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Collaboration ‘on track’ for Olympic success

Posted on 22 Nov 2019 and read 889 times
Collaboration ‘on track’ for Olympic successLancashire-based Hope Technology, a world leader in the engineering of bicycle components, has collaborated with Norfolk-based Lotus Engineering to design an innovative track bicycle for the Great Britain Cycling Team (GBCT) to ride at next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The new bicycle made its competitive debut with GBCT at an international event in Minsk earlier this month.

To create the frame and wheels, Hope developed a new process that enables it to reduce the weight of the wheels, thereby re-setting the stiffness-versus-weight balance usually found in disc wheels.

The move into carbon fibre design and manufacture allowed the company to take aero concepts worked on by the English Institute of Sport and progress them — alongside Lotus — into a potential race-winning bicycle, available for anyone to purchase.

The collaboration between Hope (www.hopetech.com) and Lotus was also supported by Renishaw, which contributed its 3-D printing expertise throughout the development process.

The unique design of the bicycle followed the changing of UCI rules to allow forks and seat stays to be up to 8cm wide.

This means that producing a bicycle as light as those seen at the highest level was a real challenge, but one to which Hope and Lotus have risen.

Everything about the bicycle is new.

Hope Technology’s managing director, Ian Weatherill, said: “We have created the frame using high-modulus composites with fabric woven in the UK — our in-house team has unrivalled engineering expertise, with 30 years’ of composite experience and two Olympics behind it.

“Together, we have refined the manufacturing method to make a superior product.”