UCI makes a new rule

Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#1
As a race official I get updated on new regulations and this came up....


UCI to enforce saddle tilt rule in 2012.Governing body to introduce allowable incline limit to allow for individual rider comfort
The International Cycling Union (UCI) is to enforce its saddle tilt rule in 2012, The regulation, as part of the raft of rules that govern the shape of frames, and riders’ positions, does not allow for saddles to be tilted; while the rule was generally ignored by riders, mechanics, and the UCI for many years, the governing body began to enforce it during this year’s Tour de France; mostly concentrating on time trial bikes.

UCI technical coordinator Julien Carron announced the decision in a letter to bike manufacturers yesterday; but stated that, instead of the draconian enforcement of the existing rule, the UCI would introduce an allowable incline limit.

UCI rule 1.3.014 simply states: “The saddle support shall be horizontal. The length of the saddle shall be 24 cm minimum and 30 cm maximum.”

The simple rule does not appear to allow any room for interpretation but, since it was a rarely enforced regulation, riders have ignored it and been allowed to do so for many years.

Many riders like to tip their saddle forward slightly, to aid comfort, while a few like to tilt it backwards. The late Frank Vandenbroucke used to have his saddle nose pointing upwards quite prominently, with the Belgian’s team mechanic once remarking that: “Frank likes to hurt his balls.”

To allow for riders to keep their comfortable positions – and to allow for the occasional Vandenbroucke-style masochist – the UCI is to amend the rule to allow for a tilt of up to 2.5 degrees, with a tolerance of 0.5 degrees, in either direction.

"As a result of many discussions and comments concerning Article 1.3.014 on the horizontality of the saddle, the UCI has decided to clarify the situation by introducing a tolerance to the measurement of the saddle angle,” Carron wrote. To determine the value of this tolerance, the UCI has taken into account many measurements recorded in competition, numerous scientific articles published on the subject describing biomechanical issues as well as discussions with several saddle manufacturers.

“The concept is to grant the rider sufficient freedom to allow a comfortable position to be adopted,” he added, “reducing the pressure on the perineum, while avoiding any deviation through an excessively sloping saddle that could improve sporting performance to an unacceptable degree by the addition of a lumbar support."

As with the majority of the UCI’s regulations of this kind, the saddle tilt rule will mostly affect time trial bikes, and this is likely where it will be enforced the most. Bikes are already scrutinised by technical commissaires before riders are allowed to start, and this will be just one more check for them to make.

Unless a rider turns up to the start line with an obviously sloping saddle however, bikes are unlikely to be scrutinised on anything more than a random basis in road races; the prospect of checking up to 200 bikes at once is surely enough to make even the most zealous commissaire baulk.

A forward-tilting saddle on a time trial bike allows a rider to make the lower positions more comfortable, thus allowing them to get more aerodynamic. If they are forced to bring their saddles closer to the horizontal – if, under the revised regulation, not actually to it – many will find themselves forced to bring their frontal position a little higher or risk losing power.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,141
43
68
Kochi
#4
Why does the UCI feel the need to intervene on this? Perfect example of a rule-making body crossing over the line into a dictatorship.

A forward-tilting saddle on a time trial bike allows a rider to make the lower positions more comfortable, thus allowing them to get more aerodynamic. If they are forced to bring their saddles closer to the horizontal – if, under the revised regulation, not actually to it – many will find themselves forced to bring their frontal position a little higher or risk losing power.
If you drop your saddle on a TT bike, you will just slide forward and have to constantly waste energy pushing yourself back, along with the disruption to your rhythm/power production.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,859
1,446
129
...
#6
Why would they make rule about that? It seems like something that each rider should decide? If they can all get an advantage by angling the seat then it is no advantage.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,629
447
103
Japan
#7
They've got to be seen actively "regulating" something/anything in order to justify their existence! :eek:
Absolutely this, basically cause they can't get it up naturally any more ego trippin' by asserting self ascribed power is how they get wood. If they haven't thought of it it's not legit and the sycophants keep sucking so they can make their money by accepting crap like this. and this...........http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/512714/uci-approved-stickers-to-adorn-racing-bikes.html
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#9
Why is this an issue? Every other sports regulates equipment that can be used.

Also it is a hint that the UCI will abandon the 6.8kg minimum weight limit as this rule was introduced protect the riders from frame manufacturers that cut corners on frame integrity to get weight reduction benefits.

If a frame with full UCI approved parts and wheels passes the inspection then the 6.8kg minimum weight limit is defunct.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,141
43
68
Kochi
#10
Sorry FarEast, but with respect, it is not about regulating the equipment but the way in which the approved equipment can be used. So more like a situation in which (for illustration purposes) the ICC were to ban the reverse sweep/pull in cricket i.e. you can have a bat, but you can only use it in accordance with the way we dictate.

Would be good to see the weight limit abandoned, but I would support a weight limit that is proportionate to the rider`s weight.The current limit is so unfair on the smaller/lighter riders.
 

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
1,083
Tokyo (Nezu)
fudoushin.com
#11
To play devil's advocate here for a minute, in addition to promoting a fair, clean sport, one of the primary goals of a lot of these regulations is to keep bikes looking like bikes. If some of these things weren't regulated, within a few years you wouldn't recognize the bikes the pros would be riding to be bikes. Unfortunately as with many rules, laws, regulations, etc. a lot of times it gets carried too far, and things can get nonsensical and overly pedantic!
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,629
447
103
Japan
#12
Why is this an issue? Every other sports regulates equipment that can be used.
But as long as rugby equipment falls within the stated parameters any one can use anything regardless of "official" seals or not. The UCI did this as a power grab and the larger manufacturers who can afford it happily went along cause they know smaller builders can't afford this, effectively creating a oligopoly. Seriously do you think it's absolutely necessary to measure every example of every size in the line up at 5,000 euros a pop?
If some of these things weren't regulated, within a few years you wouldn't recognize the bikes the pros would be riding to be bikes
But surely the most efficient form would get used. If the FIA had the same regressive mindset as UCI there would be no ABS or traction control in passenger cars today.
 

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
1,083
Tokyo (Nezu)
fudoushin.com
#13
But surely the most efficient form would get used. If the FIA had the same regressive mindset as UCI there would be no ABS or traction control in passenger cars today.
That's precisely the issue. Yes, the most efficient form would get used, but would you recognize it, and more importantly could the masses afford it? The other issue is do you want the most physically fit, most strategic cyclist/team to win or do you want the guy/team with the latest and greatest technological fad to win?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for stagnation and luddism. There is a balance that must be struck. Finding that balance is the trick.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#14
To play devil's advocate here for a minute, in addition to promoting a fair, clean sport, one of the primary goals of a lot of these regulations is to keep bikes looking like bikes. If some of these things weren't regulated, within a few years you wouldn't recognize the bikes the pros would be riding to be bikes. Unfortunately as with many rules, laws, regulations, etc. a lot of times it gets carried too far, and things can get nonsensical and overly pedantic!
Pete you have it spot on, these rules are to seperate "Strada Corsa" from TT bikes or TT set ups. Without these rules they would all be riding recumbants with flaring and enclosed canopy.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,141
43
68
Kochi
#15
That's precisely the issue. Yes, the most efficient form would get used, but would you recognize it, and more importantly could the masses afford it? The other issue is do you want the most physically fit, most strategic cyclist/team to win or do you want the guy/team with the latest and greatest technological fad to win?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for stagnation and luddism. There is a balance that must be struck. Finding that balance is the trick.
I agree with you. The problem is that this rule was cited as being for TT bikes and the UCI will make cycling look stupid if it goes the whole hog and forces riders to do TT`s on road bikes, cf the UCI Hour Record. Part of the appeal of a TT is the spectacle itself, with all its ensuing get-up and garb, and road cycling will be silly if people look at it and wonder why all the roadies are on bikes inferior to those which triathletes can use - there seems to be a trend now for more manufacturers to produce UCI compliant and non-complaint frames e.g. Specialized Shiv came in both forms (compliant/non-compliant). The new Cervelo (or should I say `Pon`) P5/PX will come in both guises as well. Regulations on a road bike - fine. For a TT bike, anything goes except for recumbents and enclosed `bubbles`.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#16
Personally I favor the more strict rules. After all, the purpose is to equalize the field not to determine winners by virtue of the spending they can manage in a wind tunnel. For special events , like 'anything goes' - why not? UCI could and should have categories for this. But for pure sport, I want to see the agony of defeat and the exhilaration of wins based on the rider. On the other hand - the bulk of advances in a standard frame are very close to finite. Aside from genetic modding the riders - there isn't alot left they can do to improve the aerodynamics.

Given the UCI has the responsibility to govern alot of riders across a wide range of events and economics, it's in the best interests of everyone to draw these more conservative and common lines. But I disasgree about the approval fees as they will hinder smaller fabs and builders from providing equipment. And UCI isn't conducting this as a safety assurance certification - just a conformation. Unlike the wheel certs - which is entirely based on safety.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,141
43
68
Kochi
#17
But for pure sport, I want to see the agony of defeat and the exhilaration of wins based on the rider. On the other hand - the bulk of advances in a standard frame are very close to finite. Aside from genetic modding the riders - there isn't alot left they can do to improve the aerodynamics.
I agree, but my argument is based more on the fact that if you limit frame advances, it still doesn`t create a level playing field, as you have teams with disparate resources who can still `buy` an edge with their backroom staff - doctors, nutrionists, coaches, exclusive agreements with clothing manufacturers (skinsuits). Today`s topic for debate, are Team Sky/Britich Cycling legalized cheats?

I would just argue, that if any team wishes to use specific equipment, then it should be available (another rule the UCI chooses not to enforce) for all the other teams at cost, so no team has an advantage.

But I disasgree about the approval fees as they will hinder smaller fabs and builders from providing equipment. And UCI isn't conducting this as a safety assurance certification - just a conformation. Unlike the wheel certs - which is entirely based on safety.
Agreed. Strikes me as more of a tax than anything else.