The Union Cycliste Internationale of Aigle, Switzerland, has announced new fees for the approval procedure of frames and forks.
The ‘Approved by UCI’ stickering program was recently temporarily withdrawn following an "uncomfortable meeting" in Aigle with bike industry companies.
Many were angry the UCI had imposed a frame labelling program with minimal input from the bike industry and no assurances that the scheme wouldn’t be later extended to components and perhaps even clothing.
The UCI has now reduced the price of the labelling program but has made no announcement on long-term plans for its certification program and nor has it explained how non-OEM companies will be able to continue to play a role in high-end sport. Under the UCI’s labelling program only original manufacturers can respray frames, wiping out a lot of business for respray companies. Small-run promotional bikes would also become more difficult to produce, harming bespoke builders.
The Swiss-based World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries (WFSGI) has said it has been negotiating with the Swiss-based UCI on behalf of bike manufacturers.
WFSGI said there had been "positive dialogue" between the WFSGI bicycle members and the UCI, resulting in a "re-evaluation and optimization of all the elements."
Raising the obvious question of how the original figure was arrived at, the cost for measuring a time trial frame has now been reduced from 12,000 Swiss Francs to 5000 Swiss Francs. (A Swiss Franc is worth about a dollar).
The labelling program for standard road bike frames is reduced from 800 Swiss Francs per frame design to 500 Swiss Francs.
A third, middle-way procedure has also been created, for 3,000 Swiss Francs.
WFSGI Secretary General Robbert de Kock said:
"The UCI information is very positive and is more than just a fee reduction. We are very pleased that the costs for the bicycle brands and manufacturers have been adapted to a more reasonable level.
“It shows that the UCI has taken the inputs of the industry seriously and I am convinced that the constructive dialog from the Aigle meeting will continue. In the end we have several common interests where a major goal is the growth of the bicycle market and the positive identity of the sport. I wish to thank and congratulate the WFSGI bicycle members for their collective efforts and active involvement for this result. It shows here a new dimension for the bicycle industry where joined efforts are better structured and have, in this particular situation, resulted in major cost savings.”
WFSGI will give an update on the UCI ‘homologation’ process at an information session at Taipei Cycle Show on March 18th.