The UCI and WFSGI* will meet with bike brands in Switzerland on January 13-14 to discuss pricing for the “Approved by UCI” product accreditation process.
It doesn’t appear that this is a licensing fee just for the right to place the stickers. Rather, the UCI will (through Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s bicycle testing labratory) test bicycle frames prior to approving them, and the test is expected to cost about $10,400 per frame. So far, it’s not clear whether that’s per size, or just per frame design…technically, each frame size has to pass a country’s safety guidelines before it can be sold in the U.S. and Europe.
BikeBiz reports that the mid-January meeting in Switzerland will have talks from Pat McQuaid, UCI President; Robbert De Kock, Secretary General of WFSGI; Philippe Chevallier, the UCI Sport and Technical Director; Julien Carron, the UCI Technical Coordinator; and Professor Jan-Anders Månson of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, the composites expert in charge of the accreditation process.
The cynics among us are laughing/crying that this is just a money making scheme by the UCI, but in reality, the testing costs (assuming a brand doesn’t have to put a frame through it more than once) would pale in comparison to the costs of changing a design after it’s gone into production just because a UCI official woke up on the wrong side of the bed on race day.
At the meeting, parties will also discuss retroactive testing of current model bikes for approval, too. The first products to be covered by the ‘approved by UCI’ labelling program are frames and forks (road, track, cyclo-cross but not yet BMX or MTB) in development from 1st November 2010.
*WFSGI (World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry) members include Accell Group, adidas, Argon18, BMC, Cannondale, Canyon, Cervelo, Felt bicycle, Fuji, Giant, Koga, Lapierre, Nike, ODLO, Ridley, Rotor, Scott, Shimano, Skins, Specialized, Sram, Trek, Wilier, Zipp.