Hope Technology partnered with Lotus Engineering to develop a next gen track bike for the Great Britain Cycling Team to race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next summer, and the resulting HB.T. is a stunner. In a direct side-on profile the new UK-made carbon track bike doesn’t look too unconventional. But, get a closer look at those 3D-printed titanium elements or glimpse at it from the front, and the HB.T is literally like no other bike we’ve ever seen!
Plus, you’ll be able to buy your own very soon if you also have Olympic aspirations!
Hope HB.T wild Olympic carbon track bike developed with Lotus
Remember when we started seeing aero road bikes and a few companies started talking about making slightly wider fork legs to smooth airflow over the top of high spinning wheels? Well, the Hope HB.T takes that to extremes!
The newest race bike for British Cycling will get its public debut starting today at the London Rouleur Classic expo, while the team will give it a racing debut in Minsk, Belarus this weekend, as well.
But they’ve been testing it on the Manchester boards behind closed doors for several weeks.
The bike itself started out as an aero concept from the English Institute of Sport, before Hope came on board and was then joined by Lotus to refine the British Olympic pursuit project. A big part of the development project was the recent opening up of the UCI regulations that allowed for up to 8cm deep seatstays & fork blades. But manufacturing capabilities & flexibility may have been the real kicker.
Working with the aero specialists of British auto maker Lotus Engineering, Hope & Lotus developed the complete HB.T and tested it in the Southampton wind tunnel.
In fact, while Hope is apparently responsible for the frame design, after 25 years away from cycling Lotus designed the unique new fork & integrated handlebar. The last Lotus designed track bike – the Lotus Type 108 – was ridden to British Olympic Gold by Chris Boardman in the individual pursuit in Barcelona back in 1992.
Together the two created an integrated aero solution, minimizing weight while building a super stiff & precise handling track bike for some of the most powerful, explosive cyclists in the world.
HB.T tech details
The HB.T is a bit of a step away from the most recent Hope Bikes carbon mountain bikes, but it still builds on the British manufacturer’s thirty years of component production and their more recent carbon specialties. Plus, a development partnership with Renishaw has meant fast 3D printed prototypes and usable additive manufactured elements.
Hope hasn’t made any official weight claims for the hi-mod carbon frameset or wheels as of yet, but even with the deep tubing sections and claims of extraordinary stiffness, the bike is said to be “as light as those seen at the highest level”.
Weight is still a real concern, so the HB.T doesn’t waste any grams on paint or filler. This is a bike straight out of the mold, letting you see all the different types of carbon that make up the layup, with fiber woven in the UK for this special project.
But without superfluous paint, you can also see what appears to be every 3D-printed titanium element as well, from upper fork braces to handlebar bends to the seat clamp…
Beyond the unique frame, fork & bar, Hope is said to have developed a “revolutionary manufacturing process” that allowed them to create a new disc wheel that dramatically improves the conventional stiffness:weight relationship of track wheels.
In the end the HB.T gets its race debut this weekend limited to just the Great Britain Cycling Team. After getting UCI approval it has to be raced in the 2019/2020 UCI Track World Cup to qualify to for use in the Tokyo Olympics. Out of roughly 100 new bikes approved by the UCI in 2019 up to this week, 10 new track bikes have been added, but we’ve yet to spot the HB.T.
But from January 1, 2020, the HB.T frame & wheelset will be available for anyone to purchase direct from Hope. Let’s not talk about how much it will cost. I’m sure your nation’s Olympic cycling team has plenty of cash left in the budget to get you to Tokyo next summer!