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The UKSI-BC1 has seen only one outing in order to register it for use at next year's Olympic Games
Team GB has a new track bike for 2024 Olympics that's 3D printed and costs £55,000
The frame mimics the Hope x Lotus HBT but has been developed with the UK Sports Institute using additive manufacturing, hinting that it isn’t made of carbon
Junior Tech Writer
Great Britain riders could be set to compete on a new bike for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, with details emerging of a 3D printed frame that costs £55,000.
The bike appears almost identical to the striking Hope x Lotus HBT track bike used by Team GB since the last Olympics in 2021. However, the design and manufacturing have come in-house under the technical experts at the UK Sports Institute (UKSI), with the frame dubbed the UKSI-BC1.
The UKSI website confirms that it has been constructed using additive manufacturing, which is a type of 3D printing. There are currently constraints on which materials can be used for additive manufacturing, so the frame is most likely titanium or scalmalloy.
As for any equipment that is going to be used at the Olympics, it needs to be commercially available and have been used in competition in order for it to be registered by the UCI. This appears to have occurred at the 2023 Track World Championships in August, when Will Tidball rode it on his way to the rainbow bands in the scratch race.
This is the first time that British Cycling has strayed away from its partnership with Hope, which began in the lead-up to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. A spokesperson for the English company confirmed to Cycling Weekly that it was not involved in the UKSI-BC1 bike due to constraints on its 3D printing capabilities.
Lotus still provides the fork that's included with the UKSI-BC1 frameset, and would still provide the handlebar system of any full build.
The framset has a very similar silhouette to the Hope x Lotus HBT but the materials used differ considerably
You could be forgiven for struggling to see a difference between the Hope x Lotus HBT and this new UKSI-BC1 and that is because the profiles are almost identical.
The fork that comes paired with the frame is designed and manufactured by Lotus and is its cutting-edge A1000 model that features a very wide stance and a wavy trailing edge to help with cleaner airflow.
Even though the UKSI-BC1 looks very similar to the Hope x Lotus HBT, there is one thing that sets them apart. The price of the new bike is more than double that of the Hope, with a quoted price of £55,000 +VAT for the frameset alone.
This is compared to the rather modest £25,000 for the Hope x Lotus HBT. The main contributing factor to this is the manufacturing process and the materials involved.
The new bike comes with a price tag on the UKSI website but public sales are not really the intention. Instead, it's to comply with the UCI requirement that any Olympic equipment be commercially available by January 1 of the year of the Games. Waiting lists on Team GB equipment have in the past been, let's say, very lengthy indeed.
It is unclear whether this bike will supersede the Hope x Lotus HBT by the time of the Olympics in Paris next summer. There is a homologation process ahead of every Olympics, which requires nations to register any and all equipment to be used at the Games well in advance.
British Cycling has indicated that, at Track Worlds earlier this summer, 64 pieces of kit and equipment were homologated for Team GB for "for potential use" at Paris 2024.
What do you make of the newly released frame? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Junior Tech Writer
Alex writes for the GCN editorial tech with a passion for all things bike tech.