Pat McQuaid's UCI is back on collision course with the bike industry. Cervélo says re-look at tech rules will be "crushing"
According to a long piece in the New York Times, the Union Cycliste Internationale of Aigle, Switzerland, is about to take on the bike industry again. It famously did so in the 1990s, causing havoc for companies like Cinelli, and others, which had to scrap costly innovative bicycle equipment.
The UCI's Lugano Charter of 1996 said:
"New prototypes can be developed because they do not have to take into account constraints such as safety, a comfortable riding position, accessibility of the controls, manoeuvrability of the machine, etc. The bicycle is losing its “user-friendliness” and distancing itself from a reality which can be grasped and understood. Priority is increasingly given to form. The performance achieved depends more on the form of the man-machine ensemble than the physical qualities of the rider, and this goes against the very meaning of cycle sport."
Had this charter been around in the early days of cycling we’d have had no derailleur gears and no quick release wheels. Taken to its logical conclusion we should have no MTB suspension forks; no power meters; no composite frames.
According to the New York Times - headline: 'Cycling Braces for More Turmoil in Equipment Crackdown' – "Bicycles and accessories may be banned within weeks. That could leave teams scrambling to find new bikes for top riders, and the manufacturers could be stuck with merchandise they cannot sell."Article continues below
Phil White, the co-founder of Cervélo, said: “When I initially looked at it, I wasn’t too worried. But now I’m quite concerned. This could be quite crushing.”
UCI president Pat McQuaid said many aero components must comply with standards by July 1st.
“We decided to bring both the sport and the manufacturers back to reality,” McQuaid said. “The sport needs to be a sport of athletic ability, not technical ability.”