UCI Introduces New Ruling on Tire Width

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WTB's new Cross Boss cyclocross tire come in one 35c width and is tubeless ready.

WTB’s new Cross Boss cyclocross tire come in one 35c width and is tubeless ready.

The maximum tire width rule for UCI-sanctioned cyclocross events (as well as USA Cycling Nationals for age-groupers) infuriated many, especially the budget clincher racers hoping to compete with their tubular-dressed peers. The arbitrary 33mm (and 35mm for age groups at Nationals) maximum widths were essentially seen as a penalty on the big, tall and the poor, the exact racers who need the extra volume to avoid pinching their tubulars or inner tube at low pressure. After a barrage of complaints over the last few years, the UCI has agreed to reconsider the rule and create a new set of standards, albeit via a confusing, somewhat complicated formula.

The Formula:
Xmm [for maximum tire width] = ([Racer Weight in Pounds, "W"/2.2]) x (33/68)

Since the racers who have the most to lose with the narrow tire rule are the Clydesdale set (or even the taller, and therefore heavier, racers like Ryan Trebon), the UCI has announced a set of rules that will be based on racer weight.

Those of you familiar with the officials checking tire width pre-race should be prepared to step on a scale this race season, but for the bigger racer, now is your chance to break out tires like the 35 PSI Continental Cyclo X-King.

The average racer is 150 pounds, and for him or her, the 33c tire rule wil remain in effect. However, it is the lighter and heavier racers who will see changes.

The new rules:

We boiled it down and these are some of the new basic standards:

  • 100 pound or lower racers will be forced to hunt down the oft-forgotten 28c tires that were once available.
  • 101-125 pound racers will need 31c or lower
  • 126-160 pound racers will remain at the 33c current ruling
  • 160-190 pound racers can run up to 35c, the old standard
  • 190+ pound racers have the highest limit at 40c

A source at the UCI told us that the goal here was to “level the playing field” for all racers, so that not just the mid-weight riders can benefit from the tire width ordinance.

Smaller racers are protesting the change, since they’ll be the most impacted by the ruling and will be forced to swap tires before next season. “I just think that this rule is going to be impossible to contend with,” ranted Donn Kellogg, the manager of the Raleigh-Clement Team and the owner of Clement tires. “We’ll have to make a whole new tread for Caroline Mani this season!”

The UCI has also introduced a new ruling on cowbells, read about it here.

Note: this story was published on April 1, 2014. We are not responsible for weight gains due incorrect facts in this article.

 

 

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40 comments
Ron Hewitson
Ron Hewitson

I read somewhere that you can always believe everything you read on the internet.

Jonny Soxx
Jonny Soxx

Ok..... U sucked me in. Damn I was hopeful.

Perry Brown
Perry Brown

I just realized that it's April 1st. I got snookered.

Martijn Geenen
Martijn Geenen

And next year on April 1, they will introduce different colourschemes per 5 years age bracket.

John Shoemaker
John Shoemaker

I am 6'4 212lbs and now I can run a 40c to bad my bike will only fit up to a 38c.

John Lombard
John Lombard

Sweet.......I will forever be running 40s!

Carey Mark
Carey Mark

You mean now we can actually run the tires that were came with the bike? Alas only an April fools joke! :(

Scott Hendricks
Scott Hendricks

Anyone running 40mm tires will have to wear a "wide load" sign, right?

Ernest Wang
Ernest Wang

Best 4/1 articles on the interweb, hands down

Albert Steward
Albert Steward

Clicked on the link hoping...One step forward, two steps back. Should've just rolled out a 35c limit.

Perry Brown
Perry Brown

This rule is absolutely asinine. Makes me glad I never enter any sanctioned races.

Derek Lewis
Derek Lewis

April 1st is the worst day on the internet.

Bil Thorne
Bil Thorne

I'm bad at math. How much weight do I need to gain before I can run Bud and Lou?

Frank Shoemaker
Frank Shoemaker

Cool, I only have to gain 5-7 pounds to continue running my 35s. I think I can get there by upping my beer consumption.

Matt Savage
Matt Savage

I want to know where the gender specific tires are...

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