Is the UCI’s 6.8kg bike weight limit unfair for smaller riders? GCN Tech Show

It's been around for over 20 years but Ollie Bridgewood and the returning Jon Cannings think it may be time to revise the 6.8kg weight rule

ClockUpdated 23:00, Thursday 29th February 2024. Published 17:29, Thursday 29th February 2024

The GCN Tech Show is back for its latest edition but this week Alex Paton is away so Ollie Bridgewood has been left alone. At least, that was the plan, until Jon Cannings stepped into the void to reunite with Ollie in the studio for a one-off return.

This week our presenters have the UCI’s minimum 6.8kg weight limit in their sights. It’s a figure that has taken on grand proportions, becoming an obsession for many riders as they attempt to eke out as much performance as possible. We’re lucky enough to get our hands on many pro bikes at races and, trust us, both the riders and mechanics generally care what weight their bikes tip our scales at.

The UCI introduced the rule back in 2000 as there were concerns that manufacturers may go to extremes to make their bikes as light as possible, placing riders in danger in the process. And, on paper at least, it appears to be a fair rule that applies to everyone.

However, our presenters believe that it places lighter riders at a disadvantage. This is because, for lighter riders, the bike accounts for a much larger proportion of their overall system weight - this being the combined weight of the rider and their equipment. For example, a 6.8kg bike would be around 10% of Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard’s system mass, while it would only be roughly 6% for Filippo Ganna. A 6.8kg bike is therefore going to feel much heavier for the lighter rider, potentially placing them at a disadvantage.

Do you agree and do you think that the weight limit should be revised? Let us know in the comments.

Hot and spicy tech

It’s been another busy week in the world of tech. Here’s a round-up of the latest and coolest tech:

Dates and competition details released for Zwift Games

Ever since Zwift announced plans for its Zwift Games event at the end of 2023, we’ve been eagerly anticipating more details. Now Zwift has confirmed dates and details for the competition.

The event will be open to everyone, with both a commuting series and an elite competition. Registration will open on Monday 26 February, and the event will comprise of five separate stages that will run in order between 1 March and 17 March, with make-up events for each stage available between 18 March and 31 March.

Read more: Zwift release further details ahead of inaugural Zwift Games

GTN presenters are using unique TrueKinetix trainers

While competing against our GTN cousins in a recent video (check that out here), Ollie noticed that they were riding interesting trainers.

These were supplied by their sponsors, TrueKinetix, who have taken a new approach to indoor trainer design. Instead of a traditional flywheel, their TrueBike and TrueTrainers have special motors which have the ability to adjust resistance 1000 times every second. This helps to simulate a ride feel and muscle activation that is more representative of riding outdoors.

Swiss Side’s new aero socks

It’s been a busy few months for Swiss Side which joined Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale as wheel sponsors. The company has already been involved in cycling for many years, drawing on its F1 expertise to offer aerodynamic advice and support to teams, but the partnership with Decathlon is a step up for the brand.

Now it’s funnelled this knowledge into a new pair of aero socks, which were joined by a whopping 20-page press release, all in one language. That’s more than most bikes get! Hidden among the press release was a claim that if Laurent Fignon had worn the socks during the final-stage time trial at the 1989 Tour de France, he’d have won the race - the Frenchman notoriously missed out by eight seconds to Greg LeMond in the closest Tour de France finish ever.

Van Rysel launches new shoes

After partnering up with AG2R over the off-season, Decathlon-owned Van Rysel has been bolstering its range of products, with the help of Swiss Side's consulting. That has included bikes, helmets and sunglasses. Now new shoes have also been added to the mix and they come with a budget-friendly price.

Bike Vault

With Jon Cannings back on duty can we expect some major bell ringing for this week's Supernice bikes? Let's take a look through those featured this week and remember, if you want to see your bike on the show you can send us your submissions here.

Matt's Bianchi Reparto Cora

Justin's 2023 Velobuild VBR-066

Andrew's Islabikes Joni 24 evolution

George's Specialized Roubaix

Scott's Bianchi Impulso

Keep up to date with the latest Tech news by heading to our dedicated Tech section on the website.

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