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 StuTheWeak

Safety and barrier to entry by average Joes.

Left to their own devices sponsors would be building 4kg bikes for the Lances of the world while Joe Sixpack would be riding a 6.8kg Huffy. That's my take...I've been wrong before (only once).
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by yzeater

Does anyone know how light some of the TDF bikes would be without their added weights? I'm curious if anyone is racing an 11lb rig with 4lbs of lead in the BB

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by fitty4

Why don´t anyone who is good with words and bike facts write an e-mail to UCI? and give them facts why there should be no weight limit and maybe the rest of us could attach our e-mail address or something

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by djconnel

StuTheWeak wrote:Safety and barrier to entry by average Joes.

Left to their own devices sponsors would be building 4kg bikes for the Lances of the world while Joe Sixpack would be riding a 6.8kg Huffy. That's my take...I've been wrong before (only once).

There's no rule in mountain biking, and in mountain biking weight is even more important, and the requirement for robust equipment even more important.. So is mountain biking out of the range of the average rider? Hardly. Existence proof the weight limit on road bikes is stupid.

There's no limit in US racing and I see no evidence of weight weenie bikes dominating the results.

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by strobbekoen

The potential danger towards other riders if a part fails is considerably less in MTB as compared to road racing.
Now, I know.. you can buy a 2kg frame with a 600g fork, build it up and still be at the limit. But hey, that doesn't happen.
Most bikes use standard well-proven stuff, which is not bad.
Recently, I have broken a well known lightweight crank. The arm snapped straight off. If this happens in a group or going down a mountain, it can kill you.
A weight limit makes the chance that fragile stuff is used less. I dont know if that is their motivation, and I doubt it, but for me that's a plus for the riders safety.

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by petromyzon

I like the weight limit:

1 A 6.8kg bike is still expensive- maybe not out of reach for the typical demographic that rides and races bikes around where I live but juniors, students, those on low incomes, those from less economically well developed countries etc. etc. will still find it hard to own and race them. Plenty of the most experienced elite racers near me ride Ultegra-level kit, perhaps because they've crashed enough to know the cost.

2 6.8kg has less of an impact on power to weight for an 80kg rider than for a 60kg rider. Large bikes weigh more. At the elite level, if bigger riders were further handicapped by struggling to meet the minimum weight we might see he grupetto struggling even more to meet the time limit in the mountains.

3 Be careful what you wish for in terms of rules. The road market is notoriously aesthetically traditional. It is more a frame regulation issue than just a weight one, but if you are the sort of person who thinks the Cervelo S5 is an abomination then maybe some kind of technical control by the UCI is a good thing?

That said ultimately weight is not as important as many would suggest, and innovation is always nice to see.

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by danlaf



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by raganwald

There is a certain type of race where engineering dominates. Twelve-metre yacht racing comes to mind. Another type of race is dominated by the athletes and not the equipment, Olympic yacht racing comes to mind, the boats in each class are virtually identical.

The UCI makes a fair number of bone-headed decisions, however there is some value to attempting to make the TdF a contest between riders and teams rather than between mechanics and manufacturers.

There's also an idea that the machines ridden in the tour should be production race bikes. You should be able to buy one from your LBS for less than a King's ransom. The arbitrary weight limit helps with that. Sure, manufacturers can make a five kilo bike safe. But raising the minimum to seven kilos keeps the price of these machines within reach of the affluent consumer.

I think you'll find that a lot of manufacturers like it that way. They can all make $20,000 bikes, but they can sell a lot more $7,000 bikes.

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by BobSantini

I'm a fan of the weight limit for reasons given by others. The only point in dropping it or lowering it would be to promote further lightweight development but I don't see any evidence that lightweight development is at all constrained by the weight limit.

The biggest market is not racers but cashed up enthusiasts. They value light weight and they are willing to pay for it, so you have a ready market for elite/expensive very light bikes.

As an aside, if they ditched the weight limit you could say goodbye to electronic shifting in racing. I can't see Cadel racing up the Alpe D'Huez against the Schlecks voluntarily carrying a 500 g handicap - not that the disappearance of electronic shifting from racing would be a big deal as far as I'm concerned. Like automatic transmission in cars it strikes me as somewhat effete.
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by CarpetFibre

Has everyone forgotten that there is no limit to coefficient of drag in the time trial? Sure, there are rules that stop things getting out of hand, but look at the money that bike manufacturers pour into wind tunnel testing just for one short race in a grand tour? If you go to your average club's Thursday evening time trial in the UK, you'll see quite a few machines that are surely faster than what the pros can ride. I have to say that market is funded an awful lot by wealthy triathletes.

I think if the weight limit was reduced, but not abolished completely, that'd be better all round. It isn't going to be unfair, because all the manufacturers just pour in loads of money and out comes a bike that is pretty much the same as the others - just like time trial bikes right? It won't mean that rider X has more advantage then rider Y, they'll just both be riding 4kg bikes and the technology soon enough gets to average Joes like us.

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by LouisN

I want weight categories in cycling (for riders, not hardware). Just like in boxing (same gloves, different category)...

This way, I feel I have a chance at staying in a peloton on 10%+ climbs... :wink:

Louis :)

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by Cyco

Louis, there used to be a Clydesdale class in the MtB scene, and I've done track handicaps based off weight
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by lancearmstrong

Actually the most important thing is to go faster securely throughout the whole race and I guess, the limit 6.8 kg sounds secure and fast at all to me. Imagine that you're 85 kg and you're sprinting at a speed of 55 miles an hour to the finish line. I don't think that most of the professional cyclists can do that with a light bike (let's say 6 kg or less), indeed. :mrgreen:

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by njee20

I don't think it's a bad thing really (although I agree it could do with revising), I like the fact it's seen a huge amount of development in aero parts, plus riders user power meters and what not.

As for a limit in MTB - they're still limited by the 6.8kg anyway aren't they? We're not that far off that!

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by rodebaron51

Is the 6.8kg rule same for all frame sizes?

Would not be fair...

Guess mist tour riders ride 55-58 cm frames..
Me = 62... seems almost impossible to get to 6.8KG there (taking also wheels into account that carry 90kg riders)

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