Are Bicycle Disc Brakes Really Less Aerodynamic Than Caliper Brakes?
Bicycle disc brake aerodynamics is going to be a popular topic moving forward as more and more racing oriented bikes (including tri bikes) receive disc brakes.
It has been assumed that disc brakes are less aerodynamic than caliper brakes. However, there really hasn’t been a whole lot of data to support or debate this. With high quality brands like Parlee and Cervelo releasing triathlon bikes with disc brakes, one would think that things may not be as cut and dried as they seem though. Can you really imagine Cervelo releasing a bike that was actually less aerodynamic than their last? Neither could we. Cervelo’s data shows that the P5X is more aerodynamic in general than the benchmark P5, but there hasn’t been specific reference to how the disc brakes play into this. Some results from a recent study by Cannondale on the subject of bicycle disc brake aerodynamics has been released though and the results so far show that conventional wisdom may have to be arrested…