First they came for puppy paws, then overly narrow bars. Now, the UCI is enforcing a new rule that bans excessively turned-in brake levers beginning at the Tour Down Under this week.
As the UCI prepared to put the new regulations into effect in December, CPA president Adam Hansen came out in support of the brake lever angle ban, saying tilting the levers 10 or 15% inward causes extra stress on handlebars and could lead to crashes.
“There’s a lot of extra stress when they’re not put in the correct position designed by the manufacturer,” Hansen said. “Manufacturers design the levers in a sense where they’re meant to sit straight on the handlebars. It was never the manufacturers’ idea that they’d be put at an incline.”
Victor Campenaerts disagreed, saying the rule was open to loopholes and was a ‘bullshit’ rule.
The UCI began measuring the riders’ brake hood angles at the Tour Down Under this week, checking the tilt against the handlebar drops using a special jig that quickly detects hoods that are angled more than 10%.
According to a video by Ride Media, the UCI only found two bikes that violated the rules and the team mechanics were able to quickly adjust them so the riders could race.
The rule reads, “The centre plane of the Brake Hood Body must align with the centre plane of the Traditional Handlebars (Drop area). In order to ensure that the braking system may be operated both safely and as designed (or intended), by pulling on the levers with the hands on the lever supports, a maximum inclination of 10 degrees is permitted between the two planes.”