News that the UCI’s scheme to approve frame designs and oblige racers from the Pro Tour to the village kermesse to ride on a UCI-approved bike is set to go ahead. Only the reports say the costs of licencing have been reduced substantially, in some cases from 12,000 Swiss Francs down to 5,000.
I can cheer the cost cuts but still think the scheme is flawed. As I’ve said before, I’d like manufacturers to opt-in to guarantee their products comply, but enforcing a rule that requires all licence holders to buy approved bikes is excessive. It’s way beyond the remit of a governing body, it crosses a line from regulation and into personal consumption.
Follow the money
But I’m left with one question. On what basis are the scheme’s fees set? Because if they can now be cut in half then this suggests either the previous levels generated a surplus of revenue above the costs needed to pay the lab in Lausanne; or that the new rate is going to impose a loss on the UCI. In the first case the scheme smells like a money spinner and in the second case using up cash to fund an unpopular scheme just compounds the mistake.
Inventing rules that generate substantial revenues for the UCI but impose costs on everyone else is a bold idea to say the least.