Your personal experiences with UCI aside, and while many agree with your grievances against the UCI, I believe you are not reading carefully.
Privateer wrote:The rule says 16 spokes minimum. That seems unambiguous and should be easy enough to follow. Why does the UCI then allow wheels with less than 16 spokes? There should not be a non-standard clause.
Let's go over this, clearly, from the start.
Here is "the" rule from the UCI's own words:1.3.018Wheels of the bicycle may vary in diameter between 70 cm maximum and 55 cm minimum, including the tyre. For the cyclo-cross bicycle the width of the tyre shall not exceed 35 mm and it may not incorporate any form of spike or stud
For massed start road races and cyclo-cross events only wheel designs granted prior approval by the UCI may be used. Wheels will have minimum 12 spokes; spokes can be round, flattened or oval, as far as no dimension of their sections exceeds 10 mm. In order to be granted approval wheels must have passed a rupture test as prescribed by the UCI in a laboratory approved by the UCI. The test results must show that the rupture characteristics obtained are compatible with those resulting from an impact sustained during normal use of the wheel. The following criteria must be fulfilled:
On impact, no element of the wheel may become detached and be expelled outwards.
The rupture must not present any shattered or broken off elements, or any sharp or serrated surfaces that could harm the user, other riders and/or spectators.
The rupture characteristics must not cause the hub to become separated from the rim in such away that the wheel becomes detached from the forks.
Without prejudice to the tests imposed by the laws, regulations or customs, standard (traditional) wheels are exempted from the rupture test referred to above. A traditional wheel is deemed to be a wheel with at least 16 metal spokes; the spokes may be round, flat or oval, provided that no dimension of their cross sections exceeds 2.4 mm; the section of the rim must not exceed 2.5 cm on each side.
Notwithstanding this article, the choice and use of wheels remains subject to articles 1.3.001 to 1.3.003.
Ok. First, from the get-go, the minimum is 12 spokes. Twelve. That Corima front wheel has how many spokes? 12. The 16-spoke minimum only applies to traditional wheels, which there aren't that many of in the pro peloton lately.
Then, if you really want to get specific, there is a separate list of approved "non-standard" wheels.
That PDF has last been updated a few days ago, and you can find it here:http://www.uci.ch/Modules/BUILTIN/getOb ... Y&LangId=1
So... again... what are you talking about besides what we don't already know regarding the UCI's income-garnering rules?
UCI being corrupt? Old news.
UCI trying to get money from manufacturers by having rules and exceptions to the rules? Old news.
UCI charging a lot of cash for a sticker of approval? Old news.
...so as Bugs Bunny once said, "What all the hub-bub, bub?"