concept bike by Specialized
The reason why competitive racing bicycles look more or less the
same is due to an organization called the Union Cycliste Internationale
(UCI). Their rules on bicyle design are very strict, meaning that
the basic shape and form of the bicycle is quite limited. Some say
this helps level the playing field by preventing some racers from
having the technological advantange, while others say it hinders the
development of better bicycles.
Bicycle manufacturer Specialized's creative director, Robert Egger,
is clearly frustrated by the limits placed on his creativity. But
he's found a way to release that tension by creating a concept bicycle
called the fUCI. It's fairly clear what the 'f' stands for...
The fUCI (or Eff You See Eye as it's also known) was designed to break
all the rules laid down by the UCI. The bike has a fairing, unconventional
frame design, different sized front and rear wheels, and a very small
in-built electric motor - although in this case it's mainly used when
first setting off to build up initial speed. All these changes are
directly in contrast to UCI rules.
In addition to the streamlined, high-performance design, the Specialized
fUCI also features a docking station for a smartphone which acts as
a dashboard. It can be used for navigation, monitoring tire pressure,
and controling the built-in lights.
One of the more practical features of the fUCI is a small storage
area just behind the rear seat. It only really has usable space for
a wallet and keys, but at least it's something.
"The UCI really caters to a very small population, but there's so
many other people out there who couldn't care less about the UCI,"
says Egger. "They don't follow the racing and they don't even know
all the limitations that are put on bikes for the UCI riders. So,
my feeling was let's design a bike for someone who really just wants
to go fast on a road bike."