Um Reifenbreite (By the Width of a Tire)

Translated by Bill Masek
Converted to HTML by Dan Blum

[Translator's Note: This translation is an attempt at a literal translation. Each paragraph has its corresponding paragraph in the original rules. Translator's notes are enclosed in []'s.]

Part I - Basic Rules

1. Introduction

Year after year sports fans watch the world's greatest bike race, the Tour de France. Millions watch the world's greatest riders battle against each other and against the course.

You can experience that great race with your own team of 4 riders. Experience duels between leading riders, and see how the team works together for its star. Experience amazing breakaways, difficult mountain climbs, and frantic starts. See how they react to dangerous cobblestones. You are the team manager who determines how your riders ride the race.

Begin the game with the basic rules. That way you can become familiar with the important rules first. The examples will help you understand the rules since they illustrate important points.

After a few races you will be ready to play the advanced rules. They introduce different types of roads, which add a whole new dimension to the game.

When you master the basic game then you will enjoy an excellent bike race game. The advanced rules add a new dimension to the game. Finally the professional rules add yet another level of realism and fun to the game.

You will see how realistic and exciting this game is. You will see what you can do to lead your team to victory.

2. The Basic Game Summary

Um Reifenbreite is not a very difficult game, although it does have many rules. The important rules are marked with sidebars. The game mechanics are also explained by examples and illustrations. Tip: Set up the examples yourself to try the different possibilities.

You should always start off with the basic game. This makes it easy to learn the game mechanics.

The advanced game is more realistic. When you wish you can also add the professional rules.

[Um Reifenbreite is a simple game. I started off playing the advanced game, with sprint points and trading off (no chase car or yellow jersey).]

With Um Reifenbreite the goal is not just to win with a single rider. It is to be the best team, the team with the most points.

3. Basic Game Materials

Insert the riders of teams into the plastic holders of the same color.

4. Preparation for the Game

The Types of Road Surfaces

In the basic game the different types of road surfaces are ignored. The colors and numbers have no effect.

Separating the Chance Cards

Remove the photo-card chance card. Photo-cards are a professional rule.

4.1 The Race Organizer

One player will act as race organizer. He is responsible for making sure the riders are moved properly.

He also has some special duties:

4.2 The Teams

Each player plays as the manager of a bike race team. Each player chooses a team of 4 riders of a single color.

The 4 teams are:

Rider 1 on each team is the team's best rider, its star.

4.3 Energy Cards

Every team manager gets the 14 energy cards with their team's colors on the back.

The cards have these numbers:


Suggestion: If you race on a short track, like "Paris to Roubaix" or "Lüttich to Bastenaken to Lüttich", then only use the upper 7 energy cards.

5. Running a Race

After each round is complete the next round starts. The race ends after all riders have finished the race.

5.1 The Initial Setup

We will use the "Paris-Roubaix" race as an example. The race starts at Start 2. The riders start facing towards Finish C. They go counter clockwise around the board. The race finishes at Finish A.

Each team manager rolls 2 dice.

The highest roller places one rider on a start position.

Then, going clockwise from the first team manager, each team manager places one rider at a time.

Continue placing riders until each team manager has placed all four riders.

Each rider must be placed on a starting dot. No team may have more than one rider in the same lane, see example 3.

Explanation for Figure 3

(Assume that riders 21, 22, and 23 are already placed.) Rider 24 may not be placed in lanes 1, 2 or 3 since other riders on his team are already in those lanes (riders 21, 22, and 23).

5.2 Moving a Rider

The game is played as a series of rounds.
In each round each rider must be moved exactly once.
A round is over after each team manager has moved all four of his riders.

The order of play is determined by the position of the riders on the course.
It does not depend on the location of the team managers.

The rider who is furthest ahead always moves first.
If 2 or more riders are tied then the rider who is on the far right in the direction the riders are moving goes first.

Every rider may be moved in one of two ways.

5.3 Moving by Rolling Dice

The team manager with the rider who is furthest ahead on the right rolls 2 dice (in Figure 4 it is rider 51).

In this case the team manager of rider 51 moves the rider forward the number of spaces he rolled.

A rider may only move forward:

Thick lines (lane boundaries in curves) may never be crossed.

Explanation for Figure 4.

Rider 51 goes first, since he is on the front right space. His manager rolls a '7'. The rider naturally wants the shortest route, so he rides diagonally to the inner curve.

Additional Rules for Moving Riders

A rider may move fewer spaces than he rolled.

There may only be one rider on a space at any time. A rider may not move through an occupied space.

If the course is blocked then the rider must stop. He loses the rest of his move.

A rider may move diagonally between two riders.

Explanation for Figure 5a.

Rider 51 would like to move to the inner curve, but he cannot. To do so he must cross a thick line, which is not allowed. Narrow lines may be crossed freely.

Explanation for Figure 5b.

Rider 41 may move diagonally between the other riders.

5.4 Moving by Drafting

If 2 or more riders are directly behind each other in a single lane, then the following riders may elect to draft the leader instead of rolling the dice themselves.

Important: Each rider decides whether to follow the rider who is directly in front of him.

A rider may only draft the rider who is directly in front of him.

The drafting rider must:

Riders in an unbroken line in the same lane may draft.

Explanation for Figure 6.

Riders may not draft.

Tip: The examples in Figure 7 illustrate these rules.

Explanation for Figure 7: Rider 41

Rider 41 rolls a 10. He moves inward and then through the curve as wide as possible to space C (if he had taken the outer curve he could only have gotten to D). There are two reasons why rider 41 went as wide as possible to the right to space C.

Explanation for Figure 7: Rider 21

Now it is rider 21's turn and he rolls a 12.
Naturally the riders behind him would like to draft him.
Rider 21 can prevent this by moving to A. Regardless of how rider 52 moves he cannot get to space B with only 12 moves. He cannot use space C since it is already occupied by rider 41.
If 52 takes the outer curve he misses it by 1 space. If he goes straight ahead he must cross the thick line. If he takes the same route as 21 then he moves through rider 41, which is not allowed.

Explanation for Figure 7: Rider 53

Riders 52, 34 and 44 cannot draft. It is rider 53's turn. He rolls a '5' and moves forward.

5.5 Moving Fewer Spaces

Sometimes it is better to move fewer spaces than you rolled.

Rider 51 rolls a 10 and could move next to 33 with that roll. However he moves directly behind 33 (moving 1 space less than he rolled) so he has a chance to draft 33. Riders 42 and 32 naturally draft 51.

Every rider is allowed to move fewer spaces than he rolled.
Exception: If a rider crosses the finish line then he must move his full move.

6. Using Energy Cards

Each team manager has 14 (7 in a short course, see section 4.3) energy cards he can use to influence the abilities of his riders.

Energy cards with the number of a rider may only be used by that rider. Joker cards may be used by any rider on the team. Energy cards may not be used in the first round.

This energy card may only be used by rider 23.

Energy cards replace dice.
Every energy card replaces 1 die.
A maximum of 2 energy cards may be used for a rider on a turn. If one energy card is used then only roll 1 die. If two cards are used then do not roll any dice.
Energy cards are worth their number (5 or 6 points).

6.1 Breakaway

A rider may breakaway to escape from the pack. To do this he may prevent the riders behind him from drafting him.

If a rider wants to breakaway then the team manager must first announce this. Then the manager gives the rider 1 or 2 energy cards. The riders behind him may not draft him (see figure 7).

Explanation for Figure 9

  1. Rider 21 has fallen behind the pack. Therefore he uses an energy card (a 6 point card) and rolls 1 die (a 4). He now moves 6+4=10 spaces forward behind his teammate, rider 22. 21 can now draft 22 when it is 22's turn.
  2. Rider 54 uses 2 energy cards (for example 5+6=11 points). In the interest of his teammates 52 and 51 he does not announce a breakaway, since it is very likely that 41 and 31 will also draft him so that 52 and 51 can also draft.
  3. Rider 32 uses 1 energy card and announces a breakaway. He adds the roll of 1 die to the number on his energy card and moves forward that number of spaces. No one may draft him (none of his teammates are behind him).

7. The Chance Cards

If a rider rolls a 7 then he must take a chance card.

Exception: Chance cards are never drawn in the first round.

If a rider plays an energy card he must still pick an chance card if his move is 7 (6+1 or 5+2).

7.1 Falls

Some chance cards cause a fall. The rider who picks the chance card falls. A rider who falls cannot move this round. See the card for further details.

[Fallen riders are left on the board. They block other riders moving forward.]

Explanation for Figure 10

Rider 31 pulls a mass fall.

8. The Finish

A rider who finishes must use his entire roll. He moves to the space he landed on with his move. This is important because other riders may finish by drafting him.

Example 11: The Ride across the Finish Line

Rider 31 is farthest right and goes first in the round. If he uses an energy card he can breakaway and finish without the 3 riders behind him. His teammate rider 33 is on his left and could possibly finish second and earn more points.

However rider 31 has no more energy cards and he rolls a 9. He moves 3 spaces past the finish line. Naturally riders 43, and 52 draft him. Rider 24 also drafts him although he does not finish the race this turn. It is possible for the 7 remaining riders in this example to finish before 24.

Next is rider 33's turn. He rolls a 5. He could simply move straight ahead to B. However it is better for him to move to A. When 24 moves first in the next round (since he is the farthest right of all riders) rider 33 can draft 24 and maybe even finish 5th for 30 points.

8.1 The Score Sheet

The race organizer fills out the score sheet at the end of the race as follows:

8.2 Alternate Race Courses

You are always free to pick any course to race on. The game map can represent a complete series of different race courses.

Section 13.2 (Professional rules) includes a list of possible race courses.You may also design your own race course on the game board. Just specify the start, the sprint finishes along with the finish line.

Part II - The Advanced Rules

The advanced rules add the effects of road surfaces to the game. This makes the game more complicated.

There are just a few rules in this section, but they have a large effect on the game. Therefore we recommend that players race with these rules only after they have played with the basic rules.

9. The Effects of Road Surfaces

The different road surfaces change the race. Different colors represent different types of road surfaces. Here are the different road types:


9.1 Drafting and Road Surfaces

A rider may only draft if he starts the turn on the same type of road surface (same color) as the rider directly in front of him. The road surface type is the only factor, different numbers on spaces of the same type do not prevent drafting.

Explanation for Figure 11: Drafting on a Road Surface of another Color (Cobblestone)

Rider 51 rolls an 8. Rider 33 cannot draft him since 33 is on asphalt (cream space) and 51 is on cobblestone (aqua space).

Rider 41 rolls a 9. Riders 32 and 23 can draft him since they are all on asphalt (cream). Rider 44 cannot draft because he is a space behind the group.

Drafting is allowed in the mountains. The lead rider and the drafting riders must be on spaces of the same color.

If riders start the round on different types of roads then drafting is not allowed.

9.2 Riding Uphill

The red spaces are mountain spaces which the riders work to climb. Riders slow down significantly going uphill.

Every rider who begins his move on an uphill (red) space must subtract the number on his space from his roll.

Example: A rider rolls a 6. He is on a red space with the number 3. He may only move 6-3=3 spaces forward.

A rider on a red space who rolls so low that the result after subtraction is 0 or less must dismount. His marker is moved off of the race course and placed next to the space he started on.

After all riders in the round have moved he is placed back on the track. If another rider is on his original space then he is moved backwards to the next empty space in that lane.

Explanation for Figure 13

Rider 43 is on a space with the number 6. He rolls a 6 or less, so his move is 0 or less. Rider 43 is removed from the course and placed next to it.

If more than one rider dismounts then they are replaced in the same order. After all other riders have moved, they must try to return to the spaces they started in.

If another rider occupies the space the dismounted rider came from, then the dismounted rider is placed in another space either parallel to or behind his original empty space. The dismounted rider may lose ground if other riders move into his space.

9.3 Riding Downhill

On the downhill (yellow) sections of the course the riders increase their speed.

A rider who starts his turn on a downhill space (yellow) adds the number on his space to his roll.

Example: A rider starts on a downhill (yellow) space with the number 4. He rolls a 6 and can move 6+4=10 spaces forward.

Riders going downhill may still be drafted. Remember that drafting riders must start on the same type (color) of road.

9.4 Riding on Cobblestones

On the Paris-Roubaix course and the classical course in Belgium riders have learned that cobblestones can be a difficult road surface. These sections are colored aqua.

A rider who starts on a cobblestone (aqua) space, must subtract the number on the square from his roll.

Example: A rider starts on a cobblestone (aqua) space with the number 3. He rolls a 5. He can move 5-3=2 spaces forward.
The cobblestone section includes a small piece of asphalt (cream) road. Riders who start here do not have subtract anything from their roll.

Riders who start on another road surface (color) may not draft.

A rider on cobblestone that rolls so low that his move is 0 or less must dismount for that turn. For dismounting and returning to the course use the rules for climbing (section 9.2).

10. Energy Cards and Road Surfaces

Energy cards are restricted by road surface.

Energy cards with a mountain shield may not be played on a mountain climb. On cobblestones a rider may only use 1 energy card a turn (never 2).

Asphalt (cream)1 or 2 Energy Cards
Climb (red)1 or 2 Energy Cards without the mountain shield
Descent (yellow)1 or 2 Energy Cards
Cobblestone (aqua)1 Energy Card

Part III - Professional Rules

11. The Game with Professional Rules

Um Reifenbreite is a game with lots of variation. For those who understand the advanced game there is yet another level you can play at.
You can have even more fun if you play with the professional rules. Feel free to choose which professional rules to play with and which to ignore.

The game is complete with the basic and advanced rules. The professional rules are optional, their use is optional.

12. Game Pieces for the Professional Rules

13. Preparation for the Game

13.1 The Race Organizer

One player acts as the race organizer. His duties are:

13.2 Choosing the Course

The game board represents many different race courses: both long and short. The players must decide which course to use. This is a list of the "standard" courses to use (game length 3/4 to 2 hours) along with their sprints and sprint points.

A. Paris-Roubaix
Starting LocationStart 2
Road TypeCobblestone/Asphalt
Course RouteStart 2 to Finish C, D, A
SprintFinish D
FinishFinish A
Sprint D Points1st=11, 2nd=8, 3rd=5

B. Lüttich-Bastenaken-Lüttich
Starting LocationStart 1
Road TypeAsphalt/Mountains
Course RouteStart 1 to Finish A, B, C
SprintFinish B
FinishFinish C
Sprint B Points1st=11, 2nd=8, 3rd=5

C. Giro d'Italia
Starting LocationStart 2
Road TypeCobblestone/Asphalt/Mountains
Course RouteStart 2 to Finish C, D, A, B, C
SprintsFinish D, Finish A, Finish B
FinishFinish C
Sprint D Points1st=11, 2nd=8, 3rd=5
Sprint A Points1st=7, 2nd=5, 3rd=3
Sprint B Points1st=5, 2nd=4, 3rd=2

D. Tour de France
Starting LocationStart 1
Road TypeMountains/Cobblestone/Mountains
Course RouteStart 1 to Finish A, B, C, E, A
SprintsFinish B, Finish C, Finish E
FinishFinish A
Sprint B Points1st=11, 2nd=8, 3rd=5
Sprint C Points1st=7, 2nd=5, 3rd=3
Sprint E Points1st=5, 2nd=4, 3rd=2

The course is always determined by the players based on the type of race they want and the time they have for the race.

13.3 The Teams

13.4 Setting up the Start

Place the riders on the course using the rules from section 5.1. The riders start facing the first Finish line.

14. Cheating

A rider can cheat by hanging onto the chase car during his turn. However if he is photographed doing this then he is disqualified. There are two levels of cheating.

A rider may cheat by rolling just 1 die and adding 6 to it. Then he draws a single photo-card. The race organizer notes the number on the card along with the rider's number on the score sheet. The photo-card is returned to the deck and the deck is reshuffled.

A rider may cheat (hang onto the chase car) multiple times, but the more he does it the greater his chance of getting caught (being photographed doing it).

A rider may also cheat by moving 12 without rolling. In this case the rider must draw 2 photo-cards. The photo-card deck is reshuffled for each pick.

A rider may only cheat 4 times in a race. Every time he cheats he must draw 1 or 2 photo-cards.

After the race is done and the points are calculated the race organizer draws two photo-cards. Every rider who has cheated and drawn one of these numbers is disqualified since he was photographed cheating. All points earned by a disqualified rider are forfeit and are subtracted from the team's total. This does not affect the points for other riders.

15. Sprints and the Yellow Jersey

The races may include sprints. The number of sprints (1, 2, or 3) is determined by the length of the race. The race courses described in section 13.2 list all sprints along with the sprint point values.

During the race the race organizer notes the first 3 riders across each sprint finish line. These riders receive additional points as noted on the score sheet. These points are added to the team's points.

The yellow jersey is worth even more points to the leading rider at the sprints.

15.1 The Yellow Jersey

The rider who crosses the first sprint finish first gets the yellow jersey. Each round he keeps the yellow jersey he earns 2 points.

If the wearer of the yellow jersey wins the next sprint then he keeps the yellow jersey. If another rider wins the sprint then the race organizer calculates the sprint points that each rider has earned. (Only count actual sprint points, do not count yellow jersey bonus points.)

If another rider has more sprint points then that rider gets the yellow jersey. Return the old yellow jersey rider's piece to the board. Then replace the new leading rider's marker with his team's yellow jersey holder. Place his marker next to the board.

Example (see score sheet, section 18)
Rider 21 won the first sprint, so he earns 11 points and receives the yellow jersey. Rider 42 won the second sprint for 7 points. In the first race rider 42 earned 5 points (third place) so he has a total of 12 sprint points. Rider 21 only has 11 sprint points (since yellow jersey points do not count for this comparison) rider 42 now gets the yellow jersey.

During the race team managers can easily determine which rider is wearing the yellow jersey. It is the rider who is placed next to the board.

Hint: Sprint finishes occur during normal moves. They do not interrupt the normal flow of the game. The race organizer must record the finish order during the move.

16. Switching the Lead

There are limits to the strength of the lead rider. It is therefore difficult for a single leader to remain out in front of a breakaway for a long time. This rule makes breakaways easier by making it easier to switch lead riders, and thereby spread the load.

Riders who are riding in an unbroken line may change places with the lead rider. All lines of riders may do this, regardless of their current position.

When it is his turn the rider who is at the front of the line may ask the rider directly behind him whether he would like to switch places.

This rule gives the team managers the chance to agree on how to use energy cards to prevent the pack from catching up.

A team manager is never required to use energy cards. He may also trick the riders who are behind him by playing an energy card to break away from that group (see figure 14).

Example 14: Riders 51, 21 and 41 have broken away from the pack. They form a breakaway. If they exchange the lead among themselves (51 exchanging with 21, or if 21 does not want the lead, with 41), then they may escape from the pack lead by rider 32. To successfully break away they must play their energy cards when they are in the lead. If in the example rider 51 changes places with rider 41 then rider 41 moves first. This change does not cost rider 41 anything.

The groups following the pack may also change positions. Riders 31 and 32 may change places since they are teammates. Rider 43 will not try to catch the leaders since his teammate, rider 41 is in the break away group. He may even try to slow down the pack.

17. A Stage Race

Rather than just race a single race, the players may run several races as a stage race.

Stage races take place over several days on different tracks. On each "day" another race is run on another course. The race courses from section 13.2 may be used for this purpose.

The final score for a stage race is calculated as follows:


Rider 41 has earned the following points in 5 races.

StagePoints for Rider 41Team Points

Rider 41 has the highest point total for his team, 161. The final score is calculated with the following formula:

# of stages * final score of the best rider + team points = final score

So: 5*161+319=1124

Final team score = 1124

This scoring system shows the importance of both support riders and the stars. The support riders help the stars score the more points. This increases the bonus the star adds to the team.

18. The Score Sheet

The race organizer fills in the score sheet as follows:
  1. Write the numbers of the first 3 riders across the first sprint line here. In our example they are riders 21, 33 and 42. From then on the yellow jersey points are added in.
  2. Write the numbers of the first 3 riders across the second sprint line here (in our example riders 42, 51 and 43). Note the change in the yellow jersey.
  3. Write the numbers of the first 3 riders across the third sprint line here (assuming there are 3 sprints in this race).
  4. Record the rider's numbers from top to bottom in this column as they finish the race. In our example rider 31 is first, 43 second and so on.
  5. Record the total sprint and yellow jersey points for each rider in this column.
  6. Add the place, sprint and yellow jersey points together to get the total points for each rider in this column.
  7. Calculate the final team score in this section. Copy the final score for each rider here. Then add the scores for each rider together to get the final team score.
  8. Record riders who hang onto the chase car here. Record the rider number along with the photo-card number(s) he drew.

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell