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UCI Bike Design Rules
Last Post 07/18/2013 01:08 PM by Evan Solida. 11 Replies.
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6ix

Posts:113

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07/17/2013 04:14 PM
I've complained in the past about certain frames, such as the Cervelo P5, being suspect for their UCI legality. Somehow, they managed to get the UCI technical coordinators to accept their interpretation of gussets. But then the Pinarello Bolide is released this spring with a fairing over the rear brake. It's not structural at all and is clearly against the rules. Heck, Sky even draws attention to it by having it a striking blue! Again, the UCI turns their heads. Originally, the UCI plan was to forbid any equipment that is not commercially available, but somehow, the Mavic R-Sys Ultimate is still being used by only Pro's some 3 years later. We can't buy them. And let's not forget about the bike Great Britain used last year in the Olympics. Ugly as hell, but as far as I know, not available to the public. If I recall, one of the main reasons that the UCI made these rules was to have an even playing field. A rich team couldn't utilize outrageously expensive equipment that was superior to what lesser teams could use. The only thing that has changed from the late 90's is that they have to be a standard, double-triangle configuration. The bikes aren't any cheaper at all. So much for that rule being fair! It's clearly obvious that there is significant money being exchanged for having UCI-legal frames, when they are anything but.
ChinookPass

Posts:406

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07/17/2013 04:35 PM
Well I'm not sure the R-sys is such a loss to the public...

So who's in charge of overthrowing the UCI leadership these days?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:988

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07/17/2013 05:57 PM
I dunno if there is significant money being exchanged, but the "good ol' boy" netowork is clearly alive and well in Switzerland.

Gawd I hate the UCI.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
jmdirt

Posts:656

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07/17/2013 06:36 PM
The IOC is in control for the Olympics so as much as we all hate the UCI, we can't blame them for what happens in the Olympics. That being said, most of the bike requirements are stupid. For example the UCI claims that the weight rule is for safety. Most pro bikes a re well below the limit so they add heavier things to bring them up to weight. Yah, those steel water bottle bolts and SRM big screen sure make the bike safer. I remember CH taping lead weights to his BB for weigh-in and then, oops, the tape fell off during the neutral start. Even if they stayed on, did they make the bike safer?!

Are you sure that R-sys aren't available?
longslowdistance

Posts:594

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07/17/2013 06:38 PM
Are lawyer lips UCI required?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:988

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07/17/2013 06:55 PM
I don't think they are *required*, but IIRC, if you aren't allowed to modify a part now....so filing off the tabs makes the fork illegal.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Keith Richards

Posts:701

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07/17/2013 07:06 PM
Jmdirt, the rules are what they are. I always use F1 car racing as an example. The cars made 400 MORE HP back when Ayrton Senna was racing than they do now. Next year the engines HAVE to be V-6 engines with turbo. This year they are 3.5 liter, no turbo.

The engineers should/do look at it like a game. The goal is to maximize performance within the parameters dictated by the governing body.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
longslowdistance

Posts:594

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07/17/2013 09:50 PM
KR, consider this philosophical difference between F1 and the UCI: F1 wants to stimulate innovation, the UCI wants to thwart innovation.
jmdirt

Posts:656

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07/18/2013 12:00 AM
KR, I agree, rules is rules, but my issue is that the UCI claims the weight rule is for safety but the things riders/teams do to make weight doesn't make the bike safer.
Ride On

Posts:417

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07/18/2013 06:22 AM
Yes but if there is no lower limit for weight would someone push the limit of good engineering and go ahead and make one unsafe?

I grant you that I can make an unsafe heavy bike, but with engineering trade knowledge on how to build a bike that is the outliner not the norm. If you take away any weight limit, engineers will push the limits of what is good known practice and will add some product risk. Should they review that standard from time to time and see if it needs changing? yes. But in this case would a lower limit bring any value to bike racing ? The UCI governs only bike racing, nothing else. What is the risk and what is the reward? If the risk is up and the reward is zero why do it ?
jmdirt

Posts:656

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07/18/2013 10:27 AM
Ride on, since the weight rule was put in place bikes have gotten lighter and lighter. Every part of the bike is lighter: frame, wheels, bars, stem, post, groupo... This is why all of the riders race with their SRM now, they have to get their bike up to the weight. A REAL safety standard is important, overall bike weight isn't a god way to determine bike safety though. If they want a weight rule, like many types of racing, for the sake of standardizing the machine that's fine but don't use "its for rider safety" as the reason for the rule. If it for rider safety, each component should be required to meet an established safety standard.
6ix

Posts:113

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07/18/2013 01:08 PM
The Mavic R-Sys Ultimate uses a shallow-section carbon rim and is not available to the general public.

I don't agree with the comparison of cycling to F1 because they aren't driving cars that have to be commercially available. Sure, the technology used in the cars trickles down to production vehicles, but they mostly used to flex corporate muscle in a pissing contest. For F1 engineers, it is a game to see what will get by the rules. With cycling, however, products are a massive business decision that require large amounts of capital for development and tooling. Bike companies can't risk spending all that money on a product that will be considered illegal one year and legal the next. This results in the market being sold bikes that aren't as ideal as they could be.
And then there is the weight issue...kind of silly. Cycling is a unique sport in that the equipment essentially becomes one with the rider. A beautiful confluence of organic and mechanical elements. The general public doesn't understand the differences in components, but they do understand weight. The "wow" factor of having a superlight bike is fantastic for cycling's market exposure. It gets people interested.
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