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Interviewed at the London Bike Show, pioneer Bontrager touts discs as the answer to better rims

Keith Bontrager: ”Road discs are the future”

Speaking to the crowds on the Cycling Performance Theatre at the recent London Bike Show, cycling pioneer Keith Bontrager revealed that he thinks that a full scale road disc revolution could come as soon as next year.

With many road builds on the show floor already embracing discs, Bontrager said: “I’ve been developing brake pads for decades – we need disc brakes on road bikes to maximise the potential of the carbon rim. Pros do things that ordinary riders just don’t and I expect that pro cycling will embrace the disc as soon as next year once the UCI makes a few rule changes.

“Having worked with Fabian Cancellara, I’ve watched him destroy a pair of carbon rim pads in a single Vuelta stage. From a thermodynamics point of view it was a big mess. The weight of discs on pro bikes won’t be an issue, I mean at present we’re adding weight just to meet the regulations.”

Bontrager also revealed that he has had technical input on a 2014 attempt on a planned hour record by Fabian Canellara.

On this he said: “The UCI restrictions here are significant. The bike almost needs to be like a ‘70s Merckx. We’ve got 20mm box section rims that we’re trying to make aerodynamic. To have a chance of challenging we are having to go into some serious detail – like how little friction can a bearing possibly have.

“Minimising energy losses is critical for such a challenge, we may even be removing grease from the bearings just for a minute gain.”

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