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UCI to Lower Homologation Costs for Frames & Forks

Industry- & Retail Organizations

At the January 13 and 14, 2011 meetings organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), the costs involved in the UCI homologation procedure for frames & forks were a major issue. Arguments brought forward by the 45 participants from the bike industry

UCI to Lower Homologation Costs for Frames & Forks

AIGLE, Switzerland – At the January 13 and 14, 2011 meetings organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), the costs involved in the UCI homologation procedure for frames & forks were a major issue. Arguments brought forward by the 45 participants from the bike industry representing 33 companies are expected to lead to lower costs.

In setting up the procedure the UCI based it costs on an expected number of frames to qualify for homologation. This prompted the Union to set the homologation costs per frame at 12,000 Swiss Francs for carbonfibre ones and 800 Swiss Francs for tubular models.

Apparently the UCI miscalculated the number of frames that would be brought forward by the industry. In particular as the International Cycling Union plans to test all frame sizes and all frame variations.

At the meetings the 45 bike industry participants argued that each frame model comes in 7 to 8 sizes and that about 115 different frames would be brought forward to qualify for homologation. It would mean that the UCI would have to test close to one thousand frames. Relating this to the homologation costs of 12,000 Swiss Francs for each carbonfibre frame would result in huge costs. Next to the costs also the handling and duration of the homologation procedure would become a major issue.

These arguments were recognized by the UCI and expressed willingness to re-evaluate the homologation procedure. They will take into account further proposals from the bike industry participants who said that testing one frame size – randomly picked by the UCI – could offer a solution to the problem.

After hearing all the arguments brought forward by the industry participants at the January 13 and 14 meetings, the UCI promised to respond in about 3 weeks. Currently, it is said at the UCI website that: “A revised version of the ‘Approval Protocol for Frames and Forks’ will be published at the beginning of February 2011. The number of approval requests expected means it is necessary to adapt several measures in the protocol. Thank you for your understanding.”

This statement is made at:

http://www.uci.ch/templates/UCI/UCI2/layout.asp?MenuId=MTYwNzQ&LangId=1

In a press statement commenting on the mid January meeting, WFSGI secretary general Robbert de Kock said: “The meeting was very successful even when we have not been able to solve all points that have been brought to the table yet. The discussion was very open and questions have been put forward and drawings have been exchanged where after the UCI asked for a few weeks to come back.”

De Kock is also glad about the evolution of communication between UCI and the industry. “This is an absolute positive development as before there was no real exchange between the UCI and the industry other than on occasional, individual basis. Several supporting documents have been supplied to the UCI for further internal discussion and a letter from the UCI this week showed that our comments are taken very serious and will be further evaluated”.

In his speech to the industry UCI President Pat McQuaid said about the necessity of a closer collaboration: “The rules used to have a more philosophical approach that needed to be explained in a more technical, engineering way. UCI searches the support for testing with EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) and Professor Manson. It is more comfortable to know that a bike is conform.”

Until today, the UCI did not have a controlling procedure other then the commissioners at the races. During the last two years more and more equipment became an issue at races, which led to create a homologation for bike frames. Philippe Chevallier, Sport & Technical Director at UCI, said: “The rules were put into place on January 1, 2000 and have been unchanged until today. In Beijing 2008 we saw that two third of the bikes were not conform. That is why in 2009 we started to look for a solution to create a level playing field and started to talk to Professor Manson.”

Dirk Bruynseraede, Chief Information Officer at N.V. Race Productions/Ridley Bikes, stated after the meeting: “It is a good thing that UCI is taking steps to make things more clear. It will be a challenge for manufacturers to adapt to a new system of control but the costs involved must become more transparent.”

The 33 companies that joined the January 13 and 14, 2011 meetings were: 3T Cycling, Advanced Sports, AeroDesign, Are-n-Dee, Argon 18, Bianchi, BMC, Boardman Bikes, Canyon Bicycles GmbH, Cervelo, CORIMA S.A., Derby Cycle, DT Swiss, Eddy Merckx Cycles, Enve Composites LLC, Euro Compositi, Felt Bicycles, Giant, KOGA, Look Cycle, Merida Europe GmbH, Neilpryde Bikes , Pinarello, Ridley Bikes, Rotorbike, SCOTT SPORTS SA, Shimano, Simplon Fahrrad GmbH, Skins, Specialized Bicycle Components, SRAM, TrekBikes and Wilier Trestina.

 

 

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