The UCI frame approval list has some interesting new bikes

A look at the appearance and disappearance of new bikes on the UCI's updated list.

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There was a time when the UCI list of approved framesets was the go-to resource for finding new frames manufacturers had on the way. Unfortunately for most of us, since the UCI began offering manufacturers the option of when a new frame appears on the list, it is much less the exposé it once was. Most often when a new frame appears on the list now, it’s because a manufacturer is ready for it to be found.

More regularly now, the list is either a confirmation of something spotted or a clue of what to look out for. Take the new Merida Time Warp 4 spotted this week for example. Although the new bike was pretty distinguishable from the old Time Warp TT, the list all but confirmed its identity.

Still, though, the list can from time to time throw up the odd gem, and this past week has provided several interesting developments. An update to the list on Thursday, March 3, showed a new Trek Emonda ALR Disc, and Domane SL, Domane SLR, and Domane RSL frames. While the Emonda ALR had a homologation date of 26.11.2021, the three new Domane frames all shared the same December 3 date.

As interesting as new Domanes are, what happened next made it all the more interesting. By the time I opened up the list to enjoy over breakfast the following morning as per usual, the new Domanes had disappeared. Of the new bikes shown 24hrs earlier, only the Emonda ALR disc remained on the list. Even the Emonda fork name had changed, presumably a typo correction.

As for what updates these new frames offer, or even what they look like, that is anyone’s guess. So here’s mine.

The SLR is Trek’s range-topping Domane model with the brand’s OCLV 700 carbon construction, front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers, and is the same bike Lizzie Deignan soloed to victory on in the 2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes. That Domane still feels relatively new for Trek to completely overhaul the frame design. As such, and considering both the Madone SLR and the new Emonda SLR launched in 2020 both feature Trek’s new OCLV 800 carbon, there is a chance the new Domane SLR on the UCI list could be a simple carbon construction update rather than an entirely new frame.

The SL is currently Trek’s mid-range Domane offering, with OCLV 500, lower-spec builds and a non-adjustable rear Isospeed helping bring the price down. The update path is less clear here as both the Madone and Emonda SL models feature OCLV 500. As such an update to OCLV 700 doesn’t fit with the rest of the family and our theory for the SLR, and so points towards an actual frame design update.

Trek’s RSL models typically offer the same frames with longer and lower front end geometry as preferred by pro riders and those who prefer more aggressive positions. Trek dropped the RSL geometry for the current Domane, but the UCI list updates suggest we might see it return for the next generation Domane frames.

Unsurprisingly, the slim hope I had of a new Domane making an appearance at Strade Bianche didn’t materialise. The fact that the new Domane disappeared from the list either suggests some error of epic proportions or that Trek is simply not quite ready for us to find the new frame just yet. Either way, it is unlikely we see a new Domane before Paris-Roubaix week.

As for the Emonda ALR disc, which remained on the list after the Domanes disappeared, the update path seems a little more clear cut. The current Emonda ALR disc was first introduced in 2019, the new frame is likely to take the increased tyre clearance and updated geometry path Trek opted for with the recently updated Domane AL Disc. We have asked Trek for more information on these new frames, but haven’t yet received a response.

Cannondale excitment

While we wait for the Domanes to surface, the UCI list has another new bike for us to look forward to. Cannondale has added a “Supersix Evo 3 Limited Edition” to the list of approved frames. The new bike makes an appearance on the list just under Cannondale’s new Synapse frames and with the same November 2021 homologation date. When we asked about this new addition to the list, Cannondale told us: “This is a limited-edition model that will launch soon and will blow the minds of Cannondale fans. We’re always innovating at Cannondale and this bike will keep to Cannondale’s heritage of crafting the fastest bikes in the world.”

What exactly that means and what the bike might look like is, again, anyone guess, but it sure sounds interesting. Given the limited-edition bike has appeared on the UCI list it is likely to feature more than just a special paint job. Furthermore, given the bike is cleared for “ALL” disciplines, while the current SuperSix Evo 3 is listed with just RD (road) clearance, confirms there is something new to look forward to.

We will of course keep you updated with any news on these frames as we get it. In the meantime, let us know what you think these new frames might bring.

Cannondale got in on the approval list action

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