Would Your Bike Be Allowed in a UCI Race?

You probably know about the 6.8kg weight limit but do you know about the multiple other restrictions that the UCI impose bikes wishing to compete in one their races? Would your bike pass the tests?

The current ban on disc brakes looks like it’s going to be removed for the 2017 racing season but check out this list of what other stuff will still be outlawed.


The following information we’ve grabbed from a surprisingly shoddy looking PDF produced by the UCI a couple of years ago. Spelling errors, weird punctuation, mad use of multiple fonts – it’s quite a sight to behold.

And yes, we are just bashing the UCI. Who doesn’t like bashing the UCI?

Mass Start rules

These are the rules for bunch racing. We’ll go over the rules for the one-at-a-time time trialling stuff and the velodrome stuff further down this blog.

Minimum weight

Your bike must not weigh less than 6.8kg (15 lbs).

Fat tubes (but not too fat)

Your frame, fork and handlebars must confirm to the UCI’s 3:1 maximum aspect ratio rule ie. no mega broad-but-thin panel sections.

Your frame’s main tubes must be no wider than 8cm and not narrower than 2.5cm (apart from the rear stays which can go do to 1cm).

Saddle stats

Your saddle position must be 5cm behind the bottom bracket. Lanky riders are allowed to play their ‘morphological exemption’ card though; when the rider’s knee when it is at its foremost position (3 o’clock) the knee must not pass beyond a vertical line passing through the pedal axle.

Your saddle must be horizontal. In this case, ‘horizontal’ is determined from the highest points at the front and the back of the saddle. The plane must be less than 2.5 degrees from horizontal (though a 0.5 degree window for errors means that saddle doesn’t have to be adjusted until it measures more than 3 degrees from horizontal). If the race organiser has forgotten their spirit level then the saddle angle can be measure by tape measure; the difference between highest points on the saddle must not exceed 1cm.

Your saddle length must be between 24cm and 30cm. We have Fizik to thank for getting this limit increased to 30cm by the way with this saddle.


Your bars’ front-est most part ie. the apex of the drops, must not be more than 5cm away from your front wheel axle (in a vertical line).

Aero stuff

Your bike is not allowed to have any fairing or external fuselage.

Your brakes’ aero-covers (if you have nay) must comply with the 3:1 rule and also fit inside the 8cm dimension limit of the fork.

Your water bottle must not be integrated into your bike’s frame shape.

Hidden motors

Your bike must not have a motor hidden down the seat tube.

The pedally zone

Your bottom bracket height must be between 24 and 30cm.

Your pedal axle must not be able to pass closer than 89mm from your front tyre.


Your wheel must have at least 16 spokes.

Your spokes must not be wider than 2.4mm.

Your rims must not be taller than 25mm (we think this is what it says, it’s a bit confusing really!)

Your rear wheel axle must be between 35 to 50cm from the bottom bracket. Your front wheel axle must be between 54 to 65cm from the bottom bracket.

Your wheel diameter (including tyre) must not exceed 70cm.

Your wheel diameters for both wheels (including tyre) must be identical.

Time trial rules

You’ll need a measuring jig. The UCI is planning to produce official jigs and send them to the organisers. Which is nice.

Your handlebar extensions must not extend any further than 75cm from a vertical line passing through the bottom bracket. Tall riders are allowed to go up to 80cm but the angle between their forearm and upper arm must not exceed 120 degrees.

Your forearms must be horizontal (when on the extension bars) throughout the race.

Your extensions and handlebars must be above the height of the wheels but below the top of the saddle.

What about clothing?

Your clothing must not have wings under the arms.

Your clothing must not have an extension between the helmet and your jersey.

Your clothing must conform to the curve of your body.

Your clothing must not offer any aerodynamic or compression advantage.

Your helmet must not have suffered any shock or accident.

Your shoes must not exceed the height of the ankle.

Your sock height must not exceed the mid-distance between the ankle and the knee.

Your Camelback [sic] is allowed but you can’t put more than 500ml of liquid in it.

What’s the verdict?

Well, my bike just about passed the bike (I think) but my socks failed miserably.

Did your bike pass the tests? Leave a comment below.

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