Bicycle design has changed very little in the last one hundred years. The materials used to make the bikes are different, with carbon fibre and aluminium frames eventually replacing cast irons and wood, but the basic shape and feel of the bike is essentially as it was at the start of the 20th century.
But, thanks to a change in regulations at the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, we may be on the verge of a new era in bike design.
According to Cycling Weekly, the UCI is set to scrap the 3:1 rule, which says that the ratio between the length and the width of bike tubes and other components cannot exceed 3:1. In short, the rule severely restricts what you can do with a bike and limits the extreme aerodynamic shapes you might expect to have taken over the sport in the modern era.
One company desperate to see a relaxation of the regulations is Cervélo, a Canadian bike manufacturer. As well as the 3:1 rule, there are hopes that the 6.8kg weight limit will also be ditched, allowing designers to shave more weight off the bike in the hunt for increased speed.
Last month, Cervélo unveiled their radical P5X bike for triathletes – where the 3:1 rule is not in place – calling it the “most technologically advanced triathlon bike ever made”. The bike will be on display at this weekend’s Rouleur Classic exhibition in London.
With a striking frame design, high-tech disc brakes and an integrated front end, the P5X certainly looks the part.