UCI Homologation Program

The Framebuilders’ Collective UCI Homologation Program Assistance.

Background

As of January 1st, 2011, the UCI (International Cycling Union; the governing body for international bicycle racing) began a frame homologation program to pre-approve road, track, and cyclocross frames as being legal for competition in UCI sanctioned events.

The TFC recognized that this program could be seen as a significant obstacle for small builders whose customers compete in UCI events. The TFC then approached the UCI with an offer to facilitate the process for small builders[1] if in return the UCI would reduce the small builder’s program costs. The UCI agreed and signed a memo of understanding with the TFC in which small builders who choose to use the TFC’s services will be able to submit their documentation to the TFC, who will in turn contact the UCI on their behalf and send them the documents via a system of secure file exchange. As a result of the TFC’s administrative service in this procedure, the UCI will grant a 20% discount on the cost to small builders.

To be clear, the use of the TFC’s services is in no way mandatory for small builders unless they wish to receive the 20% discount. The TFC will not charge nor receive any fee from either the UCI or the small builder for this service and the service is limited to only those frames which qualify for evaluation within the UCI’s simplified procedure.[2]

Who needs to worry about the UCI Homologation Program?

The answer to that question is fairly simple: any builder who provides frames to customers who in turn may wish to use them in UCI sanctioned road, track, and cyclocross events. Mountain bikes are specifically excluded from the homologation program requirements.

What does it cost?

For frames that are eligible for approval using the simplified procedure, the cost is 500CHF (Swiss Francs). If you use the TFC’s service for the approval process as outlined in this document, that cost is reduced by 20% to 400CHF. The one fee will cover most small builder’s full range of bicycles. It is not a per unit or per size cost and once completed approval rolls over year to year unless you make changes to frame geometry or assembly process outside your declared range.

How does it work & who does what?

1. The builder will fill out the application form found at the link below and mail it via USPS to the UCI at the address listed on this form. On the first field asking for your company name, please fill it in as appropriate and add “via the TFC” and the end of it. For example: “Anvil Bikeworks, Inc. via the TFC.”

2. The builder will then receive confirmation from the UCI that their application has been received along with an invoice.

3. You will then wire the UCI 400CHF per their instructions.

4. You will then submit your frame & fork geometry range to the TFC at uci@framebuilderscollective.org for review (only for completion and compliance. The TFC will treat the builder’s documentation with complete confidentiality.). The TFC will then forward them on to the UCI via secure file exchange.

5. Upon UCI approval of the builder’s application and plans, the builder will be allowed to place the UCI Frame label on their frames that are built within the range submitted & approved.

What supporting documents are required?

Other than the application, simple drawings or sketches reflecting the size range of the builder’s frame & fork will be submitted to the TFC. The geometry range requirements are as follows (please review the UCI Approval Protocol for Frames and Forks, section 3 and subsection 1.3.011 a) Measurements and section 5.3.2 Simplified approval procedure):

  1. Critical Measurements:
    1. Overall Length & Width (UCI Reg 1.3.012; a bicycle shall not measure more than 185cm in length and 50cm in width overall. A tandem shall not measure more than 270cm in length and 50cm in width overall.)
    2. BB Height (UCI Reg 1.3.015; the distance between the bottom bracket spindle and the ground shall be between 24cm minimum and 30cm maximum.)
    3. Front Center (UCI Reg 1.3.016; the distance between a vertical line passing through the bottom bracket spindle and the front wheel spindle shall be between 54cm minimum and 65cm maximum.)
    4. Effective Chainstay Length (UCI Reg 1.3.016; the distance between a vertical line passing through the bottom bracket spindle and the rear wheel spindle shall be between 35cm minimum and 50cm maximum.)
    5. Dropout and Fork End Spacing (UCI Reg 1.3.017; the distance between the internal extremities of the front forks shall not exceed 10.5cm; the distance between the internal extremities of the rear triangle shall not exceed 13.5cm.)
    6. Tubing Sizes (UCI Reg 1.3.20 c) Configuration; the maximum height of the elements shall be 8cm and the minimum thickness 2.5cm. The minimum thickness shall be reduced to 1cm for chain stays and the seat stays. The minimum thickness of the elements of the front fork shall be 1cm; these may be straight or curved.)

Anything else?

Not at this time. This is not to say that something couldn’t change in the process along the way and if it does, we’ll let you know ASAP.

To repeat what has been already said, the TFC is offering this service without charge to builders or the UCI. Approval of the builder’s application is the sole responsibility of the UCI and the TFC has no bearing on it in any fashion. The TFC shall not be liable for any consequence deriving from the application or approval process. Any builder who elects to use the TFC’s free service & assistance for the UCI Homologation Program agrees to protect, indemnify, and release the TFC and/or its agents from all liability for damages, costs, expense, losses, complaints, proceedings, actions at law, legal fees and court costs, of any type whatsoever (including lawyers’ fees) resulting from any action arising from the approval procedure.

If you have any questions or comments concerning the TFC’s involvement or services for this program, do not hesitate to contact us at uci@tfc.org.

Links:

UCI Approval Protocol

UCI Homologation Program application

UCI Faqs concerning the Homologation Program

You can also post questions about the program in the Framebuilders’ Collective forum area dedicated to the program here.

[1] A small builder is defined as a manufacturer who produces frames and forks to measure, i.e., custom or bespoke builders where the order exists prior to the construction of the frame.

[2] The simplified procedure applies to road, track, and cross frames that are welded, brazed, or glued together using tubular construction as detailed within “UCI Approval Protocol for Frames and Forks”, sections 5.1.2 Models subject to approval and 5.3.2 Simplified approval procedure.

designed by: todd@consumedesign.com