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Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:32 am
by djconnel
CarlosFerreiro wrote:It's just meeting the letter of a poorly specified UCI rule.
If they want a real rule on availability then say that any piece of equipment used in a UCI race has to be available to buy, on race day, at a maximum price.
As it is they have a rule that does nothing, while still making noise about how the teams with money are spending it on things :roll:


The whole point is nominally that the Kenyans or whomever can go out and buy the stuff the Brits are using to race against the Brits -- may he best man win!

As it is they'd be lucky to have them in Rio...

So basically it's all farce. (But then I think the rule is fundamentally stupid: I like the battle of the engineers concept. It's part of what cycling is all about... cycling's not running.)

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:21 am
by rudder
djconnel wrote:battle of the engineers concept


Doesn't really fit the Olympic ideal though...

I just think it's a shame that we've had to resort to buying a competitive advantage, the UCI rules about commercial availability were meant to level the playing field but the UK's just laughing in the faces of countries with less funding. prend's right, it is pretty arrogant, even if it makes little difference to the results.

I'm not sure it even meets the rule though - the lead time delays mean that none of the equipment is technically available in time for the Olympic races. I'd quite like for the UCI blazers to insist on them using Pinerellos :lol:

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:25 am
by euan
You can't just call out the UK on this. It is no different to what Australia and Germany do as well.

But it is an idea. The Olympics should be competed on Eddy Merckx era bikes ala the Hour Record.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:03 am
by CarlosFerreiro
It's clear the UKSI bikes meet the current UCI rule. My main issue is when someone like Pat McQuaid then complains that it does not meet the spirit of the rule :?
Set the rule so that it does what you want it to do!
If the intention is to have equal levels of tech available to anyone then realistically that will have to include some form of cost limit too. That clearly creates some implementation problems for the UCI when the bike manufacturers contribute large amounts of funding to teams, but if they want that kind of rule they have to work round the knock-on effects too.

Personally I would reduce the current form limitations on Track and TT bikes, to allow more freedom in aero design, but back that up with stronger availability/cost requirements.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:08 am
by GZA
prendrefeu wrote:(He is British, by the way, and from Bristol)


LoL - that stays it all then ;) Hate? Ouch

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:29 am
by jsinclair
Considering they have only made say 50 (a guess), i dont think that the price is suprising at all. They would have to cover the cost of wind tunnel time, tooling, manufacture, testing and safety certification. Given it is such a small batch, the per unit cost would likely be very high. People seem to be forgetting that a helmet is a critical item of gear, and its unlikely this is just a carbon-fibre salad bowl as it may initially seem.

Thats not to say i agree with what they are doing. it makes competing for poorer countries that much harder.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:38 pm
by stuartrc
I agree with sentiment that everyone should compete on a reasonably level playing field - although as a brit with tickets for Boxhill, as long as it is within the rules thats fine for the next 14 days.

I think the practical solution would be similar to that seen in Car Rallying which specifies the car the Rally machine is based on must have a minimum number of sales for the base vehicle.

Perhaps if the UCI were to specify that the bike model used by a pro team must achieve minimum retail sales distribution to be eligible for competition - say 250 or 500 units. That would limit the scope for this kind of rule bending without applying an arbitrary price rule.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:11 pm
by mrfish
Nothing wrong with elitism. I think it's great that Brits choose to be good at some things. This is no different to what the Germans on their FES bikes and Australians with their AIS setup, just better ;-)

I think the problem in Britain and many other places is lack of transparency and meritocracy.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:06 pm
by HillRPete
I'm wondering if Cycling UK is in violation of EU regulations here. The EU is very strict about government funding¹ for commerical products, while the UCI mandates commercial availability.

¹which probably includes money from a state lottery.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:51 pm
by djm
Am I mistaken here - the UCI demands commercial availability for bikes/frames, whereas components and clothing or helmets are not required to be commercially available? There's a reason e.g. Sky's Kask Aero helmets have not been and are not available on the public market.

However the IOC (Olympic organizer) requires all equipment to be available commercially - thus British Cycling has to offer their helmets, bars and other components for public sale. However this availability is only illusory given the insane pricing on e.g. the £3000 Aero helmet.

But I think you raise a valid point here wassertreter!
A question best answered by someone with competence on EU law.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:08 pm
by gg333
I think the products only have to be commercially available within or at the end of the season they are in use. So the Kask helmets may well be available soon.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:40 pm
by djm
g333: They've been using them for years. I'm thinking about the time trial helmet.

"As a result of production imperatives (time constraints), an exception may be requested from the UCI for equipment that is a final product and that will be marketed in the nine months after its first use in competition. The manufacturer must however publish information on the equipment in question in advance and announce the date of its market launch."

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:11 am
by Sprinter
When Uvex created a helmet for Anna Meares it cost them €180,000. So if it cost Crux a similar amount, and they made around 50 of them that comes out at €3,600 each (£2800). So a price of £3000 would seem about right.

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:27 am
by hansonator69
When Giro made a helmet for Armstrong in 2010, it cost them $15,000

Re: So how about a £3,000 helmet?

Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:20 am
by veganeric
Typically I think the UCI rules are too strict and would like to see things opened up so engineers can really push things, like F1. However, I agree that this isn't in the Olympic spirit. For the Olympics I'd actually favor very strict rules. I'd be all for the IOC adopting NJS standards.