The UCI under Pat & Hein the UCI were committed to stifle development & innovation in the bike industry. This would end when everybody was riding an old steel frame & drilling out their chainrings as the only option available for performance improvement. Luckily things look to be changing again under the recent regime change headed by Brian Cookson.
It’s been reported by Road.cc that there will be a new committee involved in looking into the technical innovation rules, hopefully reversing some of them. With an expert panel, we may see some changes to the rules. It’s not known if the manufacturers will be given a reimbursement on the fees they have already paid. Their products had to be tested to destruction, in order to be awarded the wee UCI sticker which allows their wares to be used in competition.
It’s probably quite dangerous territory for the UCI on legal terms to continue with this policy. The reason that was originally put across for the weight limit rules was that the lightest bikes were perceived to be less strong by the UCI. Meanwhile any of us (if we had the cash) could put together a perfectly robust bike weighing less than the UCI minimum of 6.8kg from parts our local bike shop could order for us.
The UCI’s component approval process was to spread to most components, so consider the following. You could have a bike formed from components which all had been awarded a UCI sticker, this bike could easily weigh less than 6.8kg, which would result in the bike being banned by the UCI’s on safety grounds, even though all parts had passed their test. It wouldn’t take much for a manufacturer to contest this ruling, essentially they paid to have their products tested to be compliant, then the same body who tested them claimed the parts do not meet the required standard.
The UCI needs to sort this before there is an issue, not just that it’s unfair, as I commented on before, but that they are leaving themselves open to legal action from component, frame & wheel manufacturers. The committee is long overdue & will allow small manufacturers back into the professional peloton if the rules are relaxed.