Everything You Need To Know About The UCI

When you look at our wheels, you might see a UCI approved stamp. You might then be wondering what the UCI is or if you know what the UCI stands for what exactly they do. We’ll use this guide to tell you about the UCI.

Once we’ve delved into the UCI we’ll move onto why having a UCI certification is good and a little bit more about where you can find their certification information. At the end, we’ll give you a handy little guide to which of our carbon fiber wheels have a UCI certificate.

What is the UCI?

The Union Cycliste Internationale is the world governing body for all cycle sports. It runs all of the national governing bodies for cycling from its base in Aigile, Switzerland. It was formed on the 14th of June 1900. It was designed to replace the previous International Cycling Association  (ICA).

The reason for the change was that Britain under the ICA rules would send English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish teams and various other countries were upset about this. The other interesting thing was the voting rules.

Votes were given to given to velodromes. If your country had no velodrome but was a UCI member, it had no votes. If like France your country had 18 velodromes then you had 18 votes. The UCI is the organization in charge of cycling for the Olympics, and when the Olympics were still an amateur sport, the UCI ran two subsidiary bodies to run the amateur races.

One of the biggest changes the UCI have made to cycling was the creation of the ProTour in 2005. These rules meant that ProTour teams, the UCI gives the ProTour license to 20 teams, had to compete at every race in the ProTour calendar. These races were all originally in Europe, and after 2007 the UCI started to sanction races around the globe.

That was one of the biggest rule changes to affect road cycling and the UCI, and the Grand Tour organizers have been at loggerheads ever since. The UCI has also set out rules which have implications for the bike products you buy. In some cases meaning that you can buy a better bike than the UCI will allow pros to race.

The UCI bike rules  

One of the most controversial bike rules is the weight rule. In fact almost every year a magazine will run an article telling you that this is the year that the bike weight rule will change. The weight limit of no bikes under 6.8kg was created in the 1996 Lugano Charter.

The rule then was to make sure manufacturers didn’t make bikes that were structurally weak but uber light. In the time since then, we and other manufacturers, have worked hard on refining our carbon fiber layups and can now safely create bikes that weigh less than that. You can, therefore, buy a bike that will make hill climbing easier, and a pro can’t ride.

What about aero rules?

As you can imagine the UCI also have aero rules. The one that always used to be talked about was the 3:1 ratio. This ratio meant that frame tubes could not exceed a 3:1 ration for length to width. The rule was dropped around two years ago.

The funny thing is that aero bikes have stayed roughly the same. The reason is that the frame tubes have to fit inside an 8cm box. As such we can’t fit fairings or fill in your front triangle to make it like a sail. Essentially the rule is still the same, just worded differently.

That is why on our new bikes, such as the A9 above we have gone with integration. Integration is where we can now save you watts and help you become more slippery.

UCI wheel certification

Hopefully, by now you can see that the UCI set the rules and we and all the other cycling bodies have to follow. The UCI created the Equipment Commission. The commission was set up to bring “a new approach by the UCI in favor of innovation and technology.”

The reason for the new commission was that at races commissaries were allowed to interpret the UCI’s Lugano Charter as they saw fit. As you may be able to work out, this led to a lot of arguments. The way the UCI saw to sort this was to sort out a UCI certified sticker.

This sticker grew from just being one on the bike to a sticker for various parts. Wheels are not part of this testing process. The UCI test proves that the wheels are made as safe as they possibly can be and can then be used in all UCI sanctioned events. Non certified wheels can’t be used in UCI certified events.

The UCI wheels tests

The test for wheels is a vertical drop test. The wheel is secured in a stand without a tire on. A tire would help to deflect the energy and could prevent damage to the wheel. A rubber pad, with a set durometer 50A, is then fitted to a block of steel. The steel and it’s rubber block are then dropped onto the wheel. The rubber pad must also not be damaged during the test.

The wheel has to be hit at a right angle from the valve hole. There must be good proof that these rules are being complied with and any images of the test must be shot from multiple angles.

For a wheel to pass it must comply with these results

  • No visible cracks or delamination
  • No change in lateral profile or in lateral run out in excess of 1.0mm
  • No change in radial profile or in radial run out in excess of 1.0mm

The UCI certification then not only makes life easy for commissaires, but it also allows you as a consumer piece of mind. We went for full UCI certification as we wanted you to know that we aim to be the premier Chinese supplier of carbon fiber road bike wheels.

If you want to know more about the UCI guidelines, click the highlighted text.

What about ICAN’s carbon fiber rims?

As we said we wanted to make sure our carbon fiber wheel rims are leading the way. So we got them UCI certified.

If you want to check the PDF with all the UCI carbon fiber certified wheels click the text again.

You can be sure then if you buy any of carbon fiber wheels that they have been tested. That is why we offer a 2-year guarantee on all of our wheelsets. You can have piece of mind and know that you have bought a set of the highest quality wheels available but have done so without breaking the bank.

  • Apr 01, 2019
  • Category: Articles
  • Comments: 0
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