Lotus aims for cycling gold with new track bike
The automotive consultancy division of Group Lotus has teamed up with Hope Technology for a new track bike aimed at helping the Great Britain Cycling Team to bring home Olympic gold.
Lotus Engineering has previous form in developing medal-winning bikes, having designed track bikes for Chris Boardman, who won gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and took the yellow jersey in the 1994 Tour de France. But the consultancy hasn't been involved in cycle design for a while.
"Lotus has always been at the very cutting edge of lightweight racing performance with its cars, and now – after 25 years away from cycling – we’ve collaborated to apply the same Lotus core values to this new track bike," said Executive Director Miguel Fragoso.
That collaboration is with Hope Technology, a Lancashire-based component maker that's recently started building ready-to-ride bikes. Hope says it developed a "revolutionary manufacturing process" to reduce the weight of the wheels on the HB.T track bike. And it's also responsible for the eye-catching frame.
"We have created the frame using high modulus composites with fabric woven in UK, the in-house team has unrivaled engineering expertise with 30 years of composite experience and two Olympics behind them," Hope's Managing Director Ian Weatherill said.
Lotus Engineering worked on the bike's unique front fork design, as well as the handlebars, and worked to improve the stiffness and front end feel of the bike. These elements were integrated into the overall design in collaboration with Hope and engineering company Renishaw, and aero evaluation in wind tunnel tests undertaken.
To qualify as an Olympic-ready bike, the HB.T needs to be approved by the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling's global governing body, which changed its rules after the 2016 Olympics to allow forks and seat stays to be up to 8 cm (3.14 in) wide. The bike must also be ridden during the 2019/2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup series by members of the Great Britain Cycling Team before the end of 2019.
No more information has been made available at this time, but the HB.T will go on display at London’s Rouleur Classic from tomorrow before making its track debut this coming weekend at the Minsk-Arena velodrome, Belarus.