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Question about Softride frames and UCI regulations(11 posts)

Question about Softride frames and UCI regulationsjoekm
Sep 4, 2002 10:53 AM
I know this is probably old news but I'm just getting back into cycling and I'm curious. Saw my first softride bike yesterday on a club ride. Looks like a great design for someone with back issues but I understand it is not legal except for triathalon. Does anyone know why that is?

re: Question about Softride frames and UCI regulationseschelon
Sep 4, 2002 10:58 AM
My understanding is because the UCI doesn't want cycling to become a technology issue and therefore keep the poorer countries/riders from being competitive due to technological advances of richer riders/countries...therefore all UCI approved bicycles are to be constructed of a double triangle structure frame...I may have omitted a couple of details here though.
Do you want the "Rant" answer or the real answer?brider
Sep 4, 2002 11:00 AM
Actually, they're one in the same, just with the editorializing.

The fact is that the archaic fossils in the UCI say that anything that isn't a standard "diamond" frame is illegal. The arguement could be made that something like the Powerwing is indeed an aerodynamic advantage, but the Solo-style frames (I use these) are not. I ride Softride for comfort reasons. While it hasn't hurt my performance at all, I don't think it has given me any huge advantage either. The arguements that the UCI uses just fall apart when using them against the Solo-style frames.

(1) They are readily available to all, and not at any big economic disadvantage.
(2) They do not offer a strictly aerodynamic advantage.

Guess I'll never be doing any UCI races. Too bad, I live in the Seattle area, and would probably travel north into Canada given the opportunity.
"Unfair advantage"sn69
Sep 4, 2002 11:04 AM
If memory serves, the issue came to a head at Paris-Roubaix a few years back when US Postal/Trek arrived with fully suspended rigs. That combined with the ever-decreasing weights of bikes and other wacky designs motivated the techno-phobic UCI to change things a bit.

Incidentally, there are also limitations imposed on bike design by ITU for pro-triathlon bikes. All pro bikes have to have a rear triangle design of some sort, like the small triangle on the Softride Rocket. By way of comparison, their PowerWing is not legal for pros.

There're some threads below about Softride. I owned one for three years, and I think people either love them or hate them. There doesn't seem to be much "in between."

Get the real scoop....................................Justride
Sep 4, 2002 11:26 AM
Get the real scoop....................................joekm
Sep 4, 2002 11:58 AM
I've actually been to that website but it does not really tell my *why* they are banned. Also, I'd kinda like to hear the UCI's rationale for the regulation.
Sep 5, 2002 7:32 AM
You might find what you are looking for on the UCI web site.
I am pretty sure there are similar issues with other "non traditional" frames such as TitanFlex and Trek Y Foil.
Softride STANDOVER questionFez
Sep 4, 2002 12:10 PM
I just checked out that website. I have no opinion on Softrides either way, but one thing really has me puzzled. What is the standover height like on these things? It sounds like the bike was made for long, uninterrupted rides. It appears that if you stop riding, you will not clear the "top tube" or the "beam" unless you have the bike tilted a bit.

Kind of a painful thought for your "bits and pieces."
Not at allsn69
Sep 4, 2002 12:16 PM
Don't forget, the beam tilts downward as it travels forward. For the Rockets, it's a strait line, and for the Classic beams, it's curved downward. Thus, their standover heights are fine. True, the saddle will tend to sit a wee bit higher because it's set that way as a function of preload, but it doesn't substantially affect standover. Mounting and dismounting might require a bit of tilt, but is that really that important to you?
Not at allFez
Sep 4, 2002 12:26 PM
Mounting and dismounting might require a bit of tilt, but is that really that important to you?

No, since I don't plan on getting one. I was just curious because I was looking at pics of the design and was wondering about the standover. I haven't ridden with anyone who has one.
Softride STANDOVER questionbrider
Sep 5, 2002 9:18 AM
The standover for a similar sized Softride is indeed higher than a regular road frame. However, most of the time, you're going to be keeping one foot clipped in when stopped (if you're the type that walks around while straddling the bike, then I think you have other issues). So it's the back of the thigh that comes in contact with the beam, not the crotch. It's not uncomfortable at all, and I vastly prefer it to leaning on a cable on top of a tube.