesterday that brake manufacturers are now discussing the best approach to convince the UCI that disc are better, and safer, for racing. In the article, Giancarlo Vezzoli, the engineer in charge of road disc brakes at Formula (the manufacturer of the brakes on the Colnago), is quoted as saying, “You may be surprised at how quick the UCI makes the right decision. All the brake manufacturers are united. The UCI will see this is a safety decision, nothing to do with politics.” I certainly hope that Vezzoli is correct that this decision will come quickly…and that we will see many road bikes with disc brakes on the market this time next year. Personally, I am anxious to have one.
Update 3/12: I am glad to see the discussion on this topic in the comments section. For even more discussion about disc brakes for the road, see this post by Richard Masoner post on Google +, where Guitar Ted (who is much more knowledgeable on this subject than I am) shares his insights. Also, check out this Bike Rumor post about disc brake failure, which is referenced in the G+ discussion. There is definitely more to get into on this subject than my quick little post on Friday captured, so as always I appreciate the comments.