Thursday, 19 February 2009

Another loony regulation from the UCI luddites has been reporting on the revised (as of 1st January 2009) rule known as the 3:1 rule. An article on 17th February (A possible disaster on the horizon) outlines this preposterous rule. In essence it is saying that all bicycle components must not exceed a 3:1 length to depth ratio. According to, this outlaws just about every aerobar in use, together with many other components such as aero seatpins. In fact the article's author suggests that the future of several companies may now be in doubt. The new rule implementation has caught many teams at the Tour of California on the hop. The article points out that
Previously the rules stated only that cross-sections of any particular frame or component had to fit within an 8 x 2.5cm rectangle. By that definition, all of the equipment currently planned for use on Friday is legal. However, if the 3-to-1 rule is applied, nearly every team currently listed on the Tour of California roster is headed for disaster unless some sort of contingency plan is put into effect.
This is just the latest in a string of retro rulings from the UCI luddites, including stupid regulations on the dimensions of bikes that don't properly take into account differences in rider height.
So, why is this so interesting to Team Grumpy? Well, I strongly suspect that my time trial bikes will fail, either because of seat pin or aerobar dimensions. "Grumpy" Art Vanderlay might be able to comment on his bike's fit to the regulations.
Of course here in England and Wales, time trialling is run by the somewhat more enlightened CTT, so for domestic races there'll be no problem. But my favourite race is the Duo Normand, at which rumour has it bikes in all categories will get measured up and checked. And of course time trials in Scotland are (supposedly) run under UCI regulations.


Art Vanderlay said...

Well, I've just measured my bike set up with the aid of a plumbline and it seems that I am right on the very limit of UCI legal. My only problem would be the forks and basebar should they decide to enforce the 3-1 ratio rule.

Grumpy Bob said...

But "right on the limit" is a bit of an issue given the measurement equipment in use at the Duo - lining the bike up against a fence, as I recall.

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