British track star and BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Sir Chris Hoy has announced that he's launching a range of bikes for 2013 – but insists the move is not timed to coincide with the end of his cycling career.
The 'HOY' series will feature three road bikes and four city bikes, and be available exclusively in Evans dealerships across the UK from May next year, following an 18 month period of prototyping and testing.
While no bikes were actually present at the launch – “I have to make it clear this a launch of the project and not the product,” said Hoy – it is thought the bikes will all be alloy-based, mid-range models.
“This has been a very exciting time for me, and [it's] very cool to see the bikes grow and to test them myself,” the six-time Olympic gold medallist told BikeRadar. “But I have to stress this does not herald the end of my career. The intention remains to train and race the Commonwealth Games at my own track in Glasgow in 2014.”
Hoy confessed he had spoken to fellow Olympian Chris Boardman about the project: “Chris is a role model and has been successful in his own ventures, so it made sense for me to speak with him. Obviously he didn’t give everything away!” Hoy quipped, while admitting that a limited edition track bike is not out of the question.
“I have also had input from Terry Dolan, as well as many friends within the cycling world. I’m 36 now and I haven’t really ever had a proper job. Designing and being involved in this means I can continue like that! Although I fully plan to retire after the Commonwealth Games, as I have already stated.”
Sir Chris says his idea was to build an all-encompassing fleet of bikes for the everyman, with a children’s range possible in the future. “I want to reach first timers, experienced riders and reborn bikers.”
Sir Chris Hoy with his younger self’s BMX jersey and trophy
The move makes Sir Chris an ambassador for Evans Cycles in their 90th year, and company CEO Nick Wilkinson reckons the partnership will bring more people into cycling.
“Evans share Chris’ passion for riding bikes, and belief that it should be fun and easily accessible. This partnership is a perfect way to build on the success of the Olympics and inspire people to get into cycling.”
BikeRadar will have more details on the HOY range as soon as they become available. For more breaking information on the brand, follow @HOYbikes.