By Henry Schumm '25
In April of 2021, the UCI ( Union Cycliste international) banned the Supertuck, a particular maneuver done by a cyclist while going downhill at very high speeds.
According to Dan Roe, text editor from the bicycling running world magazine, article on the Supertuck ban, riders position their pelvises onto the bike’s top tube to reduce aerodynamic drag.
The UCI banned this for many reasons. One reason was that it was hazardous for big groups of cyclists to go downhill at any speed greater than 30 miles per hour. Another reason for the Supertuck ban is that this position sacrifices control to achieve a higher rate of speed. The Supertuck makes it dangerous for the rider and other riders because of limited control. The Supertruck is also considered an unfair advantage as it allows riders to
break away from the peloton at increasing speeds.
You could see why the super tuck was banned; it is hazardous and proposes more dangers than necessary.
Cycling down a hill at high speeds without a super tuck is even dangerous in itself. The UCI made an intelligent decision when trying to protect others when in a group, but I disagree with their thoughts about cycling by yourself without a big pack of riders. When by yourself, it could be a helpful tool when trying to catch back on to the group or help you move further away from the pack.
In a race, if you were being slowly dropped further and further off the back of the pack and you had the advantage of the Supertuck, would it be fair or not?
The answer is simple, yes, it would.
Riders are already losing ground very quickly, and they have this advantage to use.
But no, riders can’t use it because it is banned by the UCI.
I am saying to this argument that this advantage does not provide any extra equipment or gear; you simply move your body.
So, I can understand why this is not allowed in a group of riders, but I think it should be allowed individually as it provides a safer advantage.
Crashes have been a very big problem while doing the supertuck monevur. This is another reason it was banned. When doing the Supertuck all it takes is one wrong move to end your career.
I agree with the UCI on this factor, but I still think it could be done safely. It could be done on a straight road without many turns and without a group of people. If in a group, then when one person messes up, they mess everyone up.
There are a few types of tucks, some provide more advantages than others, but as you know the Supertuck, is when the rider sits on the top tube and flattens back. Another type of tuck, “Safe tube tuck”(as seen in the image on left rider) is allowed in all pro races because you still have plenty of control over the bike, this is when the rider arches the back to get as low as possible with hands in the drop bar position but still sitting on the saddle.
The Supertuck was proven, in wind tunnel research, to be 14 percent faster than a normal position. The safe tube tuck is nine percent faster than the standard riding position. Although the supertuck provides a massive advantage, it is unsafe, and for that reason I say that the uci was right to make this ban.