At the end of every year the UCI (Union Cycliste International) changes and updates their technical regulations for the next season to try and keep the sport safe and fair for all UCI cyclists, including Gran Fondo World Championship participants.
The new ”Clarification Guide of the UCI Technical Regulations” will take effect 1 January 2023 and includes several changes affecting amateur riders (time trial and road race) planning to compete at the upcoming Gran Fondo World Championships scheduled for August.
While it is called a “Clarification Guide,” it is about as clear as mud – and a whopping 75 pages long.
So we’ve created a 2023 UCI Technical Guide for Dummies, noting key changes for gran fondo riders:
1) No “Dickhead” Oversized Helmets. Gone are the comically large genitalia-like helmets worn by Tour de France pros (and a few amateur time trial riders at the 2022 Gran Fondo Worlds) to try and gain an aero advantage. The 2023 technical regulations state a helmet must be no longer than 450mm in length, no wider than 300mm and no higher than 210mm from top to bottom.
2) Extremely Narrow Road Handlebars Banned. The rule now reads: “The minimum overall width (outside – outside) of traditional handlebars (road events) and base bars (road and track events) is limited to 350 mm.” Though, road bars that measure 350mm-wide at the bottom of the drops, but flair inwards as they rise to create a narrower profile at the brake hoods are still legal.
3) Superman Stems Now Allowed. Road handlebars/stems can now extend up to 100mm beyond the center of the front wheel axle, allowing a more “superman-like” stretched-out and aerodynamic position in road events.
4) Time Trial Bar Setup Now Index for Rider Height. The UCI now allows adjustments to bar extensions and arm-rest height depending on three rider height ranges (under 180.00mm, 180.00mm – 189.9mm, and above 190.00mm. Note that riders taller than 180.00mm MUST submit a “rider height attestation application form available from the UCI website” and inform the commissaires at the time of any bike check (yes, they check at Gran Fondo Worlds) in order to make use of an exemption. Details for each range are in the Clarification Guide, but the new ranges should improve aerodynamics for taller riders.
Photos: EF Pro Cycling