UCI: lawyer lips and knee socks

The organization which regulates most international sports competition in cycling has banned or limited a number of common practices now used in bicycle road races.

Lisa’s striped socks extend beyond the midpoint between her ankle and her knee, so they are not UCI legal for competition.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) says helmet covers and knee high socks are banned for use in competition in a new set of technical regulations.

The high socks will be banned because of the aerodynamic advantage supposedly imparted by compression socks. Compression leg warmers, arm warmers and base layers will also be prohibited, though nobody seems to know where the dividing line is between compression gear and the normal, non-compression apparel.

The common practice of filing off the “lawyer lips” — the tabs at the end of your forks to help prevent accidental wheel loss and force you to unscrew your quick release lever for a wheel change — will also be forbidden. These tabs are often filed off to speed wheel changes. Road.cc speculates that new quick release levers — like the CLIX QR will be used to replace the quick-change capabilities needed for racing.

Carlton @ BikeBiz also reports the UCI will charge up $14,405 per model to certify certain bikes as legal for competition. And here I thought the few thousand dollars we pay annually for various computer hardware certifications was expensive.

Katie can’t wear those stockings while racing.

The UCI pre-approval process came about when local UCI inspectors approved new bikes for competition that the international body later banned.

Some people have expressed concern that the UCI’s niggling technical rules and high price tags will hinder innovation in bike design, especially from smaller operations. We now see quite a few high end bikes targeted for MAMILs and intended purely for recreational, non-racing use, however, that pay little attention to the UCI recent restrictions. Bikes intended for the triathlete markets can also ignore UCI rules, so triathlons are not regulated by the international cycling body.

H/T Ed in Tulsa.

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