Brian Cookson open to reviewing UCI weight restrictions on bikes

UCI president hints at changing the 6.8kg weight rule that has been in place since 2000

UCI president Brian Cookson has revealed that there is a possibility the governing body will review the current 6.8kg weight limit for bikes in UCI-sanctioned events, that has been in place for almost 15 years.

The rule was initially brought in as part of the Lugano Charter in 2000, as the UCI aimed to maintain balance of athlete over machine rather than vice versa. But the rules could now be updated as “technology has moved on,” according to Cookson.

>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

“I understand why that rule was brought on in the first place” Cookson told VeloNews. “Weight is a crude way of looking at it really. It’s quite easy to have bikes now that hit the 6.8kg limit.”

But the former British Cycling president said that while the rule needs looking into, there was still validity to the principle of the original weight ruling.

“I wouldn’t like to throw it open completely” he said.

“Strength is the most important thing and I wouldn’t like to see bikes breaking underneath riders, we see enough of that in crashes. So we can take a look at this from the other end of the telescope in terms of wheel and frame strength and what that means in terms of weight.”

Although Cookson is open to replacing the current rules which are consistently criticised for being outdated, a new sufficient strength safety test for both frames and wheels would be required and that process could take a significant amount of time, meaning no change is likely to be imminent.

The UCI announced in 2012 that they would be extending their sticker approval programme for manufacturers beyond just frames and forks and into the wheel market as well to ensure certain safety standards. But that programme has not yet come to fruition.

Back in 2013, UCI technological coordinator Matthieu Mottet told Cycling Weekly that the new materials used in wheel building required a new safety standards test.

“Since the introduction of the existing test and today, we have seen the appearance of new materials for wheels, especially composite” he explained.

“This is why we develop this new procedure. Approved wheels will receive a label. Controls for the commissaires will be easier.”