2019 UCI MTB Rules Changes

10/5/2018 6:16am Edited Date/Time 11/20/2018 5:09pm


The UCI has recently published an update to the general rules that govern all their competitions, including mountain biking. Here are the main changes that will come into effect on Jan 1, 2019:

-In order to avoid any potential confusion around the wording, the paragraph discussing what happens when you leave the course has been updated, and now reads: "If a rider exits the course for any reason, he/she must return to the course between the same two course markers where he/she exited. In case a rider fails to return to the course as provided for in this article, the commissaires’ panel can disqualify the rider."

That removes any doubt as to the intent of the rule (if you exit the course, you need to re-enter between whichever markers you exited between. If you fail to do so, they can review the incident and decide to DQ you). It also means it is not automatic (the commissaire "can" DQ).

-A wording conflict was resolved to address eMTB competition (a previous rule the forbade the use of "electronic bicycles" was amended for the purposes of eMTB racing).

-Here's a doozy: "For Mountain Bike downhill and enduro events, as opposed to the general rule defined in article 1.3.006, the two wheels can be of a different diameter but should comply with the specifications of article 1.3.018."

Why is this a doozy? Because 1.3.018 clearly states that the wheel may not exceed 70cm in diameter including the tire. A 29er is about 74...make of it what you will, we're pretty confident the UCI didn't just ban 29ers from all MTB competitions, but the way the rule book has been written leaves little doubt. Even though that section starts with "excluding MTB, BMX, etc", the fact that the MTB-specific rules then directly refer back to 1.3.018 would mean it takes legal precedent. Loic, YOU WIN! (lol)

-The start order for the finals moves back towards something more logical, with the top-5 qualifying men and top-2 qualifying women going last in reverse order of qualifying results irrespective of whether any protected riders are in the finals. In other words, the fastest qualifiers will go now go last again, as it's supposed to be. Full updated text: "The start order for the final is determined on the basis of the reverse results of the qualifying round (the fastest rider starting last), except for the protected riders (defined in art. 4.5.031) and the fastest 5 men elite and the fastest 2 women elite non-protected riders, who will start as the last group of riders by order of qualifying result, reversed."

-Pump Track is now an officially UCI governed discipline as well. We won't go into the whole thing here, you can read the full regulations provided below for all the details, but here are a few fun excerpts:

"A pump track is a track that consists of rollers and steep turns in various sizes and shapes. The rollers and turns are used to generate speed by pumping the bike, not by pedaling. A pump track is built in a way that promotes technical skills. Speed on a pump track is generated by pumping the bike, - not by pedaling and not by gravity. Large flat sections that promote pedaling are to be avoided."

"A minimum wheel size of 20 inches is required for the men and women open categories." - be careful MTBers, the BMXers are coming for you!

"Regular shoes are mandatory, sandals or other open shoes are not permitted." - get outta here Kiwis.

FULL UPDATE HERE
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MPH24
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10/5/2018 7:27am
This has to be an error. Have to imagine the UCI would get a lot of push back from a lot of the brands here who have invested a lot of money in development of a 29er DH and Enduro bikes... This will especially be the case with Enduro where the EWS sponsors pretty much all have 29er enduro bike
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bizutch
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10/5/2018 7:28am
I'm guessing the verbage was poorly written and the size reference was meant for cyclocross comp only?
10/5/2018 7:57am Edited Date/Time 10/5/2018 7:58am
This is all true, guys. 29ers have officially been banned. The UCI is up to their typical underhanded methodology. They throw us a bone by sanctioning E and Snow Bike racing, but sneak in the outlawing of 29” wheels. Typical UCI not listening to what the riders actually want. Yes, we are psyched for E-Bike races. Yes, we are psyched to see Cous Cous dominate the Snow racing scene. But, listen up UCI, 29ers are NOT A CRIME.

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Big Bird
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10/5/2018 9:38am Edited Date/Time 11/20/2018 5:09pm
My big takeaway from this is that we can now have mixed wheel sized bikes again. 29 front and 27.5 rear anyone?
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Mwood
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10/5/2018 10:58am
Liteville is over there in southern Germany throwing a huge party so they can bring there crazy over engineered 301* and 901 bikes into UCI races. The future of older german men racing DH/Enduro is saved!!!!

*bike actually rides pretty well with two different wheel sizes
thom9719
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10/5/2018 4:46pm
Big Bird wrote:
My big takeaway from this is that we can now have mixed wheel sized bikes again. 29 front and 27.5 rear anyone?
24" front and 29" rear. Call it the Mullet.
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JCL
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10/5/2018 4:49pm
Well that's me out of the World Cup.
kidwoo
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10/5/2018 7:47pm Edited Date/Time 10/5/2018 7:48pm
How come I just clicked on a link that said "did the uci just ban 29ers" that then that takes me to a post that says "we're pretty confident the UCI didn't just ban 29ers from all MTB competitions,"


There's just not enough clickbait bullshit on the interweb these days.

Thanks for working on that.
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10/6/2018 8:22am
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29"

They don't need banned. over 5'11" consider a 29, 5'10" and below will probably perform better on a 27.5 And remember that Danny Hart couldn't manhandle his 29. Wiki says 5'10" but reality is more like 5'7. Greg Minnaar and the likes are guys that 29' makes sense. In the end riders are fast, not the bikes.
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10/6/2018 8:24am
Big Bird wrote:
My big takeaway from this is that we can now have mixed wheel sized bikes again. 29 front and 27.5 rear anyone?
thom9719 wrote:
24" front and 29" rear. Call it the Mullet.
Actually a smaller tire in rear would be more apropos to a Mullet. We all ride small wheels (DJ bikes, etc) when its time to party, and big wheels (sb150 race beast) when business is in. Just saying.
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lister_yu
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10/7/2018 2:10am
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29" They don't need...
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29"

They don't need banned. over 5'11" consider a 29, 5'10" and below will probably perform better on a 27.5 And remember that Danny Hart couldn't manhandle his 29. Wiki says 5'10" but reality is more like 5'7. Greg Minnaar and the likes are guys that 29' makes sense. In the end riders are fast, not the bikes.
regarding wins in EWS and WC - not sure if Cecile Ravanel & Amaury Pierron (WC overal title) agree ;-)
dmcd38
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10/7/2018 2:43am
29er vs 27.5 for DownHill - Commencal DH 29 vs Transition TR11

Fred_Pop
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FR
10/7/2018 2:43am
If 700mm is the new rule then most 584mm DH tires will be too big as well. A Schwalbe Magic Mary measures in at 708mm. Back to 558mm wheels I guess or tire manufacturers will have to make lower sidewall DH tires to be under 700mm!
Verbl Kint
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10/7/2018 7:15pm
1.2.019 No licence holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognised by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI.

Depending on the circumstances, a national federation and the UCI may grant special exceptions for particular races or events run in its own country.

Particular races or events may consist of:

- events organised occasionally only and which do not belong to the organised sports movement;

- events whose format is not covered by the UCI regulations.

Any national federation intending to grant a special exception must submit its reasoned request to the UCI administration in the beginning of the season and at least two months before the respective event. The decision of the UCI in this respect is final and shall not be subject to appeal.


The penalty is one month suspension of the rider's UCI license and 50 to 100 swiss francs. A lot of semi-professional privateers who augment their income by joining in unsanctioned races will get impacted by this.

I hope their respective national federations adjust to this rule quickly and comprehensively. My federation will waive sanctioning fees next year, I hope yours will do the same.

I wonder if the EWS and Crankworkz are already considered as "special exceptions".
10/9/2018 7:59am
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29" They don't need...
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29"

They don't need banned. over 5'11" consider a 29, 5'10" and below will probably perform better on a 27.5 And remember that Danny Hart couldn't manhandle his 29. Wiki says 5'10" but reality is more like 5'7. Greg Minnaar and the likes are guys that 29' makes sense. In the end riders are fast, not the bikes.
I don't know why the myth of Danny Hart being short persists. He's skinny, for sure, but not short. I've stood next to him at 6' and can confirm he's 5'10"-ish. No way he's 5'7".
10/9/2018 8:14am
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29" They don't need...
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29"

They don't need banned. over 5'11" consider a 29, 5'10" and below will probably perform better on a 27.5 And remember that Danny Hart couldn't manhandle his 29. Wiki says 5'10" but reality is more like 5'7. Greg Minnaar and the likes are guys that 29' makes sense. In the end riders are fast, not the bikes.
I don't know why the myth of Danny Hart being short persists. He's skinny, for sure, but not short. I've stood next to him at 6'...
I don't know why the myth of Danny Hart being short persists. He's skinny, for sure, but not short. I've stood next to him at 6' and can confirm he's 5'10"-ish. No way he's 5'7".
I'm guessing your really 5'11" ....ish
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10/9/2018 8:29am
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29" They don't need...
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29"

They don't need banned. over 5'11" consider a 29, 5'10" and below will probably perform better on a 27.5 And remember that Danny Hart couldn't manhandle his 29. Wiki says 5'10" but reality is more like 5'7. Greg Minnaar and the likes are guys that 29' makes sense. In the end riders are fast, not the bikes.
I don't know why the myth of Danny Hart being short persists. He's skinny, for sure, but not short. I've stood next to him at 6'...
I don't know why the myth of Danny Hart being short persists. He's skinny, for sure, but not short. I've stood next to him at 6' and can confirm he's 5'10"-ish. No way he's 5'7".
I'm guessing your really 5'11" ....ish
Hahaha, busted! I'm over 5'11" barefoot, so I round up to 6' since I pretty much always were shoes when I'm out walking around. Regardless, no way am I 4-5" taller than Danny. Mebbe everyone still thinks he's short from his junior days.
sspomer
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Boise, ID US
10/9/2018 10:51am
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29" They don't need...
While every push from companies is 29" 29" 29", the fact is that 27.5 continues to win WC and EWS more than 29"

They don't need banned. over 5'11" consider a 29, 5'10" and below will probably perform better on a 27.5 And remember that Danny Hart couldn't manhandle his 29. Wiki says 5'10" but reality is more like 5'7. Greg Minnaar and the likes are guys that 29' makes sense. In the end riders are fast, not the bikes.
danny hart also said in world champs audio in our slideshow that he was heading back to whistler to test the 29er more.

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