Almost two yrs back, Hope Technology, British Biking, and Lotus unveiled the HB.T observe bicycle Team GB would use in the Tokyo Olympics. At the time, the Online games have been just eight months away, and the deadline for new tools for use at the Online games was even quicker. Then the pandemic transpired, the Olympics had been delayed a yr, and instantly everybody at Hope experienced a great deal a lot more time on their arms.
Hope proprietor Ian Weatherhill had currently been contemplating, “what if we additional brakes and gears to the HB.T for a highway-likely model?” All the extra time in lockdown intended Hope could thoroughly explore this selection. Weatherhill created this thought a lockdown undertaking for Hope design engineer Sam Pendred, the consequence of which is this HB.TT prototype time demo bike unveiled this 7 days.
I spoke to Pendred about the new TT bike to find out how shut to a concluded product this prototype is, and regardless of whether it was just as simple as sticking some brakes and gears on the track bike. Needless to say it was not fairly that basic.
Hope had analyzed the HB.T in opposition to some time trial bikes and considered it did have an aerodynamic edge, but the aero demands of indoor observe racing and outdoor time trialling are very distinctive. There are also distinct handling and journey attributes, geometry, and even expectations that differ between observe bikes and highway bikes which signify that whilst the HB.TT seems to be a road-going reproduction of the HB.T, it is in fact just about an fully new bike.
Yet, with British Biking showing interest in a road-going HB frame for Tokyo, Pendred was inspired to make this concept a fact.
Ultimately, Tokyo was nonetheless a 12 months much too soon for the HB.TT, but with this functioning prototype Hope is now self-assured it can refine and finish the HB.TT forward of an official start up coming calendar year.
The identical but distinct
With the HB.T as the system to start off from, Pendred initially intended to adapt the current frame with flared dropouts to cater for highway wheels, a cassette, a rear derailleur, and disc brakes.
Then lockdown happened, and Pendred suddenly had a whole lot a lot more time to consider a much broader solution to make a street certain body.
“It’s a whole lot harder than you imagine in your head at first since you think you are most of the way there, but you are not,” he said. “There are the dropout widths which are shifting, and you have to in good shape a front mech on it.”
That front mech proved to be one particular of the major hurdles. Owing to the Tokyo system demands Hope made the decision to contain a double chainring setup, but because the monitor bike is intended with these kinds of tall and rigid chainstays to transfer the electrical power shipped by track sprinters, an inside chainring and entrance derailleur only would not fit. As this sort of, Pendred experienced to redesign the chainstays, ensuing in a person of the greatest differences between the two frames.
The other sizeable change from the HB.T is the fork. Lotus had created the fork and handlebars for the HB.T, but Hope required to preserve the HB.TT do the job all in-property, so it set about creating its 1st-ever fork.
Hope redeveloped the HB.T fork by combining the composite know-how of Chris Clarke (who previously labored on the UKSI bikes for Beijing and London Olympics), and the CNC machining and 3D-milling expertise Hope has developed its identify on. The end result is a disc brake-appropriate fork, weighing in just 50-60 g heavier than the keep track of version.
The new style features carbon fork blades, built-in disc calliper mounts, an completely inside brake hose routing, and a totally 3D CNC-machined cross-wing on the fork, all hooked up to a CNC-machined foundation bar.
Designing the foundation bar in-household intended Pendred and Hope could develop a thoroughly integrated set up. But that in itself was nearly two months really worth of building just to get to this first prototype.
The fork characteristics an virtually totally built-in disc calliper. Pendred describes this is probable many thanks to Hope’s onsite skills. “We make our have brakes, we have the understanding,” he claimed. “The HB.TT brake is a brake we by now generate repackaged to combine into the fork.”
Pendred explains this means is yet another gain Hope has in bike style. “We’ve received the capacity to design bespoke factors, whilst other people are stuck with stock products and solutions,” he ongoing. “There is not actually considerably on a time demo bike we couldn’t structure, other than rear mechs, which are a distinct ballpark, but if hunting to the potential and TT or tri bike structure, the only thing we may possibly be constrained by are the cassette and the rear mech.
“By building and integrating lower-quantity, higher-spec elements like this, Hope can subsequently style far better bikes.”
As if to even more again up its style and production abilities, Hope developed wheels precisely for British Cycling and the HB.T bike. Hope made a just one-piece carbon disc wheel, and whilst it does plan to make a road-likely version of these wheels and offer the HB.TT with its have hoops, the focus for the moment is on finishing the rest of the bicycle.
The HB.T bicycle showcased 3D-printed titanium collars from Renishaw to be a part of the seatstays and seat tube, but once again to maintain all the things in-dwelling for the HB.TT, Hope redesigned this area with a carbon fibre interface.
The radical HB.T design resulted from a design procedure focused on developing a bicycle with a rider on it. Pendred stated Hope took the exact same approach with the HB.TT, thanks to Hope’s onsite machining and capacity to device moulds speedily. This indicates the place other brands rely on 3D-printed prototypes for wind tunnel tests, Hope can produce carbon prototypes to check trip outdoor and with a rider in the wind tunnel.
Though Hope has not still taken the HB.TT to the wind tunnel, initial feed-back from the road screening is explained to be optimistic.
Hope has just 1 HB.TT prototype for this original spherical of screening, which Pendred claims is a street-going reproduction of the HB.T. Pendred suggests the future techniques for the HB.TT are developing a vary of dimensions, tweaking geometry for a time trial set up, and deciding upon exact carbon layups as Hope moves in direction of the finished write-up.
Hope is planning to obtaining the HB.TT in manufacturing future calendar year. Pendred stated that the moment in creation, availability may possibly be constrained to how quite a few Hope can deliver, “as with our mountain bicycle, it is quite labour-intensive process, with a whole lot of care demanded to make a handmade bicycle. With Hope being a fairly compact firm, specially in the carbon division, it will truly rely on the potential we have in this article.”
When pushed for a quantity, Hope estimates it could possibly be possible to purpose for five HB.TT bikes per week. If that is not enough to be certain the HB.TT’s exclusivity, the expected £12,000-£15,000 value tag need to do it.