An innovative composites engineer who designed Team GB’s record-breaking Olympic track bikes has been hired to help review the UCI’s bike design regulations.
The appointment of Dimitris Katsanis as a consultant to the UCI’s Equipment Commission will likely herald a liberalisation in the regulations that govern the design of bikes used in UCI races.
In the lead-up to his election as the UCI president in September 2013, Brian Cookson said he wanted to review the so-called Lugano Charter, published in 1996, which, when it was ratified in 2000, put an end to almost a decade of bike design experimentation. Bikes from the period included Chris Boardman’s Lotus 108 from the 1992 Olympics and Graeme Obree’s Hour Record breaking bike Old Faithful.
On announcing Katsanis’ appointment, Cookson said he wanted to reintroduce innovation into bike design. He said: “The UCI is in the process of modernising its technical rules and Mr Katsanis will be able to give us first-class assistance with this.
“We absolutely must ensure fair and safe competition but our regulations should not be rigid to the point of not allowing any technological development. It is a fine line and we are determined to get it right.”
According to a 2013 interview with The Engineer last year, since Katsanis started assisting Team GB, his bikes have won 51 gold medals at the Olympics and world championships in 12 years.
Mr Katsanis will work closely with the UCI Equipment Commission, which will be appointed at the next UCI Management Committee on 31 January.
As well as having more than 20 years’ experience in bike design, Mr Katsanis is a former international level cyclist, coach and UCI International Commissaire.