Hope Technology and Lotus Engineering have unveiled their exciting cycling collaboration – an innovative new track bike designed to help the Great Britain Cycling Team (GBCT) achieve their best possible performances in the hunt for medals at next summer’s Olympic Games.
The bike will be on display this week at London’s Rouleur Classic event and makes its competitive debut with the GBCT in Minsk this weekend. Riders have been testing the bike in secret over recent weeks, and will continue their evaluation with a view to racing on it at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Hope has been designing, creating, manufacturing and testing innovative components for bikes at its Lancashire HQ for 30 years. Countless British bikes and riders have benefitted from Hope products and today the business exports around half of its output. After years of success in racing, it has recently moved into making complete, ready-to-ride bikes.
To create the frame and wheels, Hope developed a revolutionary manufacturing process that enables them to reduce the weight of the wheels, therefore resetting the stiffness-versus-weight balance usually found in disc wheels.
This move into carbon fibre design and manufacture came at a perfect time for Hope with the opportunity to develop the frame, named HB.T and the revolutionary wheels. It allowed them to take the initial aero concepts worked on by the English Institute of Sport and progress them further alongside Lotus into a potential race-winning bike, available for anyone to purchase.
The collaboration between Hope and Lotus to produce the bike has been supported by Renishaw, the global engineering technologies company, which has contributed its 3D printing expertise throughout the development process.
The unique design of the bike followed the change of UCI rules to allow forks and seat stays to be up to 8cm wide, meaning that producing a bike as light as those seen at the highest level has been a real challenge, but one to which Hope and Lotus have risen.
Hope and Lotus are proud of the quality of construction and wanted the opportunity to show it off. So there is no paint, no filler, no touch up.
Everything about this bike is new – there has been no carry-over of stress analysis, composite lay-up or component fitting. Access to Renishaw and Hope’s engineering and manufacturing expertise has allowed a speedy production process.
Consultation with British Cycling
The bike has been developed in partnership with experienced riders from the GBCT with the aim of trying to get a ‘right-first-time’ feel and fit-for-purpose track bike that the team will use.
Ian Weatherill, Managing Director, Hope Technology, said:
“We have created the frame using high modulus composites with fabric woven in UK, the in-house team has unrivalled engineering expertise with 30 years of composite experience and two Olympics behind them. Together we have refined the manufacturing method to make a superior product.”
Lotus Engineering is an internationally recognised automotive consultancy division of Group Lotus, best known globally for its iconic British performance cars. Its innovation and expertise has been seen in many sectors of industrial design, from aerospace and medical research to furniture and boat-building.
Lotus Engineering has designed the front forks and handlebars for the new bike, working with Hope to integrate these components into the overall package. This has included a full programme of wind tunnel evaluation on both bike and rider, plus testing to minimise the weight while maximising the strength. Lotus has also worked on improving stiffness and front end feel to boost rider confidence.
To qualify to be ridden at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the bike’s design must be approved by the UCI and it must be ridden during the 2019/2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup series by the GBCT before the end of 2019. It means the bike will be ridden by British Cycling athletes at the Minsk-Arena velodrome, Belarus this weekend (1-3 November).
UK cycling fans will be able to see it in action on home ground for the first time at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, the following weekend (8-10 November).
Miguel Fragoso, Executive Director, Lotus Engineering, commented:
“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 with Hope to apply the same Lotus core values to this new track bike. We look forward to working with British Cycling as testing continues towards next summer’s Olympics.”
Tony Purnell, head of technology for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said:
“It’s a dream team of engineering prowess – Hope Technology bring high quality manufacturing standards and Lotus Engineering is renowned for lightweight design and outstanding aerodynamic efficiency. Both supported and advised by additive manufacturing experts Renishaw, who have ensured that Lotus and Hope have access to the most modern and fastest turnaround process from design to usable pieces.
“Following a terrific effort from our sponsors to bring this bike into reality, we have the task of evaluating the bike together with the English Institute of Sport to ensure it’s going to have the right performance in Minsk and Glasgow, and of course in Tokyo, and providing feedback to Hope and Lotus engineering teams.”
The bike will be displayed at the Hope stand for the duration of the Rouleur Classic event at Victoria House, London from 31 October – 2 November.
The HB.T frame and wheels will be available to order via Hope from 1 January 2020. Any enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org