The UCI’s Equipment Commission wants to bring further innovation to cycle sport, it was revealed in the first meeting of the body held at the UCI's HQ in Aigle, Switzerland at the end of last month.
The first UCI Equipment Commission Meeting was attended by representatives of the bike industry, team management, mechanics and commissaires. It was led by UCI President Brian Cookson and UCI Technology and Innovation Consultant Dimitris Katsanis and included WFSGI Secretary General Robbert de Kock. The commission will meet twice a year to make suggestions on rule changes and technological innovations related to equipment.
This meeting resulted in one minor rule change allowing handlebar extensions which are up to 85cm from the vertical line passing through the bottom bracket axle for riders 190cm and taller. Further studies on the use of handlebar extensions in combination with the height of riders will be conducted for a more permanent and scientific solution, reports the commission.
While there have been no dramatic changes to the rules, the group is reported as being “very positive to allow[ing] further development of technological innovations for the sport of cycling. Overall goal for all stakeholders is to guarantee the safety of all riders by respecting also existing rules of the UCI and the fact that cycling should be identifiable as cycling.”
Robbert de Kock points to a “more open and fact-based approach by the Equipment Commission on technical innovations and is looking forward to a close collaboration with the UCI in representing the bicycle industry. Although it may take a little bit of time, we will under the new UCI management, certainly see more possibilities to bring further innovation to the cycling sport and this is encouraging for the industry.”
Disc brakes on road bikes are the hot topic right now and many people - fans and manufacturers alike - are keen to see if the UCI will allow the use of disc brakes in the professional peloton. A change on the 6.8kg minimum weight limit is another rule that some expect to change soon.
While the meeting gave no clear indication on changes to either of these rules, there are positive signs that the UCI are taking a fresh look at worthwhile innovations for cycling sport. We recently chatted to some industry insiders recently about what rule changes they would like to see changed.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.