New Product Spotlight and Review: An Alternative Sticker to UCI’s Frame Approval Sticker
Moments after attempting to shine some initial light on the UCI’s bicycle frame approval protocol and sticker program by posting Are You Ready? UCI’s New Bicycle Frame Approval Protocol Impacts Upcoming Season and the initial list of approved frames, the comments flooded in, including one reader’s comment asking “So when do the counterfeit stickers start hitting the market?”
While we would never condone such a dishonest attempt to cheat with a counterfeit sticker, we did have a laugh when we opened our mail yesterday to find a timely package from the famed cyclocross videographer Hans Kellner, containing his own humorous version of the UCI frame approval stickers.
Think you might be visited by UCI commissaires at a cyclocross race and want to send a friendly message? Kellner may have a product for you. The Cyclocross Magazine pit crew quickly put them to the test with our legendary, objective comprehensive test program.
Kellner used heavy-duty, waterproof material for his stickers, appropriate for the foul weather often found in cyclocross. In four hours of heavy use, including in a heavy downpour, the sticker kept its form, didn’t move or deform under bumpy terrain, and kept its bright colors despite a thick coating of late-season NorCal mud. However, because the sticker is made from thicker material than typical thin die-cut frame stickers, the edges are bit exposed, and with some difficulty, we worry that a jealous fellow racer might be able to lift it off your cyclocross bike’s frame while it’s sitting in the pit or chained to bike rack at the cafe.
The sticker’s design has a fine level of detail, with accurate world championship rainbow jersey colors, and a similar shape to the UCI version of these stickers. One nice touch is the picture of the recumbent , a good visual reminder from Kellner he approves of all types of bicycles, no matter how nontraditional in geometry or shape.
Despite the heavy duty material, the stickers shouldn’t slow you down much. Each sticker weighs just over one gram. Based on our math, if you have a pit bike, you need to order just over two grams of stickers (Kellner apparently fulfills all requests by gram). The dollar-per-gram price may be quite high, but additional weight savings can be gained if you trim off the black square border of the sticker before applying.
No product is perfect, and although well executed, we do have a few nitpicks with this product. The first complaint is that the stickers come in a square format, not pre-cut to the egg shape of the UCI stickers. A steady hand and sharp scissors can quickly remedy this of course. Perhaps more bothersome is that the friendly hand gesture graphic is quite low-res, and it is positioned behind the FUci logo such that it looks like FUdi from distance or at a quick glance. We’re not sure what FUci or FUdi mean anyway, but it looks and sounds cool.
The nitty gritty:
FUci Frame Approved stickers by Hans Kellner
Weight: 9 grams for 8 stickers
Color: Black with white and rainbow stripes
Price: Varies, contact Hans Kellner
If you’ve read this far, we should tell you that we have a few extra stickers not used in this review. We aim to not profit from review gear, and thus we’ll put the extras up for grabs for the two best original op-ed pieces expressing support for or against the UCI equipment rules. Email us your opinion, and we’ll send the winners pieces several grams of stickers.
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Its not just the UCI behind this. The big bike brands have been pushing this for years to counteract the increased involvement of smaller brands in the racing scene.
cyclistsarenotrockstars has a good article about it.
No one will be checking for these dumb stickers for at least 2 years. And even then, just say your frame was bought before 2011. There is a loophole in the rule allowing for older frames to be used indefinitely.