Chris Froome once again derides disc brakes on road bikes

Chris Froome still doesn't seem happy with the performance of disc brakes on road bikes (Getty Images)
Chris Froome still doesn't seem happy with the performance of disc brakes on road bikes (Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome has once again criticised the performance of disc brakes on road bikes, focussing on the unsolvable issue of ‘rubbing’ disc rotors, in a YouTube video filmed during his latest training camp in Gran Canaria.

Chris Froome was training in Gran Canaria with Israel-Premier Tech teammate Mason Hollyman, ahead of his season debut at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali 2022, where he eventually finished 86th in the general classification. 

The episode from the training camp opens with the sound of loud disc brake rub from Froome's bike as he rides along. 

“My entertainment with disc brakes continues,” he joked, perhaps aware that his doubts about the braking technology always cause a stir.   

He subsequently dedicates a small portion of his video to a more in-depth explanation of his doubts around the braking technology.

“I think they’re sort of a work in progress,” Froome said. 

“I think the technology is improving but the margins are so slim,” he said, in reference to the clearance between the disc brake pads and the rotors. 

“You do a big descent and the alignment moves completely," meaning he has to "stop and re-adjust everything again.”

Froome highlights that he is riding the previous generation of Shimano’s top tier groupset, Shimano Dura-Ace 9170, while the newest Dura-Ace 9270 has wider pad clearance. 

“We’re riding Shimano at the moment. I hear the new 12-speed Shimano has sorted out some of these issues,” he says. “But I think with the older stuff with the 11-speed, [I’m] still getting a lot of rubbing… getting one piston firing more than another one, which always puts things out of alignment.”

Froome also suggests there’s no easy mechanical fix for rotor rubbing, but rather it is an inherent issue. 

“No matter how many mechanics I’ve spoken to or taken the bike to, you just can’t get 100 per cent on top of it. It’s always going to eventually get a few issues as soon as you start doing some really big descents,” he said. 

“But c’est la vie. For the time being I just put the earphones in and pretend I can’t hear it.”

Previous comments about disc brakes

Froome has previously been vocal about disc brakes on his YouTube channel, causing a minor storm in the bike tech world last year when he released a video heavily criticising disc brakes after first moving over to the technology.

He also courted controversy more recently when he used the channel to question whether time trial bikes belong in road cycling in light of various training crashes over the last few months, including Egan Bernal’s severe crash in January.

Elsewhere in Froome's recent episode from Gran Canaria, he discusses his training journey so far this year. His season preparations were interrupted by a knee injury in January and he started at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali, where he finished 86th overall.

“I’m a little bit behind because of the injury I had this year,” he said, while striking an optimistic note. 

“All is going really well actually, feeling like the legs are turning well, and certainly starting to see some progression on last year's numbers, which is encouraging.”

We expect to next see Froome racing at the Tour of the Alps, beginning on April 18.

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Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart has been editor of Cyclingnews since March 2022, overseeing editorial output across all of Cyclingnews' digital touchpoints.

Before joining Cyclingnews, Peter was the digital editor of Rouleur magazine. Starting life as a freelance feature writer, with bylines in The Times and The Telegraph, he first entered cycling journalism in 2012, joining Cyclist magazine as staff writer. Peter has a background as an international rower, representing Great Britain at Under-23 level and at the Junior Rowing World Championships.