TDU 2017 Tech: Disc Brakes Spotted on Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team Bike

The first UCI World Tour race of 2017, the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia, is just around the corner (a little over a week to the start). Riders seeking the edge of early time zone acclimatization – a long way from the European home base for many pros – have begun steadily trickling into Adelaide.

In addition to the time zone are the differences in weather conditions. It’s summer here in Australia, and while the typical weather patterns of an Australian summer are not being followed of late, temperatures are much warmer for riders who make the USA or Europe their home during the year. Because most teams at the race don’t bring a full staff or service course, the teams & riders sometimes call upon local bike shops for parts and mechanical help. Case in point is Paddy Bevin of Cannondale-Drapac. Paddy needed a few issues attended to on his training bike, and called into Corsa Cycle Centre, a well-known and respected bike shop in the Adelaide cycling scene.

I happened to arrive at Corsa just as Paddy’s bike was on the workstand…

Shop proprietors, Steve Nash and Michele Primaro are experienced mechanics in their own right, and have worked for all manner of teams over the years since the Tour Down Under has visited Adelaide. For 2017, Michele joins with Astana and Steve, Team Sunweb. Paddy aka Patrick Bevin began his professional career in the United States with Bissell Pro Cycling in 2010, later landing himself at Cannondale in 2016, a role he maintains for the 2017 season.

With the UCI giving the go-ahead for disc brakes in the pro peloton again, some teams are taking the opportunity to experiment with the technology, even if only on team training bikes for now. Paddy’s 54cm Cannondale SuperSix training bike is equipped with Shimano’s hydraulic brake/Di2 electronic shifting, mated to the company’s flagship Dura-Ace Di2 derailleurs. Pictured above, a flat-mount Shimano hydraulic caliper performs the duties of braking, while a 12mm thru-axle holds the front wheel in place.

At the rear of the SuperSix, a flat-mount hydraulic caliper features again, but a regular quick release interface is used for rear wheel retention. As the season moves on, the spec on these bikes may change. It distinctly possible Cannondale-Drapac will be racing on disc brakes later in the season, but for now, all of the team is rolling on disc brake road bikes for training.

Shimano 140mm IceTech disc brake rotors are in place front and rear of the bike, no Freeza though. Will we see a standard in the pro ranks for disc brake setup? 140mm rotors front and rear, thru-axles front and rear? Certainly time will tell.

Mavic Askium disc brake wheels for the team training bikes.

Paddy was rushing on his way out the shop for a training ride, but I would like to thank him, Steve and Michele for allowing me the opportunity to snap these photos. I’ll be covering more of the bikes from the 2017 Tour Down Under, including the rim-brake racing versions of the Cannondale-Drapac SuperSix team bikes. Watch this space!

We got another detailed look at Paddy’s training bike later in the week.

Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team

Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.


16 thoughts on “TDU 2017 Tech: Disc Brakes Spotted on Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team Bike

    1. It’s because they don’t want to make an entirely new frame. Easier to just make a new through axle fork. Also the Cannondale rep spewed some (deleted) about not needing a through axle in the rear on a race bike. Typical industry Kool Aid though.

      1. I would imagine it would be easier to retool the dropouts for a thru-axle than it would be to change the frame to attach disc mounts. But what do we know, neither of us are engineers or product managers. We just like to pretend we are smart.

      2. Food for thought. What’s harder; following the pack and adapting to what is seen by some opinion leaders as state of the art – what was it again 142*12, now 148*12 for MTBs (or if you ask Pivot 157*12)?!, or doing your own calculations and testing and then bringing out the best solution one has found to market? Cannondale clearly belongs to the latter group of companies.
        And, btw, your comment on retooling is off by quite a bit Seraph. You need a complete new rear triangle design (and obviously the molds that come with it) for that bike so they didn’t save money in any way by sticking to QR dropouts. But go find another disc brake road frame that weighs 830 grams in size 56 and performs like Super6. Good luck (and maybe do your research before commenting Kool Aid next time)

  1. Don’t mean to be contradictory or anything, and I run thru on 2 bikes, but QRs worked just fine, still do. In fact they run 180mm rotor with 4 pot Hopes just fine.

    Thru axels on hardtails are pointless really, their main use is to stiffen the suspension elements. That said, the short lived 10mm QR, especially the DT RWS system, I feel is every bit as stiff as a Thru and is the best of both worlds.

    The adaption of thru axels on road bikes I feel is more the counter the ‘stupid factor’, i.e., Mamils that love the tech but can’t actually learn how to use it – so read lots of QR’s on disc road bikes not being correctly…

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