The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) have announce that tests will begin this season on the use of disc brakes in professional road racing following numerous consultations with different stakeholders, with the new braking system set for complete introduction in the future.
There have been concerns about riders using different kinds of brakes in the same peloton but the UCI announced that "all teams will have the opportunity to use bikes with disc brakes at two events of their choice during August and September."
The testing will continue in 2016 at all events on the UCI professional road calendar, with the UCI confirming that "if the experience is satisfactory, disc brakes will be officially introduced to the UCI WorldTour in 2017. The aim is to eventually introduce disc brakes to all levels of road cycling."
"Although disc brakes have been used for around a decade in mountain biking and for the last two years in cyclo-cross, their introduction to road cycling must be carefully studied in collaboration with all those who are directly concerned," UCI President Brian Cookson said in a statement.
"That includes riders, teams and manufacturers. This step is part of the UCI's desire to encourage innovation in order to ensure cycling is even more attractive for spectators, riders, bike users and broadcasters."
Most leading bike manufacturers have developed and began selling disc brakes and frames suitable for disc brakes in recent years. Many in the cycling industry see the innovation as a way of increasing safety and a major change in approved bike design for professional riders will give the cycling industry a boost.
"The industry is delighted by this news and also thanks the UCI for the very positive collaboration," WFSGI Secretary General Robbert de Kock said in the UCI statement. The WFSGI has worked closely with the UCI on behalf of the bike industry.
"This decision will further develop innovation and create new possibilities for the bicycle industry as well as additional performance for the riders. There is still some fine tuning to do on detailed requirements for the procedure, but it is very exciting to finally have reached this decision. The remaining open topics such as neutral race support or the UCI and Teams protocol will be tackled soon."
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