Lotus has launched the Type 136, a £20,000 electric road bike with a carbon frame that mimics the shape of the Great Britain cycling team’s world-beating track bike.
The Type 136 is equipped with the HPS electric bike motor system, which the French brand says is the world’s lightest at 1.2kg.
Its frame draws inspiration from the Hope HB.T track bike, designed in collaboration with Lotus, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The first-edition run of the Type 136 will be limited to 136 bikes. Individually numbered and painted in Lotus’ signature gold and black colours, they will cost £20,000 / €25,000.
The standard version will go on sale in spring 2024 (pricing TBC).
Handmade in Italy
Lotus’ involvement in cycling dates back to the Type 108 track bike ridden by Chris Boardman to gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
By 2019, that bike had morphed into the Hope/Lotus HB.T. The radical frame took advantage of UCI rules permitting fork and seatstays to be up to 8cm wide in a bid to vastly reduce drag.
With its wide fork stance and chainstays, the new Type 136 imitates the frame that helped Great Britain’s cyclists dominate on the track at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Type 136’s V-shaped handlebar bears close resemblance to the cockpit on the Cervélo S5.
Lotus says the Type 136’s carbon frame is handmade in Italy and claims the full bike weighs 9.8kg in an unspecified size. That would make it one of the lightest electric road bikes on the market.
‘World’s lightest ebike motor system’
Weighing a claimed 1.2kg, HPS says its Watt Assist Pro electric bike motor system, used on the Type 136, is the lightest in the world.
The Monaco-based brand says the system was developed by FI engineers and ex-Team Sky professional Phil Deignan.
The system provides up to a “35 per cent advantage” on climbs, with minimal impact on the weight distribution, balance and handling of the bike, according to HPS.
The motor integrates into the bottom bracket shell. The 193Wh battery (300g, claimed weight) can provide up to three hours of assist while climbing, according to HPS.
It looks like a water bottle and can be removed from the ‘Domestique’ seat tube bottle cage for charging.
The HPS system has ANT+ connectivity so it can connect to bike computers and display the assist mode.