In light of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) plan to enforce its "3:1" bicycle component regulation beginning July 1, 2009, Ritchey Design announced today that its time trial equipment complies with UCI regulations.
The 3:1 rule stipulates that all bicycle parts and components must be built with measurements that do not exceed a three-to-one ratio. Created in 2000 but not actively enforced until the beginning of the 2009 season, bicycle teams, riders and manufacturers had widely interpreted the rule to apply only to bicycle frame tubes.
According to Ritchey Design's North American general manager Steve Parke, Ritchey provides time trial equipment to ten professional road racing teams in the U.S. and Europe. Cadel Evans of Silence-Lotto and Rory Sutherland of OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis have both had recent racing successes with their Ritchey Design WCS Carbon Hammerhead handlebars.
According to Parke, Ritchey's WCS Carbon Hammerhead and WCS Carbon Interval comply with the UCI's bicycle design regulation.
"Ritchey time trial handlebars were designed with the UCI three-to-one ratio in mind, as are all of our products," Parke explained. "We have used this design guideline to make great time trial products that are verified by elite teams on both the USA and European circuits.
"Still, Ritchey is concerned about the impact UCI's design regulations will have on the future of bicycle design innovation, and we're committed to working with UCI and manufactures to ensure that competitive cycling develops in a way that is positive for the sport and the industries that support it."
The UCI will also enforce its corresponding cycling regulation that bans bicycle equipment that decreases air resistance to artificially accelerate propulsion, a regulation that has uncertain implications for the future of bicycle design.
"One of the movements afoot to create a more collaborative process with the UCI is the formation of the (working title) Bicycle Industry Association, spearheaded by Phil White of Cervélo and Claudio Marra of FSA Europe," Parke said. "Ritchey joined this organization believing in the wisdom of a collective industry voice approaching the UCI prior to their process of rule adoption so the industry can be certain that final product designs will fall within UCI guidelines and still offer cyclist true innovation.
"This dialogue is still pretty new, but moving along rapidly as the 2009 Tour de France approaches and teams must contend with a stepped-up environment of enforcement," Parke added.
"It all makes for exciting drama, but no one wants to hear their super cool carbon frame or TT bar is now considered out of bounds and can't be used," he said. "This is an expensive and potentially disastrous proposition for any brand. In addition to serving riders current components needs, Ritchey will remain active in the process of partnering with other industry notables as we bring a joint voice of reason to the UCI for consideration in future rulings."
For more information, visit www.ritcheylogic.com.