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So I was wondering the other day, is the UCI ever going to bring down the minimum weight requirements?
I thought the minimum weight of 6.8kg was not only to ensure fairness, but also to ensure bikes were built sturdy enough to withstand high stress environments without failing etc.
It seems strange in this day and age with the way frames, wheels and groupsets are going that this is still the minimum. Seeing that team mechanics are often putting weights inside seat tubes just to bring up the weight, surely this indicates the minimum could and should be brought down??? I'm surprised it's even legal to do this!
Clearly they want some standards around bikes, but you also need something that is practical to validate/check. Hence why things as much as possible revert to basic dimensional quantities that a commissaire can readily check (length, weight etc).
Yes but surely the fact they can simply put weights in the seat post in bring it up to 'standard' contradicts the standards they are trying to maintain. It's like have a saddle shorter than 24cm and sticking a paddle-pop stick on the end to push it over the line...
To keep the weight limit encourages the development of more diverse and/or better products, rather than just continuously lighter ones. For example, brifters are heavier than DT shifters and higher profile aero rims are heavier than low profile rims. Discs are suspected to be allowed in the next few years. That wouldn't have a hope of materialising if there was a very low weight limit.
Like most people, I don't race. But most development of higher end road equipment is done through pro racing as both a testing/development tool and marketing exercise. I think at least some manufacturers would agree that a very low weight limit would stifle product development for real world road applications.
Last edited by Nobody on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Technology has a part to play, but bike racing is about the athlete. The bike is simply a piece of sporting equipment. The UCI rules limit the impact of technology on the sport.
If it was about the technology, racers would all be tiny jockeys riding featherweight recumbents and travelling at > 100kph on the flats.
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I think the 6.8 kg limit is a good idea. Otherwise it would end up like sailing, where billionaires fund these zillion dollar composite things that are barely seaworthy and tend to sink as soon as the swell picks up.
Cycling is truly about the engine. Unlike other sports, in cycling you can't really say "he only won because of the bike". All of the top level bikes are basically equal. Unlike say f1, you put the giro winner on another pro peloton bike and he'll still win it.
How on earth would they keep selling these fandangled new increasingly fragile and short-wearing products if they don't get the pros using them?
If they wanted to build a bike to exactly 6.8000001kg, my money's on that they could if they were free to use whatever components they wanted... Or if they were the ones driving the 'tech', rather than the other way around.
Not everyone races, in fact (ok, I'm guessing a bit here...) I would say most people who buy road bikes don't actually race so DGAF for UCI rules. Don't need a UCI compliant bike to do sportives like Fitz's Challenge or 3 Peaks. Bike can weigh 1kg for all the organisers of these events care.
The 6.8kg rule never stopped frame and component manufacturers to develop lighter products. If the overall package went over the limit, mechanics would take care of it.
It's a useless, meaningless rule. Especially when everyone knows it's almost never enforced (except in local world championships)
I've had my bike weighed maybe 6-10 times over the years. Not common, but it happens.
The advances in frame material tech must be acknowledged, and it must also be acknowledged that the biggest part of the bike weight comes form the bolt on components, not the frame itself. Perhaps they should look at something like the crash test proofing they use to certify wheels, rather than a basic weight. The frames themselves have not become ridiculously light, but rather the wheels/groupsets/bars/saddles have come light years ahead in terms of reducing weights
Worth noting that weights at the BB help with the handling of the bike. The teams can add weight if they choose, or they can use the weight limit to enjoy better tech advancements - STI shifters were mentioned.
It seems that most of the riders are actually above the UCI limit. Evans' Giro bike weighed 200 grams more on the flats than the mountains because of wheel choice. Cancellara was pushing 7.4kgs IIRC.
I understand that some people don't understand the weight limit but it has succeeded, creating a safe, and tech limited, peloton. I don't think a weight limit is damaged the sport of cycling. I certainly think the recent changes in F1 are damaging it; but the reality is that the top F1 teams have hundreds of millions for the budget, and the neverending sinkhole of cash had created bad racing. Cycling isn't in the same situation.
There are quite a few frames well under 700g, and a few framesets under 1000g, so IMO they have become ridiculously light!
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Tah KGB. I like to think I get a few just on weight of averages... even 1:99 drivel gets me 50 good posts in 3 and a half years
Oz, I reckon the lighter frames is a good thing, as is light groupsets and light wheels. It gives a rider a choice. You can have a 6.8 kg bike with crashability - alloy stems, seatposts etc, or 6.8 with good aero - deep wheels, or 6.8 with a durable groupset (ultegra/chorus instead of DA/SR). You will be trimming weight right to the bone if you're throwing away weight on zipp 808s but the option is there. If there was no weight limit, there would be no ability to compete on a hill without SRAM Red, with carbon wheels and cockpit - all of which have an incredible markup on their alloy competitors.
I was never suggesting there should be NO weight limit. I was suggesting perhaps changing it to say 6.5kg would be suitable, due to the abovementioned lighter frames, and examples such as weights being put in seat posts, just to bring up the weight.
I dig where you are coming from, Gav, I guess I just don't quite see the point of dropping it because it's another 300 grams. Who CARES about 300 grams? That's a loaded question of course. But the reality is that we have a line in the sand, arbitrary as it is, and that's a wonderful thing for the reasons above.
It doesn't matter what the line is. 6.5, 6.2, 5.5.... People will push the envelope regardless, but crazy light (sub5kg) isn't part of the landscape for pro cycling.
It is the choice of the teams to make bikes super light that need to be weighted to achieve the 6.8kgs. That is weight they could have used to make a stiffer bike. These guys aren't mere mortals, Cav and Greipel have special handlebar setups to reduce flex in the sprint. I would suggest that a sprint could be less safe if dudes were using 6kg bikes instead of 7kg bikes.
It's all speculation, but I have concluded I prefer the conservative approach to the rules that the UCI applies. The times when they have wavered from their calling - to present a sport that resembles traditional cycling - it has been a dog's breakfast. I think of the Flying Scotsman, Boardman's Superman, and then the acceptable TT bars and helmets which are ridiculous, then the Bont Chronos shoe which was banned for being solely for aero benefit (HUH?!)
It makes the tech side a bit less interesting, but it makes the athletic side much more interesting. As someone who rides a few crits, it's already ridiculous out there with the deep dish carbon wheels and SRM power meters. I don't want 5 kilo bikes ensuring I am going to be completely outgunned on the climb because I don't have 20 grand lying around.
6.8kg isn't random in imperial... 15 lbs.
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I don't see a need for them to change the limit. If you make it 6.5kg, they'll do the same thing.
I'm sure you could further regulate this to prevent that happening.
My own bike is just on 6.8kg with its bidon cages and so on. That's light enough. My track bike is 7 as well.
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