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Lotus collaborates on new Olympic track bike project
Lotus Engineering and Hope Technology have unveiled an exciting bicycle collaboration – an innovative new track bike designed to deliver medals for the Great Britain Cycling Team at next summer’s Olympic Games.
Lotus Engineering, the automotive consultancy division of Group Lotus, has created the unique front fork design and handlebars for the new bike, working with Hope Technology 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 maximise the strength while minimising the weight. Lotus has also worked on improving stiffness and front end feel to improve rider confidence.
The new bike made its competitive track debut with the Great Britain Cycling Team in Minsk at the weekend (1-3 Nov), and UK cycling fans will be able to see it on home soil for the first time at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow, this weekend (8-10 Nov).
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 have been 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.”
Norfolk-based Lotus has a highly successful history in cycling through its Lotus Engineering division. In the Nineties, Lotus was instrumental in the design and development of Lotus Sport bikes for cycling legend Chris Boardman at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, where he won gold, and in the 1994 Tour de France, where he won the prologue time trial to take the famous yellow jersey.
Miguel Fragoso, executive director at Lotus Engineering, said: “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. We look forward to working with British Cycling as testing continues towards next summer’s Olympics.”
Hope Technology has been designing, creating, manufacturing and testing innovative components for bikes at its Lancashire site 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.
Ian Weatherill, managing director for Hope Technology, added: “We have created the frame using high-modulus composites with fabric woven in the 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.”