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Cycling Conduct: Bicycle Specifications Part III

By USA Triathlon | Jan. 12, 2014, 6:10 p.m. (ET)

We continue our series of explanation for the bicycle specification rules this week with 5.11g, which allows the front wheel of a bicycle to be a different diameter than the rear wheel. 

While no longer common, some older time trial bikes had a 700 rear wheel and a 24” front wheel.  That configuration has also been used for very small framed bikes.  The rule limits construction of the front wheel to having spokes.  No disk wheels are allowed to be used on the front wheel nor may a disk cover be used over the front wheel. The rear wheel may be spokes or disk and the participant may use a disk cover on the rear wheel. 

Here’s the rule:

5.11g. Except as otherwise determined by the race director in the interest of safety, the front wheel may be of a different diameter than the rear wheel, but the front wheel must be of spoke construction. The rear wheel may be either spoke or solid construction. Wheel covers shall only be permitted on the rear wheel.

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