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April 01, 2022 29 Comments

Band of Climbers has this morning learned that bikes with rim brakes are to be completely banned from the Passo dello Stelvio. The new rule, which comes in place as of today, means only those riders with disc brake bikes are allowed to climb, and crucially descend Italy's most famous mountain road. 

Bormio AF Ltd, the regional development body responsible for cycling tourism in the Lombardy region of Italy spoke to Band of Climbers and explained their decision, and exactly how they are going to enforce this surprising new rule.

The Decision

Luca Scemo, Bormio AF Ltd's Commercial Director said, "We have been carefully studying the Strava data from riders on the Stelvio for many years, and it is clear that bikes with rim brakes descend the Stelvio far more recklessly than any disc brake bike. We see the speed of riders entering the 48 switchbacks of our descent far too fast, and this leads to issues with rider safety, poor cornering, and wide lines.

"We see that disc brake bikes simply don't have this same issue. The stopping power of disc brakes is just so far superior, and as a result, we have to put rider safety first, and this means making uncomfortable decisions. So, as of today, 1st April, we have banned all rim brake bikes from all three sides of the Stelvio."

Enforcement

When asked how on earth they were going to stop riders with rim brakes from riding the Stelvio, Luca adds, "At first we hoped riders would respect our decision and simply not bring a rim brake bike to Bormio. However, to ensure we have no rule breakers, we are employing 6 x 24hour 'Rim Guards' who will be stationed at the foot of each side of the climb. Our 'Rim Guards' will prevent any rider with rim brakes from starting the climb."

"We know this will disappoint a few people who have not yet made the swap to disc brakes, but, please understand this is for your own safety, and the safety of your fellow Stelvio riders."

Bike Rental

The good news, adds Luca, is that the 'Rim Guards' will also be able to provide a hire bike, with disc brakes, should you still wish to ride the climb. Bormio AF Ltd has invested in a fleet of disc brake bikes for rent. They cost €15 per hour, so the quicker you get up and down the Stelvio, the cheaper your rental is. Luca adds the bikes are a lightweight carbon fibre, with mechanical disc brakes. Claimed weight of each bike is 12kg. 

Options

As you can imagine, when Luca gave us this news, we were taken aback. The new ruling leaves a lot of 'what if' questions to answer, and so, with your help, we've agreed to feed your questions to Luca and Bormio AF Ltd. Simply add your questions below in the comments, and we'll get the answers we know you need.


29 Responses

David K Bean
David K Bean

May 02, 2022

Why don’t the juvenile jokesters who put up April Fools messages take them down after the “holiday”? They continue to turn up in searches forever and pointlessly prolong confusion. Best would be, of course, if the rarely funny “gotcha” jokes weren’t posted to begin with.

Colin Berry
Colin Berry

April 19, 2022

I have been a cyclist for most of my life. I have been over most of the famous climbs in Europe. All this done on rim brakes. I never had any problems with my brakes or did as you say seem to evoke a particular way on thinking that cyclists with rim brakes appear to be reckless when descending.
It seems to me that some of these cyclists are not very experienced in the art of descending and completely ignore the pitfalls, excuse my pun!!!
I have cycled over the Stelvio which is very spectacular to say the least.
Maybe some education could save a lot of accidents???
On some of the descents I would deflate my tyres to a level where they could not rupture due to the terrific amount of heat generated from rim brakes. Regards Colin Berry.

Rico Chilometri
Rico Chilometri

April 03, 2022

Ha, the joke is on them! The first thing I did after purchasing my unicycle was to remove the wheel reflector and the rim brake. Problem solved!

;-)

Steen
Steen

April 01, 2022

Fantastic news on 1 April. Brilliant.

RonRamsey
RonRamsey

April 01, 2022

Another pros and cons issue.

Ric Liang
Ric Liang

April 01, 2022

Well done. Had me going!

Justin
Justin

April 01, 2022

What an absolute outrage; this is clearly an attempt to prevent Pogacar from winning the Giro

I shall be boycotting my local Italian restaurant in protest… I’ll probably still use them for takeaway pizza though

Rox
Rox

April 01, 2022

Clank! 🙈🍩

Andrew Mallagh
Andrew Mallagh

April 01, 2022

Love it. I was already on my soap box shouting ‘Nanny State’ before I realised 👍

Eugenia
Eugenia

April 01, 2022

The best part is Luca Scemo (look his surname up in a English – Italian dictionary!) Brilliant guys, well done.

Andrea S.
Andrea S.

April 01, 2022

Big fish of 1st of April mate!

Andrea S.
Andrea S.

April 01, 2022

Bug fish of 1st of April mate! 😂😂

mike
mike

April 01, 2022

had me too. Excellent humour in a not particularly cheery year

Mark Chumpy
Mark Chumpy

April 01, 2022

Had me all the way to the comments….great one, well done!!

Aussie Jen
Aussie Jen

April 01, 2022

You got me! Thanks for the laugh! :)

Tristan Rains
Tristan Rains

April 01, 2022

What a joke, I can understand rim brakes running on carbon wheels because they can delaminate with heat,
So you can hire a bike with mechanical disc brakes?? Which are useless in my opinion.

Chris
Chris

April 01, 2022

Had me until 12kg

Stephen Dixon
Stephen Dixon

April 01, 2022

Good one, you had me there for a bit. 🤣😍

Wull
Wull

April 01, 2022

Ha ha, love it. Almost had me until I read BoC had the exclusive at which point I thought nah.

Colin Irving
Colin Irving

April 01, 2022

Bravo! – My first good April Fools moment of 2022! Grazie! (I want to be a Rim Guard when I grow up!)

Alwaslboy
Alwaslboy

April 01, 2022

Brilliant April fools

Will Meldrum
Will Meldrum

April 01, 2022

Properly had me. Hook, line and sinker… Couldn’t see how Strava data would tell you this. I was puzzling on the 6×24 as well…. Well done!!

Geoffrey myatt
Geoffrey myatt

April 01, 2022

Brilliant April fools

Paul Hooper
Paul Hooper

April 01, 2022

April fools

Ralph Blundell
Ralph Blundell

April 01, 2022

“Rim Guards”. …. brilliant 😂

Paul Nixon
Paul Nixon

April 01, 2022

Excellent! For a minute or so I was taken then my aged brain eventually got it . Very good.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown

April 01, 2022

Banning rim brake bikes is the most outrageous and ridiculous thing I’ve heard for a long time.
Surely this has something to do with bike manufacturers as they want everyone to ride one type of bike only. This trend has been slowly creeping in over the last few years and those of us that continue to ride the beautiful and lighter weight rim brakes won’t be bullied into changing.
I for one will never ever ride a disc brake road bike so that’s one tourist that won’t be spending my hard earned cash in that country.
Goodbye.

Richard Barker
Richard Barker

April 01, 2022

Nice one! You nearly had me there…. 😜

Badgerman
Badgerman

April 01, 2022

Aprils fool?!?

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