UCI wheel regulations

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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby whodesigns » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:04 am

The wheel in that crash that disintegrated was on the UCI approved list to be safe!!!!!!

Obviously the test is technically not that relevant, I would not want to ride a 16 spoke 25mm rim wheel, however am happy to ride some non approved carbon wheels.

The point is if you have a test standard, it needs to be relevant.
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by BNA » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:12 am

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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fats » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:12 am

Thanks sogood. That's definately an alarming failure and a real cause for concern. You could ask why they don't just ban those wheels or hollow carbon spokes but that would restrict developement on what could possibly be a perfectly good system and it highlights a need for testing and approval although as whodesigns points out it's not a fool proof procedure. Which brings up the obvious question, do they test light weight carbon forks or frames which could pose similar risk of failure?
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby sogood » Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:20 am

whodesigns wrote:The wheel in that crash that disintegrated was on the UCI approved list to be safe!!!!!!

Obviously the test is technically not that relevant, I would not want to ride a 16 spoke 25mm rim wheel, however am happy to ride some non approved carbon wheels.

The point is if you have a test standard, it needs to be relevant.

Correct, and it was pointed out much earlier in this thread.

I think the issue is that new technology eg. R-SYS, needs new tests to expose its deficiencies, and it takes time for engineers to recognize and design the appropriate tests for them. We have seen similar in the past in the aeronautical and medical fields. However, this does not discredit the need for ongoing testing standards.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fredown » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:50 am

The UCI test is not really about safety in the way most people would understand that term, ie. the ability of a wheel not to fail when subjected to conditions experienced in racing conditions.

The UCI test is about how a wheel behaves after it fails. The test involves a fixed non-rotating wheel being impacted by a 100kg trolley travelling at 10km/h. This impact is sufficient to severly damage any wheel. A visual inspection is then made to see if there are any sharp parts that could injure a rider in contact with the wheel.

The test protocol has been criticised by many, including engineers from companies whose wheels have passed the test, regarding its relevence to safety. One company admits that to pass the test they made their rims weaker, so they would deform in a more predictable way, meaning the wheel may have been safer after failure, but was more likely to fail in the first place.

There have been allegations the wheel restrictions were more about UCI attempting to prevent the spread of aerodynamic equipment rather than rider safety, hence the arbitrary definition of a standard wheel with a maximum rim depth of 25mm - a rule CA have now amended, at least for metal wheels. The fact that the rupture testing does not apply to carbon forks or frames also throws doubt on whether it is really about safety.

CA are no doubt between a rock and a hard place on this matter. On the one hand they probably realise the existing regulations do little for rider safety, they know that many competitors are using non-approved wheels, national championships have been won on non-approved wheels, suppliers of non-approved wheels sponsor races and riders, and the livelihood of custom wheel builders is at stake, - and on the other hand they have an obligation to their insurers and to UCI that technical regulations will be adhered with.

It is therefore not surprising that CA will not actively enforce the rules - apart perhaps from some token attempt at the next round of national championships.

The responsiblity then rests with the riders. Do you ride wheels knowing they are not approved? Will you "dob in" a competitor on non-approved wheels?
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby Parrott » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:52 pm

Thanks Fredown, very informative post. Ah the good old progressive UCI.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fredown » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:06 pm

Token are now on UCI list.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby Parrott » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:20 pm

Does that include the 85mm rim depth yet, I heard the t50's had been approved but hadn't heard about the deeper ones yet?
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby alchemist » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:32 pm

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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby whodesigns » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:10 am

fredown wrote:The UCI test is not really about safety in the way most people would understand that term, ie. the ability of a wheel not to fail when subjected to conditions experienced in racing conditions.

The UCI test is about how a wheel behaves after it fails. The test involves a fixed non-rotating wheel being impacted by a 100kg trolley travelling at 10km/h. This impact is sufficient to severly damage any wheel. A visual inspection is then made to see if there are any sharp parts that could injure a rider in contact with the wheel.

The test protocol has been criticised by many, including engineers from companies whose wheels have passed the test, regarding its relevence to safety. One company admits that to pass the test they made their rims weaker, so they would deform in a more predictable way, meaning the wheel may have been safer after failure, but was more likely to fail in the first place.



There is a saying "prevention is better than cure"

In aerospace the tests don't revolve about whether the aircraft will break into dangerous pieces after it falls out of the sky.

If the UCI are serious about safety, the testing and certification process needs to be valid, this test began because the UCI wanted to stop riders using the Spinergy Rev X wheel, little engineering thought has gone into it.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby twizzle » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:25 pm

whodesigns wrote:In aerospace the tests don't revolve about whether the aircraft will break into dangerous pieces after it falls out of the sky.


Not exactly a fair comparison. I don't think the UCI can have a role in setting bicycle quality and safety standards, so the only way they can influence the 'lighter is better than safer' mentality which surrounds bicycles is to limit the stupidity via outcomes control.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fredown » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:53 pm

UCI may not have a role in setting bicycle quality and safety standards but there are government bodies that do.

In Europe the CEN have issued EN 14781 which specifically sets standards for racing bicycles. This standard includes a test for wheel strength.

It would be much simpler if UCI adopted that standard.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby sogood » Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:02 pm

fredown wrote:It would be much simpler if UCI adopted that standard.

Ain't so easy.

Just as European and N American helmet standards aren't accepted in Australia, and we have to have our AS certification, there could be an uproar outside Euro-zone if UCI enforced the Euro standard to the world.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby whodesigns » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:29 pm

twizzle wrote:
whodesigns wrote:In aerospace the tests don't revolve about whether the aircraft will break into dangerous pieces after it falls out of the sky.


Not exactly a fair comparison. I don't think the UCI can have a role in setting bicycle quality and safety standards, so the only way they can influence the 'lighter is better than safer' mentality which surrounds bicycles is to limit the stupidity via outcomes control.


How is it not a fair comparison? The principals are the same regardless of the final use of the product. Every part can fail if loaded sufficiently, the level of load and the mode of failure both need to be considered.

What I am saying is that if the UCI have a "safety" test for wheels (which they do) it may as well be relevant to what they say they are trying to achieve with the test (that is increased safety).

By enforcing this test to UCI events the UCI are setting standards indirectly. I don't have an issue with the UCI setting standards, they are the international governing body.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby sogood » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:46 pm

whodesigns wrote:By enforcing this test to UCI events the UCI are setting standards indirectly. I don't have an issue with the UCI setting standards, they are the international governing body.

Well, "governing" with limits. There are many major races around the world that don't fall under their banner.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby othy » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:18 am

Has anyone noticed they've silently changed the news update from September 1st? The depth requirements are now BACK!

http://www.cycling.org.au/?page=34391&format=

I quoted directly from the previous regulations and now they've added the depth back in. Its either that or I am going crazy. They now have two definitions - a 'standard' wheel and a 'traditional wheel' in the ammendments.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fredown » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:41 am

Probably to clarify the situation that under the UCI "traditional" wheel definition a carbon rimmed wheel 25mm or less deep was legal without testing but under the CA definition only all metal rules are exempt.

Including both definitions in the new wording means low profile carbon rims remain legal without testing.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby othy » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:56 am

That makes sense fredown (as much as any of these regulations can). They don't make it clear in the regulations though of this change, which it previously did.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:59 am

whodesigns wrote:
twizzle wrote:
whodesigns wrote:In aerospace the tests don't revolve about whether the aircraft will break into dangerous pieces after it falls out of the sky.


Not exactly a fair comparison. I don't think the UCI can have a role in setting bicycle quality and safety standards, so the only way they can influence the 'lighter is better than safer' mentality which surrounds bicycles is to limit the stupidity via outcomes control.


How is it not a fair comparison? The principals are the same regardless of the final use of the product. Every part can fail if loaded sufficiently, the level of load and the mode of failure both need to be considered.

What I am saying is that if the UCI have a "safety" test for wheels (which they do) it may as well be relevant to what they say they are trying to achieve with the test (that is increased safety).

By enforcing this test to UCI events the UCI are setting standards indirectly. I don't have an issue with the UCI setting standards, they are the international governing body.


Assuming the R-SYS wheels had already passed the relevant EN 14781 standard, what else would be left for the UCI other than to knobble them by specifying that they must fail gracefully? Much easier to do what they have done, rather than set their own wheels standards or get the euro/US/AU/NZ etc. etc. standards changed.

Everyone knows what they are trying to achieve, so why is this the wrong way of doing it?
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fredown » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:44 am

Mavic R-SYS were recalled because they do not comply with EN14781. See here http://www.verbraucherschutzstelle.de/eu_1_4_09.htm.

How they got to market without this testing I do not know.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby Parrott » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:58 am

twizzle wrote: Everyone knows what they are trying to achieve, so why is this the wrong way of doing it?


Yet the zipp 808's and 404's are on the list, all they have succeeded in doing is making cycling more (prohibitively so in the case of zipps) expensive.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:14 pm

Parrott wrote:
twizzle wrote: Everyone knows what they are trying to achieve, so why is this the wrong way of doing it?


Yet the zipp 808's and 404's are on the list, all they have succeeded in doing is making cycling more (prohibitively so in the case of zipps) expensive.


Somehow, I don't think passing one extra test adds significantly to the cost of a wheel, unless the wheel was a bit dangerous to start with and they have to redesign it. Zipp wheels are expensive because they are a premium brand and they like collecting money, not because they cost a lot to produce.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby Parrott » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:19 pm

I thought when you said " everyone knows what they are trying to achieve" that you meant they were trying to limit aero wheels from entering cycle racing. At least thats what I think they are trying to achieve anyway.

What are they trying to achieve? If they wanted safe wheels as previously mentioned they could use the existing european test that someone has already pointed out. What they have succeeded in doing is being a pain in the rectum and made purchasing UCI approved aero wheels very expensive.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby twizzle » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:17 pm

Parrott wrote:I thought when you said " everyone knows what they are trying to achieve" that you meant they were trying to limit aero wheels from entering cycle racing. At least thats what I think they are trying to achieve anyway.

What are they trying to achieve? If they wanted safe wheels as previously mentioned they could use the existing european test that someone has already pointed out. What they have succeeded in doing is being a pain in the rectum and made purchasing UCI approved aero wheels very expensive.


Interesting question - if Mavic R-SYS wheels don't pass the euro wheel test, why was anyone allowed to race on them on 'public roads' anyway (it's in the euro standard)? Or is a closed course race on public roads not considered to be 'public roads' in the context of the standard? It's possible that the UCI just assumed that all wheels available for sale would be legal, otherwise it would be an obvious inclusion in the requirements.

As for the 'ban aero', I guess that's possible - but then they could have just specified a section and depth limit the way they do for frames. As the limitation appears to be weighted towards composite wheels rather than metal wheels (ie. the expectation of broken parts and sharp edges) it really does seem to be aimed at trying to ban lightweight carbon parts - although why a carbon rim of less than 25mm section would be considered O.K. is beyond me, seems like a strange exemption.
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby whodesigns » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:53 pm

After all the R-Sys failures why is it still on the approved "safe" wheel list. Surely it should be removed based on the failure data.

Can anyone explain why a rim depth of less than 25mm is "safer" than one that is greater than 25mm? Or why 16 spokes are ok regardless of the rim stiffness that they are built into?

How about a new test, a commisaire rides the wheel down a mountain at 100 kph if they get to the bottom without being scared, the wheel passes! This is slightly more subjective than the current test protocol. :lol:
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Re: UCI wheel regulations

Postby fredown » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:20 pm

Apparently the restrictions were not enforced at the Grafton to Inverell last weekend.

The fourth placed rider (and last year's winner) David Pell is reported as using Boumeester's unapproved 88mm deep carbon wheel.

So huffing and puffing form CA but no action - all they have achieved is increased uncertainty as to what can be used.
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