January 29, 2010
TT Chronicles Pt. 2/5: Is That Bike UCI-Legal? Who Knows?
While reviewing TT bike in Part 1, I came across the rumour that the latest and greatest time trial bikes from some of the biggest manufacturers in the business are not UCI legal. Trek, Specialized, Scott and Giant, the biggest of them all. Some of these bikes will be horrendously expensive. Only the Giant is actually available to purchase it seems and Giant does have (relatively) cheaper versions.
If you take the anti-UCI arguments to their extreme, we should allow doping too. The UCI is stifling athletic potential and the evolution of the sport by banning performance-enhancing drugs. You can see that we need boundaries to ensure the competition is fair and the winner is determined by athleticism and not how deep your pockets are (or how willing you are to forego future health for money/fame). I think the UCI is in the right ballpark from this perspective.
The UCI does suck badly in one very important regard. They need to enforce all the rules all the time. Otherwise poor average Joe gets stuck with an illegal bike when the UCI suddenly starts to enforce a rule they ignored for years. And bike manufacturers waste R&D and set up of production facilities. Arbitrary UCI decisions on when, and when not to, enforce the rules are a significant problem for the bike industry and bike buyers. The uncertainty is unacceptable. The inconsistency is arrogant.
Oh yeah. Don't forget this is just a rumour, although it seems the manufacturers are participating in the forums too. That makes it credible unfortunately. Hope it gets cleared up soon. I expect this uncertainty will hit sales of certain TT bikes soon. Let's have an official ruling please. Now.
official supplier of bikes to the UCI World Cycling Centre. Bodes well for Felt bike sales as I imagine their TT frames have to be deemed UCI-legal now. Clever.
Check out the next edition of the TT Chronicles.