News Article

WFSGI on Recent Accidents In Pro Racing Allegedly Linked to Disc Brakes

Industry- & Retail Organizations

OSTERMUNDIGEN, Switzerland – In the past 10 months the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), representing the bicycle industry, has been withholding public statements to the various comments on disc brakes by riders. Seeing the current accusations, after the road race accident with the involvement of Owain Doull and Marcel Kittel at stage 1 of Abu Dhabi Tour, the Federation has released the following clarifying statement.

WFSGI on Recent Accidents In Pro Racing Allegedly Linked to Disc Brakes
WFSGI investigated Paris-Roubaix 2016 accident as well as the one with Owain Doull at Abu Dhabi 2017.

The WFSGI says, “Twice within the last 10 months riders and other stakeholders of the cycling sport accused disc brakes of having caused injuries to a rider or their material.

The WFSGI has taken these complaints very seriously and investigated both accidents in order to have a clarification before making any statement.”

Ventoso accident Paris-Roubaix 2016

The WFSGI asked forensic doctor Ulrich Zollinger based in Bern, Switzerland to analyze the wound of Francisco Ventoso as well as the entire course of his accident.

The WFSGI also commissioned the German bicycle accident investigator Dirk Zedler to make an independent investigation & risk assessment of the same accident as well.

Doull accident Abu Dhabi 2017

The WFSGI continues its statement with, “The investigation into the accident of Owain Doull is still ongoing and the available material is being studied carefully. After the first material and image investigations, we can say that a disk brake accident can, most likely, be excluded. See also here:

UCI Disc Brake Review group

“The UCI has installed a working group consisting out of members from the WFSGI (Industry), the rider representative CPA, the team’s organization AIGCP and the UCI itself. This working group closely monitor’s the trial of disc brakes in road racing, reported incidents and studies potential improvements for the usage of disc brakes in road racing. The experts from the different organizations in this working group are empowered for making proposals to the UCI equipment commission.”

Position of industry and riders

The WFSGI statement says further, “Today the industry provides both brake systems and leaves the decision as to which system to use (rim or disc) to each team and/or rider. A fact that was confirmed by all riders using disc brakes in races so far. The industry encourages riders to make some first experience and testing with disc brakes before they provide comments.

Mixed peloton

“Safety is a major concern to the industry and this towards all cyclists. One of the concerns in pro racing is the fear of different brake performance within the peloton leading to potential incidents.

It shall be known that some material/combinations currently used in pro racing already show a clear difference in brake performance. Some combinations may not even live up to the legal requirements set by international standards (CEN/ISO) for commercial bicycles.

That’s why the UCI working group has identified this key point and is looking into ways to improve the level of safety for pro riders by enforcing minimal standards of brake performance. That can be taken as a starting point to eliminate concerns of different braking performance regardless the brake system used.”

Potential cuts

“Evidence on cuts under racing conditions are not available since there was no reported accident with disc brakes so far. Nevertheless, the industry agreed with UCI, CPA and AIGCP on rounded disc brake rotors in order to react on the perceived risk by riders, as well as to support a faster exchange of the wheels from neutral support and team’s service. It has to be mentioned that the ISO standard 4210-2; 4.2 does already require exposed edges on the entire bicycle to not be sharp.”

Disc brakes equipped bicycles in the market

“Today our industry has sold already more than 15 million disc brake bikes to the public market. Most of these products are sold for MTB or cyclo-cross, city use, but also the number of products sold for road racing is growing rapidly.

The argument that pro racing is different than amateur racing or the commercial market is absolutely heard by the industry as well. Nevertheless, a fair chance of a testing period should be acceptable given all above facts.

The WFSGI will continue to work closely with the UCI, CPA and AIGCP in order to make a smooth introduction of disc brakes into professional road racing.”

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