Just When Disc Brakes Were Beginning to Look Clean Apr 19, 2017

I get it. I understand the necessity to keep the peloton safe from those dangerous, butcher shop-grade, flying death discs in the event of a Nascar pileup on a descent but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Late last week, Germany parts manufacturer and all around Black Forest component wizards, Tune, unveiled what I will say is the sleekest, most design savvy protective cover for disc brakes yet. Still, though, the fact that the UCI is fighting this issue so hard is mind-blowing. What about chainrings? Or barbed wire fencing lining race courses? Or stupid wheels exploding? Or press motos? If the world is afraid that disc brakes are going to end a race by fatality, perhaps there’s more to this debate. Anyway, I saw Tune’s attempt at solving this problem and felt it needed a share. Carry on with your morning…

  • breed007

    The double dork disc.

    • Smithhammer

      When one just isn’t enough.

  • Vise

    Disc Brakes never looks clean 🙃

  • Andrew

    This actually would fit in well with professional cycling’s stance on safety equipment… “Let’s design courses that make riders speed down mountains at 60mph, inches from their competitors, cars, and large immovable objects!!!! And to cover our asses, let’s force them to wear little foam hats and ‘disc sheaths’ so that we can’t be liable if they die!!!”

  • A very creative idea and a nice form, but I cringe thinking about keeping that clean…

  • Keith Gibson

    should be black so it doesnt stand out as much

    • Richard Ellis

      Aren’t these prototypes. Real version to be carbon, and presumably black.

  • henrilefebvre

    they need to get rid of the stupid parametric grasshopper faux bio-mimicry cut-outs and profile. The holes are too graphic and regular to be driven by aero anything. Whenever anyone 3D prints anything they think it has to look like that.

    • Giger’s Alien.

      • henrilefebvre

        pre-digital is allowed!

        And all in all someone spent months in rhino modeling that thing, not easy. I just wish folks didn’t default to that type of digi-fab aesthetics to signal “future”. I haven’t read their copy, but I can imagine “fluid” and “organic form” found their way in there.

        For what its worth, it looks like the bike has a raptor claw on its front wheel.

        • Tim Noyce

          Someone DIDN’T spend MONTHS designing that… Let’s get that straight. That is just a standard pattern fill feature on that face, and the overall shape is a revolved feature that is cut to shape. That’s an hour or 2’s work and then send it over to the printer.

          • henrilefebvre

            yes, months is an exaggeration to produce a prototype. And maybe my point was that the pattern is not actually complex. My beef is with faux-complexity. To be fair through, I would bet that the complex curvature is derived from a grasshopper script to account for changes in bike geometry etc etc. Or maybe the shoulder on the face is regular, it is just sweeping some rails. It’s hard to tell from photos. Anyway, if you’re the type of person that can bust this out in 2 hours, more power to you. You are more skilled than me though I’m miserable at parametrics, Even if they are fake.

            Sorry y’all for the 3D modeling talk.

          • Tim Noyce

            Ok… I did a little test at lunch to justify my bold claims! Done ‘by eye’ rather than having any data to work with with regards to fitting… 34 minutes from blank canvas to render. I’ll start taking orders any day now. Mine are carbon too ;-) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b56838c4fb1137a4fa216ccc1a3cce0d4d414559c0390169b7360bc8f7774f47.jpg

          • Looks like the Event Horizon. Putting one on your bike will open a portal to hell with Sam Neill running around naked.

      • M B

        Actually….Drillium was drillium, long before Giger’s Alien was Giger’s.


        You see historical examples dating back to the 1950s at least of people drilling holes in bike parts to lessen weight, or because it was cool.

        • Yeah, I know drillium and Pino Morroni’s work with Merckx’s hour record bike but this is some chrysalis homage. Tune is using biomimicry for their form / function design in an attempt to allow cooling to occur, not weight savings.

  • PGH_small_adventures

    Brad’s Geekhouse polo bike had a great looking solve for this. Paint matched, welded to the bike and actually covers the whole rotor. best way to make it look like it belongs on the bike, make it part of the bike.


    • Gregory Ralich

      Hey this is great to see again! Marty and Brad thought this one up late night one night. I remember coming in, in the morning, and happily discovering they had a eureka moment that not only solved a problem but also looked great! Bonus – They were dead rotors powder coated and upcycled.

  • Dan Coppola

    Aside from the looks, which I’d agree are pretty bad, how does this solve the perceived problem of disc brakes slicing through people’s skin? There’s still 1/3 of the front and 1/4 of the rear rotor exposed.

  • Joe Chase

    You have to wonder if it’s the UCI who is fighting, or influential companies who make brake components and wheel sets that are petitioning the UCI from inside (Mavic/Shimano/ Campagnolo, etc). Reason being, they would lose a large market share unless their product offering is updated for road discs which are proven robust and reliable. Yes this all conspiracy theory, and its not much a conspiracy at that. As mentioned in the article though, there seems to be numerous higher yield safety issues which could be addressed in road racing other than disc brakes. Makes you wonder.

    • Andy Harmon

      Maybe once Campy drops a disc brake…

  • Andy Moore

    To paraphrase a favorite Dinosaur Comic featured here, long ago, referencing helmets, and life itself, being dangerous: Maybe racers are reading this, and learning to love safety, teens!

  • Giuseppe Magnetico

    The UCI isn’t fighting it, they are pretty much well in lockstep with the manufacturers. The objection is coming from the riders and their respective unions. Few years from now this whole disc brake nonsense is going to be forgotten. Just as it happened twice before in mtb and cx. Sure was entertaining tho. Roadies sure did make themselves look like the 4 year old throwing a tantrum in the grocery store.

  • AaronBenjamin


  • I don’t use disc brakes but I was under the impression that the main issue with rotors was them being hot, and causing burns, not worries about cuts. Rotors aren’t sharp are they? This seams really, really, really stupid to me. I can’t be alone in this can I? I mean if this was even remotely an issue, shouldn’t the UCI mandated bashguards for chainrings, like a very long time ago?

    • colavitos_ghost

      To answer your question, they’re sharp.

      • Giuseppe Magnetico

        No, they really aren’t.

        • colavitos_ghost


          • Giuseppe Magnetico

            Have you handled a UCI compliant rotor with the rounded edges? They are duller than the back edge of a butter knife. They can’t cut anything.

      • Rob King

        No they’re not. It’s been shown in several videos.

      • No they are not, UCI rules state that the edges of the disc have to be rounded

    • Giuseppe Magnetico

      Wind up a sprint then come to a sudden stop, slap the rotor with your hand (equivalent of a glancing blow), or even just grab it. A disc can’t get hot enough to burn anyone unless somebody is dragging brakes, and no pro does that. Not even the worst descender. The covers are totally unnecessary.

  • Darren Meier

    I can’t wait for Tune to come up with a slick cover large enough for the entire Shimano neutral service car.

  • Eric Wang

    Count me solidly in the “I don’t see the point” camp, but if we’re gonna cover the brakes, I think the F1 solution is pretty badass. Don’t do the stupid biomimicry thing (like someone said below), and make it a functional cooling duct that keeps things like water/grass/mud out of the brake system. Since we’re going down this path with electric shifting, maybe put some active aero on there, the ducts only open when the brakes are hot, and close for max areo-ness on the flats.


  • Rob King

    I hope they snap off in the event of road debris jamming between the rotor and the cage.

  • George T Rosselle

    Freds rejoice! A new a must have accessory!

  • Rex Lombardi

    Unghhhh looks like Uli Jon Roth guitars :p

  • Herbert Harris

    Almost as good looking as my Schwinn Varsity spoke protector…

  • Ultra_Orange

    Still think the scare about disc is stupid when there has been MTB racing with them for years now. And absolutely tests just wrap the bikes in bubble wrap, and the same with the riders because the road is pretty rough when you fall.

    • .,`

      the ‘scare’ is the peloton’s only real way to battle the push from the sponsors. It’s difficult to argue the preference for rim brakes, its easy to say they are dangerous.

  • shankshiv

    Wouldn’t discs be safer if they were surrounded by supple pneumatic covers?