A proud Pendle company has teamed up with the prestigious Lotus Engineering to power British cyclists' pursuit of glory at next summer's Olympic Games.
Barnoldswick-based Hope Technology' new high-tech track bike will make its competitive debut with the Great Britain Cycling Team in Minsk last weekend, with a view to riding it at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Hope has been designing, creating, manufacturing and testing innovative components for bikes at its Pendle HQ for 30 years, but this latest incarnation is a collaborative effort with the world famous Lotus Engineering.
Ian Weatherill, managing director of Hope Technology, said: “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.”
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.
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.
Miguel Fragoso, executive director of 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 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.”
The bike has also drawn praise from the Great Britain Cycling Team who will be hoping to pick up plenty of gold medals in Tokyo next year, with a little help from Lancashire and Lotus.
Tony Purnell, head of Technology for the Great Britain Cycling Team, said: “It’s a dream team of engineering prowess ‐ Hope brings high‐quality manufacturing standards and Lotus are renowned for lightweight design and outstanding aerodynamic efficiency.
"Both have been supported by additive manufacturing expert Renishaw, which has ensured that Lotus and Hope have access to the most modern and fastest turnaround process.”
Indeed, Great Britain riders have been testing the bike in secret over recent weeks, and will continue their evaluation.
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 to 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.