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