why is there a wieght limit on bikes in the tour de france?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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by Chirobike

It's stupid. Pure & simple. The weight of a bike has very little to do with the engineering safety behind it. You can have a heavy chinese made POS carbon frame that might break easily while a superlight frame with nanotubes, zero void resin, etc. that's super strong.

The UCI (like most governmental oversight) is by well intentioned but with lousy results. To say bike racing is about the athletes is short sighted. There would be no bike racing w/o equipment sponsors and like auto racing it needs to be where the best equipment gets tested.

This 15lb weight parameter is archaic. The best equipment now can approach 12-14lbs with the same safety parameters. If the UCI really had any sense then why isn't there a separate rule for wheels? How many frames crunch compared to cracked carbon rims? It is stupid b/c when teams are having to shove lead weights into their frames, use heavier saddles, etc., just to make the weight limit then the weight limit is too high.

If you follow F1 racing the same dumb thing happens, new rules get applied every season supposedly for the purpose of safety and spectators...except every season the engineers work around the idiotic rules and still make the cars faster and stronger. In a couple of years the dummies are making F1 engines 4 cylinder...supposedly to advance fuel economy. Well, nobody goes to F1 to see who gets the best gas mileage and nobody watches the TDF to see who rides the heaviest bike.

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by Geoff

No, it isn't stupid, just out-dated. It is definitely time to change.

by Weenie

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by apb27

The UCI often do themselves no favours by using very blunt sticks to write their rules, for instance this year and the issue with them demanding saddles must be level. And its true to say that its a pity some safe, and incredibly good equitment must we weighed down with lead to comply with the rules.
But we also have to accept that all sports have reglations and usually these do not allow engineers to fully exploit the materials at their disposal. Formala 1 has been mentioned, this season has been very entertaining due to lots of overtaking, but we all know that if the rules were eased cars could be made to go considerably faster. And this returns me to the point that i made earlier. One of the foremost goals of a governing body is to ensure there is competitive racing. At the British GP Nigel Mansell mentioned that some teams had access to carbon fibre from NASA that was heat resistant and was being used to gain considerable advantage. And they weren't so keen on this.
Do we really want a situation in cycling where some team can arrive at a race with a 14lb bike and compete with other teams on 17lb equipment? And then one day someone changes bikes on the base of the Ventoux and we find its Gunther Mai's bike :lol:
Its sad that so many people call the UCI stupid but really offer no reasonable alternative. We have to have some regulations, saying people should be able to ride whatever they like is unrealistic, at least people like G Vroomen make some though out suggestions that can be discussed.
If i was the UCI, I would ban anything over 50mm wheels. These 80mm wheels some teams have do give an advantage and honestly look bad on a road bike. They make lots of demands on how a frame can look but a team can bolt on a set of TT wheels :noidea: which are hard to handle in windy conditions and may lead to accidents.

Another argument against the weight rule is that it stifles innovation. I can see little evidence of this, isn't there more sub 1000g than ever? Cervelo R5ca anyone?
In fact in a different sense it may actually encourage some types of innovation. On CyclingNews this morning Lars Booms bike is featured. And it weights 7.11KG with Di2.
If there was a 14lb weight limit ( for argument sake ) would Shimano ever have bothered to innovate Di2? Knowing no high level race team would use it.
Innovation does not exclusively mean light.

And in case we all forget,
Do you remember the first time you picked up a 15lb bike, did you think it was heavy? :)
Most people can now realistically hope to own a bike that is close to this limit these days and thats a good thing. And it means a fair playing field. People who own bikes from the last 10 years can compete with guys on the latest spec. machines.
As a certain cyclist once said, "its not about the bike"
Unlike Formula 1 where the car is King, Cycling is about cyclists.

Another reason, most of us here are not pros. Please all you who detest the rule, post a half dozen comments from current pros who find the weight rule restrictive. I think you'll struggle to find them.

Enjoy the race today

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by apb27

[quote="Chirobike"] If the UCI really had any sense then why isn't there a separate rule for wheels? quote]

http://www.uci.ch/Modules/BUILTIN/getOb ... id=NDkyNTc

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by JamieL

Just a thought (worry), has anyone ever had a problem with a bike and an over-zealous official in UK racing? I'm riding a bike below the limit most of the time but have never had a problem.

Also, i'm a big fan of the limit, just for everyone else.

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by MattSoutherden

The limit is not just for safety in the elite blue-ribbon events, it's also supposed to even the playing field a little for riders and teams in upcoming and developing markets.

Whether is does or not is another question.
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by dcj9

its because the UCI want to grow the sport into other markets, and want a more level playing field for poorer nations.
formula one style elitist arms race would turn the sport into more about the bike and less about the racers.

so the story goes.
i'd like to see disc brakes come in though!

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by stella-azzurra

The weight limit is pretty much based on ensuring a level playing field. I am sure that in the future the weight limit can be lowered for whole peleton. A bikes weight does not determine safety really. Are bikes from the 60's and 70's anysafer that bikes of today? Not really when you look at their intended purpose professional road racing.
Same goes for aero dynamic rules for TT.
Everyone strives to be close to the limit without going over it.
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by Butcher

Why do they not have a strength limit. They could develope a test, if you pass, OK, if not, back to the drawing board. As mentioned by others, weight does not dictate strength.

I am certain UCI probably could not develope a test without a huge liablity issue.

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by sawyer

ave wrote:>People should be able to go all out...
What's wrong with having a limit? The Tour is a bike race, not an engineering contest.

That doesn't address the level playing field point, which is a good reason for a having a weight limit.

It's time the limit was lowered as - say - 6.3kg would stimulate a bit more innovation and still be more or less attainable without huge budgets.
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by mrfish

Also I don't think the UCI's idea of setting a weight limit makes things safer. As stated previously you can cut corners to get to 6.8kg and get a dangerous bike, or you can do it properly. And doing it properly will always be more expensive.

The UCI need to take a long view. 6.8kg was effectively the limit a few years ago. Now if anyone bolts together a set of quality parts and carbon frame and wheels they're under the limit. So the solution is to decrease the limit gradually, with maybe 1-2 years notice, guided by the typical weight of top end bikes known to be of merchantable quality (i.e. lifetime warranty / pro tour raceable).

An alternative might be to ensure riders ride the same design of bike for a whole season and then limit the number of bikes which can be used during each tour. So you can have a bike any weight you like, as long as you can get through the Tour with only 4 spares for the team. That would mean manufacturers would think twice before offering 3kg bikes built like potato crisps. It might also mean riders decide not to take silly risks and have silly pile ups on the flat stages.

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by DMF

We all now that many TDF bikes are actually lighter than 6.8 and compensate for this with added weights in the bottom bracket or similar solutions. But who the hell actually think that ANY manufacturer in the TDF would make a bike light to the point that the safety is a gamble - just to be able to add more dead weight in the BB?!

But without having to add extra weight, without a weight limit, I'm certain some would be tempted to enter the race with sub4kg bikes that aren't exactly safe...

As for there being a lower limit than the current 6.8? As it's also about having an even race, making it about the athletes and not the riders, i don't think the difference between 6.8kg or 5.8kg would make any noticable difference to the outcome of the race - so what's the difference to all of you watching the race?!

And in all honesty, forgetting how easy it is to get down to 6.8kg these days, 6.8kg is NOT a heavy bike. Really, quite the opposite... :)

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by Frans

Rick wrote:Actually, to me it makes some sense that they limit the weight. At some point, bicycles really do become dangerously weak and uncontrollable. If it were "all out", there would definitely be bikes pushing the edge, and then bikes breaking. A crash of one bike can jeopardize the entire peloton. Also, the philosophy of bike racing is that it is a competition between athletes, not between technologies.
I know some think differently, but I like the old philosophy. I also oppose race radios. The riders should have to think for themselves.
Sorry but bike racing not just athlete vs athlete. It's athletes on bikes vs athletes on bikes therefore the bike is as big a part of the equation as the regulations allow. Bikes have to be pedalled and steered. Riders need skills to descend and sprint and ride in bad weather. Different designes respond differently to the inputs to accomplish these so the bike is a big part of cycle racing and should be so. If you don't like bikes there's always swimming, running, judo, wrestling or any other "equipmentless" sport.

Saying the philosophy about bike racing is about athletes is as incorrect as saying F1 is purely down to driver skill, and ignoring the masses of research, engineering and experimentation that goes into any machine/athlete system.

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by kgt

I find very healthy the fact that a lot of us can build 6,8 kg "pro bikes" without having to spend a fortune.
That's what I call democracy :D
So, yes, the 6,8kg limit suits me fine.

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by F45

Why? Because the UCI is controlled by the French and the French are known for arbitrary, nonsensical rules.

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