We’ve seen a handful of cutting-edge performance-focused e-bikes hit the market in recent years. Automotive brands venturing into the electrified two-wheeled space has ushered in quite a number of these. For example, bikes like the Audi e-Tron electric mountain bike and the Ducati range of e-MTBs easily command close to $10,000. That being said, the bike we’re talking about today blows all those two wheelers out of the water.
I’m talking about Lotus and its new Type 136 electric road bike. According to the brand, the bike’s frame was inspired by the Great Britain cycling team’s track bike, the Hope HB.T, designed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, a bike that was also designed in partnership with Lotus. From a styling standpoint, the Type 136 is extremely sleek and streamlined, boasting contoured lines and a radical integrated cockpit design. While the design is unmistakably visually lightweight, so, too, is the actual build.
From a performance standpoint, the Lotus Type 136 is equipped with the HPS Watt Assist Pro motor, a setup that’s said to be the lightest in the world at just 1.2 kilograms. According to HPS, the system provides riders up to 35 percent advantage on climbs, without disrupting the balance and pedal feel of a non-electric bicycle. The motor is housed neatly into the bottom bracket shell, and can very easily go unnoticed to the untrained eye. As for the battery, the compact 193-watt-hour unit weighs just 300 grams, and is designed to look like a water bottle. As such, it can easily be removed for charging.
Hope HB.T Race Bike Co-Developed by Lotus.
In line with the cutting-edge motor, the HPS system also features ANT+ connectivity, allowing users to pair the system with various bike computers to display the assist mode. The settings can also be calibrated to adjust pedal assist depending on your heart rate, so as to allow you to remain within certain training zones for longer.
The Lotus Type 136 is equipped with top-notch components such as the Sram Red eTap AXS groupset, as well as the DT Swiss ARC 1100 wheels. The bike also rolls on race-ready Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tires. Of course, the crown jewel of this build is the ultra-lightweight carbon frame which Lotus says is completely handmade in Italy. The entire build tips the scales at a mere 9.8 kilograms, although it isn’t specified at what size. This means that the Type 136 is one of the lightest electric road bikes on the market.
Lotus Type 136's battery is designed to look like a water bottle.
As is the case with most lightweight, high-performance things, the Lotus Type 136 comes with an astronomical price tag. The initial release of the model will see only 136 units produced, after which a standard model will go on sale in spring 2024. The first 136 units are priced at a whopping 25,000 euros, translating to about $26,574, per current exchange rates.