Less than a week before the grand départ of the 2013 Tour de France, in Corsica, and some bike kit manufacturers are petitioning the UCI to approve new products.
With the Tour de France being an ideal shop window for companies to show off new products to massed ranks of media, the international federation’s technical department is in full swing assessing new gear and ensuring it complies with regulations. Some of the brands expected to unveil new gear include Look, Ridley, Reynolds and Pinarello.
UCI technical co-ordinator Matthieu Mottet confirmed to BikeRadar that between “five and 10” new products are currently being assessed for minor modification before the Tour de France start date of 29 June.
“It’s quite a normal number before a big tour,” he said, adding that the grand tours are always preceded with a spate of product approvals. “If it is small modifications I can take the decision to say okay, but if the new product is a technical innovation we need to have it approved by the Material Commission,” he added. The commission meets twice a year.
Mottet said all the current assessments are for minor modifications. Asked how long it takes for manufacturers to get their 'UCI Approved’ sticker, he said two weeks is ample time. “They can ask one hour before the start if they want, but it’s not sure we can say okay,” he added.
While manufacturers remain secretive about new gear until the last minute, new products that could be debuted at the 2013 Tour de France include:
- A new frame from Scott, promising “a new benchmark in weight and stiffness” according to the manufacturers
- French company Look are holding a launch in Corsica this week, possibly to release a new frame to follow the Look 695
- Lotto-Belisol bike sponsors Ridley will show off a successor to the Dean TT frameset
- A new Reynolds wheelset is rumoured to be in the pipeline