In a nod to the iconic Olympic gold medal-winning bike ridden by Chris Boardman in 1992, British Cycling can today reveal the cutting-edge bike that Great Britain’s track squad will ride at the 2020 Olympics.
Collaboratively developed by component manufacturer Hope Technology, and recognised automotive consultancy Lotus Engineering with the help of engineering giant Renishaw work on the new bike has been taking place in all corners of the country. This includes wind tunnel testing in Southampton, to further refinement and production of the bike in Gloucestershire, East Anglia and Lancashire. British riders have just begun putting it through its paces at British Cycling’s base at the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
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 EIS 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.”
Before then, the bike first has to be ridden during the 2019/2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup series by the Great Britain Cycling Team - first at the Minsk Arena Velodrome this weekend (1 - 3 November). British fans will then be able to see the bike for themselves on home soil just one week later (8 - 10 November) at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, where no less than six Olympic medallists have been named in the Great Britain Cycling Team squad [link].
Stephen Park OBE, Performance Director for the Great Britain Cycling Team, added: “The development of the new track bike reflects our aspiration to be the world leaders in innovation and aerodynamics, and has been an impressive collaborative effort with our partners to produce a research-backed and courageously innovative track bike for use in the Olympic Games.
“The feedback from riders and coaches in testing so far has been positive, and we are looking forward to the Minsk and Glasgow rounds of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup series as opportunities to further evaluate and refine the bike. The HB.T forms just one part of the world-class support we are able to offer our riders across all of the Olympic and Paralympic cycling disciplines as our focus narrows on Tokyo 2020.”
Based in the Lancashire town of Barnoldswick in the north west of England, Hope Technology continue to carve out a reputation for themselves as a world leader in designing, creating, manufacturing and testing innovative bicycle components. Their in house team has unrivalled engineering expertise, their ability to understand and refine a vision then manufacture everything needed has made them the ideal partner for this project.
Ian Weatherill, Managing Director, Hope Technology, said: “We pride ourselves on being a centre of excellence and are honoured British Cycling chose to work with us on this project. Located just 30 miles away from our office, they share our passion for cycling and have benefited from the full manufacturing capabilities we offer in house.
“The English Institute of Sport has been instrumental in helping get this project off the ground following a rule change after the Rio Olympics that became a catalyst for new thinking. We have refined the manufacturing method to make a superior product”.
Matt Parker, Director of Performance Innovation at the English Institute of Sport, added: “This innovative new bike underlines the incredible design and engineering capability we have in this country. The realisation of this new design in time for the pre Tokyo 2020 track season is testament to the hard work and passion of Hope Technology, Lotus Engineering and Renishaw, and the great knowledge and experience within British Cycling and the English Institute of Sport.
“Innovative design like this always brings great excitement. We’re now looking forward to seeing the bike raced and evaluating its performance potential for Tokyo 2020.”
This project marks the second time the national governing body for cycling in Great Britain has linked up with Lotus Engineering on an Olympic track bike.
The Lotus Type 108 was ridden to Olympic glory by former racing cyclist turned walking and cycling commissioner Chris Boardman in the individual pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. It is one of the most iconic bikes in the history of cycling, featuring an advanced aerofoil cross-section and a monocoque carbon frame to minimise weight and maximise aerodynamic performance.
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 Technology 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.