Why are teams using mountain bike disc rotors at the Tour de France?

Mountain bike rotors at the tour de france
(Image credit: Josh Croxton)

As we enter the third week of the Tour de France, we've had plenty of time to look at the bikes of the riders already, and there has been plenty of cause for tech discussion at this year's race. There's been tyre talk, as the debate of tubular vs tubeless was usurped by clinchers. Wheels have had their time in the spotlight too, as Jumbo Visma and Ineos Grenadiers shunned Shimano in favour of non-sponsor selections, despite our suggestion that Shimano has something new coming.

Today it's the turn of another wheel-based component, the disc brake rotors. Riders including Julian Alaphilippe, Marc Hirschi and Adam Yates have been using mountain bike rotors.

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Josh Croxton
Associate Editor (Tech)

Josh is Associate Editor of Cyclingnews – leading our content on the best bikes, kit and the latest breaking tech stories from the pro peloton. He has been with us since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. 

On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Somerset-based Team Tor 2000. These days he rides indoors for convenience and fitness, and outdoors for fun on road, gravel, 'cross and cross-country bikes, the latter usually with his two dogs in tow.