The trend toward electric travel is on the rise, gradually reshaping how people get around. Particularly, the usage of electric-assist bicycles has been steadily increasing. To catch up with this wave of electric travel, several renowned car manufacturers like Porsche have already launched multiple bicycles in the market and have acquired electric bike manufacturer Fazua. BMW and Audi are also not far behind, introducing their lineups of electric-assist innovations. Now, the renowned British luxury sports car manufacturer Lotus has entered the electric-assist race by unveiling an “extremely luxurious” electric road bike.
This is the Type 136, which Lotus claims is a new high-performance electric road bike. Its design draws inspiration from the riding style of the Hope Lotus bike used by the British team at the Tokyo Olympics and Chris Boardman’s ride on the Type 108 bike at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Ultimate Lightweight Feel
Lightweight construction has always been an everlasting demand in the electric bike market, and Lotus’s electric road bike achieves an extreme level of lightweight design.
The motor, the heaviest and most crucial component of the bike, uses what is claimed to be the world’s lightest HPS Watt Assist Pro motor, weighing only 1.2 kilograms. Integrated into the bottom bracket shell, the motor seamlessly blends with the overall design.
As for the battery, the 193-watt-hour battery unit weighs only 300 grams, cleverly disguised as a water bottle design. The entire Watt Assist Pro motor system weighs 1.2 kilograms. Coupled with the ultra-lightweight carbon fiber frame handmade in Italy, the whole bike weighs only 9.8 kilograms, just a few pounds more than lightweight racing road bikes.
To deliver an enhanced riding experience, Lotus Type 136 is equipped with world-class components. These include an “aerodynamic design” V-shaped handlebar, wing-shaped front fork, arched rear lower fork, Sram Red eTap AXS kit, and DT Swiss ARC 1100 wheels. Additionally, it uses race-grade Pirelli P Zero Race TLR tires.
In terms of performance, the Type 136 utilizes the HPS electric bike motor system, offering riders a climb advantage of up to 35% without compromising the balance and pedal feel of a non-electric bike. The HPS system also features ANT+ connectivity, allowing users to pair the system with various bike computers to display assist modes. Moreover, it can calibrate settings based on the user’s heart rate for pedal assistance during scientific training. The battery has a 3-hour lifespan and is detachable for charging.
“The Most Luxurious” Road Bike
Before the standard model hits the market next spring, Lotus will release 136 individually numbered limited edition bikes, priced at $25,000. The limited edition models will feature a “traditional gold and black color scheme” and come equipped with Campagnolo Super Record and Ultra wheels. Starting early next year, two additional models priced “slightly above £15,000” will be released, featuring SRAM Force or Red and DT Swiss wheels.
Lotus has invited six-time Olympic champion Chris Boardman to serve as the brand ambassador. At the launch event held in London, he remarked, “Its design achieves a perfect balance of aerodynamics, lightness, and technology. The Type 136 possesses a truly unique dual-purpose functionality: it’s a lightweight purebred road bike, yet it’s also an ultralight electric bike.” He also mentioned that the Lotus Type 136’s battery is airplane-friendly, indicating its comprehensive application in terms of both performance and utility, albeit at a premium price.