The UCI’s new testing jig has lasers and algorithms

The new jig developed in conjuction with BikeFitting.com is said to offer accuracy, reliability, and quicker testing.

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The UCI and BikeFitting.com have developed a new rapid-test bike-measuring jig for pre-event bike checks.

The UCI has a strict set of regulations on bike setup in a bid to manage the position riders adopt and relies on a so-called “jig” to test bikes before the start of mainly time trial and pursuit events. The UCI claims the regulations are designed to ensure rider safety, with a dollop of maintaining a somewhat traditional position thrown in for good measure.

Although morphological exemptions are available, the current regulations dictate the tip of the saddle may not sit less than five cm behind the centre of the bottom bracket and the reach to the end of the aero extensions may not exceed 75 cm from the same bottom bracket point, among other things. The UCI relies on commissaires and these testing jigs to conduct the testing and enforce the regulations at each race.

On the road scene, testing is carried out prior to the start of UCI-sanctioned time trials and can be a source of considerable stress for riders and teams. Sit a hundred metres or so before the start line of any Grand Tour time trial and you will see team staff bringing bikes for testing hours before the race, only for the riders to have the bikes tested again within minutes of the start. Most teams will have replica jigs back at their service course to ensure bikes are within spec, but still, problems arise.

The outgoing jigs were designed over a decade ago and their accuracy was susceptible to minor issues such as even mildly uneven ground. It was not uncommon for a bike to pass the test on one jig, only to fail by the smallest of margins on another.

Bike checks are part and parcel of the racing scene. This Trek is checked on one of the previous generation jigs prior to a Tour time trial.

The UCI had recognised the need for a new jig as early as 12 months ago when Mick Rogers, head of road innovation at the UCI, told CyclingTips that work was underway to develop a new laser-based testing jig with much greater accuracy. The new jig was developed in partnership with bike fitting tool specialists BikeFitting.com and will make its debut at the Giro d’Italia stage two time trial this weekend.

Using its existing tools and developing new software and algorithms, BikeFitting.com claims its new measurement jig is more accurate and much quicker. A laser box on the jig measures the bike and its angles, while the
algorithm determines whether or not the rider’s position is compliant with the UCI Regulations. Once the measurement is complete the jig displays a colour indication with green for a pass and red if there is an issue. The whole process is said to take around 30 seconds.

BikeFitting.com will also offer the new jig to its dealers and customers such as bike fitters, professional teams and national federations who all use jigs to ensure a rider’s position is in compliance with the rules in advance of events. This helps avoid a stressful situation where a rider needs to adapt their tried and tested position moments before the start of a race.

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