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Old 03-26-14, 10:41 AM   #1
echappist 
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Legality of disc covers for road races

At the back of my mind, i believe they are allowed for mass start road races, but i can't find the specific section of the rule book (USA Cycling Rule Book - USA Cycling) discussing this. Anyone happen to know what section i can find regulations regarding equipment usage?
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Old 03-26-14, 10:49 AM   #2
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(c) Wheels may be made with spokes or solid construction. No wheel may contain special mechanisms to store and release energy

2008 rulebook

https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...x_rulebook.pdf


:/
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Old 03-26-14, 11:02 AM   #3
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thanks for the suggestion as i didn't look in chpt 1. i found the following (from https://s3.amazonaws.com/USACWeb/for...k-Chapter1.pdf)

1I. Bicycles
1I1. Bicycles used in competition must be propelled solely by
the rider's legs and shall have the following characteristics:
(a) Dimensions. Bicycles may be no more than 2 meters
long and 75 cm wide, except that tandems may be up to 3
meters long
(b) There may be no protective shield, fairing, or other
device on any part of the bicycle, which has the effect of
reducing air resistance except that spoke covers may be
used.
(c) Wheels may be made with spokes or solid construction.
No wheel may contain special mechanisms to store and
release energy

Except it doesn't say if this would apply to mass start bikes as well
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Old 03-26-14, 11:10 AM   #4
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upon further searching, i dug up this: Disc Cover: USAC Legal?

my concern is that i'd like to use it for a EMX style TT course within a stage race. Race director says mass start legal is fine, and i plan to hold him to that if discs are indeed mass start legal, or at least considered legal by the officials at the race.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
upon further searching, i dug up this: Disc Cover: USAC Legal?

my concern is that i'd like to use it for a EMX style TT course within a stage race. Race director says mass start legal is fine, and i plan to hold him to that if discs are indeed mass start legal, or at least considered legal by the officials at the race.
I don't think that's the intent of a Merckx style TT. My bet is they won't let you do it.

In the Tour of the Bahamas they made you ride the same equipment for the road stage as the TT, so if you used really aero wheels, a TT helmet or a skinsuit, you had to use it for the road stage too.

If they made you use the disc cover for the road stage, the added weight would be an isssue.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
upon further searching, i dug up this: Disc Cover: USAC Legal?

my concern is that i'd like to use it for a EMX style TT course within a stage race. Race director says mass start legal is fine, and i plan to hold him to that if discs are indeed mass start legal, or at least considered legal by the officials at the race.
I'm pretty sure it is legal. Someone used a disc locally at Ride Sally Ride Crit last year. I only remember because it looked very out-of-place.

2013 Ride Sally Ride Senior Men 35+ 45+ Cat 1-2-3-4 015.jpg | Biketography
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Old 03-26-14, 11:31 AM   #7
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I don't think that's the intent of a Merckx style TT. My bet is they won't let you do it.
You are a lawyer. Surely you'll understand when I say that I don't care about intent and am only following the metes and bounds set forth in the regulations, subject to the interpretation of the officials on site.

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I'm pretty sure it is legal. Someone used a disc locally at Ride Sally Ride Crit last year. I only remember because it looked very out-of-place.

2013 Ride Sally Ride Senior Men 35+ 45+ Cat 1-2-3-4 015.jpg | Biketography
Umm, interesting. I think what i really need is to track down the official and get the words from him/her.
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Old 03-26-14, 11:46 AM   #8
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email jim patton or mimi Newcastle, they're on the local list serv and you can probably find their email addresses from the digest.

why would you want to? last thing you need is something else to geek you up some more :0)
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Old 03-26-14, 12:09 PM   #9
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You are a lawyer. Surely you'll understand when I say that I don't care about intent and am only following the metes and bounds set forth in the regulations, subject to the interpretation of the officials on site.


.
I'm definitely not above finding angles to get an advantage. I just think there's a good chance the official is going to tell you to take it off.

Or take the other approach and make you use it for the other stages as well.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:10 PM   #10
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Wheel covers are definitely legal, else a host of non-structural rim fairings would make a slew of aero wheels illegal. Think Stinger disc, for example, or any Jet rim, any carbon faired alum rimmed wheel, etc.

On the other hand, unless the promoters say it, many EMX TT rules require a rim under a certain height. In other words an 808 may not fly, or a 1080, but a 202 or 303 might be okay. I think the 1080 is illegal for UCI mass start use, at least it was, so a "road bike TT" at the Tour of PA meant the max height wheel for Zipp teams was an 808.

EMX TT is usually not the same as "road bike TT".

The promoter, if interested in an EMX TT, ought to specify max rim height and minimum spoke count. If it's just a road bike TT then really anything except aero bars goes.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
The promoter, if interested in an EMX TT, ought to specify max rim height and minimum spoke count.
Tour de Gruene is a TT and TTT event here that offers EMX TT and TTT divisions in addition to the traditional(?) aero TT and TTT divisions. The promoter specifies the following for EMX:
Quote:
If racing in Merckx you may not have any aero equipment. No aero helmets, suits, shoe covers, wheels, tear shaped (or aerodynamically framed tubes), or aero bars. Rims cannot exceed 30 mm in depth. Frame tubing can be of any material and both round or oval is exceptable for Merckx.
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Old 03-26-14, 12:44 PM   #12
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exceptable
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Old 03-26-14, 12:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
upon further searching, i dug up this: Disc Cover: USAC Legal?

my concern is that i'd like to use it for a EMX style TT course within a stage race. Race director says mass start legal is fine, and i plan to hold him to that if discs are indeed mass start legal, or at least considered legal by the officials at the race.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrell View Post
Tour de Gruene is a TT and TTT event here that offers EMX TT and TTT divisions in addition to the traditional(?) aero TT and TTT divisions. The promoter specifies the following for EMX:
My response should have quoted Chappy to put context to the answer.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrell View Post
Tour de Gruene is a TT and TTT event here that offers EMX TT and TTT divisions in addition to the traditional(?) aero TT and TTT divisions. The promoter specifies the following for EMX:
Quote:
If racing in Merckx you may not have any aero equipment. No aero helmets, suits, shoe covers, wheels, tear shaped (or aerodynamically framed tubes), or aero bars. Rims cannot exceed 30 mm in depth. Frame tubing can be of any material and both round or oval is exceptable for Merckx.
So i guess you can't use an aero frame like an S5?

How you craft the rule depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Seems like there are basically 2 reasons to ban aero equipment:

1) avoid the need for competitors to own, bring, aero equipment. I believe Tour of Qatar does this so teams don't have to fly in as many bikes, and the Tour of Bahamas did it for that reason.

2) take bike differences out of the equation, and make it more about the rider.

For the first purpose, you only need to make the rule mass start legal.

For the second purpose, you've got to get more defined as to what's allowable. Kinda like spec class racing for cars.
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Old 03-26-14, 01:29 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the responses. I think i'll contact the promoter and have him specifically dictate what is or isnt allowed. Less confusion for everyone.

-----
As for why he's doing this, while i understand that it's to cut equipment cost, i don't fully agree with it. One actually need to train on a TT bike to get fast on it, and it's still about the rider. I just hope that next year, the stage race will offer separate cat 3 and cat 4 firlds. Last year they had p/1, cat 2/3, cat 4, and cat 5. They changed it to p1/2/3, 3/4, and 4/5 this year. Too many cat 4's who didnt get the chance to sign up for the 4/5 race ended up in the 3/4 field, and that's probably why the no TT bike rule was implemented.

would be so much better if they had done p/1/2 amd them separate fields for 3, 4, and 5
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Old 03-26-14, 01:35 PM   #16
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We had a similar decision made for two of our area's stage races. The director said it was to cut travel costs, but looking at the rosters I would say less than 5% of the field comes form out of state with the majority travelling in the 1-4 hour range. It doesn't help that both courses are kind of sketchy to start out with and riding in the IAB's over bumps/corners/train tracks is going to be sketchy.
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Old 04-02-14, 07:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by echappist View Post
Anyone happen to know what section i can find regulations regarding equipment usage?
From the 2014 rulebook:

1I1(b) There may be no protective shield, fairing, or other device on any part of the bicycle, which has the effect of reducing air resistance except that spoke covers may be used.

So unless this race is run under UCI rules or the organizer has instituted special regulations, you are good to go. Wheel covers are not allowed in UCI races as they are considered a fairing (not structural).

If you go a few sections down to (g) it defines what a mass start bicycle is - and is mainly concerned with handlebars (as defined in (d)). Wheels are not covered - you could actually run a solid disk wheel in a USAC road race if you wanted.
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Old 04-02-14, 01:57 PM   #18
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on a related note, are tri-spokes mass-start legal? i did a quick search and could not find it. i believe the answer was "no" (a hand that gets caught in those in the event of a crash could suffer some serious damage), but i can't find that prohibition now.

i don't want to use a tri-spoke during a road race -- but i may do a stage race where one must use a road frame (not EMX-style, which i agree is different). i am thinking tri-spoke + disc + aero road frame is just fine.
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Old 04-02-14, 02:30 PM   #19
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I wonder if the promoters would have a different say about it. It's now a moot point for me as it'll be at least five weeks before i can get a cover (going for a 200g CF cover to be attached to my 303 tubular that otherwise won't see much use outside of climbing races).
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Old 04-02-14, 02:32 PM   #20
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on a related note, are tri-spokes mass-start legal? i did a quick search and could not find it. i believe the answer was "no" (a hand that gets caught in those in the event of a crash could suffer some serious damage), but i can't find that prohibition now.

i don't want to use a tri-spoke during a road race -- but i may do a stage race where one must use a road frame (not EMX-style, which i agree is different). i am thinking tri-spoke + disc + aero road frame is just fine.
FWIW, I raced with a guy using one last year. Cat 5 road race, he won.
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Old 04-02-14, 02:33 PM   #21
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on a related note, are tri-spokes mass-start legal? i did a quick search and could not find it. i believe the answer was "no" (a hand that gets caught in those in the event of a crash could suffer some serious damage), but i can't find that prohibition now.

i don't want to use a tri-spoke during a road race -- but i may do a stage race where one must use a road frame (not EMX-style, which i agree is different). i am thinking tri-spoke + disc + aero road frame is just fine.
UCI specify a minimum number of spokes. USAC does not, as far as I know, except for those National type races that need to follow UCI rules. That would make it legal to use TriSpokes etc in normal grassroots races. There's a guy around here that uses a (Corima) tri spoke front and a quad spoke rear. Also there are a few riders that use disc covers. I haven't seen a proper disc wheel in a crit in a few years but I imagine they're fine. I used to run a TriSpoke + Disc in particular lower risk, flat terrain crits.

My understanding is that my bike is totally illegal for UCI mass start racing (saddle position on both bikes, rear wheel clearance on the black bike), but that doesn't stop me from racing it in normal USAC events.
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Old 04-02-14, 04:15 PM   #22
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I wonder if the promoters would have a different say about it. It's now a moot point for me as it'll be at least five weeks before i can get a cover (going for a 200g CF cover to be attached to my 303 tubular that otherwise won't see much use outside of climbing races).
Dude.

Don't be that guy.
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Old 04-02-14, 04:49 PM   #23
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We have a whole team out here that does criteriums with wheel covers. The rules allow them for mass start races.

However, you are talking about an Eddy Merckx style time trial. That is not a mass start race. There is nothing in the rulebook that I could find regarding rules for Eddy Merckx time trials. Therefore, it is at the promoter's discretion, and I would check first. Get it in writing, bring it with you, and expect a protest.
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Old 04-02-14, 08:20 PM   #24
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on a related note, are tri-spokes mass-start legal?
Yes, for races run under USAC rules.
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Old 04-02-14, 09:31 PM   #25
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Dude.

Don't be that guy.
this.

btw, I raced the Tour de Gruene mentioned in the thread, me and a good buddy both on our lugged steel bikes with 32 round spokes, normal rims, normal helmets, no shoe covers... etc... in "the spirit" of Merckx style.

As were were lined up staging for our TT start I noticed that BOTH the team ahead of us and the team behind us were rocking bolt-on aero bars, shoe covers, deep rims... and they were in the Merckx class. We didn't say anything, just looked at each other and shook our heads. Why? Because it's just a stupid bike race. This is supposed to be for fun. Jeeeeeeeezus.

BTW we beat both of those teams, handily.
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