Campagnolo Confirms Road Bike Hydraulic Disc Brake Development

Campagnolo developing hydraulic road bike disc brakes for 2016
Photo illustration, not the real deal.

With SRAM and Shimano now offering full production road bike hydraulic disc brakes, Campagnolo fans that aren’t riding a Colnago C59 are left wanting. But not for too much longer. reports Campagnolo chairman and CEO Valentino Campagnolo confirmed they’re on the way, and that was backed up by a company spokesman. They’re still at least two model years away, pegged as a 2016 item. That means a 2015 introduction. Our guess is the same as’s in that it’ll take advantage of their EPS lever’s essentially hollow body first, then, perhaps, make their way to mechanical groups further down the road.

There’s some speculation the UCI could allow a test of disc brakes in an event or two in 2015. Before then, road disc brake systems will need to be presented and fully evaluated by them, and afterward they’ll have plenty to think about in terms of whether disc and rim brakes can mix in the peloton (different stopping power could lead to accidents), what size the rotors can be (larger rotors are more likely to cause injury) and whether or not the improved performance and/or safety justifies the change. With all that in mind, a two year launch window for Campagnolo would give them something for the peloton by the time the rules change. And something for the rest of us that actually buy our components by the time most bike brands have a disc frame on offer.


34 thoughts on “Campagnolo Confirms Road Bike Hydraulic Disc Brake Development

  1. I’m guessing they’re referring to stopping power again – bigger rotor = more of it. It’s a stretch, but they could also be referring to nasty crashes where other riders’ hands/faces/etc might be sliced open by a large spinning rotor (although this seems highly unlikely) or mechanics leaning out of a team car getting their fingers lopped off while adjusting brakes on a bike (far more likely, although still rare)

  2. I think the whole “potential to cause more injury” argument is horribly weak and totally pointless. Smashing your face into a chain ring or cassette will mess you up good too, but how often does that happen?

    Furthermore, they already have braking power disparities between carbon brake tracks and aluminum and we’ve seen the damage that can do. Mixing different types of brakes in the peloton is THE dangerous thing here. They already do it and there is no reason to continue. Mandating disc brakes on all bikes is the only solution to ensure everyone has the same chance of stopping or slowing consistently to one another, no matter the type of rim used. Get with it UCI.

  3. While I’m not sure if the ‘can cause more injury’ part about larger rotors is true via their potential cutting action while in motion, you can’t really compare the danger of a spinning wheel to a spinning crankset. One spins at rpms vastly greater than the other. And cranks typically go to zero rpm in crash. Wheels do not.

  4. @The Guy
    Moar caps ?

    And even with the photo caption, it doesn’t change the fact that Campagnolo may be developping their brake with Formula.

  5. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
    Someone photoshopped the Campagnolo logo over a Formula caliper.
    Why even put the picture there. It’s just confusing.

  6. @greg, the concern with rotors is hot surfaces and sharp edges.

    I have a hard time believing that, even in the most violent crashes, a rotor is going to pose any danger serious enough to avoid putting them on bikes.

  7. Danger wise, aero spokes are just as bad or worse for mechanics at 50mph.

    But disc brakes on road bikes are like spoilers on cars or rock shox on gran fondo bikes. Dork town.

  8. A little unprofessional to Photoshop a logo over someone else’s product, don’t you think? Could have very easily just used the Campagnolo logo or a zoomed out pic of a bike with disc brakes to the same effect.

  9. pros will never ride discs, it ¡s heavier, specially compared to regular carbon tubulars. it is also less aero and requires 3x spoke lacing. wheel swap is only 1-2 seconds longer, look at mtb mechanics.

  10. still, it would be a smart decision to allow disc brakes in competition. that is why it will never happen, because uci is on the opposite side of smart decisions. like with cinelli spinaci.

  11. Now we know why the UCI is taking so long on this. If they made this mandatory now that SRAM & Shimano are ready it would be “hello bankruptcy” for Campag… now we couldn’t have that could we… Have to wait while the UCI babysits the always slow to market Italians

  12. Pros will ride disk brakes just fine once their sponsors tell them. They will ride a fat-tire unicycle if so ordered. They are pros.

  13. @cunn19: allowing disk brakes no would no more bankrupt Campagnolo than Di2 did when it came out. Further just as electronic systems haven’t made mechanical systems obsolete, disk brakes on road bikes will not make rim brakes obsolete. There will be both in the market for a long time to come.

  14. Pro CX riders are more and more jumping on the disc bandwagon, especially now that hydro disc systems are coming online. Euros are always slower to adopt new technologies (e.g. various MTB tech over the years… hell look all the way back to Greg Lemond and his aero’ bars) as they tend to be more cautious / conservative overall. In 5 years I predict this entire conversation will be moot as the UCI will have legalized discs and all the mfgrs will be on board with the various systems.

    I have heard rumors that local amateurs have already been racing disc brake cyclocross rigs in local road events here out west and the officials haven’t said boo about it. It especially makes sense in “roubaix” style races where you’re at greater risk for wheel lock on rim brakes. I have a SRAM Hydro-R disc brake ‘cross bike, and it is far and away the best bike I’ve ever owned, both safety and comfort wise on long, hairy descents and in rough or wet conditions (road or dirt).

  15. There’s 3 good reasons why I and everybody else buys campagnolo, especially when it can cost twice as much (my super record was more than twice the cost of dura-ace). Its faster, lighter amd most of all its beautiful.

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