do you think the uci holds back bike evolution?

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  • do you think the uci holds back bike evolution?
  • mikey74
    Member

    Re: Skins.

    As someone above said, once everyone is wearing it, the advantages are negated, much like 29ers in racing, and therefore it comes down to how the sport wants to present itself. As downhill already has an established “look”, to have the pros dress very differently for no reason whatsoever would alienate much of it’s target audience.

    I know people drag up comparisons with DH skiing, but their speeds are significantly higher and therefore the effect of drag has a much more marked effect. This could, in turn, make direction changes and control at such high speeds much more difficult, particularly in strong winds.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    [devil’s advocate] Dh skiing is won by the fattest bloke who can hold an edge [/devil’s advocate]

    or, to put it another way, the wide open fast courses mean that a skinny short arse doesn’t stand a chance – they just haven’t got the natural aerodynamics.

    back to biking: the ‘best’ courses (imho) are tight and technical: Champery for example. Won by riding the impossible (see Danny Hart), not by holding an aero tuck.

    I don’t want to see someone winning a world cup, and then thanking their aerodynamicist, i want to see people winning world cups by sticking a line through a hideous rock garden that no-one else could.

    i don’t want to hear the comentators talking about how much time aaron Gwin has spent in a wind tunnel during the off season.

    the only effect of banning skinsuits has been to narrow the speed gap (between big and little people) on the open sections – meaning the racers have to make it count, where it counts (the difficult bits).

    i don’t see that as entirely bad.

    bikebouy – Member

    I’m looking forward to roadie weights down to 14lbs, position points on TT bikes abolished and a ban on discs on roadies.
    Posted 3 hours ago # Report-Post

    Discs are banned from UCI events for the next 2 years . What a backward looking decision . Why would you want them banned ? Just cos you don’t like the idea of them is not a valid reason BTW .

    dirk_pumpa
    Member

    Thank god for Shaun Palmer.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    In reality most of this is about road bikes, given the new wheel sizes in DH/XC & Enduro (and an entire new sport called enduro which the UCI have looked the other way on) I reckon as with all of this the UCI knows about road bikes and in some dim dark corner are 2 blokes and a middle manager in a department called Mountain Biking and all that shite

    On skin suits there seemed to be a point where people were ditching all the pads and heading out in 1mm of lycra on DH. Great is you make it but not if you don’t. If I was racing seriously (Ie not racing to not come last) I would prefer the sport to evolve on rather than knowing at a certain level I’d need a skin suit and it looks ridiculous.

    dirk_pumpa
    Member

    [s]Baggy crap[/s] Motocross gear for downhilling because because that’s what the manufacturers riders wanted.

    FTFY 😉

    bokonon
    Member

    The “recumbents are slow uphill” thing. I’ve analysed this quite a bit, and there are a few reasons for it:[truncated]

    Fair enough – sounds interesting.

    I think that the broader question of why is it that the UCI has such a tight grip on the whole thing is perhaps worth exploring – formula 1 (and the very specific rules it imposes) doesn’t hold back innovation in utility cars – so does the UCI hold back innovation in utility bikes – the answer has to be no, bromptons wouldn’t pass muster, for example – but go beyond, in some ways, the 2 triangles etc. the problem is not that the UCI holds back innovation, it’s that it stifles the awareness of the array of other stuff on offer – to most people, F1 is motor sport, and TdF is cycle sport, but both are much much bigger – and it would be interesting to see more of that wider array of stuff. Motor sport seem to have a slightly better approach with a wider number of games within the sport getting at least half decent support – but cycling is way behind on that score.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Northwind – Member
    The whole baggys for downhill more or less came down to one thing- the athletes didn’t look like they were doing the same sport as us…

    That’s so true.

    We should be grateful to the UCI. They looked at the shape of the average recreational downhiller and thought of the visual carnage of them wearing skintight lycra bodysuits to get the look.

    That’s why they mandated flappy fat boy clothes for DH. Saves on eye bleach.

    The extra room for logos etc is a coincidence. 🙂

    bokonon
    Member

    The extra room for logos etc is a coincidence

    Skin tight clothing means the logo shape is held better, giving better brand recognition – the sponsors would surely be arguing for tighter, less flappy clothes to facilitate this in the photos rather than flappy clothes where the logo’s deform and become difficult to identify.

    rayyoung
    Member

    The advent of the MTB helped spur on bike development some of which crossed over to road bikes like threadless steerers/stems, sloping top tube, curvy seat stays but that’s not to say that the body that ran MTB racing didn’t have some pretty stupid rules like “it must look like a mountain bike” or “it must have 26 inch wheels”. Form follows function and both off those rules I never was able to understand.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Motor sport seem to have a slightly better approach with a wider number of games within the sport getting at least half decent support – but cycling is way behind on that score.

    Road – Time Trial, Grand Tours, Crits, One Day classics
    Mountain Bike – Trials, DH, Enduro, XC – Olymic, XC – Eliminator, XC – Marathon
    BMX

    Fairly wide spread there.

    Bimbler
    Member

    What are the innovations which the UCI are holding back though?

    wrt recumbents, would be fun watching 190 odd recumbents on some pave

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I was thinking about this a bit more last night, I’m not sure what simply lowering the UCI weight limit would actually achieve, OK say they Drop it to 5kg, everyone just rocks up on 5kg bikes at the start of the season no real change to competition, Ditch the minimum weight rule all together and you just get a composite arms race that ends with someone snapping some forks and taking down a whole pack for the sake of 150g…

    I think what I’d like to see for, the grand tours at least, is a “Team bike weight allowance”, where every team has 6kg of bike allowance per team member (54kg all in for a 9 man team).
    Individual riders could carry more or less mass than the individual allowance on any given stage, but the total weight for the team would need to come to 54kg. Team classifications would have to be based on total times for every rider across the line, rather than the first three, otherwise three riders on stripped down 4kg bikes could take the TC while their team-mates lug an extra 1kg each.

    The weight could be changed on every riders bike, stage to stage, so you could put your best GC contender, climber or sprinter on a 4kg bike if it suited the teams goals for the stage, but that 2kg shortfall then has to be carried amongst the rest of the team, making the distribution of weight into a tactical team thing, bike weights would be taken each morning and published for all the other teams to see, giving them something to pour over and interpret…

    It would also mean that there would be a role in most teams for one or two “load luggers” (maybe an extension of the domestique role), the fella(s) who’s job it is to carry that extra mass for the others and still maintain a reasonable overall pace, maybe hide in the wheels, to try to keep the Team’s overall time healthy…

    The push is still there for manufacturers to make light bikes, as teams will want a lighter “Base” bike allowing them to shift more mass about amongst their riders…

    I can see why the UCI still want to keep bicycles looking like bicycles (OK maybe they are a little rigid in their definitions of road and TT bikes) and not have their big races turned into some sort of wacky races, novelty fest with recumbents and Fared HPVs racing up and down the alps, there are plenty of other organisations who organise events for HPVs and recumbents, why try to broaden the UCI’s scope unnecessarily?

    As for Skin suits in DH? its a done deal, aero DH bikes aren’t though are they, IIRC didn’t trek stick some polystyrene faring on their team bikes a couple of seasons ago and claim a demonstrable advantage in the wind tunnel. Nico famously reckoned it was quicker to get into a tuck rather than pedal harder on certain sections of certain courses, aside from baggy clothing and peaks DH is still pretty sparsely technically regulated/limited sport, I’d love to see someone have a proper crack at getting a real aero advantage on a DH bike but nobody really has yet…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    honestly the longer the UCI messes round with the simple road bike the less time they have to make a mess of mountain bikes. I think they need a new rule set on the aerodynamics of brake levers and regulations on the length of exposed cable from internal routing.

    mrmo
    Member

    Discs are banned from UCI events for the next 2 years . What a backward looking decision . Why would you want them banned ? Just cos you don’t like the idea of them is not a valid reason BTW .

    what advantages do discs bring? what disadvantages do they bring in a racing context.

    If the brakes are of similar power on all bikes things are safe, and you don’t need good brakes to achieve that, remember track bikes are safe because no one has brakes. If you actually introduced brakes it would make track less safe!

    With the debacle of SRAM and their first attempt at disc brakes, the limited sets of Shimano and that Campagnolo do not as yet have any, a two year moratorium makes sense.

    mrmo
    Member

    honestly the longer the UCI messes round with the simple road bike the less time they have to make a mess of mountain bikes. I think they need a new rule set on the aerodynamics of brake levers and regulations on the length of exposed cable from internal routing.

    I think the manufacturers are doing that well enough….

    If the UCI had stipulated 26″ wheels for mtb racing, perhaps we wouldn’t be contemplating the potential death of 26″ bikes?

    Someone above mentioned the UCI did so previously, is this true? AFAIK being allowed to ride a cyclocross bike at mtb races probably encouraged 29er development, and by extension 650b development.

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    the reason that they haven’t approved discs for racing is the neutral service cars and changing of wheels, you would need to mandate everyone to change over to disc (and set the disc size of, say, 160mm)

    because road disc systems aren’t designed for fast easy wheelchanges that won’t impede racing – and they aren’t that beneficial in the grand scheme of things (did Froome win the tour by outbraking anyone? no)

    I wouldn’t want any bike races – road or cross or DH or XC – to be decided by the manufacturer

    atlaz
    Member

    I think the UCI have also indicated that until all manufacturers have a safe, tested, mature road disc technology they won’t allow it. As has already been said, SRAM have had one disaster with theirs and Campagnolo have said theirs will be ready in 2015. Imagine if the peloton is barrelling down a mountain descent and the riders haul on their brakes but the Shimano riders pull up a lot faster than the Campag riders and the SRAM riders (assuming it’s cold) don’t stop at all; carnage.

    The implications for safety for a single road bike are not that great, for racing, it’s a bit different.

    Premier Icon al
    Subscriber

    The whole skin suit issue was actually brought about by Nissan. At the time Nissan were the title sponsor of the DH world cup and they didn’t like the image that skin suits gave to the sport and said they needed banning or they’d walk. The UCI banned skin suits but Nissan walked anyway. The rule was never reverted because of pressure from trade teams that were feeling pressure from their sponsors. The peak (or visor, as it actually says ‘cos its a bad translation from French) rule is the same.

    If you pay attention to the top world cup boys and girls, you will note they all wear a size down jersey than a “normal” rider might wear and they always tuck them in (on race runs, often in practise they don’t).

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Ditch the minimum weight rule all together and you just get a composite arms race that ends with someone snapping some forks and taking down a whole pack for the sake of 150g…

    that’s why I say scrap the minimum wieght rule, and replace it with one that specifies the minimum structural requirements (eg much the same as for road bikes sold the the general public).

    having all that weight/bike changing would be a mare for the scrutineers, especially if you take into account spare bikes etc.

    My rule would be that a tour must be completed ideally on a single bike of a specification the same as a shop bought bike, with 1 spare (intended to allow stage to be finished), and 1 specialist time trial bike (and a spare) for TT stages.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    That would make it much harder for the scrutineer, as currently they just need to pop it on the scales. It’s much easier to produce a lighter bike hollowed out with 1 less wrap of carbon etc than the production version and get a gold star test passed certificate.

    mrmo
    Member

    That would make it much harder for the scrutineer, as currently they just need to pop it on the scales. It’s much easier to produce a lighter bike hollowed out with 1 less wrap of carbon etc than the production version and get a gold star test passed certificate.

    which is part of the reason behind the UCI approved stickers,

    bikebouy
    Member

    You are right, I don’t like discs on road bikes. I’ve been in many a pileup whilst racing and had riders plough into the back of me, I’d rather they keep spinning blades out of the equation thanks. But then that’s just me, perhaps you like the idea??

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