Could disc brake guards be the solution (to a problem that may not exist)?

Italian firm soon to sell carbon disc brake guards

Update 10/04/2017: BikeRadar recently got in touch with T°Red who confirmed that a carbon fibre version of its DonChisciotte disc brake guard is expected to go on sale within the next month. No pricing or further details are available at this time. Original article published July 2016 follows.

Nothing upsets certain road riders quite as much as a disc brake. Currently portrayed as dangerous to the point of a blanket ban, cycling's governing body, the UCI, is soon expected restart the trial of the road cycling’s most topical component.

Regulations that may attempt to reduce the perceived risk that these components pose seem inevitable. One method would be to cover the disc rotor itself with a guard or shroud, and that’s exactly what Italian firm T°Red has done.

Set for future production within a month or so, T°Red has designed a simple, two-piece carbon fibre component that covers practically all of the exposed section of the front and rear disc rotors. Once in place, the patent pending static guards should eliminate the chance of any disc brake cutting injury. Indeed, the guard should prevent skin to metal contact entirely, eliminating the much-feared disc brake burn.

Dubbed the DonChisciotte, the patent-pending two-piece design fixes to the end cap of a wheel hub meaning there should be no need to change or adapt the frame, wheelset or disc rotors themselves in order to install. Buyers can either replace their hub's end cap with a compatible part or use a bushing at their own end cap to create an interference fit for the part to mount on. Options for 140mm and 160mm rotor sizes are planned.

DonChisciotte disc brake guard
DonChisciotte disc brake guard

We have to question the influence this design may have on the brake’s ability to dissipate heat.

DonChisciotte disc brake guard

The prototype component that we have photographed here is produced from carbon-reinforced PLA, a 3D printing filament, while production versions are set to be produced in carbon fibre.

T°Red Bikes designer Romolo Stanco said; “I did not develop DonChisciotte because I think that rotors are so dangerous and that we need protection. My starting point is simple: at T°Red we work a lot on R&D also by collaborating with well known research centres, so why not give cyclists the possibility to get rid of any fear? Life will be easier and safer for cyclists, and disc brakes will diffuse in a simpler and more secure way on road bikes."

DonChisciotte disc brake guard
DonChisciotte disc brake guard

The design should offer total protection from disc rotors at the front and rear 

Disc guards are commonplace in the obscure world of bicycle polo, where front-end collisions are a frequent occurrence. You’ll also find them on off-road motorcycles, where their primary purpose is to prevent damage from occurring to the disc rotors themselves.

T°Red is currently testing its first carbon prototypes of this design and at present couldn't provide us with timing or pricing details on the production part

Do you see a place for these style guards? Think there’s a better solution? Let us know in the comment box below.

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