Do you like the technology limitations of the UCI?



dominikk85

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Oct 29, 2012
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In the last years the UCI created a lot of limitations regarding technology. for example regarding frame geometry, ban of the superman position, minimum weight of bikes and even beaming the hour record back to stone age.

what do you think? is it good that the rider wins and not the best bike or is the UCI technologically backward.
 

jpr95

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Oct 11, 2010
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If the UCI were in charge of track and field, the high jump would still be performed like hurdles are, uhhh, hurdled.

The Superman position isn't a technology improvement, it's a rider position innovation. If there are safety concerns, that's one thing, but to hold on to an old way of doing things just to make records of years past meaningful today is backward.
 

vspa

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Jan 11, 2009
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they are developed with good will, for safety concerns mainly, its not like in F1 where mechanicals are a big % of the success of a pilot,
 

dominikk85

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Oct 29, 2012
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Originally Posted by vspa .

they are developed with good will, for safety concerns mainly,
its not like in F1 where mechanicals are a big % of the success of a pilot,
with some things you are certainly right. for example those cinelli horns were indeed dangerous.

but why is it dangerous to do an hour record with a tri handlebar? why is is dangerous to use a bike lighter than 6.8 kilos? Even the superman position is not really dangerous in an ITT.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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dominikk85 said:
 with  some things you are certainly right. for example those cinelli horns were indeed dangerous. but why is it dangerous to do an hour record with a tri handlebar? why is is dangerous to use a bike lighter than 6.8 kilos? Even the superman position is not really dangerous in an ITT.
It's standard in virtually all racing to have limitations on equipment. The rules might seem arbitrary, but so what? Everyone knows what they are. Besides, it's not as if the rules are limiting tech development in bikes. Already quite few...or even a lot of.....bikes are sold that weight much less than 6.8kg. The industry knows that the UCI limit isn't stopping customers from buying such bikes. Far from it. Likewise, look at disc brakes on road bikes. The number of manufacturers offering disc brakes on road bikes is expanding quite quickly, and at least one gruppo manufacturer, SRAM, has already announced a forthcoming hydro disc brake gruppo. Shimano is rumored to have such group in development, and it's very likely that Campy does, too. More importantly, the technical rules aren't limiting the nature of the competition we see when we watch races. Bike weights aren't the determining factor when races are won (witness the number of bikes used in the pro peloton that weigh as much as 7.7 kg. Likewise, the racing organizations want to insure that what we see when we watch a race is the result of physical performance, not of equipment differences. That's why TT's are regulated as they are. If they allowed the superman position, it's highly unlikely you'd much of difference, if any, in the final outcome of TT's.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Originally Posted by alienator .


It's standard in virtually all racing to have limitations on equipment. ..... That's why TT's are regulated as they are. If they allowed the superman position, it's highly unlikely you'd much of difference, if any, in the final outcome of TT's.
No argument with the gist of your post, lines have to be drawn somewhere and it's likely that the outcome of most races, even time trials wouldn't change much.

But the UCI and USAC have been a bit capricious with some of their rulings from things like 3:1 aspect ratio of accessory components to the sudden restriction on cyclocross tire width a couple of seasons ago to how they measure aero bar extensions differently for conventional bar end shifter vs return to center designs and the list goes on.

Watching masters racers tear hundred plus dollar Dugasts off of their wheels prior to nationals a couple of seasons ago because 33c was suddenly the limit and all those 34c tires that had always been legal were now too wide. Or the number of aero bars that ended up on ebay because the ruling on 3:1 aspect ratios was extended beyond frame tubing when it had been perfectly legal to run Vision and other high aspect ratio base bars as well as seat posts for more than a decade. Even the way the UCI uses linear dimensions for saddle setback and aero extension limits favors riders of a certain size as opposed to angular measurements (which strangely enough they use as a secondary test during the aero extension morph exception testing) and the change a couple of seasons ago to allow one but not both morph exceptions regardless of rider limb lengths which changed the whole UCI legal (which means USAC nationals) fitting game again.

No argument that rules need to be established but some of the seemingly arbitrary changes over the years seem pretty ridiculous. Even in the case of innovative rider positioning, each of Obree's positions was completely UCI legal when he used them to set records and in both cases the UCI amended their rules to prohibit those positions not to mention their field rulings on the need to use commercially available components except in the case of major TDF squads that could use custom components because they me 'the spirit of the rules' but someone like Obree who crafted them on his own could not do the same.

So yeah, sports need to define acceptable equipment and the results likely wouldn't change much if at all but still it seems some of these rule changes are pretty arbitrary and not great for the athletes involved.

-Dave
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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There's no doubt the way that the UCI words its rules and when it decides to change rules are questionable at best. A fair number of their rules are written so badly that there's no consistency among commissars in applying those rules. Hell, I'm not even sure if the UCI trains commissars. They also seem to notify both industry and teams way too late about rules changes. What was done to Obree was criminal, and the recent travails with TT bike rules have been sad at best.
 

qdc15

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Aug 18, 2004
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You gotta draw thew line somewhere unless you want to see recumbents with full fairings in the Tour de France.
 

printingray

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Oct 24, 2012
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I don't know about Canadian officials, but here in the States we are integrating our Rule Book with the UCI. We have not heard, yet, from on High how we are going to enforce the weight limit. Up until now we have not worried much about bike weights. As a racer, I also officiate, I like to keep my bike as light as possible. But there is light, and then there is stupid light. Light to me is approach the 7kg +/- that the UCI set, you can go lower than that (as you have proven to yourself) but you may be getting into materials that have a low fatigue life. But at the same time, see Gilberto Simoni's bike from last year's Giro, you can safely go under that limit.