Team GB’s new track bike for the Tokyo Olympics will draw inspiration from the iconic Lotus design that Chris Boardman famously rode in 1992 en route to Britain’s first Olympic cycling gold since 1920.
Collaboratively developed by component manufacturer Hope Technology, automotive consultancy Lotus Engineering and engineers Renishaw, the all-black bike has been wind tunnel tested in Southampton and worked on extensively across the country before its final testing at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.
Tony Purnell, the head of technology for British Cycling said that the bike was the result of a “dream team” of engineering prowess. Particular innovative and aerodynamic features concern the design of the seat-stays between the saddle and rear wheel and the handlebars.
The bike will be ridden at the Minsk Arena this weekend at the Track Cycling World Cup and then again at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow the following weekend.
New rules mean that all teams competing in the Olympics in Japan next summer must use their bikes during the World Cup series but, once unveiled, teams cannot make further changes in order to stop rivals from replicating other designs. The appearance of the bike has so far been kept secret, with anyone who sees it forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
“The feedback from riders and coaches in testing so far has been positive – the bike 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,” said Stephen Park, performance director at British Cycling.
It is the first time that British Cycling has linked with Lotus Engineering since they produced the iconic Lotus Type 108, which was ridden by Boardman in the individual pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics 27 years ago.
Since Boardman won Britain’s first Olympic cycling gold for 72 years, Team GB cyclists have added a further 25 Olympic gold medals since 2000.