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Cycling Conduct: Bicycle Specifications

This week we will begin the 5.11—Bicycle Specification rules, starting with rules 5.11, a-d.

These rules were constructed to define the general type of bicycle that would be legal for USA Triathlon events. The rules allow for standard road bikes, mountain bikes, cross-style bikes, hybrid or comfort bikes, beam bikes, and triathlon time-trial bicycles. The rules are worded so that no recumbent style bike may be used. Any violation of the rules will result in disqualification.

Here are the rules:

5.11 Bicycle Specifications. 
All bicycles and bicycle equipment used in USA Triathlon sanctioned events must conform to the specifications set forth in this section. Any participant using a nonconforming bicycle or otherwise violating this section shall be disqualified.

  1. Length cannot exceed two meters, and width cannot exceed 75 centimeters.
  2. The distance from the ground to the center of the chain wheel axle must measure at least 24 centimeters.
  3. A vertical line touching the front most point of the saddle may be no more than 5 centimeters in front of and no more than 15 centimeters behind a vertical line passing through the center of the chain wheel axle. The cyclist must not have the capability of adjusting the saddle beyond these limits during competition.
  4. The "front-to-center" distance, which is defined as the distance between a vertical line passing through the center of the chain wheel axle and a vertical line passing through the center of the front axle, must measure not less than 54 centimeters, except where the distance between the center of the chain wheel axle and the top of the saddle is less than 71 centimeters. In this case the front-to-center distance cannot be less than 50 centimeters. The "front-to-center" distance must measure not more than 65 centimeters, or seven eighths of the distance between the center of the chain wheel axle and the top of the saddle, whatever is greater. Applicability of the two foregoing exceptions is determined by measuring from a point on top of the saddle which is 14 centimeters behind the front most point of the saddle.

Want to learn more about a specific rule?

Let us know at communications@usatriathlon.org. We can feature it in the upcoming weeks.

Click here for more information on USA Triathlon Rules.

Have a question about the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules? Please contact Charlie Crawford.

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