Hope recently reconstructed our idea of what an aerodynamic bike looks like when they released the £15,000 Hope HB.T x Lotus for GB’s Olympic Track Cycling team. Taking full advantage of new UCI rules, Lotus created an 8cm wide carbon fork and integrated handlebar, to pair with Hope’s 8cm wide seat stay blades, that were said to improve aerodynamics when the bike and rider were considered as one unit. Now, Hope Technology have made a road-worthy version of the HB.T, creating what is quite possibly the wildest looking time trial bike on the planet. We caught up with the man responsible, Sam Pendred, to learn more about the Hope HB.TT.

Hope HB.TT Prototype

hpe hb.tt front view wide bladed aero fork

 

First off, why? The Hope HB.TT started off as nothing more than a fun idea off the back of a conversation with one of Hope Technology’s owners, Ian Weatherill. While car manufacturer Lotus was a key partner in the creation of Team GB’s Olympic Track Bike, the HB.TT is entirely a Hope creation. “We wanted to make the track bike a bit more user friendly with a few gears and a set of brakes so we could use the bike we had made!” – Sam Pendred, Designer of the HB.TT.

hope hb.tt headtube woven carbon time trial bike aerodynamic

Not ones to sit idly and wait for the world to return to normality, Sam and the Hope designers used the quiet time during the pandemic to develop a first prototype, which is what you see here; a bike that has prototype approval from the UCI. The carbon used in the prototype frame is the same high modulus material Hope used for the track bike, said to be the highest performing material that Hope use.

hope hb.tt wild looking aerodynamic time trial bike seat tube stay junction

Sam tells us the project involved the design and manufacture of multiple molds and bonding fixtures

“The focus was on creating a layup that was extremely responsive to rider input, maximising efficiency of the bike. We use two different types within the layup which include woven material in complex areas such as the bottom bracket and head tube with UD material in defined locations on the frame”.

hope hb.tt carbon seat tube seat stay junction molds

To accelerate the process, Hope decided that anything they could produce in house, they would. That meant they were able to replace all the 3D printed titanium parts seen on the HB.T with carbon or CNC machined alternatives on the Hope HB.TT.

hope hb.tt 8cm wide bladed carbon fork

It also gave them the opportunity to make the fork from the track bike in a way that played to their manufacturing strengths. “We ended up either reducing weights in certain areas like the seat tube–seat stay junction or being competitive with weight. The first prototype of the fork was about 50-60g heavier which also included the capabilities of disc brakes. Removing the 3D printed titanium parts also significantly reduced costs as the total cost of these parts on the track bike is in the thousands”.

hope hb.tt carbon cockpit cable management cnc machined parts

Sam tells us that the biggest challenge in adapting the fixie to a road-worthy time trial bike with gears was catering for cable management in and around the cockpit. The base bar itself is a complete redesign of that seen on the HB.T, as it needed to accommodate shifters and brakes. 

hope hb.tt custom 2 piston flat mount brake caliper

Hope machined a fully customized two-piston brake caliper to work with the fork on the TT bike; the hose and fittings are hidden internally within the drop out

The Hope Disc wheels seen on the HB.T Olympic track bike – Photo by James Cheadle

The original HB.T ran a Hope disc wheel developed using a “revolutionary manufacturing process” that allowed them to create a wheel that was dramatically improved in regard to the conventional stiffness:weight relationship of track wheels.

hope hb.tt road worthy aerodynamic time trial bike with 8cm wide fork legs carbon everything

Due to time constraints the prototype Hope HB.TT bike does not run a set of Hope wheels but, the brand are hoping to work on a design with the same technology from the track wheels that are for road use.

hope hb.tt road worthy aerodynamic time trial bike with 8cm wide fork legs carbon everythingCan I have one?

Not yet. Yet, being the operative word. “We are currently looking into ways that will reduce the cost of the bikes so we can offer them at a much more affordable price. With unavoidable complexity in some of the custom components and the desire to maintain the grade of carbon used in the Olympic bikes, we think it may be in the region of £10,000 to £15,000” – Sam Pendred.

HopeTech.com

6 comments

  1. Pablo Mazzeo on

    I can see the rider going OTB because of the flextion of the fork in a bump and the wheel getting blocked in the crown. A bike designed for track racing is not the best for real world roads.

    Reply
    • Josh on

      So, what you’re saying is you think that despite the fact that they completely redesigned most, if not all, of the fork components (including adding a completely integrated disc brake), they didn’t bother to address the additional flex from road riding?

      Right.

      #ArmchairEngineersEverywhere

      Reply
    • MiCk on

      It’s one thing for Ineos to forego sponsor correct wheels, but using this would be a no go for Pinarello… not gonna happen.

      Reply

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