The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) has announced that it will be restricting the angle at which riders are able to position their brake levers, with new regulations set to be implemented in 2025. This comes in light of the recent trend of pointing the hoods of the levers inwards in an attempt to get a more aerodynamic position.
Riders started adopting the position after the previously popular “puppy paws” position was outlawed in 2021. This meant that riders could no longer rest their forearms on the tops of the bars with their hands draped in front of the stem. In an attempt to recreate this position while remaining on the right side of the regulations, riders have been pointing their hoods inwards at progressively more aggressive angles
It’s unclear if a limit will be set on the angle of the levers by the UCI, or whether it will be at the relevant race commissaire’s discretion. In 2022, the UCI published the incoming changes to the Technical Regulations as early as the end of November, but no such release has been made public so far in 2023 ahead of the 2024 season.
The wording in the statement uses the phrase “extreme inward inclination,” rather than any set number of degrees away from parallel.
“…on the topic of safety, an explanation was given on the UCI’s work with the cycling industry to create a clear regulation concerning the extreme inward inclination of brake levers,” began the statement.
As for why, the UCI believes that such inward inclination of the levers can limit the riders’ ability to brake, thus causing a safety risk, suggesting that it “constitutes a modification of the product beyond its intended use.”
As a result, it said “such positioning will be restricted in 2024,” before adding that as of January 2025, “new regulations will come into force requiring compliance with the installation guidelines established by brake lever manufacturers.”
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