By Simon Smythe
The Hope HB.TT time trial bike was ridden to its first victory in its first open event on Monday by Ethan Vernon.
Vernon, already familiar with the original track version of the bike when he rode the team pursuit for Great Britain in Tokyo last month, won the Coalville Wheelers hilly 19.8 in a time of 40.11, averaging just under 30mph and beating Will Perrett by 46 seconds.
Although Vernon, who turned 21 four days earlier, already has an impressive international palmares, it was also his first win in a British time trial.
A photo posted by on
The Hope HB.TT bike that Vernon rode is still the only one in existence and is a prototype made from a heavier carbon than that which the production version will use, Hope’s Alan Weatherill confirmed. Nevertheless, Weatherill joked, it has a 100 per cent record.
Vernon's win was that much impressive since the AS/19 course, a two-lapper on B roads near Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, has over 800 feet of climbing, where a heavier bike would start to become a disadvantage.
Vernon has made some component changes since we first featured the Hope HB.TT bike in July. He has replaced the Princeton CarbonWorks wheels with a tubular Campagnolo Bora Ultra disc and Bora WTO 60 front, which is running a Vittoria Corsa tubeless tyre.
Vernon has also swapped out the Dura-Ace chainset for a Verve Infocrank power meter but he's still using both Dura-Ace Di2 derailleurs.
The saddle is an ISM PN 1.1.
The prototype bike is somewhere between medium and large, according to Hope, and looks as though it fits Vernon, who is 188cm tall, perfectly.
In his Instagram post Vernon posted five photos of what he called “the new Hope-Tech beast in action,” eliciting admiring/ribbing comments from Tokyo team-mates Ed Clancy and Ethan Hayter.
Vernon doesn’t have any more UK time trials coming up for the time being but we’ve contacted Hope for more information about the next step for the bike.
When we spoke to Hope's Ian Weatherill in July he stressed that the bike was "very much still a work in progress," also commenting that there was still work to do on the disc brakes and the aerodynamics in that area.
A lighter and more aerodynamic version of the Hope HB.TT could put it even further ahead of the competition - watch this space.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
And the vital statistics:
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