On May 5th, BikeBiz carried news of the latest attack on the bike industry from the UCI. The last time the UCI went to war against the industry it caused havoc for companies like Cinelli, and others, which had to scrap costly innovative bicycle equipment.
Earlier today the UCI carried a "clarification" of its position, although it's still unclear which innovative aero products will be snuffed out by the latest re-look at the regulations.
The UCI said:
"The current UCI Technical Regulations have been in force since 2000. Observance of these regulations did not pose a major problem for several years. However, the UCI has noted that increasingly frequently these regulations are being breached, in particular the Articles of the Regulations on equipment used in time trials (Art. 1.3.023, describing the bicycle frame, and Art. 1.3.024 , describing accessories such as the handlebars, seat post and pedal cranks).
"The UCI, after having noted the trend towards "wing-shaped" handlebars and aerodynamic extensions, which do not comply with the regulations, wrote to UCI teams and National Federations on this subject at the start of the year.
"The UCI also organised a meeting at its headquarters, specifically inviting representatives of the AIGCP (International Association of Professional Cycling Teams) and manufacturers to discuss, initially, the handlebars of time trial bikes that do not respect Article 1.3.024.
"At the time of this meeting, the UCI decided that, for competitions, contentious handlebars would have to be replaced by compliant handlebars by 1 July 2009. For all other bicycle components, in particular the seat post, the deadline for compliance of equipment was set as 1 January 2010.
"Once these deadlines have elapsed, UCI International Commissaires will not compromise on the application of the regulations."
When will manufacturers of innovative and costly aerodynamic equipment know which SKUs to skip and which to ship? June. Just a few days before the Tour de France.
The UCI said will publish a document on its website in June that "will act as an aid to the application of the regulations."
The regs are said to "guarantee sporting fairness and the riders' safety."