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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should the UCI lower the weight limit of 14.99lbs on road bikes?

It so easy now to build a bike under 15lbs with all the full carbon and ultralight frames not to metion the parts today.

Some off the showroom floor can come in at 14.5lbs.

When you hear about pros having to add weighs to their bike to make the limit sounds kinda funny.

With so many inovations in frames, wheels, cranks and bars becoming so light and durable why not lower it?

If a bike/parts can be proven to be durable in testing on machines and in stage races, why not?

Just some thoughts......
 

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Moderatus Puisne
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Nope.

"It's not about the bike."

A cause could be made for making the limit .5kg lighter, but what would that do?
 

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I'd be interested in what the answer would be if we turn this question around - why should they lower it? What purpose would it serve?
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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But why would you lower it? Just because you can go under the limit easily doesn't seem like much of a reason. It's not like records aren't being broken all the time, or that the peloton is having trouble getting over tall mountains--quite the opposite, actually. Many races, like Milan-San Remo for example, are having trouble keeping their courses HARD enough. How's the weight limit hurting cycling?

Realistically, I think the UCI has to establish guidelines for equipment, to at least give the impression of a level playing field. And like any organization, they're going to be pretty reluctant to make changes to rules once they're made. Yeah, the weight standard may be higher than it strictly HAS to be, but "because you can" isn't going to seem to the UCI like a good reason to make a change to a rule that's currently easy to monitor and enforce and doesn't appear to be creating a real problem for the competitors, fans or sponsors.

Of course, I'm always a little suspicious of folks who think their bike NEEDS to weigh less than 10% of their body weight, just because it can.

Granted, if my bike weighed 10% of what I do, it would be nearly 24 lbs, but really. A salty Chinese dinner could make you retain more water weight overnight than most people are trying to shave off their frigging cranks. People are trying to save fewer grams than a healthy p*ss weighs. I just don't get it--so to me, it seems like the UCI is just trying to stop the insanity.
 

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They should repeal those silly equipment rules. It stifles innovation. If manufacturers have an incentive to create lower weight frames then we all benefit. At the pro level, equipment is top of the line. There is no playing field to level.
 

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They should make it easy and fair for everyone.

20 lbs.
 

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Gruntled
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I agree - leave it in place

While the weight limit might slow down the advance of technology somewhat, racing is supposed to be a competition between athletes, not engineers. Also, I would hate to see the cost of a racing quality bike be any more of a barrier to entry into the sport than it is already. I say keep 'em sturdy and cheap (relatively). And FWIW, back when I was racing, all the bikes weighed well over 20 lbs, but racing was still exciting and fun.
 

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I think 20 lbs is a pretty good number. Then we could see some lugged bikes in the peleton.

Actually, I don't think the present limit is fair for the larger riders in the peleton.
 

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pinoy thunder
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No.
It'll just add one more reason for me to buy new parts. Not cool.
 

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I think the UCI should add a kilo to the limit so that we could see steel frames once again.

Carbon has become like welded aluminum. At one time welded aluminum was a high tech and expensive. Eventually it became regarded as way to make a cheapo way frame. Carbon is going the same way.

Steel is where it's at, baby. Well, steel and titanium. Say yes to craftsmanship and no to plastic.
 

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100% torqued
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At 20 lbs we could see FS road bikes with disc brakes in Paris Roubaix.
Aerodynamics would play a bigger part. We could have 36 speed drive trains.
It could get nutty. All the light, simple, technology would get put to even more evil uses. More computer stuff for monitoring bikes and riders on race bikes. Lugged steel would unfortunately, not return. Progress is progress and regardless of the rules we would not go backwards. Race bikes will remain simple and beautiful machines only if the weight limit gets lowered or removed. More stuff has been added now, Powermeters and telemetry transmitters for example, and other stuff will show up as a basic bike gets farther below the UCI limit and teams have more room to add gizmos.
 

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Actually I am not worried about the reemergence of steel in the peleton. I think a whole new angle on weight limits need to be considered. The UCI needs to follow the horse racing industry and I think that the rider and the rig need to be weighed together and have a minimum weight of 220lbs. Gooooooooo Magnus.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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pmf said:
They should repeal those silly equipment rules. It stifles innovation. If manufacturers have an incentive to create lower weight frames then we all benefit. At the pro level, equipment is top of the line. There is no playing field to level.
I guess at least part of my point is that I'm not sure there's much actual benefit to creating lower-weight frames. And of course the existing pro frames pretty much ALL are already so "innovative" they have to add weight to the bike, so it doesn't sound like the weight rules are stopping them.

If it's like all other racing, and I think it probably is, innovation from manufacturers isn't really about a better product for consumers (or even the top racers). It's an arms race, brought on by a desire to have the company name on a winning bike, car, motorcycle, etc. They're not innovating to make better equipment--they're innovating to get an advantage over the next guy, an advantage they'll be lucky to hold for even one season before everyone else has it too.

The problem with arms races is this: How big does a nuclear bomb really need to be? When is a bomb so big, a motor so powerful or a bike so light it's kind of stupid?

And how about all of us benefitting? Can the above-average club racer take full advantage of a 13 lb. bike? Probably not. Can a dedicated recreational rider? Even less likely. Can either afford to crash and ruin their superlight bike racing it? There's some minimal case to be made that a top pro could take better advantage of a super-light bike than anyone else, and it's certainly no skin off their noses financially if they wad the bike, but what's the point if it doesn't actually confer an advantage, because the next guy will soon have a lighter one, if he doesn't already?

And you gotta admit, when you see what extremes people will go to for a light bike, and how passionate/nuts they are about it, that there is a potential safety issue at stake. Yes, current 15 lb bikes seem to have gotten sufficiently sturdy and safe, but the guy out there who wants a lighter bike than his competitor isn't going to stop there--he will go up to his own personal limit, and maybe even go far beyond good sense.

Fine, that's his own choice. But when he gets an advantage from pushing the safety margin, everyone else who makes their living by winning will also have to push the margin to stay competitive, regardless of their personal feelings. Pretty soon you have a peloton full of very light, very fast bikes made out of spider webs that could collapse and send several guys sprawling at any time.

If there's a safety argument to be made in equipment regs, it's really more about saving the rest of the peloton from the weight crazies than about saving the crazies from themselves.

It's all just so pointless, this arms race. If you like it, great, but don't kid yourself that it's doing us all some kind of good that you can build a 12 pounder.
 

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Bingo

MB1 said:
Non racing weight weenies with ton of cash will still provide manufacturers with a market for stupid light stuff.
My answer comes from a self-serving motives. Durable, affordable, time proven components are being nudged out of the marketplace to make room for light-at-all-cost equipment that's simply unaffordable to most cyclists. There's a finite amount of resources manufacturers can put into their products. When they put more and more resources into expensive light stuff, they put less and less into durable affordable stuff.
Just look at autos. In the past 10 years, has anyone said, "Gee, I'm having a harder and harder time finding a huge, heavy, outlandishly expensive blink tank. All the lots are filled with practical, fuel efficient, affordable cars."?
 

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............besides, Ive said this many a time. Not many of those super lightweight team bikes weigh what they would like you to believe. Alot of pros are using bikes heavier than the bikes you and i ride. Part of the reason being that you and i can source the lightest component from here and there, the pros have got to stick to certain manufacturers that sponsor them.
 

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pmf said:
They should repeal those silly equipment rules.
I'm sure the shot putters have been asking for a lighter ball for years, why does it need to be so heavy????? It's certainly possible to build a lighter ball.

Without those "silly equipment rules" pro bike racing would look very different than it does today. If they did away with all of them most of the races would be done on full fairing recumbents. You might see the double diamond on the big climbs, but I'd expect a bike swap at the summit back to the plastic cigar with standover height of 24 inches that you can't recgonize as containing a human being.

Most (all ?) sports have equipment restrictions. Can anyone think of a sport that dosn't have any. Cross Country Running maybe?

Pro cycling needs equipment restrictions to remain "Pro Cycling", without them it becomes a completely different game.
 

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it would only be

to alleviate the guilt of wealthy weight weenies who have lighter bikes than the pros and still not be able to climb.

lighter bikes make more of a difference for lighter riders. for a 145 lb (130 lb rider and 15 lb bike) shaving a pound is much more of an advantage than a 190 ld (175 lb rider on 15 lb bike)rider/bike as it makes up a much higher percentage of weight lost.

2 lbs to 150 is 1.5% weight loss. 2 lbs to 200 is 1%weight loss
 

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I think howzitbroke makes an excellent point. The fact that weight limits exist hasn't stopped the bike industry from pushing the weight envelope even lower. The fact that frames and components weigh less has enabled the addition of new innovations in other areas, such as power monitors, more sophisticated computers, etc. The low weight of the bikes makes up for these heavier parts.
 
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