Renishaw and British Cycling renew partnership
By David Wood | 28th February 2023
After their work to develop a highly successful track bike for the Tokyo Olympics, global engineering technologies company Renishaw and the Great Britain Cycling Team have extended their partnership.
As an official supplier to the team, Gloucestershire-based Renishaw will use its expertise in additive manufacturing (AM) to create lightweight, complex parts for an upgraded track bike design, which aims to reduce drag and improve overall speeds for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In 2019, British Cycling, the national governing body for cycling in Great Britain, invited Renishaw to join the Olympic bike development team.
Renishaw's expertise in metal 3D printing and advanced engineering was seen as vital to enable the production of lighter, more complex components than traditional manufacturing methods, allowing the team to increase the bike's speed.
For the Tokyo bike, Renishaw used its in-house expertise to rapidly produce plastic and metal prototype parts to undertake aerodynamic testing of the new design and ensure that parts were light, geometrically correct and strong enough to endure the strain from riders.
Once it confirmed the parts were viable, the company then used its RenAM 500Q AM systems to manufacture aluminium and titanium parts, including handlebars, for the competition bikes, with parts customised for individual athletes.
Looking ahead to the Paris Olympics, the goal is to increase the bike's speed through an enhanced design that will further improve the Great Britain Cycling Team's performance and its chances of success, following the seven medals achieved at the Tokyo Olympics.
Ben Collins, senior applications engineer for Renishaw's additive manufacturing group, said: "We're really excited to be working once again with the British Cycling team after the success in Tokyo. Creating a bike light enough for Olympic competition that also stayed within the Union Cycliste Internationale guidelines was a challenge, but it also gave us the chance to showcase how beneficial additive manufacturing can be across all industries.
"It was great to see how well the bike performed at the Tokyo Olympics, where the team won three gold medals, three silver and one bronze. It was a huge triumph for both the team and us. Now that we've renewed the partnership, it will be really exciting to see how we can help improve the bike's performance for the Paris Olympics."
In 2020, the Hope-Lotus track bikes helped to make British Olympic history in Tokyo. Laura Kenny became the most successful British female Olympian of all time after winning a gold medal in the madison with Katie Archibald, and silver medal in the women's team pursuit. Jason Kenny also became Britain's most successful male Olympian, winning gold in the men's keirin and silver in the men's team sprint.
Stephen Park, performance director for British Cycling, said: "We have a fantastic relationship with the team at Renishaw. They've been integral in helping create what we believe is the fastest track cycling bike in the world and one which we are now refining towards Paris.
"The partnership allows us to create world leading parts that allow us to optimise our bike for each individual rider, which is unlike anything we've been able to do in the past. The key benefits of working with Renishaw is the experience of the engineers, designers and all the employees, along with the incredible technology in terms of manufacturing capability."
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