Home
Governing body about to abandon 1996 anti-technology Lugano Charter?

The UCI looks set to change its attitude to cycling technology with the appointment this weekend of a new Equipment Commission and the announcement of “a new approach by the UCI in favour of innovation and technology”.

The membership of the Equipment Commission will comprise UCI president Brian Cookson ; commissaires’ representative Martijn Swinkels; Team Sky's head of technical operations Carsten Jeppesen who will represent the interests of the professional teams; a yet-to-be-named representative of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI); Professor Jan Anders Manson from the Laboratory of Composite and Polymer Technology at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne; master mechanic Alex Roussel; and Martina Schär, whose role is to look after the interests of the wider public. Aerodynamics engineering specialist Dimitris Katsanis, who has long worked with British Cycling on bike development, recently became a UCI consultant.

The new attitude and membership of the Equipment Commission was decided at a meeting of the UCI management committee at the end of last week. The committee also congratulated Tour de France organiser ASO on the creation of a women’s race on the final day of the Tour de France and approved the regulations under which the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) will operate. The regulations, effective for a year from February 12014, cover all aspects of the CIRC's work including the procedures that will enable it to offer reduced sanctions to people admitting to past doping offences while assisting the CIRC in its investigation.

A new team looking after the UCI’s equipment regulations and a policy in favour of technical innovation will be particularly welcomed by the bike industry. Many prominent industry figures have long seen the UCI as preventing technological advances in cycling equipment.

The UCI’s current policy on bikes and equipment is underpinned by the 1996 Lugano Charter, which  says: “the real meaning of cycle sport is to bring riders together to compete on an equal footing and thereby decide which of them is physically the best”.

That led to regulations that often seemed arbitrary, dictating rider position, angle of aero bars and most prominently a minimum bike weight of 6.8kg.

The regulations were interpreted by commissaires at races, which led to frustration among teams who could not be certain that the bike they rolled out at the beginning of the season would pass muster, and to absurdities like lead weights bolted to the frames of carbon fiber bikes belonging to diminutive riders and even lengths of bike chain being dropped into the frames of very petite female track cyclists. 

The UCI’s answer was a certification system that involved charging a fee for a sticker that indicated the bike was approved. That led to accusations from smaller manufacturers in particular that the UCI was simply trying to raise revenue from a system that was only needed because its own regulations had failed to evolve along with improvements in bike technology.

It seemed the UCI had forgotten that the cycling industry is the world’s biggest sporting goods sector and contains some of the world’s biggest sports companies. Shimano, for example, is the world’s biggest sporting equipment manufacturer in sales terms. Under the banner of the WFSGI, the bike industry got organised to pressure the UCI to work better with the industry and not simply attempt to dictate.

When Brian Cookson was elected president of the UCI last year, WFSGI secretary general Robbert De Kock said: “We can support the UCI in many ways when it comes to rules/regulations for products but we shall not live in the past.”

When we polled a number of bike industry figures on what changes they’d like to see last year, the first item that bike manufacturers mentioned was the 6.8kg weight limit. Jon Swanson spoke for many when he told us: “We can easily hit weights well below the current minimum and pass all CE testing. The weight minimum has hindered what we can do.”

Former British Cycling technical advisor Chris Boardman said the certification system was “monstrously administration heavy”.

“I would hope they would simplify it,” he told road.cc last year. “There's a lot of regulation that has come in in the last two years... and now they want to do it with handlebars and they want to do it with wheels and it's just adding a huge bureaucracy to making bikes.”

Other innovations also seem to have caught the UCI unprepared. Whether or not you think disc brakes on road bikes are the Next Big Thing, their approval on cyclo-cross bikes was bound to lead to their use on road bikes. Allowing disc brakes on road racing bikes is something several manufacturers want to see. How the UCI handles the resulting complications of wheel standards and neutral technical support will be seen as a real test of the new regime’s attitude to equipment.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

35 comments

Avatar
munro [4 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

At last bring on the new tech

Avatar
munro [4 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

At last bring on the new tech

Avatar
duc888 [41 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Ahh, but perhaps you are missing the point. The last paragraph alludes to it.
'How the UCI handles the resulting complications of wheel standards '

What will happen is, manufacturers who have previously been bound to a set frame design and 700c wheel sizes by nature of the regulations and the brake caliper positioning, will now come up with a whole new 'theoretical' standard. One that suits their 'lets make something new just for the sake of it and profit' goals.
Look at mountain biking. Can anyone honestly say that 29ers are 'that much better' for the everyday cyclist than the tried and tested 27's. But, its a whole new revenue stream for the manufacturers, one that is embraced by the press as they were also running out of things to write about until 29ers came along.

So, road bikes with disc brakes and different wheel diameters, and loads of press space about the benefits of less contact patch and rolling resistance on smaller diameter wheels played off against better inertial force on a larger wheel and how good that might be for time trialling once youve got it moving. (on a flat course obviously)

Just thoughts, feel free to shoot it down  1

Avatar
Simmo72 [667 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Its a balance, without technology we would all be riding 6 speed, 531 steel (not a bad thing) and attached to our bike via toestraps.

But as Duc888 has stated, it opens up the way for manufacturers to bazooka the hell out of the paying public with new standards and options, most of which will do nothing but line the purse strings of these creative folk.

If somone decides to create a new 28" wheel out of carbonised Lama hair and its on a top team then before you know it, half of the velominati follower will be ordering them along with new frame, brakes, hub and tyres. kerrrrrrCHING

Avatar
mrmo [2096 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
duc888 wrote:

Look at mountain biking. Can anyone honestly say that 29ers are 'that much better' for the everyday cyclist than the tried and tested 27's. But, its a whole new revenue stream for the manufacturers, one that is embraced by the press as they were also running out of things to write about until 29ers came along.

I hope to god they don't start the pointless stupid wheel thing with road bikes as well.

The is sweet FA wrong with 26" wheels so over the last few years the manufacturers? have decided that we all needed 29, when that failed, they then decide we need to change to another standard which is almost identical to 26 but offers none of the few advantages that 29 did!!!

As it is, look at BB's having English and Italian isn't enough anymore!! or how about head tubes!!!!

Innovation good, pointless playing around with standards for the sakes of it bad!

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [797 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I am confused... 29ers are clearly better in 90% of off-road scenarios... their continuing acceptance and growth in market share would suggest they have not failed at all.

As for the whole 27.5inch wheel thing... I have to agree however and question what the hell its all about.

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [797 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

To be fair, I also like the idea of bike racing being recognisable.

For me, thats wheels the same size, a double diamond frame, and the rider adopting a position the same as they currently do.

Avatar
mrmo [2096 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Jimmy Ray Will wrote:

I am confused... 29ers are clearly better in 90% of off-road scenarios... their continuing acceptance and growth in market share would suggest they have not failed at all.

As for the whole 27.5inch wheel thing... I have to agree however and question what the hell its all about.

risking going OT on this.

Problem is they're not better in 90% of situations, it really is 50:50. tall riders, v short riders, open terrain, v tight singletrack. As for failed, US sales good, Euro sales bad about sums it up.

But in general MTB sales are crap in the UK as I understand it. And off road I certainly see less riders around now than there were 5-10 years ago. Haven't been to a trail centre recently to see it riders just go there instead of going for rides now.

Avatar
joules1975 [483 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I'm not wanting to make this an MTB wheel size arguement/discussion, but it's a good example.

29er MTB bikes came about from the ground up. The big guys were very slow to introduce 29er bikes. This was partly the issue of getting the frame geometry right to fit the wheels, but partly because the mass market weren't that interested - not because they weren't a good idea, but because people thought they were a bad idea. Once people tried them, things changed, but it has taken well over a decade to happen.

The 27.5 wheel has come about because not everyone likes 29ers. The 29 bikes are faster pretty much everywhere, but they are less chuckable and so those that like to throw the bike around or the shorter people amongst us just don't tend to get on with 29ers. 27.5, although only in the middle by name not in actual measurements does some of what a 29er promises, but remains manoeuvrable. In other words, it great for short arses like me. It's also appeared out of the blue partly because people have gotten used to the idea of a different wheel size, and partly because the big boys don't want to be years behind like they were with 29ers.

Having tried all three wheel sizes, they all have a place. I mean, should all mountain bikes just pick a standard amount of suspension travel? No, because different amounts of travel suit different purposes.

As with suspension travel, you choose the option that best suits you and your riding.

Look at what industry insiders are saying, particularly pro Enduro riders. To paraphrase, '27.5" wheel size is faster than 26, and the best option for the majority of the mass mountain bike market and technical enduro and xc racing, but if you are into marathon racing or long distance riding, go 29" and if you like really throwing your bike around, go 26.'

Innovation with road biking should be the same, whether with wheels or anything else. It makes it a pain for the consumer as you can end up buying the wrong thing for your riding, but that's just a case of thinking it through a bit more.

I think the biggest problem for the road wheel innovation is the neutral service issue, and that is the thing that is likely to prove problematic.

What I don't get though it how the 6.8kg weight limit has prevented innovation. Why not do what F1 teams do which is make something as light as possible (within safety margins) and then add weight as some form of ballast to bring the weight back up. This might seem silly, but it means that you can control where the weight goes. e.g. with bikes away from wheels and other rotating parts, and shoved as low as possible into the frame. The only problem I foresee is that it would involve more communication/collaboration between frame and component manufactures to ensure team bikes meet the limit given the finishing kit differences between teams even if running the same frame, but that shouldn't be an issue for the 50 or so bikes that each team use.

Avatar
rookybiker [46 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I believe the central issue here is not sporting regulations but money. The cycling industry has become a consolidated global business. This consolidation has brought good things such as lower manufacturing costs and a scale that allows for better engineering. It also brings questionable changes, such as the yearly 'innovations' forced down our throats by marketing.

Bicycles are a mature technology; almost all possible ideas were tried and discarded in the extraordinarily creative period that ended with the standard frame and powertrain. One result of these standards was an industrial ecology suited to a great diversity of small producers, the cost of entry was low and there were almost universally accepted standards for components.

One the other hand, there was stagnation. With such a mature product, legitimate change from within is rare, it tends to follow advances in other fields and in society: 'aircraft' alloys, composite materials, computer simulation, reliable electronics, increased personal wealth, increased traffic speeds that pushed biking off the roads...

But a global business needs to create change for its own sake. Are we well served by it? It is here that regulatory bodies such as the UCI can help or hinder.

Chris Boardman pointed out the mounting bureaucratic costs with 'UCI certification'. This is a drop in the ocean for global companies but kills the small manufacturer. Let's not go that way.

The potential innovations blocked by the UCI rules are mostly linked to biomechanics (saddle position, cockpit length, the prohibition of lumbar support) and to the bicycle archetype (diamond frame). Regarding the first, the potential for change is such that it would be wise to set up a separate experimental class for it. Regarding the second, the UCI rules have not impeded the introduction of the new structural materials or some system integration, so while more design freedom can bring benefits, the gains will not be huge. This change can certainy happen within the existing competition classes.

One benefit of rules is the preservation of standards. I do not see any contradiction in being wildly permissive in what regards structural design for example while being conservative in terms of the interface and compatibility between components. Yes, there should be no stampede towards, let's say, discs in massed-start road racing.

Finally, is this relevant to everyday cycling? I guess not. Electric powertrains probably are the key to future mass biking and this category is independent from the racing 'mental bubble'.

Avatar
byke.com.au [19 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Ahh, but perhaps you are missing the point.

And what point is that?  39

This, and a few of the comments here are bordering very close to the ever-reliable "Why the hell does anybody need 11 speed? 10 speed is all anybody needs! [and which just happens to be what the new bike I bought last week to replace my old 9 speed has]" comments that invariably are left on articles about new gear.

If you don't think a new product will appreciably improve a cyclist's speed/enjoyment/safety/etc then don't buy it. You clearly don't need it, and you won't be disadvantaged when riding with your opponents/cycling buddies who bought it.

Nobody is forcing you to buy anything new. It's certainly not like the UCI have a history of constantly tweaking the rules so that your old bike is no longer compliant (quite the opposite, in fact).It's pretty easy to source a replacement for almost any part you break or simply wear out these days. So if you're happy with your existing 26" wheels then keep riding your 26" wheels, and don't worry about what other sizes those nasty bike manufacturers are releasing.

If on the other hand the new product puts you at a real disadvantage (or simply makes riding more fun/safe etc) then embrace it.

And if you don't think there's been any meaningful advances in bike technology in the last 100 years then find yourself a penny farthing and show up your opponents/buddies for the slaves to fashion that they clearly are.

Avatar
mrmo [2096 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
byke.com.au wrote:

Nobody is forcing you to buy anything new. It's certainly not like the UCI have a history of constantly tweaking the rules so that your old bike is no longer compliant (quite the opposite, in fact).It's pretty easy to source a replacement for almost any part you break or simply wear out these days. So if you're happy with your existing 26" wheels then keep riding your 26" wheels, and don't worry about what other sizes those nasty bike manufacturers are releasing.

except if your gears wear out you can upgrade to 8/9/10/11 and still use the frame, forks and wheels, the expensive bits.

When you change the wheel size, and to be blunt the market will not support three sizes, spares become harder to get. and you are in the position of having perfectly usable kit that can't be serviced.

Try getting a 1 inch mtb suspension fork now?

No issue with new per say, more that new with no real benefits and no spares for what exists, as a way of driving sales.

Avatar
CJSTEVENS1955 [86 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

On the issue of the CIRC. How can they offer reduced sentences? The MPCC are not going to allow these guys to ride, unless the sentence is so small.

Avatar
Jacob [40 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I am relatively new to road biking (about 8 months) but have been mountain biking for 22 years. I have had no suspension, front suspension, full suspension, rim brakes, disc brakes, pedals with cages, clipless pedals and so on. Innovation is good and should be embraced. If you don't like something or feel that you need it then just don't buy it. When I bought my road bike I was happy to have such a huge choice of frames, geometry and components. We all have different needs so why not have as much choice as possible. What is wrong with a lighter frame, disc brake, electronic shifting, carbon clincher and who knows what else they can come up with.

Avatar
jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
byke.com.au wrote:

Ahh, but perhaps you are missing the point.

And what point is that?  39

This, and a few of the comments here are bordering very close to the ever-reliable "Why the hell does anybody need 11 speed? 10 speed is all anybody needs! [and which just happens to be what the new bike I bought last week to replace my old 9 speed has]" comments that invariably are left on articles about new gear.

If you don't think a new product will appreciably improve a cyclist's speed/enjoyment/safety/etc then don't buy it. You clearly don't need it, and you won't be disadvantaged when riding with your opponents/cycling buddies who bought it.

Nobody is forcing you to buy anything new. It's certainly not like the UCI have a history of constantly tweaking the rules so that your old bike is no longer compliant (quite the opposite, in fact).It's pretty easy to source a replacement for almost any part you break or simply wear out these days. So if you're happy with your existing 26" wheels then keep riding your 26" wheels, and don't worry about what other sizes those nasty bike manufacturers are releasing.

If on the other hand the new product puts you at a real disadvantage (or simply makes riding more fun/safe etc) then embrace it.

And if you don't think there's been any meaningful advances in bike technology in the last 100 years then find yourself a penny farthing and show up your opponents/buddies for the slaves to fashion that they clearly are.

Pretty well argued. It really is irrelevant what the cycling industry is trying to push if the consumer base educates itself and doesn't just mindlessly buy

Avatar
mrmo [2096 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Jacob wrote:

When I bought my road bike I was happy to have such a huge choice of frames, geometry and components. We all have different needs so why not have as much choice as possible.

Only one problem, spares, bike shops can only carry so much stock. When you break something and need it yes you will be able to use Rose/Wiggle/CRC/etc to get spares if you are willing to wait a few days. But if you discover on the Saturday that something is broken and you need the bike on Sunday.

Avatar
Markus [51 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Bikes are simple things. Having rocket scientists designing them and then build them up from unobtanium just seems like overkill.
So I like the F1-analogy. Maybe there should be different rules for different classes of races, i.e. different rules for amateurs and professionals with more restrictions on the amateur side in order to keep the gear affordable and cost of participation down. Or make the division between the national and international level, if that makes more sense. The "F1-class" would be the grand tours and such events, with rules less restricting and hence, higher cost.
The easiest thing to measure on the tech side would still be frame weight, while rider positioning, geometry and aerodynamics would still be tricky to control. An alternative to the certification system would be needed.
Restricting the size of the team support could also be used as a tool to provide a more level playing field in the lower ranks. Or is it already?
The bike industry still could sell the high-end stuff to people that actually needs them or just happen to have the money to spend. But there would also be a more pronounced need for more sensible bikes in the marketplace. In essence, there would be a new class of bike to push on the consumers. Not much different from what a mid-priced race bike is today, but it could be marketed as something new... everybody would need one! A Ferrari vs. a GTI kind of thing

Avatar
martincashman [27 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

One thing that seems obvious but somewhat overlooked with the clamor to throw regulations out the window, is that once the lower weight limit is gone, it effectively kills the idea of Disc brakes on race bikes, as disc brakes, even with lighter rims are always going to be heavier than the caliper alternative. The current 6.8kg limit means that manufactures are able approach a level playing field for disk brake bikes by driving down the weight elsewhere however this may not be such a bad thing.

Avatar
rookybiker [46 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

"And if you don't think there's been any meaningful advances in bike technology in the last 100 years then find yourself a penny farthing"

The penny farthing was killed in the 1880's by the chain link and the pneumatic tyre. These century-old inovations were and indeed still are the key technologies in cycling.

Avatar
Bigfoz [143 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Quote:

"It also brings questionable changes, such as the yearly 'innovations' forced down our throats by marketing."

Only if you allow them to. The choice as to whether you open your wallet is entirely yours. You don't have to buy the new plastic fantastic 48 gear whatever the latest craze is, it's a choice. I like a double diamond road bike with alloy components, but I'd be prepared to go whacky on a TT bike.

Avatar
Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

There must be technological progress, otherwise we'd still be riding "fixed" and stopping to swap our wheel round at the foot of each col, but there's something that really saddens me.

It's the spectacle of a father and son, turning up at the son's (presumably) first event, with a fairly cheap racer from Halfords, and being blown out the back on the first lap largely because a surprisingly large number of other lads are riding bikes costing many thousands of pounds, and....

...never seeing that father and son again.

Here's a simple solution, that would both keep costs down but keep up with technological progress; restrict equipment in entry level events to components that have already been in production for three years.

This would:

Provide a plentiful supply of suitable secondhand bikes for newbie riders.
Help reduce planned obsolescence for experienced riders purchasing the latest kit.
Ensure inexperienced riders were all using tried and trusted equipment.

Remember, the young riders of today are the mamils of the future, and things are likely to be much tougher financially in the years ahead; so let's make sure our sport doesn't disappear up it's own elitist a***hole.

Avatar
kitkat [477 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Blah blah wheels blah blah...

Never mind all that. The poor ladies won't get their Tour de France for sometime to come

"The regulations, effective for a year from February 12014"

Avatar
russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

no no no

the rules make bikes look like bikes!

if people had free reign we would see ugly monstrosities made to do such specific things.

i like bikes that look like bikes not bananas with wheels and stupid angles/brakes etc

Avatar
No Sweat [11 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

If the gloves were truly off then the the sponsored pro teams will be riding virtually disposable 'one race' machines, unobtanium pared down to the minimum and calculated to (usually) just last the distance.
A bit like F1 cars, they'll be so fragile and expensive to maintain that Jo Public would not have the resources to ride one on a Sunday club run. Besides which he would find himself walking home (if he still could walk after the regular wheel / frame / fork failures) far too often.
Hang on, maybe that will be a good thing - at last we might see more bikes made for real people to use and simply enjoy a ride, rather than pointlessly aping the pros, on wholly impractical race machines.

Discuss.

Avatar
richdirector [69 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
mrmo][quote=duc888 wrote:

...
The is sweet FA wrong with 26" wheels so over the last few years the manufacturers? have decided that we all needed 29, when that failed,..

but you are wrong as I was a 29 sceptic then bought a new bike (Lynskey 29er) my first ride on local trails (and less fit than prime) I had PR on Strava an 50% of sections with little effort …. same weight bike same materials just 29 not 26.

Saying that i still have ti bikes and a Rohloff as i don't like to change equipment with fads ….

As for road i am no weight weenie and just want reliability (and a smudge of good looks)

Avatar
richdirector [69 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
russyparkin wrote:

no no no

the rules make bikes look like bikes!

if people had free reign we would see ugly monstrosities made to do such specific things.

i like bikes that look like bikes not bananas with wheels and stupid angles/brakes etc

But you wouldn't have to buy them yourself and could set up a new bike club for traditionalists only …. err can I be a member too

Avatar
mrmo [2096 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
richdirector][quote=mrmo wrote:
duc888 wrote:

...
The is sweet FA wrong with 26" wheels so over the last few years the manufacturers? have decided that we all needed 29, when that failed,..

but you are wrong as I was a 29 sceptic then bought a new bike (Lynskey 29er) my first ride on local trails (and less fit than prime) I had PR on Strava an 50% of sections with little effort ….

And one case proves? if you read what I said, it is 50:50, sometimes 29 makes sense sometimes it doesn't. If you want the most extreme case I believe Nino Schurter turned up at races with three different bikes 26, 650b and 29, because each favours a different situation.

All well and good at the top to have loads of bikes to pick from depending on the day, but does it really help riders if they, wrongly, believe that the bike matters at lower levels?

Avatar
Daddylonglegs [18 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

The question is perhaps, 'who do you want in charge of the UCI? Do want the bike manufacturers (the big ones) with an eye on marketing and profit, or a UCI constitution which, at its centre, still lies a commitment to maintaining the integrity of bicycle racing as a competition between human beings' skill, ability, endurance and fitness?'

The UCI is far from perfect, but one of it's main concerns remains to conserve this central priority of human before machine. To do this, a level playing field for bike design has to be established and maintained. How else would bike racing not become a farce as every different manufacturer wheeled out their latest annual innovation? A bike race, even at amateur level, would no longer be about the best or luckiest man or woman on the day. It would turn into a procession of bicyles and bicycle-like objects and kit, rounded off, when the results have been confirmed, by an endless debate over who it was this year who had the biggest advantage using the latest invention/contraption or, if we're lucky, genuine innovation. Meat and drink perhaps for consumer-heavy sites like this that receive most of its revenue from bike manufacturers, but devastating for what many (still, I hope, 'most') people assume to be the central feature of bike-racing: the physical competition between human beings, not their bikes.

While there may be some room for relaxing some of the UCI restrictions on bike design to take into account some of the changes that have taken place in cycle technology and investment in recent years, don't be fooled. The bike industry, led by its principle players, has become an enormous beast, voracious in its appetite for new stuff to sell. So-called 'innovation' is not its primary concern. Growth and profit are. Control of the UCI would be an enormous prize because, for good or ill, the UCI controls the public's perception of what a bike looks like: if the UCI don't like it, the manufacturers can't sell it - or at least sell it in the numbers they would be able to sell it in if it appears on a pro's machine or is actually a pro's machine.

I worked in the bike business for several years and believe me, very little in the bike industry is ever new. What is always new though is the daily influx of wide-eyed recent cycling converts, willing and eager to blow money in every direction on the 'latest' heavily marketed piece of kit. It is this now huge, new, relatively wealthy (just look at those prices!!), but deliciously under-informed market that manufacturers have their hungry eye on. The utter drivel that often passes as factual and objective information that is regularly spouted in cycle ads and many 'reviews' is testimony to the cynical exploitation by manufacturers of this new and largely knowledge-free market.

The UCI has - all be it painfully slowly at times - adapted its rules bit by bit to move with genuine developments in technology. When this has happened it has clearly been a good thing. But some of the dead-dogs that have been and are being stuck up and touted as innovation by the industry right now because profit and growth trumps every other consideration should be a warning to anyone who cares about either cyclesport or the bicycle, that we should be careful what we wish for.

Avatar
matthewn5 [1069 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

+1 for @daddylonglegs!

I think we are all in danger of missing the point. The real meaning of cycle sport IS to bring riders together to compete on an equal footing and thereby decide which of them is physically the best. At the risk of using an old (and discredited) cliché, its NOT about the bike.

(ducks and covers)

Avatar
matthewn5 [1069 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

PS:

@Neil753 - How about having a 'one design' class of bike races, like they do with sailing? There's one fixed design and everyone has to ride it. With inspections to make sure the design is being followed to the letter.

Pages