Good Thinking

Titanium trike draws on automotive world to give British Paralympian a boost

Titanium trike draws on automo...
Nissan says the new trike is 18 percent lighter than Stone's old one
Nissan says the new trike is 18 percent lighter than Stone's old one
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David Stone's tricycle uses titanium for lower weight and better stiffness
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David Stone's tricycle uses titanium for lower weight and better stiffness
The trike sits Stone lower, which improves aerodynamics and stability
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The trike sits Stone lower, which improves aerodynamics and stability
Stone is a three-time gold medallist
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Stone is a three-time gold medallist
A new dual-wheel drive system lets the wheels independently freewheel
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A new dual-wheel drive system lets the wheels independently freewheel
Stone worked closely with Nissan and the English Institute of Sport on the new trike 
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Stone worked closely with Nissan and the English Institute of Sport on the new trike 
Stone gets on the move on his new tricycle
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Stone gets on the move on his new tricycle
Nissan says the new trike is 18 percent lighter than Stone's old one
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Nissan says the new trike is 18 percent lighter than Stone's old one
Stone will be chasing two more gold medals at the Rio Paralympic Games 
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Stone will be chasing two more gold medals at the Rio Paralympic Games 
Stone's trike looks like a triathlon bike sprouted a wide rear axle
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Stone's trike looks like a triathlon bike sprouted a wide rear axle
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The Rio Olympic Games might be finished up, but the Paralympics are in full swing. For this year's games, Nissan has teamed up with the English Institute of Sport to help three-time gold medallist David Stone get more from his trike. With a light, aerodynamic titanium frame, the new trike could give one of Britain's best medal hopes an edge over the competition.

Stone's previous trike was a decidedly low-tech affair. It was made from a standard bike frame, which was then bonded to a heavy tricycle conversion kit made of steel. The team at Nissan decided stability and aerodynamics could both be significantly improved with a lower riding position, and the carbon/steel hybrid frame was simply too heavy to carry over.

David Stone's tricycle uses titanium for lower weight and better stiffness
David Stone's tricycle uses titanium for lower weight and better stiffness

Instead of running with carbon and steel, the new trike makes use of Titanium Grade 9, the same material used for the GT-R Nismo's exhaust system. The switch makes for an 18 percent weight saving, and the increased stiffness it brings will help Stone put his power to the road. According to Nissan, the improvements in weight and stiffness will help the rider accelerate faster off the line and out of slow corners.

The new trike is also blessed with a new dual-wheel drive system, which powers both wheels but also allows them to independently freewheel, working like the differential in a car.

"I never imagined that I would have access to a team of engineering experts who would be able to create something so bespoke for me," says Stone, who will compete in the Road Race and Time Trial at the Rio Paralympic Games.

Source: Nissan UK

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1 comment
Martin Hone
You would think that the Olympics would be a level playing field. To me, using technology to enhance an athletes performance is no different than performance enhancing drugs. All those competing should have the same equipment.