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TECH NEWS

Lotus launches £20,000 performance road e-bike inspired by Olympic gold medal-winning track bikes

Featuring "striking aero design", V-shaped handlebars, wing-shaped forks and vaulted chain stays, Lotus says the 9.8kg Type 136 "harnesses design and engineering excellence from more than 30 years of road and track cycling success"

Lotus has today launched the Type 136, a new performance road e-bike inspired by its track designs ridden by Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics and available for purchase, if you've got a spare £20,000 kicking about.

The Type 136 features a 1.2kg e-bike motor system from HPS with the battery disguised as a water bottle and has a battery length of three hours, the bike itself coming in at 9.8kg and also featuring aerodynamic "design and engineering excellence from more than 30 years of road and track cycling success".

Lotus Type 136 e-road bike 2
Lotus Type 136 e-road bike 1

Lotus says the model is inspired by its gold medal-winning successes, perhaps most iconically the Type 108 ridden by Chris Boardman at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and the Hope Lotus bike used at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Handmade in Italy, the carbon fibre frame features wing-shaped forks and vaulted chain stays recognisable from Tokyo, and is matched with V-shaped handlebars in a "striking aero design".

The motor weighs 300g, the whole Watt Assist Pro Motor system coming in at 1.2kg, with Lotus to release 136 individually numbered limited first edition bikes costing £20,000 before the standard model goes on sale next spring.

Lotus Type 136 launch (Dan Alexander)
Lotus Type 136 launch (Dan Alexander)

The limited edition models will feature a "heritage gold and black colourway", with Campagnolo Super Record and Ultra wheels. From early next year the other two models, costing "a little over £15,000", will also be released and come with SRAM Force or Red, and DT Swiss wheels.

Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy has joined Lotus as a brand ambassador and told the launch event at the company's London showroom the "incredible" bike "says so much about the pioneering endeavours of Lotus and the iconic status of its bikes over the years".

"I've been waiting to ride a Lotus bike since I was 16," he told the event. "Watching the Barcelona Olympics, Chris Boardman winning a gold medal on that iconic 108, and my career kind of missed out on those bikes, there before my career started and then Tokyo when I was retired.

Lotus Type 136 launch (Dan Alexander)
Lotus Type 136 launch (Dan Alexander)

"It's been a first opportunity to ride a Lotus bike, a massive amount of anticipation, and it didn't disappoint. It's hard to overstate the impact the 108 had on my career, my life, I still remember sitting in a hotel in France on holiday with my family in 1992. It inspired me so much."

Danny Barnes, the project leader, told the launch the bike was "truly inspired by the pioneering and rebellious track bikes that adorne the front covers of the history books".

"The Type 136 pays homage to this extraordinary heritage," he said. "It is engineered with the perfect balance of aerodynamics, lightness and technology. The Type 136 is truly unique with its dual-use functionality, it's a lightweight thoroughbred road bike, but when you need it most it's also a super light electric e-bike.

"We also offer a flight-safe battery meaning you can take the Type 136 anywhere in the world and this is a real game changer and opener to possibilities."

Lotus type 136 e-road bike launch 2 (Dan Alexander)
Lotus Type 136 launch (Dan Alexander)
Lotus Type 136 launch (Dan Alexander)

Feng Qingfeng,  the CEO of Lotus Group, commented: "I am proud to launch the Lotus Type 136 as the next chapter in our high-performance journey. For the past 75 years, Lotus has been relentlessly pushing the boundaries of innovation on the road and track. Type 136 shows that we continue to do so. Launching alongside Eletre, Emeya and Evija, it will further expand global perceptions of what to expect from Lotus."

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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13 comments

Avatar
swagman | 3 months ago
0 likes

Will it be like the cars - Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious.

Avatar
Left_is_for_Losers | 3 months ago
1 like

Have they not seen the Bianchi super bike...?!

Avatar
ir_bandito | 3 months ago
3 likes

The irony of a "superfast" e-assist bike, which will cut out at 15mph. How easy is it to hack?  3

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to ir_bandito | 3 months ago
1 like
ir_bandito wrote:

The irony of a "superfast" e-assist bike, which will cut out at 15mph.

No irony, it's a superfast bike when ridden above the cut off or without the power on, not a superfast electric bike.

Avatar
ir_bandito replied to Rendel Harris | 3 months ago
3 likes

It was tongue-in-cheek. I've got a road ebike and the 15mph cutoff is the most frustrating and limtiing thing about it. Yes it gets you up to speed quickly, but its easy to exceed it. On a bike like this, it seems pointless to carry the extra weight.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to ir_bandito | 3 months ago
0 likes
ir_bandito wrote:

It was tongue-in-cheek. I've got a road ebike and the 15mph cutoff is the most frustrating and limtiing thing about it. Yes it gets you up to speed quickly, but its easy to exceed it. On a bike like this, it seems pointless to carry the extra weight.

I have the same but I don't find it limiting at all, it's a useful tool to get up to speed quickly (especially useful in London with so many stops and starts) and to get additional help on the hills but the rest of the time I ride it around my usual unpowered speed of about 35 km/h on the flat. If I rode one as light as this I would doubtless be able to add a few kilometres per hour to that speed. Not sure it would be worth £20,000 to shed an extra 5 kg though...

Avatar
Backladder | 3 months ago
2 likes

I can only assume that the battery is inside the ugly looking bottle that they show in the pictures, I won't be buying one if that is the case!

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Spammercial | 3 months ago
0 likes

Clearly, riders with money are getting older and older so they need batterypoweredlegs...and producers are targeting them...younger generations with oldstylelegs don't care about cycling and do not have money...they are not even considered on the cycling market...things are changing a lot....  1 ... after the rim brakes, the tubulars and the tubes...it looks like the bikes are going to disappear soon...please, do not call the battery powered cycles...cycles...

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kil0ran | 3 months ago
3 likes

Personally I'm waiting for Colnago to come up with a Ferrari competitor.

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chrisonabike replied to kil0ran | 3 months ago
3 likes

Brilliant!  And Pashley are going to do a version of the Skoda Octavia, fully equipped with lights, carrying facilities and locks, weighing a reasonable 3 tonnes and which does 0 - 60.

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andystow replied to chrisonabike | 3 months ago
4 likes

Pashley at least could easily do an e-bike that weighed exactly the same as their standard model.

Avatar
kil0ran replied to chrisonabike | 3 months ago
2 likes

That already happened, they partnered with well known tricycle manufacturer Morgan (who I believe also make four wheeled vehicles)

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chrisonabike replied to kil0ran | 3 months ago
0 likes

Still too few wheels if you ask me, but it looks like it does put the price of a bike up a bit...

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