AIGLE, Switzerland (BRAIN)— The UCI provided some clarity this week into the cost and timeframe associated with a new preproduction approval process for frame and fork concepts.
In an email, UCI technological coordinator Julien Carron said the program, due to start Jan.1, would cost manufacturers a certain sum, but that no tax would be collected for the application of the label, which would certify that the product is in compliance with UCI regulations.
“The amounts requested for this service will be communicated in a few days on the UCI website, but will be reduced to a minimum covering only the costs generated by the approval process,” Carron wrote.
According to Carron, the UCI label will be required for license holders during competition, but only for new models. Teams that race without the label would be subject to controls and sanctions that the UCI also plans to announce in the coming days, Carron said.
“But, at the end, only commissaires can take the final decision on a race,” he added.
The UCI announced the new approval process last week, following up on an initiative presented by UCI president Pat McQuaid during a meeting with bike suppliers at Eurobike. The program is designed to assure manufacturers that their designs conform to UCI standards before they go into the production stage, and to make the inspection checks easier for race commissaires. It’s a move many in the industry have pushed for to avoid confusion at the start line over whether a piece of equipment meets UCI rules.
The timeline for the certification will vary depending on the specific bike frame, Carron said, but it shouldn’t cause any problems for the upcoming race season since those frames are already manufactured. The approval procedure if only for models at the concept stage as of Jan.1, he noted.
The UCI expects to expand the approval process to components and clothing in the future. Carron said that planning would begin before the end of 2011.
A contingent of bike suppliers plans to meet with the UCI at its Switzerland headquarters in mid-January to learn more about the approval process as part of a two-day trip organized by the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry. The group will also tour the university lab in Lausanne where the compliance testing will be done.