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The technical rules did not change since 2000. There are no new rules. There are simply components of bicycles used in competitions which are not in conformity with our technical regulation. During year 2008, we received many messages and remarks (from riders, team managers, federations, journalists, private individuals and manufacturers) about TT bicycles. These complaints were admissible and relevant. The problems were not on the frames themselves but about the accessories (handelbar with a vertical nose, water bottles, seat tube - article 1.3.024).
The UCI does not have any capacity of interference in the manufacture of bicycles. The market is free. The manufacturer build what he wants and the consumer buys what he wants. However, if the manufacturer wants to use his products in the competitions, there are technical rules to respect. There is no competition without rules. There is a technical regulation which must be known of all and if there are a doubt or a question we are available to bring our assistance. With the majority of the manufacturers there is no major problem, but there are some manufacturers who do not play the game correctly.
Each year, our commissaires discover new technical things ever seen before (often border line with technical regulation). These things are introduced surreptitiously (in spite of our article 1.3.004). These things (who maintain confusion expressly) were thought during months and the commissaire must decide in two minutes surrounded people with very loud voices. It arrives, of course, that commissaires react differently and perhaps not in a good sense. In the absence of vigilance and of firmness, it is then the reign of the accomplished act. And if, thereafter, we want to correct, everyone is astonished (or plays astonished).
However, the manufacturers in question understood (easily) the situation and asked for a deadline of one year to put itself in conformity. They also asked to receive a guide of application of the technical rules which is only a recall of the rules with details and practical explanations. Of course, from marketing and commercial point of view, it is easier to say than the UCI changed the rules during 2009 but at the time of a meeting with a manufacturer in question this one affirmed us that he had never read the UCI technical regulation and that he was going now to respect it ! You cannot make the UCI responsible of that.
UCI Technical Adviser
This should be interesting...
If there is anyone who thinks that body weight isn't supported by elbow rests (even when set up to the UCI "clarification") let me know...I've got a bridge to sell them ;-)
The ONLY way to ensure that body weight is supported by the hands is to eliminate aerobar extensions...period.
You sure about that? ;-)
(Long before aerobars were invented there was a veteran's rider from upstate NY who used to TT with one forearm draped across the tops of his drop bars...I want to say that his name was Peter Read/Reid/Reed, but I'm not sure.)
OK...AND require you to keep your hands on the bars...sheesh.
BTW, I'm somewhat amused by the lack of admitting ANY responsibility on the UCI's part in the past rules "confusion" by Mr. Wauthier above...it's all of those sneaky manufacturers fault!
One of the clarifications that I heard is that they will permit ME for saddle or bars (depending on size of rider)- but only single exemptions. Can't be less than 5cm back and still get the bar exemption.
That way no one would need to retool or scrap investment $$ and us triathletes can still get as fast as OUR rules allow.
@psycholist - I pulled this off our NCNCA forum. It was posted by someone from the USCF board of Trustees
There were two proposed rule changes concerning UCI bike regulations - both involving masters. One was to drop all application of UCI bike rules for Masters Nats; the other was to make a specific exception and not apply the 3:1 rule. Neither passed, so the rulebook is unchanged.
Note that there were *two* major changes from the UCI in the interpretation of bike regs: the 3:1 application to components and the change in "morphological exceptions ("morphs"). There are two aspects of the bike regs that can be modified based on body type - the saddle can be less than 5cm behind the BB, and the bars can be up to 80cm forward of the BB, rather than 75cm, based on applying a morph. The change in interpretation is that a rider may only get *one* morph. This is consistent with the saddle exception being for short people, and the handlebar for tall people.
I expect that the USAC Technical Director will issue one or more updates through the year, clarifying how we will apply the UCI rules in domestic events. My own *personal* guess - not speaking for USAC or the USCF Trustees - is that generally available equipment that was okay this year will probably be okay in 2010 for Masters Nats.
I had an interesting discussion with one of the members of GOCEM (Global Organization of Cycling Equipment Manufacturers) before my group ride yesterday morning...let's just say that there's still quite a bit of "clarification" needed before all parties (manufacturers, UCI, teams) are on the "same page".
In fact, I was told that a case could be made for basically EVERY TT frame currently being manufactured to be "non-compliant" in one area or another, including ones that have been used in UCI events for YEARS =:-0
Apparently the main problem is that there currently is NO formalized procedure in place for obtaining "design approval" from the UCI.
The other interesting thing I was told was that there actually seems to be quite a bit of "push back" from the commissaires themselves to change things so that they aren't under the gun to rule something as being compliant or not literally minutes before an event. Good for them.