The dust barely settles at Pietermaritzburg and behind the scenes something's cooking. I mean it's going to be controversial with the capital C.
Of course this is still early in development and what transpires is still merely a "Request For Proposal" but hey, you've heard it here first.
Round #1 Pietermaritzburg was exciting finish - for Greg but it's not getting exciting overall it seems - for the powers that be.
The playing field is not even enough, it's always the same guys, too much technology.
Believe me, even at World Cup level there are whiners. Whiners will always whine. Never mind that the elites put in solid work in the winter when the rest are busy swapping war stories and swigging from a bottle. Tough!. You take out what you put in. But on the other hand, all these murmurs on too much technology...
Now there's something that regulators can work on - regulating technology.
Or specifically equipment. Recall the story of Slovenian alpine ski racer Tina Maze was called to task by the FIS, ski racing’s governing body, after finishing second in a slalom in Lienz, Austria, for wearing “plasticized” underwear.
FIS rules outline what kinds of clothing can be worn by racers and are designed to protect the skiers, in this particular case from wearing long johns that don’t allow the body to perspire and breathe. “Competition suits and clothing worn underneath, such as underwear, etc. may not be plasticized or treated by any chemical means (gaseous, liquid or solid),” the FIS rulebook says, “and must have a minimum permeability of 30 liters per m2/sec under 10 mm of water pressure.”
The real issue, though, is the perception of competitive advantage.
Closer to home we have seen Rachel Atherton whining about Tracey Mosley's skinsuit which was later, gasp! banned. I guess beating Rachel by 4 seconds is just too much.
Anyways, enough talking about the ladies, what we thought you loyal Banshee fans would like to know is what the UCI rulebook has in store for us. They have deemed that there is too much technology in the rear wheel setup. Gear box, derailleurs and purists are complaining. UCI actually wants to simplify things, removing too much tech by running a fixed hub.
CLICK TO ENLARGE: New UCI DH-F Ruling
One of the perceived main attractions of a fixed gear bicycle is low weight. Without the added parts required for a fully geared drive train, a fixed gear bicycle weighs significantly less than its geared equivalent.
Also, a fixed gear drivetrain is more mechanically efficient than any other bicycle drivetrain, with the most direct power transfer from rider to the wheels. Thus, a fixed gear requires less energy in any given gear to move than a geared bike in the same gear.
In slippery conditions some riders prefer to ride fixed because they believe the transmission provides increased feedback on back tire grip.
These arguments seems to make sense to the UCI and hence being part of the industry we have been given a referendum on the subject.
Here your chance for feedback and in the meantime, we show you a sneak peek of what compliance to UCI ruling will look like on the Legend MK2 F.
The current Legend Mark 2 underwent some changes to conform with the new UCI fixie DH requirements. Rear brake mounts are omitted and the rear derailleur hanger is no longer required. Some major changes will have to be made to the VF4B linkage to cope with fixed rear hub forces.