…or are they? If the USA is anything to go by you’d have to say “yes”.
However, last year discs were well represented in the US but this did not translate to equally widespread usage on the European scene. The difference this season is that the big groupset manufacturers are behind discs and SRAM have been at the forefront of this; obviously their sponsored pros are all ready to race the US company’s RED 22 HydroR and Force 22.
With the US riders more open to disc technology, SRAM sponsored riders such as Katie Compton, California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized’s Yannick Eckmann and Logan Owen, Cannondale p/b Cylcocross-World.com’s Kaitlin Antonneau and Curtis White, Rapha Focus’ Jeremy Powers, Zach McDonald and Gabby Day and Todd Wells, Nicole Duke and Danny Summerhill, should all be using discs.
They seem to like the new SRAM kit. “I noticed a huge difference the first time I used SRAM’s new hydraulic brakes and, to be honest, I love it more with every ride,” Yannick Eckmann of Cal Giant said. “It’s reassuring to have the better braking, control and stopping. Also, the hoods give me a secure place to grip for hard efforts or technical sections.”
No one doubts SRAM’s claims that HRD brakes provide more stopping power and better modulation, with less hand effort and no issues with mud, allowing riders to brake later into turns with more confidence. What will be telling is whether the European pros adopt the disc brakes. The Belgian Telenet-Fidea men’s team of multi-time world champ Bart Wellens, and the Telenet-Fidea women’s and development teams are sponsored by SRAM. Will they all be on discs? Just some of them? Or maybe none of them? A possible PR coup awaits SRAM with HydroR and cyclo-cross, but then again…
Interestingly current World Champion, Sven Nys, though not a SRAM sponsored rider, has said that he will not be using discs this season, despite his bike supplier, Colnago, being well behind disc brake adoption. Maybe he’s waiting for Shimano to prove their new road disc brake kit rather than risk using it now.
One thing is for certain though, we here believe that amateur riders are much better off with disc brakes, simply from an equipment longevity point of view, as they remove any issues with rim wear and ‘throwing away’ otherwise good wheels.
Speaking of which, SRAM like to keep it in the family and their disc brakes are often paired with the Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc-brake wheelset which, for the 2013-14 season, two of the top North American teams are on: California Giant Berry Farms/Specialized and Cannondale p/b CylcocrossWorld.com. The Zipp 303 Firecrest Disc is built around a new hub and lacing pattern for improved power transfer and stiffness. The 45mm deep Firecrest rim provides stability, durability as there’s no rim wear, and aerodynamic efficiency.
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