VN tech ticker Olympic edition: Wild-looking bikes on the track, 3D-printed goodies

Here's what's making cycling tech headlines on Friday, July 30, 2021.

Photo: Barrington Coombs/Getty Images for British Olympic Association

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Wild-looking Olympic track bikes: Hope HB.T

When the Olympic track cycling program starts in several days, riders representing Great Britain will be aboard some unusual — and unusually expensive — bikes.

Our colleagues at Cyclingtips took a deep dive into the design of the Hope HB.T bikes.

The fork has a radical design with the blades 20cm apart at the crown and jutting inwards at the dropouts. This is claimed to help smooth airflow from the front of the bike onto the wheel and also the rider.

An integrated bar and stem piece is customized for each rider; the stem looks to have a similar design as some Cervélo and BMC wind-cheating bikes. Lotus — the automobile manufacturer — assisted with cockpit design and fabrication.

The seatstays have an almost cartoonishly wide stance, which is designed to smooth the air coming off a rider’s legs. The wide-stance seatstays attach at a single extension from the rear of the seat tube.

Hope’s engineer Sam Pendred told Cyclingtips that the bike was designed as a system in conjunction with a rider, not independent of a rider.

“We initially hypothesized that the widely-spaced fork blades and seatstays were a way to minimize the aerodynamic interaction between those structural members and the spinning wheels — but we were only partially correct,” Pendred told Cyclingtips. “We can use the forks and seatstays to guide and deflect air about the rider’s legs results in, overall, a greater aerodynamic package than just an aerodynamic bike.”

Pendred claims the frame meets UCI requirements and should weigh less than 1,500g. Leveraging the latest fabrication technologies, 3D-printed titanium was bonded to carbon sections and used to join tubes, at the dropouts, and at collar pieces where compression (binders, bearing shells) may cause additional stress.

“3D printing technology allows us to achieve this rapidly, and also allows for changes to be made when needed. It can also result in a lighter and stiffer part because you can rely on internal structures, which you previously couldn’t do before with hollow structures. So we can make more complex shapes, and we can make them stronger as well,” Pendred said.

Hope is also producing the disc wheels for the HB.T track bikes. The wheels are fabricated using a monocoque process that aims to create a stronger structure, with greater precision and accuracy during the fabrication process.

“We’re trying to create a monocoque construction for the wheel, so that’s basically both sides of the rim section and also the center hub as well. Everything is molded as one,” said Mark Reynolds, a design engineer for Hope. “The wheel will be as good as the mold tool, and the mold tools are very, very accurate.”

According to the Associated Press, the frame will retail for $23,500, while the wheels will be available for $6,000.

In keeping ahead of the cycling “arms race” look for riders wearing Team USA to be racing on a Felt track bike with the drivetrain on the left side of the bike.

Lore One 3D printed cycling shoe

LoreOne custom 3D-printed carbon cycling shoe. Photo: Courtesy Lore

The LoreOne is a 3D-printed cycling shoe from the California-based company Lore.

Those interested in purchasing the shoe can scan their feet with a smartphone app using the proprietary MORPHIC 3D Scan and Print technology. From the scan, the carbon shoe is printed using a continuous carbon fiber 3D printing process.

The Custom Carbon AirFrame consisting of a dorsal (upper) and plantar (lower) section interlocks around one’s foot. A custom-printed padded insole is made of polyurethane and recycled polyester; a retention strap ensures an optimal fit.

The printed carbon fiber shoes will cost $1,900, and the initial production is limited to 277 pairs.

Long course triathlete American Tim O’Donnell said the LoreOne shoes increased his power output.

Adidas 3D CMPT sunglass

The Adidas 3D CMPT sunglasses are 3D-printed nylon, with a rubber-like coating for comfort.
The Adidas 3D CMPT sunglasses are 3D-printed nylon, with a rubber-like coating for comfort. Photo: Adidas

Adidas 3D CMPT sunglass is fabricated through a 3D-printing process. With a claimed weight of 20g, these sunnies compete for the lightest sport performance eyewear title.

A single piece of material is printed from flexible nylon, and then treated with a “special coating that creates a rubberized effect across the entire spiraling textured surface” according to Adidas. The glasses feature seven different options for integrated spherical mirrored lenses.

Limited quantities of the Adidas 3D CMPT sunglass will be available for Adidas club members beginning on August 23rd. Pricing will be announced at that time.

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