“Eff You See Eye”
Robert Egger, Creative Director at Specialized Bicycles, has a bone to pick with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world’s governing body for bicycle racing that writes the rules for races like the Tour de France. UCI has strict design specifications, as evidenced by copious rules for equipment on its website that all racing bikes must meet. Is it possible that excluding innovative racing designs (i.e.: recumbent bicycles) quashes the evolution of bicycle technology?
Designing Bicycles From Age 5
Egger’s story as a bicycle designer started when he was five years old. His father brought home a truck full of old bikes, and from that age on, Egger began putting together bikes of various shapes, sizes, and configurations. Egger estimates he has designed an average of about 100 bikes a year since then, and he is now in his 30’s. Egger went on to build his own homes and cars and developed a wide variety of skills related to electrical, mechanical, architectural, and design tasks.
Egger’s number one source of frustration is the lack of innovation in bicycle design over the past several decades.
Egger recently designed the fUCI concept bike. The name is a combination of the UCI’s acronym and preceded by the first letter of the expletive “f***” as indicated in the photo above. In fact, the fUCI bike is designed with free imagination, completely unencumbered by UCI restrictions.
According to Egger in an interview on Bicycle Design:
“It’s kind of everything anti-UCI. Basically a ‘hey, here’s a totally different way of doing things. It doesn’t fit into your box, but the people who would appreciate this bike aren’t concerned with that box.’ The whole thing was really just an exercise in working outside of the UCI box.”
He goes on to say:
“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. 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.”
Following is a great interview with Egger and why he does what he does: