There have been concerns about riders using different kinds of brakes in the same peloton but the UCI announced that “all teams will have the opportunity to use bikes with disc brakes at two events of their choice during August and September.”
On one hand it's ridiculous the UCI has waited this long, because there's no reason pro racers flying down mountains at high speeds in wet weather on crabon rims shouldn't be using more sophisticated braking systems on their plastic bikes.
On the other hand, it's too bad the bike companies are going to force dick breaks on everybody else too, because 99% of us wankers don't need them, and the inconveniences will most likely outweigh the benefits:
The testing will continue in 2016 at all events on the UCI professional road calendar, with the UCI confirming that “if the experience is satisfactory, disc brakes will be officially introduced to the UCI WorldTour in 2017. The aim is to eventually introduce disc brakes to all levels of road cycling.”
If only Freds could distinguish between pros and themselves, admit that they suck, and stop buying this crap. As it is, too many Freds can't fix a puncture, even though it's currently a simple matter of flipping open a quick release and replacing a tube. So you can rest assured that in the next five to ten years when all bikes have thru-axles, tubeless tires, and disc brakes the concept of roadside flat repair will be all but forgotten.
Sure, you might think that the upside to all this will be more versatile road bikes with clearance for wide tires and fenders, but that's not how cycling works. If anything it's going to lead to more specialization, and there's no way any company is going to forfeit the opportunity to sell you a road bike and a gravel bike and a cyclocross bike.
Come on, everybody knows you can't use a road bike for gravel. You need that extra 5mm in the wheelbase or else you could die.
For some reason though the UCI thinks that braking systems matter to spectators:
This step is part of the UCI’s desire to encourage innovation in order to ensure cycling is even more attractive for spectators, riders, bike users and broadcasters.”
Do they honestly think anybody gives a shit how the riders slow their bikes? If they want to make the sport more attractive then they should do away with brakes altogether. Between the constant doping scandals and the interminable length of the races cycling is practically unwatchable, but 200 riders screaming down an Alpine descent on freewheel bikes with no brakes would liven things up considerably.
And road racing isn't the only aspect of cycling experiencing innovation. Meet the "world's safest bicycle," which is totally going to revolutionize human transport and make both the car and the standard bicycle completely obsolete:
Just kidding, it's basically a Giant Revive semi-recumbent:
By the way, here's why you should never read about any kind of vehicle on a site called "TreeHugger:"
It frankly doesn't look like that much fun to ride, but then cars are not that much fun to drive these days either.
Yeah, I'm sure driving this is no fun at all:
So what makes the Babel Bike so safe anyway? Well, just watch this video:
Not only does it have built-in lights, and indicators, and hazards, and brake lights, and mirrors, and a "loud car horn," but it also has a roll cage, seatbelts (!), a "custom made safety seat," and "steel foot protectors" that double as a bike lock. Oh, and an electric motor:
Frankly at that point you might as well just say "fuck it" and lease a Hyundai, but it should be fun to see people trying to right themselves on these things after they've fallen over at stoplights.
Also, I'm not sure what this is supposed to be:
Though it appears to be some sort of rectal inflator.
Still, the Babel Bike is a thousand times more sensible than the so-called "Pedi-Scope," which is just fucking stupid:
Naturally, it comes from America's insufferable Breadbasket of Douchery:
"We're here in Brooklyn, NY, where people love to ride their bikes."
Unfortunately they don't know the first thing about them, which is why some guy came up with the idea for a cockpit-mounted periscope:
Here is that guy:
"The problem with biking is that it's a pain in the neck. Literally."
The problem with "biking" is not that it's a pain in the neck. The problem with "biking" is that people who haven't ridden a bike since they were nine years old move to Brooklyn and immediately buy some stupid ill-fitting my-first-fixie-type bike, which they then ride around town while wearing an overstuffed and improperly-adjusted messenger bag.
To support his claim, he references some obscure medical condition which afflicts only the sorts of deranged enduro-Freds who participate in freakshows like RAAM:
If you're getting Shermer's Neck from riding around gentrified Brooklyn you don't need a fixie with a periscope. You need a Babel Bike, or, more likely, surgery.
But check out this panoramic view:
"As you can see, it allows you to safely look down while still seeing what's clearly ahead of you."
Safely? Are you fucking kidding me!?! Have you ever ridden on Flatbush or Atlantic Avenues?
You might as well swallow a make-up mirror and stick your head right up your ass.
Oh, he also says it's good for triathletes:
Which I suppose is true, inasmuch as triathlon is the swimming, biking, and running manifestation of every wrongheaded cycling impulse it's possible to have, and so is this.
Of course, instead of affixing a periscope to your bullhorn handlebars, you could also obtain a bicycle that places you in an upright position. They're not too hard to find. You can even get them from the same place you got your fixie:
Use the periscope as a tub toy instead.