Collegiate Cycling - Mountain Bike Rules Summary


This is a summary and not exhaustive; consult the USA Cycling rulebook for complete details. Published rules preempt any notes given here. Bracketed citations refer to relevant rules. Current rulebooks are available at:

Status [6B, 6C, 6B5]
All racers must be full time students, members of a licensed USAC Collegiate team, and hold a valid USAC Annual Collegiate License ($30, or $60 w/ Full USAC Road or MTB license) or One-Day license ($10). One-day licenses are not accepted at National Championships or any other Category A race. Some conferences will not allow One-Days for B races, either. Check with your conference director to be sure. One-day licenses are, however, a viable option for first-time racers looking to try the sport.

Mechanical Assistance [5A4, 5A5]
All repairs during a race must be performed by the individual racer. No outside support is permitted. All spare parts and tools must be carried by the individual racer, to be used only by that racer. A racer can only use spare parts or tools that he or she started with at the beginning of the race. Racers must contest the entire race on a single bicycle.

Endurance Events [5D]
Water is only available to the rider in designated feed and water zones. A neutral water zone must be provided for any race longer than 90 minutes. Feeding is only permitted within designated feed zones. Racers riding bicycles have the right of way over those pushing their bikes. Lapped riders must yield to overtaking riders from the same class and category. It is the responsibility of the passing rider to pass safely. Riders being passed must move over as quickly and safely as possible, but the leading rider does not have to yield his or her position if a pass is not imminent. Riders may not cut the course, including switchbacks, at any time. Insufficient markings on the course is not a valid excuse for cutting the course.

Downhill Races [5E1]
If a rider leaves the course, the rider must re-enter the course at the same spot where he or she exited.

Dual Slalom [5E2]
Racers will compete head-to-head on each course. The rider with the faster combined time will advance to the next heat. Alternating left and right, racers must ride around (not over) each gate, with both tire tracks passing on the outside of the gate. A missed gate will be cause for a 1.5 second penalty in the final rounds and disqualification in the qualifying rounds. In the final heats, a rider may lose by no more than 1.5 seconds. This applies to slow runs and penalties. Most infractions on the race course incur 1.5 seconds of penalty.

Super D
A hybrid event combining aspects of the disciplines of Cross Country and Downhill racing. A competition which riders race on a course that has significantly more downhill than uphill sections. These courses are typically devoid of jumps and not as technical in nature as Downhill races; testing both a rider’s endurance and bike handling skills.

Mountain Cross (4X) [5E3]
The riders in each group choose their starting position in order of their qualifying times. The fastest rider gets the first choice of lane. The lead rider can take any line available on the track. This relates to any rider ahead of any other rider, however if the lead rider intentionally moves over so as to intiate malicious contact with another rider, or to force a rider off the track, the rider may be disqualified.

Helmets [1J1, Appendix 5]
Event participants must wear an approved helmet at all times while riding a bicycle – even if not currently racing!

Clothing [6E, 1J]
Riders must wear clothing for their collegiate team or blank apparel or incur a $20 fine and/or disqualification! All riders on a team must wear identifiably similar clothing.

Categories [6D, 1D1, 1D2]
Riders may request category upgrades (and downgrades) via their accounts. Decisions are based on experience and upgrade points – not the same as collegiate points! Collegiate categories require the following USAC MTB categories or equivalent experience: A – Pro/1; B – 1/2; C – 2/3; D – 3. Collegiate races count for USAC MTB upgrades and vice versa. Upgrading from B to A requires two top-five finishes. Riders may upgrade from D to C as they wish. Team Division is based on school size; schools of over 15,000 full time students are Division 1. Smaller schools may elect to race in Division 1 on a yearly basis.

Results [1M7, 101]
All protests to the race results must be expressed to the Chief Judge within 15 minutes after they are posted!

Equipment [1N10, 1I3, 6F1, 1J6]
Riders may be penalized for causing a crash due to faulty maintenance, including poor gluing. Handlebar ends must be solidly plugged. In mass start races, bicycles must have a freewheel, a working brake on each wheel, and no handlebar extensions. Radios, walkie-talkies, and mobile phones may not be used, regardless of category. Further, no earpieces of any sort, such as music players, may be worn. 

-Summary courtesy Joe Kopena, Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Director