According to Sylvan Adams, the Israel Start-Up Nation co-owner and founder, Chris Froome could race on a rim brake Factor road bike at this year’s Tour de France if he requested the option. Froome recently trained on a rim brake bike ahead of the Tour, and took to social media to share photos.
Adams, speaking exclusively to Cyclingnews just days before Froome began the Tour as the team’s road captain, said that Froome’s misgivings earlier in the season over the use of disc brakes were understandable but that the benefits from using disc brakes were on balance better for the riders in his team, and the majority of the peloton.
The only WorldTour team that still consistently and collectively ride rim brake-equipped road bikes are Ineos Grenadiers, Froome’s former team.
Back in February, Froome released a video in which he questioned the technology around disc brakes stating that "the technology is not quite where it needs to be". He later clarified that he would race on disc brakes during the season but Adams has told Cyclingnews that if Froome wanted to ride a rim brake bike he only needed to ask.
“Factor produces a rim-brake bike so this is about Chris’ preference for rim or discs,” Adams told Cyclingnews.
“He’s right about some of the things that he’s said. The issues with rim brakes, they do heat up and there is some rubbing on the disc brakes on some of the long descents but if you look, everyone is on them. Chris himself, if he wanted a rim brake bike at the Tour, he’d be riding that. He hasn’t requested that and he’s happy to ride the disc.
"You’d have to ask Chris about this whole subject, which as you know he did start. He really did create the ripple about the disc brakes but I think that the comments that he made were honest and accurate, and they would be shared by a number of the riders in the peloton. At the same time, disc brakes work great in the rain, they have a lot more braking power and give you a lot more confidence in the descents.”
Israel Start-Up Nation, who also rode new, as yet unnamed Factor time trial bike at Giro d’Italia in May, have no intention of rolling back to rim brakes, and while Adams admits that there may have been teething problems with the initial roll out, the team as a whole are committed to moving forward with disc options.
He did, however, reiterate, that Froome could potentially ride a rim brake Factor road bike at the Tour. He need only ask.
“I don’t think that the industry is going backward, it’s going forwards. Ineos are the only team still on rim brakes, and that’s fine. Maybe they’ll move at some point. For us, it was a difficult transition because you have to move all of your bikes to discs, so we wanted to be sure that they were really better.
"On balance I think that they’re better and I think that on balance Chris might agree with me because he’s not riding a rim brake version. If he requested it he’d get one. It’s not a problem.”
Final training ride of the final training camp before #TDF2021 ☑️ Banging playlist 🎶 ☑️Another beautiful day in the Alps ☑️#cycling #quadlock pic.twitter.com/RYLotsljRHJune 17, 2021
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.